TOTW: Clear Thinking

  • Posted on: 14 May 2018
  • By: notnull

While contemplating this TOTW I shared one of my favorite quotes about clear thinking in an online discussion:

"The process of sound philosophizing, to my mind, consists mainly in passing from those obvious, vague, ambiguous things, that we feel quite sure of, to something precise, clear, definite, which by reflection and analysis we find is involved in the vague thing that we started from, and is, so to speak, the real truth of which that vague thing is a sort of shadow." --Bertrand Russell

The general consensus of the conversation was a bit different than mine: "This quote sucks!"

Oh well, you can't please everyone! It is still my favorite quote. To me, clear thinking means getting specific about terminology (i.e., what the words you are using 'mean'), refining concepts and their relationships with other concepts until they are consistent with each other, and making explicit the logical and/or real-world implications that these terms and concepts have.

And I really think this point is important practically and not just philosophically. Clear thinking is a critical foundation not only of good theory-building but also of having productive communication with others. Meaning is slippery. It depends on context and that context is not always shared between two people. Things usually seem to make more sense than they actually do once you try to explain them carefully. Few things are more frustrating than going around in circles in a conversation with someone whose definitions are constantly changing.

I think some people take issue with Russell's statement when he references a "definite... real truth"--as if he is implying that a definite real truth exists and can be solidified into permanence through analysis. I don't think he believed this, but I also don't think that would be necessary for clear thinking. It is possible to treat words as having a specific meaning that remains constant from sentence to sentence without believing that we have now brought into being a permanent construct that represents the idea in question. Conversation depends on it. Without assuming some level of immutability to the meaning of words, conversations go in circles.

What are your (hopefully clear!) thoughts about clear thinking? Is clear thinking important? Is it possible? What are some ways that you try to make either your own thinking and/or writing clear, or that you try to make clear the ideas of others when you are talking with them or reading their work? If the kind of analysis described by Russell misses the mark, what are some other meaningful ways to refine ideas?


this is a great topic! i can't wait for the shitstorm of mediocre and atrocious thinkers weighing in. ahahahahahah

great example of non-mediocre / atrocious thinkers weighing in! Thanks boles!

just thinking about how anarchist social media today is full of idiotic endorsements of Palestinian nationalism....maybe the real question is why would people even be interested in thinking clearly when they’re more just into being edgy leftist hipsters

damn kids these days and their "social media," amirite? need to be thinking critically! damn edgy leftist hipsters need to be gettin' off my lawn, amirite? so idiotic, amirite?

real talk.

Real fucking stupid talk, sure.

(that's the joke)

So you’re into nationalism and sarcasm? Were you looking for

This dummy has convinced me that Clear Thinking is necessary. Hail Bertrand!

I came here to snark about non-sequiturs but this made me laugh too much. 'Sup with the Capitalization and "Hail"-ing tho? :P

Well you’ve convinced me the ideologically correct position is to support Hamas. Thanks comrade.

Dude, social media is nothing else than just mere groupthink, or same old herd mentality, pushed to one of thr lowest extremes in human sociopathology. If humans get more sane in a few decades, socisal media and especially Fedbook will be reminded as a similar instance to why/how so many Germans were made to support Hitler.

same social-"anarchists" who support and worship Rojava creating a "new state" based on democratic confederalism

One has to remember that Russell was a mathematician, and his idea of truth is nuanced by the methodology of his system of logic. A statement such as " water is wet " is not a truth. Moralism can be included as an untruth and many other conditions relating to a law and criminality.

You guys are fucking nerds. No wonder there's nothing practical about y'alls theory except when playing junior varsity philosophical anarchists.

That is an untruth to call someone a "fucking nerd". Most words are false, only actions speak the truth!

Nerds are the best. What is junior varsity?

Clear thinking is only really necessary when you choose to place primary importance on the objective (to the best of your abilities) physical world, let alone changing it in significant ways that affect your life and maybe even lots of other people! IMO, this is what anarchism is actually about and everything else bores me to snark.

Most of the fizzles that hang around here don't need to concern themselves with such things, or won't, or can't.

Goal oriented action, with a high probability of being physically resisted by larger, stronger forces within the dominant society that we despise: this is exponentially more difficult, if not impossible without relatively clear thinking. Philosophy is a luxury in that context but otherwise, it can be fun too.

