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Thursday, 15 December 2011

I am very lazy and have disappointed you all with the lack of Being & Tim comics *hangs head in shame*

I can only offer you the comfort of  Happy Heidegger

Hopefully there will be new comics in the near future, including  NIGHT OF THE LIVING UTILITARIANS! & I'M A PHILOSOPHER GET ME OUT OF HERE!

see you soon,
becca x






Friday, 16 September 2011

Being and Tim diaries!

Yes folks that's right, it's time for the 'Being & Tim Diaries' again!

Some of you might have been lucky enough to purchase a Being & Tim diary last year. For those of you who didn't and might be wondering what they look like, here's a picture of my Mum reading one, looking bemused but educated I like to think ;-). Of course she got a copy cos she's my supportive Mum, but don't let that make you think they're not good diaries

Each diary is hand-bound, and A5 size, with about 121 pages. This works out at 2 weeks to view and 18 Being & Tim cartoons from the site! (There'll be a new lot in this year, for those of you who bought a diary last year). There's also the regular diary stuff: month to view, year to view, holidays (UK on the whole), and a small notebook section. There are even quotations on some pages, although I used up most of the funny quotations last year. Philosophers really can be quite dull.

You can see a couple of photos of  last year's diary below. This year they'll be bound with faux-suede, which is a lot nicer. They'll cost £20 each to preorder (as opposed to £23 when they come on sale in December) and while I know that's quite alot, they do take me ages, and I am pretty proud of how they look at the end.

If you'd like to pre-order one for £20 then please email me at rasdyer@gmail.com, or contact me through my Etsy shop at http://www.etsy.com/shop/beingandtimetc?ref=si_shop


Hope to hear from you! becca xo





Wednesday, 14 September 2011

If Immanuel Kant was Batman....


...then Derrida would be the Riddler. As it is Kant is clearly Superman, so Derrida might be some sort of Lex Luther type, he's certainly more sultry than the Riddler in Batman Forever. Similar hair though......hmm...

How to introduce Derrida? It seems a little bit silly to try and quote wikipedia at this juncture, as his project, the infamous DECONSTRUCTION was precisely an attack on systems as totality.

Before I try, let's just go back to Monsieur Descartes, with his famous 'catchphrase' : 'I think therefore I am.' In trying to doubt everything Descartes found that the only thing he could be absolutely sure of was his own thoughts: you can't doubt your own existence without...well...thinking, which undermines the whole exercise really. But for Descartes, you can doubt your own body, physical reality might all be an illusion, like the Matrix or some video game brain in jar situation. (I nearly put brian-in-a-jar, but that would be something completely different).

So from Descartes comes one of the key discussions of Western Philosophy: how can we ever be sure that physical reality is not an illusion?  Descartes does some fancy intellectual footwork appealing to God, which isn't very convincing. Berkeley says that things only really exist when we perceive them. Samuel Johnson kicks a stone and Hume just plays a game of bridge, just saying we should get on with the fact we can't be certain. Kant tries to join both together by appealing to two separate realms, saying that there is a structure to thought which presupposes certain things, that while they can't be verified they must be believed for our thoughts to make sense. Now that's the quickest summary of Kant's thought ever!

We can return to Derrida here. His point is that the way language works (developing Ferdinard Saussure's theory) precisely makes an appeal to a 'structure of thought' impossible. Language works differentially: that is to say, we recognise sounds and symbols in contrast to other sounds and symbols, not by reference to things outside of language. There isn't a point where we can say 'ah look there's that thing beyond language that justifies language' because we're using language! As such ' language depends on nothing, no fundamental ground of logic, science or society' (Holcombe: 2007), it just can't be determined absolutely. Any interpretation of a text is going to depend solely on the choice of some words over others, a suppression of some meanings in favour of others. Kant's interpretation of a structure of rationality would for Derrida be equally supressive.


Derrida thought this had huge ramifications for philosophical discourse, and to a certain extent this is true. On the grounds of this argument any concept claiming original authority, whether that be Heidegger's notion of authenticity, or concepts like absolute truth, meaning, identity and essence are simply stepping beyond their remit. Being cannot be said to be continually and statically 'present', a reference point for language that exists outside of it, because the structure of language disrupts this. Instead language is a constant flux of different interpretations, in which Being is neither present, nor absent. Of course this is impossible to draw, so instead I put him playing his Nintendo DS.

Lecture over, see you soon!

becca xo

p.s I cited John Holcombe's article from  http://www.textetc.com/theory/derrida.html 
Check it out if you want to learn more about Derrida!
p.p.s Being & Tim 2012 diaries will be ready to order soon! Photos to follow this week!
p.p.p.s I'm very welcome to hear comments from those who might have more knowledge than me on Derrida's work. As Holcombe suggests, ''Derrida himself was a good deal more astute and learned than his followers.'' (ibid.)




