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In The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, psychologist Julian Jaynes uses the Iliad as a major piece of evidence for his theory of Bicameralism, which posits that until about the time described in the Iliad, humans had a much different mentality than present day humans. He says that humans during that time were lacking what we today call consciousness. He suggests that humans heard and obeyed commands from what they identified as gods, until the change in human mentality that incorporated the motivating force into the conscious self. He points out that almost every action in the Iliad is directed, caused, or influenced by a god, and that earlier translations show an astonishing lack of words suggesting thought, planning, or introspection. Those that do appear, he argues, are misinterpretations made by translators imposing a modern mentality on the characters

The Iliad tells the story of the Greek struggle to rescue Helen, a Greek queen, from her Trojan captors. The Odyssey takes the fall of the city of Troy as its starting point and crafts a new epic around the struggle of one of those Greek warriors, the heroOdysseus.

Pathetic Fallacy and other literary terms

Heathcliff from 'Wuthering Heights'; engraving by Fritz EichenbergHeathcliff from 'Wuthering Heights'; engraving by Fritz Eichenberg

Is a literary term where people's emotions can be likened to the weather

  1. ironic understatement in which an affirmative is expressed by the negative of its contrary (e.g. I shan't be sorry for I shall be glad ).
 The Iliad, in which Achilles is described by Zeus as “neither unthinking, nor unseeing”.

Rhyming couplets are used at the end of sonnets; here’s an example from Shakespeare’s Sonnet 27:
“Lo, thus, by day my limbs, by night my mind,
For thee, and for myself, no quiet find

Personification is when human qualities are attributed to inanimate objects, animals or even abstract ideas, such as deities. Another word for this is “anthropomorphism”, and human traits used can include emotions, speech and physical actions. An example is “the cruel wind” and “The trees seemed to wave us goodbye”

“I make a great noise
Of rustling all day”
The word “rustling” is onomatopoeic, reflecting the sound dried leaves make when they brush gently together; this evocativ
he Dead, with the alliterative words underlined:

 Alliteration“His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly
Alliteration  involves the repetition of consonant sounds; they differ from alliteration in that the sounds don’t have to be at the beginning of each word.

8. Metaphor

A metaphor is a type of analogy, used to describe something by comparing it with something otherwise unrelated. A famous example is Shakespeare’s “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day”, and another is Victor Hugo’s line “Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face”, in Les Miserables. Metaphors have long been used for effect; take this example from the Greek philosopher Plato: “…as poets love their poems and fathers their children, just so do money-makers love their money…”.

9. Simile

Pronounced “sim-il-ee”, this term refers to likening something directly to something else, and it’s a form of metaphor used to add colour to writing of any kind – from poetry to novels to songs. You can recognise a simile by spotting the words “as” or “like”. For example, “bright as a summer’s day”. “My love is like a red red rose” is a famous example of a simile, used in the poem of the same name by the 18th century Scottish poet Robert Burns.

10. Aside

An aside is a device that has been used in plays for centuries, involving a character directly addressing the audience without the other characters being able to hear. It’s part of the story, usually kept brief and often used comically to gossip or make a comment about another character behind their back. Some films make use of this technique too, with a character looking directly into the camera to address viewers, known in this context as ‘breaking the fourth wall’. This is something Amelie, the eponymous heroine of the French film that bears her name, does frequently by whispering conspiratorially to the audience.

11. Allegory

Image shows Christian from Pilgrim's Progress, bent over with a weight on his back, reading a book, as painted by William Blake.
‘Christian Reading in his Book’ by William Blake, an illustration for Pilgrim’s Progress. The weight on Christian’s back is the knowledge of his own sin.
An allegory is a kind of story that has a meaning deeper than its obvious one, and it’s a sort of extended metaphor. A famous example is Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress, which ostensibly tells the tale of the journey of its protagonist Christian, but has a symbolic meaning that describes the journey of a Christian from Earth to Heaven. In Medieval times, allegory was commonly used to communicate religious messages, but later it became a way of commenting on politics or society. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift and Animal Farm by George Orwell are both examples of allegories that use bizarre stories as parallels for real political and social situations; Swift was commenting on everything from particular politicians to entire countries, while Orwell’s tale reflects events in the run-up to the 1917 Russian Revolution.

