Re: mindfulness

Lee Daniel Crocker (
Thu, 3 Jul 1997 11:30:30 -0700 (PDT)

> > 'In order to live, man must act; in order to act, he must make choices;
> > in order to make choices, he must define a code of values, he must know
> > *what* he is and *where* he is - i.e. he must know his own nature
> > (including his means of knowledge) and the nature of the universe in
> > which he acts - i.e. he needs metaphysics, epistomology, ethics, which
> > means: *philosophy*. He cannot escape from this need; his only
> > alternative is whether the philosophy guiding him is to be choosen by his
> > mind or by chance.'
> I must plead E-Prime on this one. To ask what man *is* suggests that man
> does not *become*. Knowing one's nature and the nature of the universe
> in which one exists is IMO the ultimate goal. If I can finally know what
> I *am*, then I have stopped evolving. Since time doesn't stand still for
> me, I become incorrect about what I *am* only a millisecond later.

The non-static nature of existence is perhaps one of Rand's weak points,
but I don't see it here. Existence and identity /do/ exist, in the
present tense, in a meaningful way, and this reliance on "becoming" is
in this case an evasion, not a clarification.

> For an interesting discussion of E-Prime by one of its major proponents,
> check out

Interesting, yes, but a damned poor piece of scholarship. Lots of
examples of "bad" usage of English and "good" E-Prime, but anyone with
5 minutes reflection can come up with good English and bad E-Prime,
and the fact that he doesn't even try to do so should be a clue to the
quality of the idea.