 

Monday, 12 September 2011

Philosophical Investigations....

Hello!

You may have been wondering what we at Being &Tim Towers have been up to the last few months, as things have been more than a little quiet on the blog of late. I've been working on number of different projects, scattered all over empirical reality and the world-wide-interweb, and the next year should be pretty busy, which is very exciting.

Most relevantly, I've been doing some little pics for Peter Baron's brilliant site Philosophical Investigations: which is choc-ful of all sorts of resources and discussions for A-level students and their teachers. You can see an old Being & Tim on the site here and the commissions like the one below will be uploaded onto the site very shortly. Welcome to anyone coming from there, and for the rest of you  I recommend a little peek...!


''Kant believed human experience could be divided between two realms, the realm of ideas [noumenal realm] and the realm of experience [phenomenal realm], and that morality came from the realm of ideas''' Peter Baron, for more have a look around www.philosophicalinvestigations.co.uk

I've also been busy working on a children's book with author Sal Macip, and going to become a self-employed illustrator from next month, both of which are very scary, but you can see what I've been up to at my illustration blog: www.rasdyer.blogspot.com. (Still very much under construction!) Hopefully at some point in then next few weeks I'll be launching a new website that will combine all my comics, illustrations and pictures of pigs in pants into one lovely home! But I'll keep you posted...

The last piece of exciting news is that I've finally relocated my MA dissertation! All 20,000 words of it. And to celebrate me being able to navigate my google account I'm going to release this 'lost treasure' to you, a piece at a time.....mwaahahahahah. I'll post the first section at some point this week, as well as a new Being & Tim cartoon.....how exciting!

see you soon,

becca xo











Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Why do you have to ruin EVERYTHING?!

When I was a child I had a Spirograph toy that I used to really enjoy, but now I'm older I realise it was all just a way of trying to get me to LIKE MATHS! GAH!

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

theoLOLgians

Simone Weil
While doing some ''research'' I stumbled upon the blog http://theololgians.wordpress.com/, which describes itself as ''The LOLCATZ meme, but for nerdy theology types''. Pretty self-explanatory, and also pretty darn funny. Check out augustine and tillich for starters, and bonhoffer is pretty funny too.
Theodor Adorno (sort of a theologian)

Paul Tillich


I submit these 3 for your comments....
becca x

Monday, 13 June 2011

with apologies to Edward Said

it is my duty to mitigate the silliness of this cartoon by demanding you follow this link before reading the cartoon


done? 

no cheating now....


okay then....


Monday, 16 May 2011

The adventures of Thomas Aquinas!

This cartoon is abit more silly than normal, and was really just a nod to one of my favourite past-times: foraging. I'm a particular fan of anything you can make out of humble weed: and can often be found knee-high in nettles collecting ingredients to make soup, pesto, and most importantly BEER!

 Anyway, while looking for recipes for Dandelion and Burdock, a traditional British soft-drink that tastes a bit like American root beer, I found this alleged story of its origins....

''One notable example has it that St. Thomas Aquinas, after praying for inspiration for a full night, walked from his place of prayer straight into the countryside and, "trusting in God to provide", concocted the drink from the first plants he encountered. It was this drink that aided his concentration when seeking to formulate his theological arguments that ultimately culminated in the Summa Theologica.[2]

And then I slightly extrapolated on this, using my own special brand of infantile humour. haha! 


The absence of both Being and Tim in this cartoon makes me feel the need to compensate with a arbitrary link. Here's one my friend sent to me about Nietzsche's horrendous musical compositions. Poor guy, I mean, can it be that bad???!

Listen here to decide, and leave me your comments, especially if you make it to the end!: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcvINsq1KSw

becca xo





Friday, 6 May 2011

SUPER KANT!

Super Kant has been gracing Being and tim since back in the day. He's one of my favourite characters, and has battles with Uberman and of course, his enemy SLUMBERING DOGMAN! I was never really happy with the original cartoon but have managed to redo it to get some of the Critique of Pure Reason in at the end, which makes it MORE EDUCATIONAL (so don't enjoy it too much)! He's also a bit more dishy than he was to begin with....;-)

Any other ideas about who Super Kant could battle? Arnold Schopenaheur-negger?! Leave me your comments!

becca x

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Being & Tim Easter Egg Hunt! Today! Brighton!

For anyone living in Brighton, UK, today I will be hiding 10 Being & Tim Mini-Fortune-Cookie-Non-Religious-Philosophical-Eggs, in the Pavilion Gardens for ANYONE TO FIND! Each egg comes complete with philosophical advice, a plasticine model of Being, a Being & Tim sticker and a mini-creme egg (while stocks last). Better get down there quick before the plasticine and chocolate make a terrible gooey non-edible but philosophical mess!