While I'm not a fan of Bertrand Russell or this quote per se, I do agree clear language, clear thinking & good faith argument are necessary for fruitful discussion. Otherwise we just go in circles.

I don't think we will always agree on what words & concepts 'really' 'mean', & haggling over definitions can be tedious, still, if we are engaging with ostensible accomplices/ allies attempting to find common (if only temporary) agreement on definitions is prudent.

This takes effort, though, and I don't see most online anarchists (or anyone online, really) willing to put in that effort.
This is less the case in face to face discussion, imo.

The concepts someone uses are always more limiting than the content they refer to. Someone says "there's a man in the hall", they're drawing attention to species and gender, and general location, but not whether he has a beard, whether his shirt is red, whereabouts in the hall he is etc. This is why scientific precision is often an illusion - it's saying something true, but only part of the truth. The stuff it leaves out, might or might not also be important. An overly narrow positivism misses the nuances and responsiveness to specific, local realities which is crucial to real knowledge. Scott's "Seeing like a State" makes this point very clearly. Local knowledge has a type of suppleness which top-down thinking never has.

There's a popular view in pomo that signifiers tend to "slip" - meaning that the meaning of a word gets displaced from one thing onto another. In a way, this is how language always works - a concept is extended to a new instance. Often this is combined with recognition that concepts are defined relatively to other concepts in language, not just by reference to objects in the world (there's a man in the hall, not a woman or a sheep). But this has led to arguments that it's only authority holding together the categories, that categories as such as oppressive (hierarchies of race/gender/etc arise from the division into categories), and therefore, the more we encourage "slippage" (unclear and changing language), the more liberated we become. The point is to avoid rigid "binaries" which fix meaning in place. I believe this is absolutely fallacious. Vague, "slipping" language leaves people saying nothing at all, or repeating the same fixed meanings over and over in slightly different terms. We see a lot of this in idpol, and its effects are very clear there. If there isn't a clear sense of what counts as "abuse" or "racism" or "decolonisation" or "healing", if someone can call themselves an "anarchist" even though they support the state (because they fight against whatever they take to be hierarchies), reasoned discussion becomes impossible. Statements just become bids for status in social games, slogans which are repeated ad nauseum, redefined each time they are used, subject to competition as to who has "voice" and therefore can define when, whether and how the buzzwords apply. This turns all speech into power-conflict and manipulation, and prevents horizontal exchange and consideration of the nature of the world.

Anarchy needs an artisanal knowledge, similar to the local knowledge discussed by Scott. Knowledge similar to DIY. Oriented to facts and practices, unashamed to use categories when they are useful, to distinguish a nail which fits a hole from a screw which does not, but also responsive to the local variation in each situation, to the exact amount of force needed to get the nail into the hole, the grain of the wood, etc. In social studies, we don't need either idpol/pomo rhetoric or narrow positivist calculation, but something more like Geertzian interpretive anthropology - a curiosity and analytical drive to understand how situations work on their own terms, and how they can be shifted. Psychoanalysis, not behaviorism; political economy, not neoclassical economics; ecology, not resource management.

>> The concepts someone uses are always more limiting than the content they refer to... An overly narrow positivism misses the nuances and responsiveness to specific, local realities which is crucial to real knowledge.

Agreed! And those cues that you mentioned: male, location, etc. are pragmatic conversation devices. They are an attempt for the speaker to communicate what they assume is relevant to the listener, relying on shared assumptions about what is 'a thing' and what is 'relevant'. It's the same reason we have a single word for "hall" but not "the floor with that roommate's dish on it and the western-facing wall". That assumption is usually implicit. The speaker does not always do it on purpose. And it's purpose is not always important! There's a vibrant post-positivist movement, but I'll admit, it's dependent on defining 'important' which is a matter of value. Cite for 'Seeing Like A State'?

>> ... This turns all speech into power-conflict and manipulation, and prevents horizontal exchange and consideration of the nature of the world.

Agreed!! What's curious about it is that the actual speech is denouncing power-conflict and manipulation, but it forced into enforcing it on the fly.

>> Psychoanalysis, not behaviorism;

Couldn't disagree more with this. Psychoanalysis has no criteria for evidence, while behaviorism does. Behaviorism falls short but it's measurable. Psychoanalysis appeals to our intuitions but is worthless; behaviorism disgusts us but is accurate.

>> political economy, not neoclassical economics;

what's political economy?

>> ecology, not resource management.

Sounds cool but say more about what you mean?

Come visit sometime, @critic!

Hi Notnull!

Yes, I think "important" varies with perspective (though not in the way idpols do). Hence why shifting language is important for anarchists (but against not in the directions or by the means idpols use).

>What's curious about it is that the actual speech is denouncing power-conflict and manipulation, but it forced into enforcing it on the fly

I think this happens via a slip from empirical to ontological. Idpols (and Marxist-structuralists, and some postmodernists) begin by observing that oppressive speech is often power-driven manipulation, conclude that speech/discourse is only/mainly power-driven manipulation, and thus resort both to seeing power-driven manipulation everywhere (even when it isn't there), and engaging in it themselves (since that's how you "do" speech/discourse). The relevance here is that this move is often tied-up with the postmodernist move of rejecting criteria of "truth", "reality", "objectivity" etc - leading to the view that all language is instrumental. Something can be perspectival without being instrumental (c.f. power-to vs power-over) but this is easily missed.

>Psychoanalysis has no criteria for evidence, while behaviorism does. Behaviorism falls short but it's measurable

I disagree with this in a number of ways. One of them is that behaviourism is measurable, but it doesn't measure anything interesting or meaningful. It observes surface appearances without seeing the underlying forces. Hence it's exactly like the other kinds of positivist "nails go in holes" and "all wood must be cut this one way" approaches. It's also horribly ineffective in the medium-term and the evidence for it as a general approach is a lot weaker than they pretend. Example: crackdowns rarely reduce "crime" and deviance, and sometimes increase it. There's various observable reasons for this (labelling effect, reactance effect) but it makes no sense in terms of behaviourist core presuppositions. Another example: the results of experiments on economic psychology don't translate well into actual markets. That's why structural adjustment and suchlike don't work. I also think the existence of the unconscious can be proven fairly easily. All the things Freud, Reich, Jung, Lacan etc talk about - dreams, slips of the tongue, myths, phobias, hysterical provocation, self-destructive "behaviour", masochism, sadism, hallucinations, political beliefs which go against one's material interests - are ceteris paribus evidence that the unconscious (in some form) exists. Behaviourists have to come up with implausible counter-explanations. Phobias come from aversive exposure? There are cases where that isn't true. Dreams are a way for the brain to clear out its useless shit? There's precisely zero evidence for that, and it doesn't explain why dreams are often recurrent. Unfortunately a lot of pop-psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic cultural theory is exactly what you say, there's no evidential criteria and it's 90% speculation. But psychoanalysis begins as a clinical practice, and as a clinical practice there is a feedback relationship between the qualitative evidence of the case-study/analysand and the analyst's beliefs about the case. In this it's very similar to ethnography, except on an individual scale. Unfortunately there's a tendency for the core axioms to be treated as immune to falsification (I've had many infuriating arguments with Lacanians which founder on this problem) but that's also true of behaviourism and of all scientific theories to some degree. Example: you can't have Newtonian physics without the assumption that there are forces which are measurable entities of some kind; a Newtonian cannot empirically rebut a Buddhist-Parmenidean-Emilean objection that sensory perceptions are illusions and no such forces exist. The axiom conditions how the evidence is read, it's not falsifiable in itself. One cross-breeds the axiom with the evidence to produce the "fact", and in a sense, this is inherent to all language because language is structured as a system of differences whereas the world is probably not. IMO we also need some flexibility around the question of when/whether we decide an axiom is no longer usefully interacting with the evidence to produce useful knowledge and/or the extent to which to adopt two or more different ways of viewing the same evidence using different axioms.

Actually I think Deleuze/Guattari were producing an alternative to/advance on psychoanalysis which was cut short by the defeat of the 1968 revolution, and this is the root of what an anarchist psychology will eventually look like, but right now it is in its larval stage and barely holds together. We've seen a huge counterrevolution in psychology as a result of the McDonaldisation of psychotherapeutic practice, the power of pharmaceutical companies, and the aura of cybernetics.

> ecology, not resource management.

