On Facebook I joined Martin’s group, “Friends don’t let friends read Ayn Rand”. A populist, interlectually weak charlatan who disseminates, according to Martin, “bad philosophy, poor thought and encouraged bad table manners” http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=34473878394

The cynical pot shots, ripostes, and general disdain make for excellent and humorous reading.

One of Martin’s typical responses to a post:
I think your point concerning Heidegger is due to a missunderstanding of the content of Sorge. It is not the case that one ought to care, it is in the nature of Dasein to care. No moral claim is extracted from that claim, as you well know. Indeed, not even the emergence of the ontological stance demands any type of prescription. Heidegger has been often criticized for not being able to provide action guiding principles and a method to apply them. It is not that Heidegger does not believe that there is a gap, it is that value positing is take to be inherent to Dasein’s mode of being. So one could even say that Dasein is one who is often confused in infering values from ontological stance. For Heidegger, however, it seems that the ontological stance is the articulation of the pre-ontological value positing of Dasein. With that, I think, we can leave Heidegger aside.

Aristotle is a more complicated issue because as you may know, it is mainly with the aristotelian cape that Rand hides her philosophical shames. In any case, I think that this is a selective reading of Aristotle. In fact, there are plenty of people reading Aristotle a la Heideggerian. Nonetheless, the Humean challenge is indeed a challenge to the presuppositions entailed in moral philosophy in which a logical fallacy is committed. and ‘as you may know’ Aristotle had not been a good reader of Hume. Philosophers do not need to accept the law, they can leave it aside a accept the fallacy. This however is not the case with Rand. She declares the fallacy dead and this shows that the fallacy is not understood.
It is not debated here if human being are value positing–of course human beings are–the question that is being asked is if the fact that human beings “exists” entails that human beings ought to do anything at all, even exist. So my take is that you can miss the metaethical question but that does not make it go away. I would certainly not say that any of ‘our leading moral philosophers reject the distinction’ because I have no idea what the force of rejecting a logical deduction could possibly be. Rather, I would argue that there is an attempt to work out this distinction


One of my favourite songs, written by Alcivando Luz & Carlos Coqueijo, I first heard it sung by Arto Lindsay in a haunting and soul stirring rendition. A useless video but sound quality is good — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEjghGMSyEg Apologies to Joao and the other greats but I think Arto’s interpretation is the best. This version is by Nosso Alma Canta http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJMCkIZWfyA My translation may be a bit flawed, but I think it suffices. Update: for some strange reason I am no.1 on google search for this post.

A madrugada já rompeu / Dawn has broken

Você vai me abandonar /You will abandon me

Eu sinto que o perdão  Você não mereceu /I feel you do not deserve the forgiveness

Eu quis a ilusão Agora a dor sou eu /I wanted the illusion Now I am the one who hurts

Pobre de quem não entendeu / Poor is the one who does not understand

Que a beleza de amar É se dar / how beautiful it is to love and to give

E só querendo pedir /And only to ask

Nunca soube o que é perder / Never knowing what it is to lose

Para encontrar /(in order to) to find

Eu sei que é preciso perdoar / I know you must forgive

Foi você quem me ensinou / You were the one who taught

Que um homem como eu / That a man like me

Que tem por quem chorar / Who has someone to cry for

Só sabe o que é sofrer / Only knows what it is to suffer

Se o pranto se acabar / (Only) when its over  

An opaline moon

February 12, 2009

Moon over mont kiara

Moon over mont kiara

I live in mont kiara, a decidely middle class suburb sandwiched between the twin cities of Petaling Jaya and Kuala Lumpur. Famously, I made the decision to buy my apartment in 5 minutes (of course the paperwork took months). Between that first day and the day I received my key, I probably only visited the apartment only a few times.

Mont kiara is a neighbourhood favoured by expatriates and upwardly mobile professionals, for its central location, housing 2 large international schools, restaurants, bars, bistros, clothing retail, hair salons etc, and recently 2 mid size shopping centers, Damas and Solaris.

I don’t like mont kiara, for a rather idiotic and elaborate u-turn I have to make when I need to go in the opposite direction just in front of my house, near plaza mont kiara. For its pretensions in passing itself off as a high-end address, but where streets & buildings were not planned systematically but always as add-ons.  For the perpetual construction of condos and road repairs.  For the state in which it is in now, a giant concrete block.


But last night, we had a beautiful, opaline moon.

At the playground

At the playground

An sms from Macy:
I feel terrible i’m a horrible mother. Today is maya first day sending her to nursery center. Dump her i leave just like that… she was crying like mad… oh man… i should let her know i’m leaving will pick her later but if i do. I’ll never have a chance to leave… my heart is breaking… should i go back to peek her? Whether she is fine….

My reply was: