The Art of Tetman Callis

Some of the stories and poems may be inappropriate for persons under 16

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Not to mention imagination

July 28th, 2016 · No Comments

“To feel for someone with whom you fundamentally disagree takes a certain amount of perseverance.” – Averil Dean, The Undoing

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The windows are covered with foil

July 27th, 2016 · No Comments

“Everyone is stuck inside a doorless room. No one gets into anyone else’s head. Nobody can ever really get out of their own.” – Averil Dean, The Undoing

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Look under there

July 26th, 2016 · No Comments

“You can tell the quality of a piece by the parts that aren’t supposed to show.” – Averil Dean, The Undoing

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And others

July 25th, 2016 · No Comments

“Sexual ambiguity was an ethic of sorts—a knight’s move in the face of the fixed options of straight (and possibly also gay) identity.” – Brian Dillon, “Notes on Bowie”

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Prioritizing

July 24th, 2016 · No Comments

“Why not lay aside questions of ultimate meaning for as long as there is unnecessary suffering in the world? I don’t mean necessary suffering, like disappointed love or the infirmities of age. I mean wholly unnecessary suffering, like undernourished, illiterate, or malarial children. When there are no more such, then let us begin asking again about the meaning of life and the existence of God.” – George Scialabba, “The Wreck of Western Culture”

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Find the cost of freedom

July 23rd, 2016 · No Comments

“The burden of freedom, the responsibility of finding—or creating—one’s own purpose and meaning without the guidance of authoritative inherited creeds and values, is too heavy for all but a few. The rest of us cannot endure for long the tensions of uncertainty. We must, at some point, stop questioning, quiet our doubts, turn away from moral and metaphysical inquiry and toward life. Untrammeled skepticism ends in paralysis. That is true of societies as well as individuals. No purely rational justification can be offered for trust and self-sacrifice. But without them, social life is chaos, a war of all against all. Until a few hundred years ago, this problem scarcely existed. The authority of communities and traditions, though often enough evaded or defied, was rarely put in radical question. There were sinners, doubters, even heretics, but dogma and hierarchy, as the foundation of individual morality and social organization, were unchallenged. Then modernity happened. Beginning in fifteenth-century Europe, a critical, experimental, libertarian spirit began to flourish, which came to be known as ‘humanism.’ A crescendo of scientific discoveries, artistic innovations, geographical explorations, and political reforms ensued until, at the end of the eighteenth century, Kant hailed ‘humankind’s emergence from its self-imposed minority’ and baptized it ‘Enlightenment.’ At the same time, the prestige of the sacred and the supernatural, of what the Grand Inquisitor called ‘miracle, mystery, and authority’ and declared indispensable to ordinary people’s happiness, was correspondingly diminished. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, humanism’s luster was tarnished. First came the blight of early industrialization, then colonial brutality, totalitarian repression, and the technologies of extermination in concentration camps and global wars. Even after these horrors passed, in the midst of unprecedented prosperity, an epidemic of spiritual emptiness descended: alienation, consumerism, and the loneliness of mass society. Perhaps, as a minority of modern thinkers have always believed, we cannot live by reason alone. Perhaps modernity is a mistake.” – George Scialabba, “The Wreck of Western Culture”

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Lather, rinse, repeat

July 22nd, 2016 · No Comments

6.1 Compare all the known data.

6.2 Determine whether the data support the hypothesis.

6.3 In the event that there are data that contradict the hypothesis, examine the data for credibility.

6.3.1 If the data that contradict the hypothesis appear credible, formulate a new hypothesis and begin the process again.

6.4 If all known credible data are supportive of the hypothesis, consider whether alternative hypotheses are also supported by these data.

6.4.1 If more than one hypothesis is supported by the data, it will be necessary to report all credible hypotheses.

– Sidebar 4.1, Section 6, “Hypothesis Testing”, John J. Lentini, Scientific Protocols for Fire Investigation, Second Edition

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One exit

July 21st, 2016 · No Comments

“All soldiers wanted to get the war over without being killed or wounded too seriously, but in the infantry this goal was especially difficult. Most quickly realized that once on the front line, the only way to leave while the war lasted was by stretcher.” – Robert Sterling Rush, Hell in Hürtgen Forest

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Dog-tired dogfaces

July 20th, 2016 · No Comments

“Soldiers became so tired that they drifted into sleep at the slightest slackening of effort, and leaders, themselves exhausted, found one of their greatest problems was keeping them awake. Soldiers could not remember what happened the previous day and found events blurring into one another. Even with their well-being dependent upon remaining alert, the soldiers became sluggish. They tired and lost the instinct for self-preservation as they failed to follow even the basic fundamentals of their combat training. Fatigue caused casualties. Soldiers walked instead of ran across open fields that were being shelled because they were too tired to run and had passed the point of caring whether they were hit or not.” – Robert Sterling Rush, Hell in Hürtgen Forest