Roughly, ecology sees nature relationally, as interrelated forces and beings which coalesce in ecosystems, whereas resource management treats natural entities as distinct units to be measured, harvested, etc (generally in efficient ways). So ecology can see why traditional Balinese water systems might have worked better than the western-inspired systems which replaced them, or why eliminating most of the wolves in an area might have knock-on effects on apparently unrelated things like river courses or plant diversity. Western scientists have often applied lab findings very simplistically in conditions far more complex than those in the lab, and it's quite often not worked very well.

Political economy is Marxist-inspired stuff like world systems analysis, Harvey, subsistence perspective, etc. It looks at economic processes in terms of capital/labour relations and other relationships of economic practices to ecologies, subsistence economies, political systems, etc. Neoclassical economics just does maths with assumptions that everyone's a rational actor and markets optimise preferences. So, if they're talking about why China suddenly boomed economically in the 1990s-2000s, a neoclassical economist is pretty much limited to arguing that liberalisation opened opportunities for investors, that barriers were removed. Why did China succeed through this still somewhat limited market opening (China is heavily mercantilist) when (say) Zambia or Egypt failed? They'd have to fall back on factor endowments such as population size or available resources, or maybe argue the state was less parasitic on the economy (without explaining why). A political economy approach will talk about a much broader set of issues such as the rearrangements of the social structure in China, the hyperexploitation of sweatshop workers, the reasons the Chinese political elite decided to integrate into the world economy, the usefulness of China as a sink for surplus American capital, outsourcing/offshoring as ways to avoid labour struggles and high wages in America and Europe, the ways China avoided the debt trap which affected other poorer countries, the sharp growth in internal inequality and the marginalisation of the peasantry, the relationship between Chinese neoliberalism and so-called "mass incidents" (protests, riots etc), the ways in which Maoism built up nascent industrial capacity and infrastructure which enabled later export competitiveness, the possible emergence of China as a new hegemonic power in the economic world-system based on a possible new model of capitalism, the ecologically destructive knock-on effects of Chinese "growth" such as massive timber consumption, etc. Notice the subtle difference between saying "China has a factor endowment of plentiful cheap labour" and "western capital saw outsourcing as a way to bypass the power of labour movements and reduce wages". Subtle but politically important.


" to distinguish a nail which fits a hole from a screw which does not, but also responsive to the local variation in each situation, to the exact amount of force needed to get the nail into the hole, the grain of the wood "
Haha, the excellent anarch carpenter returns.

This TOTW represents exactly what is wrong with the @news/LBC/Aragorn approach to anarchism. Anarchism is something you do, not something you think. A philosophy without real world action to back it up is just mental masturbation. Endless pontification and navel gazing isn’t getting anyone closer to anarchy. Your opinion isn’t important, how you act on it is the only thing that matters in the end.

your presumption is that talking prevents doing. to the contrary, thoughtful talking makes better doing. and thoughtful doing makes better talking.
perhaps you're trolling. i'll just hope for that.

I’ll tell you what doesn’t count as doing - podcasts, bookfairs, and the consumption of ideas. If the philosopher class could point to some other forms of action which are carried out in coordination with their theorizing, maybe you’d be more persuasive in arguing that they’re not all talk and no action.

yeah! the best kind of anarchist doing is teaching the fool navel gazerss all about what's what it in the comments section of anarchist websites! woo!

who says you get to decide what counts as "doing"? I'm sensing some implicit marxism in your critique ("philosopher class", "consumption of ideas").... are the workers supposed to show us the way? will u help them... why worry over @news anyway? Does the site make your friends tired... are they so tired of Anews.... they can barely stay awake for your action?

Yeah, no... Philosophers in the West are definitely from a priviledged class of White males, and this is from this patrician/landowner's privilege that it has originated, thousands of years back. And you don't need Marx to acknowledge this historical trend.

"'When someone asks "what's the use of philosophy?" the reply must be aggressive, since the question tries to be ironic and caustic. Philosophy does not serve the State or the Church, who have other concerns. It serves no established power.'"

If only Deleuze knew how to be aggressive... But all he knew was to mesmerize impressionable Westerners with his cutting-edge esoteric marxist concepts.

We should definitely trust the barely literate, who cannot correctly spell their Leftoid mating call of "privileged white male", when it comes to the use of philosophy and what constitutes genuine anarchist behavior.

Yes, typos are indicative of a lower lumpen culture which means they cannot understand key concepts to personal liberation like "bodies without organs". Also, nothing wrong with masturbation... just your philosophical circle jerks onmly lead to the same place a circle jerk does.