12. Hyperbole

Pronounced “hipe-ER-bowl-ee”, this term comes from a Greek word meaning “excess” and describes exaggeration used for rhetorical effect. It’s not meant to be taken literally, but it is used to make a point particularly forcefully. We often use it in everyday language, for example “I’ve told you a million times” or “I love you to the moon and back”. Hyperbole is often used in literature, such as in the celebrated 20th century Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Márquez’s Living to Tell the Tale, in which he writes: “At that time Bogota was a remote, lugubrious city where an insomniac rain had been falling since the beginning of the 16th century.” Clearly he doesn’t literally mean that it hasn’t stopped raining since the 16th century; he’s just exaggerating to show readers that it’s somewhere in which a lot of rain falls!

13. Connotation

A word that conjures up other meanings or sparks thoughts of something else has “connotations”. For example, the word “white” has connotations of purity, peace, good, innocence, and cleanliness. Writers often choose certain words because they know that readers will associate them with other things, and they can enrich writing with many layers of meaning. An example of connotations used in literature is George Orwell’s Animal Farm, in which certain animals have been chosen for particular characters because of the connotations those animal species have. This applies most especially to the pigs, who are powerful and corrupt, playing on the idea of “greedy pigs”. Another example is Boxer the workhorse, who represents labourers; the image of the working horse has connotations of working the land, going out and doing an honest day’s work, physical labour and so on. These associations help heighten the effectiveness of the allegory in this memorable and influential novel.

14. Stream of consciousness

This literary technique describes a character’s interior monologue: a continuous flow of thoughts going on in the character’s mind. It’s a technique that came to the fore in the 20th century, famously championed by Virginia Woolf in To The Lighthouse and, more bafflingly, by James Joyce in his groundbreaking novel Ulysses, in which the idea of a stream of consciousness is taken to its extreme. Trying to represent the randomness of human thought processes literally, Joyce penned paragraphs like this:
“My missus just got an. Reedy freckled soprano. Cheesparing nose. Nice enough in its way: for a little ballad.”
If you’re currently trying to learn English or develop your existing skills, we suggest you might want to avoid Ulysses for the time being!


1. In Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, the audience/reader knows that Juliet has faked her death, but Romeo does not and he thinks she is really dead. (dramatic irony)

1. There are roaches infesting the office of a pest control service.
2. A plumber spends all day working on leaky faucets and comes home to find a pipe has burst in his home.


 is an ironic or satirical remark that seems to be praising someone or something but is really taunting or cutting. Sarcasm can be used to hurt or offend or can be used for comic affect
  • ’m trying to imagine you with a personality.
  • I work 40 hours a week to be this poor.
  • Is it time for your medication or mine?
  • Well, this day was a total waste of makeup.
  • Whatever kind of look you were going for, you missed.
  • Not the brightest crayon in the box now, are we?
Satire commonly takes the form of mocking politicians. Consider the following examples of political satire.

Satire in Literature

Satire of Mark Twain

Satire can be found in literature as well. Consider the following explanation about satire in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn:
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was written shortly after the Civil War, in which slavery was one of the key issues. While Mark Twain's father had slaves throughout his childhood, Twain did not believe that slavery was right in anyway. Through the character of Jim, and the major moral dilemma that followed Huck throughout the novel, Twain mocks slavery and makes a strong statement about the way people treated slaves. Miss Watson is revered as a good Christian woman, who had strong values, but she is a slave owner in the story. She owns a slave called Jim, who runs away upon hearing that Miss Watson might sell him to New Orleans.

