Heraclitus world fire

Embrace change wholeheartedly, and accept contradiction. Knowing these words–and understanding them–are two entirely different things.

Heraclitus preceded Parmenides, living from 535—475 BCE, and like Parmenides, none of his writing has survived in its complete form. Heraclitus’s philosophy on the surface is in direct contrast with Parmenides by positing a natural argument (I say “on the surface” as their ultimate conclusions, Parmenides’ “All Is One” and Heraclitus’ “World-Fire”, seem to be saying the same thing, but the two taking two drastically different approaches to arrive at the same place).

Parmenides Poem

Parmenides, the Greek grandpappy of metaphysics, might be my favorite philosopher.

In hindsight, he may have ruined the world in many ways… but that’s only because people exploited what it is that he was trying to say *cough cough canonization of The New Testament*. In truth, we may never know what he was ‘truly’ trying to say—for one, it’s complicated almost beyond belief; second, no fully intact account of his original work On Nature remains. Archeologists and scholars have yet to complete the translation—and they may never. I know I don’t understand All of what he has to say—but I want to.

With that said, if there was ever someone touched by the divine, it was Parmenides. While his work has nothing to do with religion, he saw the world as Neo saw The Matrix—and he moves up, down, in, out, and around every bit of logic and semantics that constitutes existence and non-existence. He is a true genius and often overlooked next to Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle—but what he achieved rivals DaVinci and Einstein.

Here’s a much different way of looking at art and storytelling—perhaps a method that your editor or writing group may never have considered, or succinctly explained.

I’m going to share with you a formula created by Dr. Todd Jones that explains what makes good art and literature. Jones is a celebrated philosophy professor with a significant background in anthropology.

Jones’s BeDE Theory of Art Criticism:

Art or literature’s only function—the only thing it is good at doing—is creating beliefs, desires, and emotions (or BeDE for short). Art fails at doing anything and everything else.

The BeDE theory is designed to tell you which works of art are comparatively better than other works of art in its class, based on how well it performs its function of creating beliefs, desires, and emotions within its audience.

What makes something “art” is a social fact—such as the concept of money or Tuesday. Society agrees that “x” is art, and therefore it becomes art.


AI, Robots, and The Singularity

What is the technological singularity, and why we should care about it?

The technological singularity marks the point beyond prediction. The theory holds that technology / machines will become so advanced that they will gain an intelligence of their own. This intelligence will duplicate (independent of humans) and compound to the point of super-intelligence, or an intelligence greater than that of a human being. Intelligence is subjective, but my definition involves an entity defining its own goals / objectives and then making decisions in an effort to achieve those goals / objectives. Should technology reach this state of being, the vast possibilities of outcomes are so great and dramatically different from one another that no quantifiable predictions can be made as to how this event will impact the world or human beings themselves.

George Berkeley With Trump Hair and Orange Skin

George Berkeley slides onto the scene a la Tom Cruise in Risky Business; the “cool guy” that’s had enough of these schoolmen stinkin’ up the place with their Pigpen philosophy.

Yeah, he might be a little self-indulgent—I assume he has orange skin and sweet comb-over—but that’s okay because he speaks for us common folk. He waves a big banner of common sense and God, and as long as I can keep my guns, I’ll vote for him as my favorite modern philosopher.

“It’s gonna be huge,” I envision Georgie B trying to explain himself to a confused reporter. “What I make public here has, after a long and scrupulous inquiry, seemed to me evidently true and not unuseful to be known—particularly to those who are tainted with skepticism or want a demonstration of the existence and immateriality of God or the natural immortality of the soul” (438). Yeehaw—I like the sounds of that campaign promise! Let’s see if he can build that wall.

Newsletter

Enter your email below and never miss news and new releases from SW Hammond.



Pick Up Your Copy

  • Prime
  • Kindle
  • Paperback
  • Hardcover
  • Buy
News
SW Hammond
Spectacularly printed coffee table book filled with tons of photography. It’s been a long time coming, but the hardcover version of The...
SW Hammond
The Biggest Little City brought out the cosplay for the Reno Sands Comic Con! Big thanks to the fandom, organizers, and exhibitors of this...
SW Hammond
Wow wee, things look a bit different, eh?? Check out the brand new website! Here she be—I like the new design quite a bit and it should...
Culture
SW Hammond
Today was… difficult. October 2, 2017—the day of the Las Vegas Massacre. It was technically the night before, but the world woke to another...
SW Hammond
See no evil. Hear no evil. Speak no evil. While there is absolutely no moral equivalency being drawn between good and evil—right and...
SW Hammond
No. For reals. I’m genuinely asking. While Conway isn’t single handedly responsible for Donald Trump being elected, she was certainly...
Media
SW Hammond
Hold on… Can’t type—my trigger finger has a cramp from holding down R2 two hours straight… I’m don’t know what Three Fourths Home was...
SW Hammond
Life Is Strange became a perfect storm of teenage angst, friendship, and hipster quirkiness backed by thoughtful storytelling and a...
SW Hammond
People are sheep, and Stanley Milgram scientifically proved it. How could the Holocaust happen? How can there still be institutional racism?...
Music
SW Hammond
Sarah Saturday's dreamy-reflective bedroom pop rock project captivates and compels with earnest songwriting. Sarah Saturday might be my...
SW Hammond
Maybe you can never go home again. But if you could, Ghost Notes would be the soundtrack. For some reason I’ve avoided writing about Ghost...
SW Hammond
Guilty Pleasure? Embarrassed??? Hardly. As much as I love music, and devoted a significant amount of my life to it, I can still be pretty...
Philosophy
SW Hammond
Embrace change wholeheartedly, and accept contradiction. Knowing these words–and understanding them–are two entirely different things....
SW Hammond
Parmenides, the Greek grandpappy of metaphysics, might be my favorite philosopher. In hindsight, he may have ruined the world in many ways…...
SW Hammond
What is the technological singularity, and why we should care about it? The technological singularity marks the point beyond prediction. The...
Memoirs
SW Hammond
I was finally able to extract a bunch of data from an old hard drive. I was sure it contained old writings, school projects and music but...
SW Hammond
As I’ve become older, out of my twenties for a couple of years, I’ve found myself settling into a pattern of reveling in solitude. When I...
SW Hammond
I used to pour my guts out. Seems the only way I ever understood my feelings were to read them. The collection within these pages used to...