The sad thing is that these fools think that they're way smarter and their opinions are way more valuable than they actually are. They're basically the anarchist equivalent of the moronic talking heads on news programs, telling us how to think and interpret events in order to boost their own feelings of importance and self worth. More walk, less talk! The most effective propaganda is propaganda by the deed. And all storytellers know that you show, not tell. Down with the commentariat!

The hilarious thing is that these fools think that they're way stronger and their actions are way more valuable than they actually are. They're basically the anarchist equivalent of the moronic screaming heads on sports programs, telling us how to act and smash things in order to boost their own feel I R's of importance and power. More thinking, less smashing! Less propaganda and more functioning relationships. Storytellers tell useful stories, long live their ideas!

Thinking is just air when not realized through practice, action, activity... Your precious golden thoughts taken from maybe Scotus or Merleua Ponty won't mean shit when you die, or even during your lifetime, if they allow for no grasp on the sensorial, physical world. It's not that dude who was constantly rambing about Time and Being, in the cave, back then, who allowed for the discovery of how to start a fire, it was people who thought and experimented through their relation with the material world of the living, not the grandiose world of ideas.

The different between philosophers and typical demented hippies? Quite thin.

Oh the grand world of having CREATIVE ideas and living them in genuine relations rather than having tantrums and smashing things out of ressentiment and not getting ones own way., oh sooo meaningless and alienating to use threat and condescension as a tactic, sooo sad, boohoohoo.

Problem's is when that the bar for "genuine" and crreativeness is set by you, then we're no longer into the realm of anarchical relations, but intellectual authoritarianism, bozo.

^^^^ well said!

It's not authoritarianism. You lack a nuanced perspective on anarchical relations that you cannot even distinguish the differences between arrogant hierarchical power and the aloof disregard for uncreative peasants. You are the product of lazy hazy thinking, I don't see how your theories and ideas could have any function and acceptance in the real world.,.

The World of Ideas does not predate, predominate or prevail over the real world; it can only follow it. Ideas are not real and whatever nice verbillage used only becomes real through the dictatorship of meaning. One can even make such an esoteric, idiotic concept as "bodies without organs" to become relevant to the "masses". In fact Chrisitianity did that, in a way. But this will have no bearing with the real world, and still be abstractions imposed on concrete life.

What you create out of ideas is real. This is what Adorno was trying to say about the impasse of 20th century philosophy... that it has lost touch with the real world, due to having lost its capacity to design a vision, ethos, principle aimed towards application. It has become an epistemological fixation, the metaphilosophy of Deleuze, that is frightened of addressing the real world problems bold and clear, hiding in the libraries of academia and some "radical" intellligentsia. Pizza pie girl and skater dude wouldn't only not understand Deleuze irl, they'd just take him for some crazy and ignore him. That's not because they're intellectually inferior, as your philosopher caste would like to believe. That's because this very caste has zero touch with daily life in the real world, outside.

Ooohhh nooo, the pizza girl and rocka-billy redneck are total morons in the real world, dominated by their crass libidinal urges and dross desires. They are the fools who reify art and culture, they perpetuate the simulcra of the Louvre, yet stamp their crass boots on the flowers which grow in the desert, the real work of art is Nature! Be gone miserable herded peasants from my knowledgeable realm!.,.

" The world of ideas does not predate"! WTF? All wars are the result of ideologies or ideas. Society and culture began with ideas, they didn't just materialize out of the mist.

Society is the product of a linguistic negociation of meaning and values, out of necessity.

Culture is the way people do stuff. It doesn't require a theoretical framework to happen. It just... does. People never needed philosophical theory to learn to play with sounds from diy instruments. The music theory came out of it later.

Humanity would have become extinct without ideas because it was on a dead end genetic branch which was heading the way of the dodo if it had not learned language and observed physical processes. Any idea which says ---- If because then therefore --- is philosophizing. This can only have an unresolved circular outcome.

You're strawmanning my claim. Humanity has always been full of ideas, but it's the ideas aimed towards the real world that saved humans from the doo-doo. Pomo textwall musings aboiut subjects as esoteric as bodies without organs or even Delayed Return is equally as irrelevant to the real world issues as desiring to attain the Kingdom of Heaven. Let's talk about how we can affect our world of here and now, like protecting defenseless wild life from the ever-expanding civilization of maggots. Philosophy is for the comfy maggots among them, not those opposing the maggot system.

Oh, so now you've changed your argument from ideas and theories being useless to just philosophy, beca use you realized that every social act DID actually originate from practical ideas and theories, but philosophy on the contrary was a branch of thinking which was completely conceptual and could only be acted upon subjectively. How slimy of you!

I didn't say that ideas and theory are useless, Professor Snowflake; I said they are not real, or the real world. They are not cash, flesh, not even energy. Ideas are not relations, no matter how ideas may infuence relations.

What is the object here? To be passively contemplating awesomes theories 'til you die? If you're gettign high on that, good for you, but that's got nothing to do with anarchy or anarchism, it's just another kind of spectacle.

Therefore it's lame, and negates the value of humans as actors in their world.

The best theories and ideas are those that are about real relationships about cash, energy or even goddam penises. Even someone sitting in solitary confinement is engaging with the real world, your existence is solely based on a materialistic methodology, thus your perceptions of the real world are your own subjective construction and are arrogantly authoritarian towards those who have different values and aesthetics.,.

Dude, your comment is so vague due to being either poorly-written sarcasm or a few typos at key locations that I dunno how to reply, so I guess you win the internet?

I couldn't agree more with this! So I'm assuming you're really doing something anarchistic that proves your point? But you probably can't share it because 'security culture'... Well that's ok! Thanks for your feedback. Super useful!

"Anarchism is something you do, not something you think."

actually i would say that anarchy is something you do, anarchism is something you think.

Masturbation? What's wrong with having sex with someone you love?.,.

anyone that masturbates clearly hates themselves!

You obviously haven't had a serious relationship in your whole life.,.

I'm sympathetic to certain aspects of left "anarchism" (I'm always down to bash the fash, for instance), but reflexive anti-intellectualism and do-something-ism are some of the things that turn my stomach. This position isn't even complex, it's a straight forward analog to the thoughtless "stay in your lane" that we all grew to despise growing up. It's a cop-out, and a lazy one at that.

Well there's do-nothingism, on the other hand, that manages to desecrate the anarchist as a social actor, or a larger factor in history at all. I don't see how someone who's supposedly intellectually proficient can be okay with such reduction of humans to be nothing more than reformulators or brokers of "big ideas" rehashed by academic patriarchs. Not only this looks like one lame echo chamber of lunatics going in circles, legitimating each other by the use of an hermetic jargon, but they don't even look for a way to make it produce energy like hamsters feeding a dynamo power generator.

Nothing wrong with Donothingism, unless you're a workerist on a treadmill addicted to futile movements which maintain your sense of civic duty.

In this life you are either a careless American idiot who just circle jerks with buddies, or else a workerist.

Coz fighting back, self-defense, standing up for yourself is sooo Marxist. Coz SE and maybe Scotus said so, then it must be true.

Its not a binary, its a triparty complex, Muhrican idiots circle-kerking with buddies, workerists, and Neo-Marxist malcontents with rock throwing fetishes.

Beauty and doing nothing are for the strong.,. fatten and soften themselves, and become acquiescent. Then obedient. Then obese, and rotten.

To create functional beneficial relationships and eating a non-processed diet and walking and receiving gifts from clients seeking mental stability.

i think the initial reaction—or perhaps just my initial reaction—during the online discussion were not only in response to the quote itself, but also to Russell in general and largely due to Truth with a capital "T," so commonly found within his (and the entire analytic tradition's) corpus—perfectly highlighted in this instance by the particular quote's sureness of preciseness, soundness, clearness… authority?

They are completely unable to comprehend what the barbarians are fighting for, since barbaric language is still incomprehensible to their ears. The cry of the barbarians is much too infantile for them, their boldness much too gratuitous. In the face of the barbarians, they feel as powerless as an adult at grips with roused children.

the reaction to the quote/Russell wasn't surprising because: room full of anarchists, but i admit i felt myself in good company when it did happen, speaking our own language… unclear thoughts and all ;)

step 1: countless hours developing and moderating a free online media platform
step 2: get accused of being the spectacle and pointless mental masturbation
step 3: reflect on how this is true for 95% the internet
step 4: turn off brain and return to languishing in pointless masturbation
step 5: repeat steps 1 - 4 until power grid fails or you die

FrapfrapfrapfrapFrapfrapfrapfrapFrapfrapfrapfrapFrapfrapfrapfrapFrapfrapfrapfrap *Power goes off*.,.