How to get 100s of recommends in the New York Times

'For decades, James B. Comey cultivated an image of purity as a lawman who stood above politics and politicians.' Lordy, one does not. have to delve deeply to discover that his family, wife and children, were avid Democrats, who went on marches and carried anti Trump banners. One wonders about the conversations that must have taken place in the Comey household. So one would have to be naive on a grand scale to believe in his non partisan purity, however by way of selective indoctrination and omission by the media Comey's image has been peddled as a man 'above politics'. There is something very Russian in this kind of misinformation, think of a Russian samizdat, say Pravda in the 'Cold War' type censorship. Oh a tip here from a snooty Englander if you want to get hundreds of of recommends for your comment, be mono syllabbic; keep to the one syllable type approach, garner the op-ed journalist with plaudits no matter how partisan they are and the cardinal rule defame Trump at least twice of three times in each of your sentences. Lordy, I wish you well on your quasi religious quest.

Lordy FBI Chief comes out as make up artist

Lordy FBI Chief comes out as make up artist

'there was little tinch uderneath his eyes and his skin was...'

pass the sick bag for there is a hint of the pathological
in this kind of minute and suspiciously detailed defence
..surely this kind of detail is the province of romantic novelists. Even worse was the willing on of the interviewer Steppondo..I can't spell the name and on this obsequious performance he is not worthy of me trying

'Whatever you think of the former F.B.I. director James Comey, he has started a long overdue national conversation about whether the pee tape is real.

“I don’t know whether the current president of the United States was with prostitutes peeing on each other in Moscow in 2013,” Comey said in his hotly anticipated interview with George Stephanopoulos on Sunday night. “It’s possible, but I don’t know.”

How low will journalists go to feast on this kind of disgusting innuendo by this sad figure hawking
his tittle tattle book around the carefully selected
purveyors of truth (CNN etc)

There are children involved here, we know Comey doesn't know, none the less less drop the salacious
morsel for the vultures anyway, OK Trump has a young child but what the hell books have to be you people know no shame....

Progressives who dehumanize us rather than progress us

People who promise progress invariably believe that they can use the state or some other form of coercive power to improve us. The result is dehumanisation. You see it in socialist societies where initiative is killed

Happiness - is a bubble on the stream

And what is Life? An hour-glass on the run,
A mist retreating from the morning sun,
A busy, bustling, still-repeated dream.
Its length? A minute's pause, a moment's thought.
And Happiness? A bubble on the stream,
That in the act of seizing shrinks to nought.

John Clare

Edmund Burke's criticism of Rousseau vanity and the counter argument

Edmund Burke formed an unfavorable impression of Rousseau when the latter visited England with Hume and later drew a connection between Rousseau's egoistic philosophy and his personal vanity, saying Rousseau "entertained no principle... but vanity. With this vice he was possessed to a degree little short of madness

However there are other views on Rousseau

The book Rousseau and Revolution, by Will and Ariel Durant, begins with the following words about Rousseau:

How did it come about that a man born poor, losing his mother at birth and soon deserted by his father, afflicted with a painful and humiliating disease, left to wander for twelve years among alien cities and conflicting faiths, repudiated by society and civilization, repudiating VoltaireDiderot, the Encyclopédie and the Age of Reason, driven from place to place as a dangerous rebel, suspected of crime and insanity, and seeing, in his last months, the apotheosis of his greatest enemy--how did it come about that this man, after his death, triumphed over Voltaire, revived religion, transformed education, elevated the morals of France, inspired the Romantic movementand the French Revolution, influenced the philosophy of Kant and Schopenhauer, the plays of Schiller, the novels of Goethe, the poems of Wordsworth, Byron, and Shelley, the socialism of Marx, the ethics of Tolstoy, and, altogether, had more effect upon posterity than any other writer or thinker of that eighteenth century in which writers were more influential than they had ever been before?

It is so easy to propose abstract ideas

Abstract ideas like equality and liberty have a spurious transparency, it is so easy to
propose an abstract ideas, like a better way, the good like, this is the way forward
the abstract mooted by say progressives, has to be underpinned by the concrete

Value have been ercted by a specific people in a specific place, and must meet the people’s needs – including the most important of their needs, which is the need to be bound to their neighbours in a relation of trust. 

Conservatives have emphasised the defence of the realm, the maintenance of national borders, and the unity of the nation. It is why they are now entering a period of self-doubt, in the liberal/progressive onslaught as the nation disintegrates into its historically established segments, while European regulations (faintly mad unelected beuraucrats) dissolve our boundaries.

