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2010-04-15 - 10:21 a.m.

I read a lok of Dick Jones’ blog the other night – he sets the bar pretty high in terms of writing quality – start here:-

http://patteran.typepad.com/patteran_pages/

Exchanges with Laurence over Badiou led to further discoveries – while B has been active since 1968, a lot of his writing has only become available in English in the last few years. With the death of Deleuze (whom I got to rather like) Badiou has become the most salient living French philosopher as far as the English are concerned. And he has helped fuel what has become described as the speculative turn amongst some Anglo Saxon philosophers. Relative to other visible French philosophers Badiou writes on themes which are quite close to the centre of Anglo Saxon philosophy like maths, logic and science.

I have yet to understand quite where Badiou places his emphasis – I often find it easier to read secondary sources at this stage in understanding a new thinker and luckily there are several recently published candidates. In fact I have ordered a work which links Deleuze, Badiou and minimalism – a couple of my existing concerns in the mix plus something new to chew on. The book is actually open access here

http://www.re-press.org/book-files/OA_Version_9780980305241_Gillespie.pdf

But I decided not to pull my order as difficult works are easier to handle in the real world than on the screen – and you can mark up the text and put in marginal notes.But I couldn’t resist starting on the first chapter online – which is stunningly impressive in getting straight down to deep issues in a clear and coherent way. It seems the work was completed by others following the death of the author – which given the quality of the writing and his youth is especially tragic. He starts by explaining Badiou’s novel conception of novelty as a decisive rupture or break – related to the mathematical idea of the empty set. I found some of this very moving on a personal level especially in terms of the first person experience of emptiness and cessation. For Deleuze, on the other hand life is a constant thrust into difference.

Andrew’s ITCOTCK volume arrived – which looks very impressive indeed. It was amusing to read the page or two about Tintagel after reading Dick Jones’ account of the band in his blog.

Robin mailed and mentioned LastFM and a similar US based service called the Musical Genome Project which unfortunately isn’t available in the UK. If anything this project sounds more sophisticated than LFM in terms of the way it establishes the profile of one’s likes and dislikes. She has moved to what sounds like a very attractive outskirt of LA – although Santa Monica and Pacific Palisades where she was before were very pretty too. Santa Monica is famous for attracting the British.

Last FM finally got round to playing all the second CD of Kate Bush’s Aeriel – the Sky of Honey – which is one of my all time favourites in her work. Its over 40 minutes long and builds a wonderful atmosphere. I especially like the Hammond. The algorithm seems to like the Tom Rush version of These Days which is growing on me a little – quite a clever arrangement – I must look up the details in the Elektra history.

The Labour Party called. I explained that my sister was not a supporter and that I hadn’t made up my mind. I have downloaded the manifestos of the two main parties and skimmed through the Labour one. The sittting MP here is implicated in expenses business but isn’t standing down.

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