Anyone else think like me, that one is sooo smart, a genius anarchist intellect, but everyone else is sooo stupid, and think oh well, what's the point of locking oneself away and thinking clearly and writing a brilliant anarchist book with no one to share it with, to remain lonely and despised by everyone for being just clear minded and sharp, and so you decide to just act dumb to fit in with everyone, act stupid to make friends, say moronic things to feel wanted, and become a troll, because you just couldn't be bothered dealing with all the adulation or stupidity in the world?

Most of the time, so just accept your status and be done.

of which our vagaries and ambiguities are a shadow cast, the truth is everywhere, it's all true. Someone is always trying to enforce a regime of truth, probably to sell a book or a membership.

Why wouldn't chatting and masturbation be part of a theory and praxis? Do you have a better idea? At a certain point trolling becomes ogreing, or maybe it's just agitation, like that email from DGR today, spooky. GO3

Of course... Attack what destroys you. And destroy it. Even if it's a Leviathan staffed by billions of people.

Of course. Destroy the lion, tiger, bear shark which attacks you, Destroy, Destroy! Even the forest which accommodates millions. Tarzan Marx YODEL ODEL YOOOOOOOOH

I feast on your laments still and will crush your skull with my BIGGG primitivist club produced by the industry of Nature, you bourgie yodel sissy!



why should I believe anything that you've said here, or think that any of it is a good idea? Why shouldn't I just assume that you're clueless, or just pointlessly running your mouth, or, worse, intentionally trying to obscure meaning and sabotage dialogue?

Just to get very concrete: I am considering one of the claims you just made: "Someone is always trying to enforce a regime of truth, probably to sell a book or a membership." Do you really believe this? Do you have any evidence that this is true? Is there any way that I could either conclude that it is something I agree with, or that it simply does not describe anything accurately and leave it to die in a graveyard of false ideas? Or do people just get to say whatever they want all the time without providing any good reason and without it being consistent with other things they also assert are true?

even though I don't have any and you're asking me for my credentials. Who authorized me to philosophize? Do I have a license to drive? Where is the proof?

I have no lineage, no academe, no canon. My words are meaningless. GO3

A1: Oppression sucks!
A2: I agree, let's be anarchists.
A1: Ok, what is to be done?
A2: What has been done?
A1: This, this and this.
A2: Let's do those things some more.
A1: Hey I thought of something new.
A2: Let's do that too!


number 7 claims @news is a 'shit site.' could this be an example of clear thinking?

It's definitely another example of KT's logically sound, articulate, measured analyses, yes.

Could this be an example of 'clear thinking' ? Well, I guess yeah, to the extent that someone believes that "anything I believe is obviously true, duh."

screen addicts???? TOTW is an oxymoron this week!

and do not use Amazon. Clear thinking led me to ditching both a few years ago.

Civilization would collapse without screens. Are you a Neo-Luddite nihilist?

So true... Think of the workers! And what will happen to their families, hum!?

They will undoubtedly die of boredom.,.

do u even kno what it's like 2 hav an exploiter wave a piece uv bacon in front of ur eyes while ur kids beg u 4 candy?!

but for serious, the problem is the fuking rascists. Philosophee is great up until we establish that!


How is this an example of clear thinking? This just seems like a baseless assertion to me? (not that I don't agree, I don't watch T.V., I can't even watch 5 minute tutorials on YouTube without experiencing extreme irritation. just wondering what about your statement makes it an example of 'clear thinking')

To sum it all up and its sooo freakin simple I should have saved alot of time and just said this at the start, "clear thinking is subjective"

Yeah FUCK YOU notnull for introducing an ambiguous subjective cognitive process as a TOTW !

... you're so mean! :'(

by the level of participation and we're already up to 89 comments and who knows how many by tomorrow. Of course his would need to be gauged against all the other topics but who's keeping statistics right?

I thought that 95% of judgements made from an analysis of statistics led to unclear thinking?

Clear thinking is impossible under ideology. only a scientific dialectical materialism will allow us to think clearly and see past such things.

1+1=Stirner :)

It's the cheapest option. We all like a bargain.

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