The root of politics is for the rights people have fought and died for

For Conservatives, all disputes over law, liberty and justice are addressed to a historic and existing community. 

The root of politics, they believe, is attachment – the motive in human beings that binds them to the place, the customs, the history and the people who are theirs. 

When socialists in their religious way promise a more equal society they are talking about us; when liberals offer to expand the list of human rights, they are talking about our rights - the rights people fought and died over hundreds of years, the rights that are currently enjoyed.

Progressives and the fallen tree

All nature has a feeling: woods, fields, brooks
Are life eternal: and in silence they
Speak happiness beyond the reach of books;
There's nothing mortal in them; their decay
Is the green life of change; to pass away
And come again in blooms revivified.
Its birth was heaven, eternal it its stay,
And with the sun and moon shall still abide
Beneath their day and night and heaven wide. 

 We grieve for the felled tree because we climbed it as children and because it’s part of our landscape and home – and, thus, part of who we are. If the price of progress is demolishing our past then it’s not worth paying

My God, what will happen if Trump DOESN'T fire Mueller

The counter argument to todays' NYT speculation 'the nation will pay if Trump fires Mueller' is to contemplate the calamities that would befall us all  if Trump 'does not fire Mueller.'

 I mean think of the loss of titillation to those consumers of salacious 'Stormy' type innuendo; think of those bereft for the loss of drama if the Stalinist type knock on the door in the dead of night was no more; think of the conundrum for taxpayers of what to do with the millions of dollars saved if Mueller was stopped in his Bloodhound or is that Belgian Malinois sniffing out of unmentionables that may have been deposited at the base of every tree.

Think of the heart rending tragedy for all those Democratic funding lawyers not getting their $1200 per hour after assuring their families that this 'gig' could run forever, so go on and buy that 8 bedroomed house.

It is all too sad to contemplate, so I say long live the Mueller counsel, Viva the Mueller
probe. I only have one worrying doubt that nags at me, why does the Mueller probe persistently remind me of Kafka?

We are not drowning we are waving.

The response to an NYT article: Criticising Republcans 

This article is hardly into its stride before the ad hominen vitriol commences 
Ryan 'an obvious con man' (Ryans) 'proposals were always frauds'; 'so how did such an obvious con artist' the tirade continues as if this journalist's fulminations is inducing in him a touch of the Tourettes.
 It goes on, 'How did the most corrupt presidential candidate in American history eke out an Electoral College victory?' Duh? perhaps the voters decided that Trump was less corrupt than the Clintons. 
'... if you look at Ryan’s actions, not the character he played to gullible audiences' there you have the inbuilt arrogance of those who lost, they, the deplorables,  could not have been discerning voters only gullible dupes, or otherwise they never have 'voted for that crook'.  And then as if we were some kind of Polonius types hiding behind the Arras, indulging in good humoured raillery he pierces us with a startling aperçu  'but only if Ryan's  successor is a Democrat can we be saved.'  'We'  don't want to be saved for we are not drowning we are waving.  Capiche?                                               

Spewing onto the page

This is a quite extraordinarily vindictive anti-Trump piece which appeared to spew on to the page; in reading its attack dog style I thought my God where were these people educated? But obviously that is the real world of anti-Trumpers their distaste and animus of him is so strong they do indeed need to retch at the mere thought of him. But such revulsion hardly makes for a happy bed fellow  with rational thought. 
 Let us roll the clock forward: a special Counsel is commissioned to delve into Hillary, maybe it will be her turn for that Stalinist type knock on the door in the dead of night; as all this unsavoury 'Stormy' and deleted emails unravel, at some juncture there will have to be a compare and contrast between choices open to the American public in their last Election and  the conclusion might be that is was, well, limited to say the least

Jane Austen a disguised priest who declaims too easily on the virtue of love

It is said the Comedy is and disguised priest, hardly the case as every man jack of them has  
a left wing diatribe as they preach to their already converted audience.