Those of you not in brighton might enjoy the non-chocolatey plasticine of this old chestnut ---->..http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-034Un28R4

I am also working on new stuff so will post it very soon... Happy Non-Religious Chocolate Day!
becca x

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Being & Tim's Holiday: Day 5


 
Being & Tim at 'PhilosophyLand' with Marcel Mouse!
Rather than being a real mouse, Marcel Mauss was an anthropologist whose most famous text was

The Gift, in which he analysed the sociological construction of gift-giving, especially in relation to non-capitalist societies. Just a cursory glance through the wikipedia entry shows how interesting a text it is:

Mauss argued that gifts are never "free". Rather, human history is full of examples that gifts give rise to reciprocal exchange. The famous question that drove his inquiry into the anthropology of the gift was: "What power resides in the object given that causes its recipient to pay it back?" (1990:3). The answer is simple: the gift is a "total prestation", imbued with "spiritual mechanisms", engaging the honour of both giver and receiver... Such transactions transcend the divisions between the spiritual and the material in a way that according to Mauss is almost "magical". The giver does not merely give an object but also part of himself, for the object is indissolubly tied to the giver: "the objects are never completely separated from the men who exchange them" (1990:31). Because of this bond between giver and gift, the act of giving creates a social bond with an obligation to reciprocate on part of the recipient. 

As I have never read the text I don't want to comment on the ins-and-outs of Mauss's theory: but even the short quotations in the above wikipedia entry show its parallels to Marx's early writings, particularly this quotation from Comments on James Mill. Marx has just outlined the way that commodity exchange under capitalism alienates us from each other: when I buy something what is important to me is the object I am purchasing, not the human act of labour that stands behind the object in question. Under this form of exchange human beings are valuable only as instruments that create objects; as an alternative to this Marx puts forward this idea: 

Let us suppose that we had carried out production as human beings. Each of us would have in two ways affirmed himself and the other person. 1) In my production I would have objectified my individuality, its specific character, and therefore enjoyed not only an individual manifestation of my life during the activity, but also when looking at the object I would have the individual pleasure of knowing my personality to be objective, visible to the senses and hence a power beyond all doubt. 2) In your enjoyment or use of my product I would have the direct enjoyment both of being conscious of having satisfied a human need by my work, that is, of having objectified man's essential nature, and of having thus created an object corresponding to the need of another man's essential nature. 3) I would have been for you the mediator between you and the species, and therefore would become recognised and felt by you yourself as a completion of your own essential nature and as a necessary part of yourself, and consequently would know myself to be confirmed both in your thought and your love. 4) In the individual expression of my life I would have directly created your expression of your life, and therefore in my individual activity I would have directly confirmed and realised my true nature, my human nature, my communal nature

Our products would be so many mirrors in which we saw reflected our essential nature. 

In this wonderful quotation, Marx seems to be envisaging a type of exchange where the act of individual labour (what he views as our 'species-being') is what gives the object value, where the work on the object itself is a form of dialogue (or dialectic) in which our relationship is continually redefined and our humanity made visible in ever different creations. Compare this to what Mauss says in The Gift "the objects are never completely separated from the men who exchange them" (1990:31).

Marx seems to move away from this view by the time he gets to Capital, but I think it's a compelling place to start thinking about what economy means, and how we might be able to intervene within capitalism. Derrida and Adorno both return to this idea of the gift, Derrida in Given Time (see context here ) and Adorno in Minima Moralia, Section 21. But they're both weirdoes....haha xx

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Being & Tim's Holiday: Day 4

Chillin' at the Grand Hotel Abyss with Adorno
I've not read the Theory of the Novel, and my current favourite thing about Georg Lukacs is the inescapable link to another, more contemporary philosopher. So I can't comment much on the specific context of the following quotation:

'A considerable part of the leading German intelligentsia, including Adorno, have taken up residence in the ‘Grand Hotel Abyss’ which I described in connection with my critique of Schopenhauer as ‘a beautiful hotel, equipped with every comfort, on the edge of an abyss, of nothingness, of absurdity. And the daily contemplation of the abyss between excellent meals or artistic entertainments, can only heighten the enjoyment of the subtle comforts offered.’ (Die Zerstörung der Vernunft, Neuwied 1962, p. 219)'

----Georg Lukács 1962 : Preface to The Theory of the Novel at  http://www.marxists.org/archive/lukacs/works/theory-novel/preface.htm
 
Nevertheless, I think there might be something quite keen in his criticism of Adorno, whose philosophy, as compelling and formidable as it is, offers (by Adorno's own standards I think it should be added) very little in the way of 'bridge' over the abyss which is the inherent self-contradictions of capitalism. Rather the activity of Negative Dialectics seems to involve precisely dwelling on these contradictions: that in writing and attending to them we bear witness to a future in which these contradictions are no longer apparent: where the objects we speak of, and particularly the subjects, can exist as ends in themselves rather than as means towards profit.

If anything compels me to return to University for a phD it's the tension between thinkers like Adorno (and Simone Weil) on one side who seem to value contemplation, and perhaps more ACTION-BASED philosophers, like Nietzsche perhaps. Or Gillian Rose.  Something like this anyway.

Last holiday snap tomorrow, hope to see you then.

becca xo
ps. new cartoon here too!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Being & Tim's Holiday: Day 2

Being & Tim got a bit lost on their way to the realm of the forms!




 While I'm here, to the left are a few pictures of recent Being & Tim items: some stickers and some diaries. Still available to order from rasdyer@gmail.com or from Dave's comics....

My ongoing one-a-day project is still going on here , otherwise, see you tomorrow for more about Being & Tim's holiday!
becca xo

Monday, 17 January 2011

Being & Tim's Holiday Snaps: Day 1

I've finally got round to drawing some B&T for my one-a-day-project: this is a picture from Being & Tim's holiday in Greece...

Here is what Wikipedia says about Plato's Cave and what it means:

''Socrates describes a group of people who have lived chained to the wall of a cave all of their lives, facing a blank wall. The people watch shadows projected on the wall by things passing in front of a fire behind them, and begin to ascribe forms to these shadows. According to Socrates, the shadows are as close as the prisoners get to viewing reality. He then explains how the philosopher is like a prisoner who is freed from the cave and comes to understand that the shadows on the wall are not constitutive of reality at all, as he can perceive the true form of reality rather than the mere shadows seen by the prisoners'' 

That is to say: it's not a real cave.

For those of you who are interested, I am still doing my one-a-day drawing project, but have moved it to another blog, cos Being & Tim were getting jealous. You can find it at www.rasdyer.blogspot.com, and I'll update it every couple of days (my new year's resolution said nothing about scanning everyday! But I will do my best)

Another pic from Being & Tim's holiday tomorrow,

becca xx 

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

january 5th - 7th (more philosophy to follow!)

jan 5: a character from a book i'm illustrating, commenting on my use of materials.
jan 7: when i had a job, this happened alot.
jan 6: sorry this isn't great quality, don't have scanner at the mo.

january the eighth to the twelfth of my drawings....

january 11th: this is sometimes how i feel about doing one drawing a day.
january 10th: this is 100% truth. I saw it in the hospital.
january 9th: this is 100% truth too.
january 8th: this is about 90% truth except it wasn't so fun

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

january 4th

This is data entry pig who is a character from my other blog Friends on Benefits. He got his name because he dreams of doing data-entry for a living. Hopefully i will finally get round to drawing his adventures, as part of my one-a-day project.  But you won't get to see them for the next few days because I'm going to Scotland, to hide out in the mountains away from human life (like the Shining but with more cups of tea). I'm not cheating though: I'll draw the pictures, I just won't be able to post them....Sorry. Back on the 10th though and will put any pictures of D.E.Pig here and on Friends on Benefit. But who knows what I might draw tomorrow?! MUOHOAHAHA.....

becca xo



Monday, 3 January 2011

jan 3

Today I started to draw an orchid...

but I got bored...

Sunday, 2 January 2011

january 2nd!

Sketch for day 2: SUPER DEPRESSIVE! I'd like to spend more time tomorrow, do something classy! We shall see!

 

Saturday, 1 January 2011

one-a-day project

In 2010 my friends Caz and  Kathryn Gibson both did totally unconnected 'one-a-day' projects for different amounts of time. This year I am gonna try and follow their example and spend a bit of time every day drawing, playing moosic or making something and then putting it on this blog. Here's the first drawing: something I've been intending to draw for my  'Gallows Humour' blog but have only just got around to. I'll put it up there as well, but i thought i'd share it here too.

becca xo

2011201120112011

Happy New Year! I hope you had a better evening than me. I had flu, and was in bed, when this demon appeared and told me that i'd have to live ye life again and inumerable times again right down to the moon and the spider in the window, and even himself...

no wait, that was something else...

Instead, not wanting to be left out of one of the most festive of activities, I compiled a TOP TEN list of Being & Tim 2010 posts for those of you who might be new to the site, or just for anyone wanting to revisit their favourite moments. Do you remember that time when Dasein started crying? what LOLz..

There'll be new adventures, philosophical and otherwise, coming soon. Woop!
beccaxo