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There was that

July 19th, 2016 · No Comments

“The soldiers of the regiment had been in the forest for twelve days. Their miserable existence consisted of dripping rain through the trees, endless mud, staying in wet clothes, never getting warm, no hot food, not enough sleep, and laying awake at night shivering, wrapped in raincoats in foxholes filled with cold water. Then, of course, other men were trying to kill them.” – Robert Sterling Rush, Hell in Hürtgen Forest

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Pay attention

July 18th, 2016 · No Comments

“The interest and utility of close reading do not vanish in the face of digital libraries or ubiquitous computation. On the contrary, in the century upon us, where channels of communication are not only increasingly computerized but also increasingly corporatized and where texts of all kinds are turned to manipulative ends with digitally multiplied effectiveness, the ability and disposition to read texts attentively, one by one (in addition, of course, to digital sophistication), is likely to be an advantage.” – Barbara Hernnstein Smith, “What Was ‘Close Reading’?”

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Truffling

July 17th, 2016 · No Comments

“The developments to which scholars were responding during the twentieth century were quite significant. Literary study was one thing when a small number of Christian men were teaching the professionally aspiring sons of fellow professionals. It became another when members of an expanding professoriate were teaching students from middle- and working-class families or, later, when a sizeable number of faculty were women and a sizeable number of their students were from racial and ethnic minorities. And the field is yet another thing now, when faculty and students are more likely to encounter texts on screens than anywhere else and everyone is scrambling for positions, funding and status in a shrinking quarter of the academy.” – Barbara Hernnstein Smith, “What Was ‘Close Reading’?”

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Poring over

July 16th, 2016 · No Comments

“Full-dress close readings, now as ever, can be showy or strained. They can also be dim, thin, derivative or pedestrian and, when motivated by a history of injury, sulky or venomous. But, now as ever, they can offer those who hear or read them potentially illuminating engagements with regions of language, thought and experience not otherwise commonly encountered.” – Barbara Hernnstein Smith, “What Was ‘Close Reading’?”

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The times, they been a-changin’

July 15th, 2016 · No Comments

“Five hundred years ago, slavery was the most natural thing in the world. So was the torture of criminal suspects, convicts, and heretics. So was the virtual ownership—and regular physical chastisement—of women by their fathers or husbands. Most of us (I hope) now abhor these things, but anyone time-traveling back to that era who informed a slaveowner, torturer, or wife-beater that his behavior was shameful would have been met with incomprehension, perhaps even indignation.” – George Scialabba, “The Life You Can Save”

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Go down, Moses

July 14th, 2016 · No Comments

“A descent into the depth will be indicated when the light of truth has dimmed and its symbols are losing their credibility; when the night is sinking on the symbols that have had their day, one must return to the night of the depth that is luminous with truth to the man who is willing to seek for it. The depth is fascinating as a threat and a charm––as the abyss into which man falls when the truth of the depth has drained from the symbols by which he orients his life, and as the source from which a new life of the truth and a new orientation can be drawn.” – Eric Voegelin (quoted by John Bussanich in “Eric Voegelin’s Philosophy of Myth”)

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And wander bereft

July 13th, 2016 · No Comments

“Only in the shelter of the myth can the sectors of the personality that are closer to the waking consciousness unfold their potentiality; and without the ordering of the whole personality by the truth of the myth the secondary intellectual and moral powers would lose their direction.” – Eric Voegelin (quoted by John Bussanich in “Eric Voegelin’s Philosophy of Myth”)

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Perpetual truthing machine

July 12th, 2016 · No Comments

“The myth itself authenticates its truth because the forces that animate its imagery are at the same time its subject matter. A myth can never be ‘untrue’ because it would not exist unless it had its experiential basis in the movements of the soul that it symbolizes.” – Eric Voegelin (quoted by John Bussanich in “Eric Voegelin’s Philosophy of Myth”)

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Explaining the inexplicable

July 11th, 2016 · No Comments

“We still are living in the reality of the cosmos and not in the universe of physics, the brainwashing propaganda of our scientistic ideologues notwithstanding.” – Eric Voegelin (quoted by John Bussanich in “Eric Voegelin’s Philosophy of Myth”)

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Hence the rise of stars

July 10th, 2016 · No Comments

“In a very deep sense mythical symbols are unavoidable for humans because reality transcends all types of representation and because our formulations cannot dispense completely with concrete phenomena. . . . Although over time particular symbols and myths may become referentially opaque, the realities symbolized do not cease to exist, which is evidenced by the fact that invalidated myths and symbols are replaced by new or revitalized ones.” –  John Bussanich, “Eric Voegelin’s Philosophy of Myth”

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You gotta be a believer

July 9th, 2016 · No Comments

“No more than the truth of myth can the truth of reason be conveyed by information; it must be acquired by an act of meditative articulation.” – Eric Voegelin (quoted by John Bussanich in “Eric Voegelin’s Philosophy of Myth”)