A more likely prospect for a disguised priest is Jane Austen, that brilliantly comic celebrant of 
happy unions - for she is the advocates par excellence of marital harmony that ends every one of her books.

Yet what is not unearthed in Austen is that these rational rational structures (Marriage)
are powered by an enormous and finally irreducible irrationality: love. 

Her novels have a strong feeling of inevitability: we know that Elizabeth must get Darcy, just as we know Emma must get Mr Knightley and Fanny must get Edmund and central to that inevitability 
has to do with 'love' and the irrational fatalism of love is never explored by this almost deified author.

Her characters speak the language of the sermon – they are generalisers – while the novels’ heroines learn to speak the language of the novel. For Austen’s heroines are her books’ only possessors of interior consciousness. They are the only characters we see doing any thinking. They are thus heroic, in some sense, precisely because they possess the secret of consciousness, which is their inwardness. Fanny Price, in Mansfield Park, tells Edmund that ‘we have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be.’ At the end of Persuasion, Anne Elliot pities everyone else because they are not in love: ‘Her happiness was from within.’ She has not the monologist’s noisy egotism but the inner egotism of love, the secret that Tolstoy shows Levin possessing when, after winning Kitty, he leans out of his bedroom window feeling sorry for the passers-by because they are not in love

Now, even the left are getting the message on Trump

Refreshing to read a mea culpa from a renowned left wing source. But why the volte face?  Is that defeat of the anti Trump stance is staring one in the face and so let's be judicious and say with a soupcon of humility 'we was wrong'
and that there might be, yes, very well might be, some grass growing underneath those rough cobblestone.  Now it didn't take long for the soi disant educated classes to attain that insight, did it? 

Biased view in the NYT, against those who work at Fox.

One side view in the NYT, against those who work at Fox. spewing vitriol against Fox workers
you comment on this bias - NYT won't publish it.  When one see these machinations at the NYT
one can onl compares it to Pravda at the height of the Cold War

I quote what the journalist wrote and respond to it.

'... doing my small part to try and correct misinformation and to reach those lost in Fox’s fog.'
Would it be terrible amiss to say this is my small part in interpreting the above statement as arrogance under the guise of humility?

'The conversations were predictably shallow, tilted and exploitative.' So why did you appear - no doubt an act of intellectual largess on you part to induct these underlings  in your wisdom. Mr Blow you come across as a priest in disguise, if not that then a touch of the Coleridges.
'The hosts had a particular knack for asking the idiotic with chipper earnestness' you have to be really educated to refer to others as idiotic; 'spewing venom through simpering smiles'  are you not doing something  of a similar nature in this article. 'There was, I felt, maleficence at work with a pretense of positivity,'  my goodness you felt a great deal some of which might  not have been in the imagined ether. You are obviously a very feeling person, aren't we all?  But one has to say that feeling so much smacks of paranoia. 'I knew well that I was swimming in a shallow intellectual pool'; but how did you gauge this, was it you deigning other intellects from atop an intellectual Mount Parnassus. 
I could go on throughout the article, but the futility of endeavouring to temper the quite terrifying fracture  in American society, not aided by  such opinionated animus in this article makes one  just throw one's  hands in the air.

Are Liberals disguised priests?

Are Democrats/Liberals/Progressives disguised priests, for once one enters into the land of morals
the moral high ground, what is the right thing et al one is entering into the land of metaphysics

S/he is always looking at me but to notice that I have to be looking at them

You may protest that he or she is always looking at you, but in order to notice that one is being noticed, one has to do some noticing of one’s own.

Don't put your hand in the glove department


A friend of mine is an enthusiast for watching US police chases on You Tube. I joined him one evening and what unfolded in these dizzying car chases was that those being pursued when apprehended turned out, in the main, to be African Americans. As to the 'Golden State' the golden rule in such instances for those apprehended is not to reach across and put your hand in the glove department.


Compare David Hogg's freedom to Laura Ingrahams

mocking David Hogg, one of the student-activists who became a voice for gun control after a shooter murdered 17 people at his high school in Florida last month  has done for Laura Ingraham as the left wing media who have it.

