[-empyre-] a book, dna and code

Judith Roof roof12 at comcast.net
Mon Oct 22 08:25:34 EST 2007


but I am speaking on the plane of how it is that analysis of the how  
often bows to at best considerations and at worst proclamations of  
the "should."  Obviously this doesn't always happen--and there well  
may be something about analyzing how we configure something  
linguistically or imagistically that calls up the ethical project.   
My question is only what that relation might be.  I find often that  
the practice of ethics is pretty unethical, which I guess means it  
probably isn't ethics in the first place and I find myself in a  
paradox.  But sometimes this "ethics" is pretty much a power move,  
especially when used as a move that silences other discourses.

On Oct 21, 2007, at 6:15 PM, Nicholas Ruiz III wrote:

> However, it seems then, when dealing with questions of
> value(s)-- there is only 'politics', no?  Or does the
> amalgamation between thought of valuation and praxis
> of valuation render some other object?  In other
> words, people (excepting perhaps, ethicists and
> theologians) think little of 'ethics' until it
> materializes an action, an 'event'--and then the
> explanations of it are the purview of ethical reviews,
> policy oblates, eschatological councils and the
> rest...
> --- Judith Roof <roof12 at comcast.net> wrote:
>> But surely beyond this?  I do resist ethics because
>> I think they are
>> a palliative and very much beside the point, so
>> tangled in values and
>> ideologies and good intentions. Maybe resistance is
>> ethics.  Others
>> suggest that analysis is already ethics or that
>> critique without
>> ethics is meaningless.  My question (instead of
>> resistance) is why
>> this leap to the "ethical."  I think such a leap
>> made in the name of
>> ethics often forecloses all sorts of relations,
>> anomalies,
>> infelicities, interesting and operative details.
>> Ethics itself  can
>> and probably should be examined, not as a naturally
>> occurring pious
>> category, but as a kind of evasion that thinks it is
>> on point.  Maybe
>> it is, but its method is different, it presumes
>> pre-existing values
>> of some sort.  This is not an either/or
>> analysis/ethics, but a sense
>> that ethics without deep suspicion is as empty as
>> analysis without
>> paranoia.  Of course maybe ethics is a species of
>> deep suspicion, but
>> isn't it some kind of ethics that damns Watson?
>> Why damn?  Why not
>> see him for the theme park he has become?
>> Cheers from the Rabelaisian
>> On Oct 18, 2007, at 10:27 PM, dean wilson wrote:
>>> Judith wrote in a previous post:
>>> "... maybe all critique is ethics, but it is
>> precisely this
>>> collapse that I resist at least by pointing it
>> out."
>>> We could start with that and then add to it,
>> perhaps. Dean
>>> On 10/19/07, Judith Roof <roof12 at comcast.net>
>> wrote:
>>>> I am curious, Dean, about your use of the term
>> "resistance."
>>>> resistance in relation to what?  caveat, perhaps,
>> especially in so
>>>> far as pointing out any infelicity has some
>> element of warning.
>>>> Totalizing rhetoric.  But of course.  Such things
>> are often a matter
>>>> of scale.  What seems total in one scale is
>> merely a term in
>>>> another.  But--judging (or sensing) a book by its
>> cover repeats the
>>>> same dynamic--and that's the dynamic in a crude
>> form at issue here.
>>>> DNa is only an example, a cover doomed from the
>> start to be a meta-
>>>> example, the performative example-- the code
>> failure of the code on
>>>> so many levels.  . or as Jasper Bernes put it so
>> elegantly--"genomics
>>>> represents a general tendency in late capitalism
>> for the sphere of
>>>> representation/culture to collapse into and
>> become co-extensive with
>>>> the social or economic."  But as for the negative
>> ethics--the book
>>>> is  only a way in.  No single book can undertake
>> the larger task and
>>>> it needed to be said, not only in relation to
>> cultural carelessness
>>>> (or not), but to get precisely this conversation
>> started.
>>>> On Oct 18, 2007, at 11:22 AM, dean wilson wrote:
>>>>> Well now, there you have it. It's a miracle
>> humans don't all
>>>>> spontaneously combust. Judith's comment from an
>> earlier post stays
>>>>> with me:
>>>>> "My question is what the connection is between
>> representation which
>>>>> must be misunderstood, discarded, and
>> minimalized on a regular basis
>>>>> and the drive towards making policy, considering
>> policy, deciding
>>>>> what
>>>>> is right and wrong."
>>>>> Judith's brave explanation of Poetics (in the
>> context the book) as
>>>>> "the use of metaphor and narrative both as
>> compensatory and
>>>>> strategic," and "the large sense that ...
>> analyzes the deployment of
>>>>> such figures as persistent mythologies," will no
>> doubt be added to
>>>>> Flaubert's famous dictionary.
>>>>> I find myself curiouser and intrigued. I sense
>> functions of caveat,
>>>>> resistance and totalizing rhetoric in your
>> ideas. It still seems
>>>>> that
>>>>> you're protesting word or acronym usage in
>> social contexts like
>>>>> genetics research that are defined according to
>> convention and
>>>>> field,
>>>>> capital too, something your saint Roland was
>> fond of writing about,
>>>>> although not often on same sex themes. Thanks
>> for your bold
>>>>> responses.
>>>>> Dean
>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>> empyre forum
>>>>> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
>>>>> http://www.subtle.net/empyre
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