paean to wanderings

a coruscation of impromptu epigram

Sam Kabo Ashwell
He would contemplate the distance
With a look of pensive meaning,
As of ducks that die in tempests.

-- Lewis Carroll, Hiawatha's Photographing

If I was to come into the university to lecture one day drunk, this might enhance my performance sufficiently to move the "public," that is, the students in the audience, to set up a fund and delegate one of their number to meet with me in a bar before every lecture, so as to ensure that I am always adequately prepared.
-- Raymond Geuss, Public Goods, Private Goods

A culturally individuated cluster-concept supervening on functional mind-states and pertaining to varieties of participant-stance approval Is Love

The eternal topics, briefly summarised:
religion: I'm intellectually agnostic and ethically and spiritually (a fairly close approximation to) Daoist. Among my various related beliefs, I'm of the opinion that organised religion has benefits but that they're heavily outweighed by its dangers; that to bring one's children up in one's own faith is wrong; that to try to prove any religious maxim is not only impossible but missing the point. I'm pro-choice, anti-death penalty, and something-that-practically-speaking-means-vegetarian, for what it's worth.
politics: Left-wing in economic and environmental terms, liberal otherwise. Mill's On Liberty is pretty damn close to my standpoint on the latter. I do my best to regard nations, laws and capital as what they are: non-subsistent abstracts which should be ignored if inconvenient. I ardently believe that power should not be drawn from wealth, that government should be in no way influenced by religion or business, and that nobody should benefit or suffer from accident of birth, and am appropriately cynical about the feasibility of all of these. I'm not a democrat: I don't like having my views lumped in with other people's until they're unrecognisable.
love: I am emotionally entangled with isquiesque. Said entanglement now has overculture-approved paperwork appended to it, but is none the less pleasant for that.

Otherwise... enh, read my posts. I'm not going to describe myself, because walking the line between arrogance and false modesty is an impossible task. I no longer use LJ for over-lyrical self-indulgent angsting, but the aimless pseudophilosophical musings aren't going away.

A few other vaguely relevant links: my principal online hangout and pillar of the interactive fiction community, ifMUD; my awe-inspiring entry on IFwiki, Oxbridge Pissheads, my sublimely pretentious and rarely-updated webcomic, and my deviantArt account.

A significant proportion (albeit varying as my use of the journal varies) of the stuff on here is friendslocked; however, I'm not too fussy about adding friends. Add me or comment on something or ask to be added via carrier pigeon or something, and if your LJ isn't too vapid and you're not in the habit of posting enormous jpgs, five million quiz results, ten-page rants without lj-cut, and other cardinal sins on a regular basis, chances are I'll add you.
aesthetic snobbery, aesthetics, africa, agnosticism, akira kurosawa, alasdair gray, albert camus, alcohol, ambiguity, anatomy, anglophone eugenics, anti-capitalism, anti-institutionalism, art, balance, beauty, belle & sebastian, blur, botswana, burning spear, cambridge, cats, cheese, chinese art, chuang tzu, cocktailcrafting, coffee, cognitive-behavioral therapy, coleridge, common fucking sense, cooking, criticism, daoism, dead man, depression, detachment, dissent, drawing, dreams, dub, edward gorey, emotional honesty, empathy, ethics, evolution, evolutionary psychology, existential angst, existentialism, experimental cuisine, fair trade, firewalking, franz kafka, gabriel garcia marquez, gao xingjian, genetics, god of the gaps, heidegger, holism, honesty, hope, i ching, ifmud, illustration, insomnia, intensity, interactive fiction, intimacy, introspection, islam, islamic feminism, isolation, italo calvino, jiujitsu, john donne, john stuart mill, john wyndham, jorge luis borges, kai lung, koppies, kurt vonnegut, literature, louis de bernieres, love, ludwig wittgenstein, magical realism, marcel proust, martial arts, meditation, metaphysical poets, mist, modernism, mountains, movies, music, mythology, narrative, nature, nick drake, nietzsche, notebooks, oddball fringes of hip-hop, oxbridge pissheads, perfectionism, pernicious grand syntheses, personhood, philosophy, plato, pluralism, poetic thought, poetry, post-apocalyptic fiction, pragmatic idealism, pre-agriculture society, primo levi, punting, real ale, reductio ad absurdum, reggae, religion, riddley walker, roleplaying, romanticism, roots manuva, scotch, self as project, self-awareness, sequential art, seven samurai, simulation-theory, situation ethics, socialism, solipsism, spirituality, statistics, strong lines, subversion, syncretism, synthesis, travel, trees, tropes, ts eliot, vegetarianism, videogame design, walking, waterfalls, wilderness, william blake, writing, yoga