But let us compare and contrast the freedom of David to Laura

David's freedom to expression
It’s ironic that he’s calling on everyone to “love thy neighbor” and to end the “mudslinging” because he certainly hasn’t practiced what he’s preaching. Over the past several weeks, he has referred to the NRA as “child murderers,” called Dana Loesch “disgusting” and accused her of not caring about children’s lives, smeared Republican Sen. Marco Rubio by claiming he’s bribed by the NRA in exchange for the lives of Florida students, and blasted Republicans as “sick f–kers” for not meeting his standards on gun reform. And judging from his boycott campaign, Hogg’s solution to save children’s lives is to bully the opposition into silence

Laura's freedom to expression   was to point out that David  was not able to get into various colleges because his academic standards were not high enough.  

Judging by his foul mouthed attacks on anyone who disagrees with him
one feels the Colleges decision making was perceptive.

On journalists having the freedom to call Trump an autocrat

The problem with the article written in the New York Times is that the  article shoots itself in the foot, with the emblazoned title 'Autocrat'. The definition of an 'Autocrat' is of  a ruler who has absolute power. Let's say, Franco, as the left has neutered the word 'Hitler' by name calling over use.

If Trump had absolute power Michele  (the NYT jounalist) you would not be permitted to write the playbook article and if you did, you would be incarcerated. Look about you on the streets of New York and try to avoid being bumped into by your fellow citizens with their head bowed, as if in prayer to their mobiles.

We have been digitally lobotomized and one might argue, in extremis, that we are all zombies now.
Google, Facebook, Amazon are part of the constantly evolving tech' revolution and it takes someone with cojones like Trump to confront them. Trump undeniably media bashes, yet you and other media types are still free to express your anti-Trump views and it would seem with ever increasing invective

On the question of FREE WILL we have to deconstruct the word FREE

There is no such thing as free will. There is a fundamental sense of the word 'free' in which this is incontrovertibly true; and this has been known for a long time. There are plenty of senses of the word 'free' in which it is false. But the sense in which it is true seems to be the one that matters most to most people. Or rather, it seems to be the one that most people think matters most to them — rightly or wrongly.

Why is this sense of 'free' so important? (Why is it thought to be so important?) Because it is, among other things, the sense of 'free' that is in question when it is said that because people are free agents, they can properly be held to be truly responsible for their actions in such a way as to be truly deserving of praise and blame for them. It is the ordinary, strong sense of the word 'free'such freedom is impossible.

Galen Strawson's position is that strong free will (with ultimate moral responsibility) is provably impossible whether determinism is true or false. He is not simply a hard determinist. He does not say that free will is impossible because determinism is true. He does think that free will is incompatible with determinism, but also and equally thinks that it’s incompatible with indeterminism

The core idea of indeterminism is closely related to the idea of causality. Indeterminism for some philosophers is an event without a cause (the ancient causa sui

Indeterminism is also closely related to the ideas of uncertainty and indeterminacy. Uncertainty is best known from Werner Heisenberg's principle in quantum mechanics. It states that the exact position and momentum of an atomic particle can only be known within certain (sic) limits. The product of the position error and the momentum error is equal to a multiple of Planck's constant

Planck constant (Planck's constant) links the amount of energy a photon carries with the frequency of its electromagnetic wave. It is named after the physicist Max Planck. It is an important quantity in quantum physics.

There is no problem imagining that the three traditional mental faculties of reason - perception, conception, and comprehension - are all carried on deterministically in a physical brain where quantum events do not interfere with normal operations.
There is also no problem imagining a role for randomness in the brain in the form of quantum level noise. Noise can introduce random errors into stored memories. Noise could create random associations of ideas during memory recall. This randomness may be driven by microscopic fluctuations that are amplified to the macroscopic level.
Our Macro Mind needs the Micro Mind for the free action items and thoughts in an Agenda of alternative possibilities to be de-liberated by the will. The random Micro Mind is the "free" in free will and the source of human creativity. The adequately determined Macro Mind is the "will" in free will that de-liberates, choosing actions for which we can be morally responsible.