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So there

July 8th, 2016 · No Comments

“Every concrete symbol is true insofar as it envisages the truth, but none is completely true insofar as the truth about being is essentially beyond human reach.” – Eric Voegelin (quoted by John Bussanich in “Eric Voegelin’s Philosophy of Myth”)

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And that’s the truth

July 7th, 2016 · No Comments

“Accumulating evidence is the scientific community’s method of self-correction and is the best available option for achieving that ultimate goal: truth.” – Open Science Collaboration, “Estimating the Reproducibility of Psychological Science”

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Reality is like that

July 6th, 2016 · No Comments

“The scientific process is not ideological. Science does not always provide comfort for what we wish to be; it confronts us with what is.” – Open Science Collaboration, “Estimating the Reproducibility of Psychological Science”

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Guarding the guards

July 5th, 2016 · No Comments

“Scientific progress is a cumulative process of uncertainty reduction that can only succeed if science itself remains the greatest skeptic of its explanatory claims.” – Open Science Collaboration, “Estimating the Reproducibility of Psychological Science”

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Make it newer

July 4th, 2016 · No Comments

“Innovation is the engine of discovery and is vital for a productive, effective scientific enterprise. However, innovative ideas become old news fast. Journal reviewers and editors may dismiss a new test of a published idea as unoriginal. The claim that ‘we already know this’ belies the uncertainty of scientific evidence. Deciding the ideal balance of resourcing innovation versus verification is a question of research efficiency. How can we maximize the rate of research progress? Innovation points out paths that are possible; replication points out paths that are likely; progress relies on both. The ideal balance is a topic for investigation itself. Scientific incentives—funding, publication, or awards—can be tuned to encourage an optimal balance in the collective effort of discovery. Progress occurs when existing expectations are violated and a surprising result spurs a new investigation. Replication can increase certainty when findings are reproduced and promote innovation when they are not.” – Open Science Collaboration, “Estimating the Reproducibility of Psychological Science”

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Not one step backwards

July 3rd, 2016 · No Comments

“German division commanders in the Hürtgen sector issued emphatic orders to their soldiers not to retreat. Many of their soldiers followed the letter, if not the spirit, of the orders by surrendering at the first opportunity.” – Robert Sterling Rush, Hell in Hürtgen Forest

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Gets it pumping during all actual events

July 2nd, 2016 · No Comments

“There is nothing like live ammunition during a training exercise to get the heart pumping.” – Robert Sterling Rush, Hell in Hürtgen Forest

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A modern meat market

July 1st, 2016 · No Comments

“Groups of civilians scheduled for induction gathered in their towns and, at least in 1941 and early 1942, typically received a sendoff from town dignitaries and boarded the bus or train to the induction station. Here they joined others from surrounding communities in qualifying for induction into the military. After being read the Articles of War, they were lined up alphabetically, given a cardboard tag to hang around their neck, and began processing. High school graduates took tests to identify psychoses and neuroses and then began their medical processing, while the others took a general literacy test. About fourth grade level was considered passing. Those who passed then formed the line behind the high school graduates, while those who failed were given the ‘Group Target Test’ to determine if they could follow instructions. If they passed, they fell in the medical line behind those who passed the literacy test. Those failing the literacy and Group Target Tests were individually interviewed and if not found malingering were sent home.” – Robert Sterling Rush, Hell in Hürtgen Forest

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We’ve got you covered

June 30th, 2016 · No Comments

“You may not be interested in the Revolution, but the Revolution is interested in you.” – Leon Trotsky

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Busted flat

June 29th, 2016 · No Comments

“The U.S. soldiers who fought in World War II had the great Depression as their defining experience. Men aged twenty-one in 1941 were nine when the depression began and, regardless of locale, had been through a soul-searching experience along with their families. This period was marked by a dramatic fall in the value of stocks; hundreds of thousands of businesses failed; millions of savings accounts were lost; wages fell an average of 60 percent; and unemployment rose from 9 to 25 percent, which left fifteen million people without jobs. Professional people often took laboring jobs in mills, if they could find them. Or they went door to door trying to sell life insurance for which the insured paid twenty-five cents a week, provided the agent came to the door every week to collect the twenty-five cents. Medical doctors and lawyers were scrounging for ‘nickels and dimes,’ the majority of them barely making a living. Engineers could not find jobs. Occasionally they would be hired, work a few months, then be laid off. Farmers were ‘dirt-poor.’ Salespeople in department stores waited all day for customers who often did not show up. One store had only Ph.D.’s as salespersons. They often worked on commission and frequently had to ask the boss for an advance so they could eat. For those unskilled and undereducated, it was a disaster, as they found the labor-intensive positions they once had filled by those more knowledgeable. Many breadwinners lost faith in themselves and in their government. Because of the widespread poverty, many of those coming of age had dropped out of school to help feed their families. Those who had finished high school and even those who went on to college scrabbled for any work. Many of those who could not find jobs enrolled in the Civilian Conservation Corps for a dollar a day plus room and board or received jobs through the Works Progress Administration, both products of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal.” – Robert Sterling Rush, Hell in Hürtgen Forest

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