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Diogenes explained, "I am searching for the bones of your father but cannot distinguish them from those of a slave. There are conflicting accounts of Diogenes' death. His contemporaries alleged he had held his breath until he expired; although other accounts of his death say he had become ill from eating raw octopus; [36] or to have suffered an infected dog bite. When asked if he minded this, he said, "Not at all, as long as you provide me with a stick to chase the creatures away!

The Corinthians erected to his memory a pillar on which rested a dog of Parian marble. Along with Antisthenes and Crates of Thebes , Diogenes is considered one of the founders of Cynicism. The ideas of Diogenes, like those of most other Cynics, must be arrived at indirectly. No writings of Diogenes survive even though he is reported to have authored over ten books, a volume of letters and seven tragedies. Diogenes maintained that all the artificial growths of society were incompatible with happiness and that morality implies a return to the simplicity of nature.

So great was his austerity and simplicity that the Stoics would later claim him to be a wise man or "sophos". In his words, "Humans have complicated every simple gift of the gods. When he was asked from where he came, he replied, "I am a citizen of the world cosmopolites ". An exile and an outcast, a man with no social identity, Diogenes made a mark on his contemporaries. Diogenes had nothing but disdain for Plato and his abstract philosophy. Plato once described Diogenes as "a Socrates gone mad. Diogenes taught by living example.

He tried to demonstrate that wisdom and happiness belong to the man who is independent of society and that civilization is regressive. He scorned not only family and socio-political organization, but also property rights and reputation. He even rejected normal ideas about human decency. Diogenes is said to have eaten in the marketplace, [48] urinated on some people who insulted him, [49] defecated in the theatre , [50] and masturbated in public.

When asked about his eating in public he said, "If taking breakfast is nothing out of place, then it is nothing out of place in the marketplace. But taking breakfast is nothing out of place, therefore it is nothing out of place to take breakfast in the marketplace. From Life of Diogenes : [ citation needed ] "Someone took him [Diogenes] into a magnificent house and warned him not to spit, whereupon, having cleared his throat, he spat into the man's face, being unable, he said, to find a meaner receptacle.

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Many anecdotes of Diogenes refer to his dog-like behavior, and his praise of a dog's virtues. It is not known whether Diogenes was insulted with the epithet "doggish" and made a virtue of it, or whether he first took up the dog theme himself. When asked why he was called a dog he replied, "I fawn on those who give me anything, I yelp at those who refuse, and I set my teeth in rascals.

Besides performing natural body functions in public with ease, a dog will eat anything, and make no fuss about where to sleep.

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Dogs live in the present without anxiety, and have no use for the pretensions of abstract philosophy. In addition to these virtues, dogs are thought to know instinctively who is friend and who is foe. Diogenes stated that "other dogs bite their enemies, I bite my friends to save them. Later Cynics also sought to turn the word to their advantage, as a later commentator explained:.

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There are four reasons why the Cynics are so named. First because of the indifference of their way of life, for they make a cult of indifference and, like dogs, eat and make love in public, go barefoot, and sleep in tubs and at crossroads. The second reason is that the dog is a shameless animal, and they make a cult of shamelessness, not as being beneath modesty, but as superior to it. The third reason is that the dog is a good guard, and they guard the tenets of their philosophy. The fourth reason is that the dog is a discriminating animal which can distinguish between its friends and enemies.

So do they recognize as friends those who are suited to philosophy, and receive them kindly, while those unfitted they drive away, like dogs, by barking at them. As noted see Death , Diogenes' association with dogs was memorialized by the Corinthians, who erected to his memory a pillar on which rested a dog of Parian marble. Diogenes is discussed in a book by German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk English language publication in Here Foucault discusses Diogenes' antics in relation to the speaking of truth parrhesia in the ancient world.

In this course Foucault tries to establish an alternative conception of militancy and revolution through a reading of Diogenes and Cynicism. Diogenes' name has been applied to a behavioural disorder characterised by apparently involuntary self-neglect and hoarding. Both in ancient and in modern times, Diogenes' personality has appealed strongly to sculptors and to painters. Ancient busts exist in the museums of the Vatican , the Louvre , and the Capitol. The interview between Diogenes and Alexander is represented in an ancient marble bas-relief found in the Villa Albani. The famous story of Diogenes searching for an "honest man" has been depicted by Jordaens , van Everdingen , van der Werff , Pannini , Steen and Corinth.

The scene in which Diogenes discards his cup has been painted by Poussin , Rosa , and Martin ; and the story of Diogenes begging from a statue has been depicted by Restout. In Raphael 's fresco The School of Athens , a lone reclining figure in the foreground represents Diogenes.

Its powerlessness can itself be powerfully erotic. The transformation of concrete labors into abstract labor renders the laborer into something akin to the notorious pink goo or pink slime that industrial, processed meat now all contains. The cute renders production as if it were a domestic activity, but one charged with eroticism and violence. Perhaps it was a way of learning to love defeat on a national scale, but one redoubled in the private sphere as learning to love exploitation.

In spite of its proximity to kitsch, the cute can be an avant-garde tactic. Think of Hugo Ball immobilized in his cardboard tube costume. But I wonder if the reverse might also be the case. Rachel Law and I coined the term weaponized adorables for this version of cute, and tried to write a Weaponized Adorables Negotiation Manual or W. If authority used to appear as the name of the father, or his patriarchial side kick, the big brother, maybe now we are down to all the little sisters, not ordering but suggesting compliance.

There was something adorable about Theodor Adorno, with his stuff-animal giraffe companion. And something cute even about his masterpiece Minima Moralia , his self-helpless book for and from damaged life, with its petulant refusal of theoretical coherence. In it are a lot of kitsch items, for instance, the useless gift articles produced by a specialized industry for people who no longer know how to give.

This junk is still closely tied to art, as kitsch lurks in art.

So perhaps one can reverse the gesture, and find the aesthetic in the cute. As a kind of fetish that protects against fetishism. In the W. If the zany is about subjects, and the cute about subject-object strangeness, then the interesting is about things, or maybe information about things. The interesting is about the circulation of forms of information.

It is not a performative or commodity aesthetic, but a discursive one. If the zany is hot, and the cute is warm, then the interesting is cool, ironic, detached, even clinical.


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It can have a documentary impulse. It is interested in comparison, in anomalies and systems, it alternates between reason and surprise.

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For Isabelle Stengers , what is interesting in science is a proposition that associates largest number of actors. The interesting also assembles the social, but what is sociologically interesting also has an aesthetic aspect. It measures the tension between understanding and wonder. Theories are not interesting when obvious, improbable, or unprovable. Ngai links it to the rise in the circulation of printed matter, to which I might, in the spirit of TJ Clark , add circulation through the modern city.

The interesting lacks universality. Ironically enough for us Anglophones, Schlegel thought Shakespeare interesting! The plays had too much local color. Maybe one add them to diversify a reading list. They are interesting as they are about imitation, remix, hybridity, the non-beautiful, the comparative, diversity, subculture, and an expanded marketplace. It would be a non-objective, non-classical, relativist aesthetic. The classical is mythical and timeless. The interesting enables movement between aesthetic and non-aesthetic judgment, between pleasure and cognition.

Then interest flickers from passive to active awareness. It is prior to affect: a generic, minimal judgement.

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