Harris – Integrationist Notes and Papers 2013

Integrationist Notes and Papers 2013 by Roy Harris

Date read: 03 February 2015

My rating: 3 of 5 stars*

Content: 4 of 5 stars

Fastidiousness of scholarly apparatus: 2 of 5 stars

Cover of Integrationist Notes and Papers 2013 by Roy Harris

Paperback, v, 109 pages

Published 2013 by Bright Pen

Source: Own; acquired from amazon

Let me say right off the bat I did enjoy this book immensely, in a way. Most of its content resonates with me but there are a couple problems that have arisen in this volume that, while possibly understandable, are nonetheless unacceptable.

I mentioned in my review of the previous volume that a few citations did not make it into the references list. That even happens in major press books so, while I never appreciate it, I do understand it. Let me take a small sidestep to fill you in on how I read journal articles and books (that I own) like this. These are usually on topics that are of immense interest to me, or those in a discipline or area of a discipline that I am trying to “work my way into” intellectually, if you will.

I read with pencil in hand or near enough [STOP! These are books I own and articles I have printed or copied. DO NOT do this to library materials!]. As I read, for every citation (or should be citation) I come to I mark the page number(s) for it in the reference section. If there are footnotes or endnotes and those contains cites then they get “indexed” as well. I get that this is seemingly quite anal. I do not do this for everything I  read, although I will frequently mark/index interesting (questionable, interested myself, intriguing, …) citations in other sources so that I can track those sources down at my whim and pleasure.

What does this do for me?

First, as seen above—and soon for this volume—I easily determine the level of attention to detail in this aspect of scholarly fastidiousness. Did all citations get listed? It is a seemingly simple question. This does not tell us that much but it is one indicator that something may be amiss in the argumentation.

Second, and far more importantly, this is, at least to me, critical to find one’s way into a literature; whether the lit of a single author or that a broader “topic.”

If it is a book you will quickly determine who the author uses for support and who they are reacting against. You will know whether Freud was cited only once or sixty times. Now one book does not constitute a literature so this is a single author perspective. Also, I’d caution against the one book perspective as a global overview of an author’s citing practices. Definitely look at more by the same author, if available and applicable. By looking at several items you will get a better feel for individual uses.

The same goes for journal articles but it is far easier to read multiple articles and see any similarities and/or differences in practices between authors or within the same author.

I am here to tell you that—assuming you are not a slow reader—this is an amazing way to find out who is citing who. Who are the big authors, theories, and works in this area? If most everybody you are reading is citing such-and-such then perhaps you best acquaint yourself with it/them. This is not actually about citation practices as such but of sketching the outlines of a much larger “conversation.”

This method slows one down considerably and it also makes following the development of the author’s ideas a bit more difficult. But the way I see it, the kinds of sources that I treat this way are quite possibly something I am going to re-read, at least once. Thus the effort pays off in the long run. This is not a pleasure reading tactic, folks. Not to say that this kind of reading is incapable of being pleasurable. If that is your argument then grow up or go away now, please.

In this slim volume of seven papers there are two entire essays whose citations are not listed in the references. All of the other papers are missing an assorted but generally much lower amount. I ended up writing in so many that there truly is little room left to write on every page of the reference section. And as you can imagine, my attempt at trying to get them added somewhat alphabetically went to hell quickly.

A photo of the references section of a book with lots of penciled in entries

Last page of final paper and 1st of references section showing lots of penciled in entries. The other pages of the references are just as full. Look at the page numbers behind entries though to get an idea of my method. In essence, it’s a popularity contest.

The second issue which may be even bigger occurs in paper 51, “Normality and Neuroplasticity.” On page 100 Harris writes:

“But can this be right? Not according to proponents of neuroplasticity. Bloomfield ignores or is unaware of the kind of evidence presented by neuroscientist Norman Doidge. According to Doidge, we have ‘a brain that survives in a changing world by changing itself’ (Doidge 2007: 26)” (100).

But how in the hell was Bloomfield supposed to be aware of any neuroscientific evidence. OK, if  we take “neuroscience” quite broadly then perhaps Bloomfield, writing in the 1910s-1940s, might be able to take into account some evidence. But when the author cites a book from 2007 as not being cited by another author who died in 1949 I begin to get quite cranky. I savaged Hope Olson for similar crap in The Power to Name.

This is an excerpt from the Modern Neuroscience section of the Neuroscience article at Wikipedia:

“The scientific study of the nervous system has increased significantly during the second half of the twentieth century, principally due to advances in molecular biology, electrophysiology, and computational neuroscience. This has allowed neuroscientists to study the nervous system in all its aspects: how it is structured, how it works, how it develops, how it malfunctions, and how it can be changed” (emphasis mine).

The plasticity of the brain, also included in that section, has a citation date of 1999, it appears. Again, no idea how Bloomfield was supposed to be aware of these developments. Now, certainly, we had all kinds of “neuroscientific” evidence before the mid-20th century but that is when it truly exploded as a discipline and science. If Harris means to critique Bloomfield for not citing evidence available to him in the early decades of the century then he needs to be far clearer in his critique. Bringing neuroplasticity into a discussion of Bloomfield’s faults as a theorist is a major lapse though. According to the Wikipedia article, evidence for neuronal plasticity was discovered in Rhesus monkeys in 1923. But this research was ignored by almost everyone until the 1960s. Bloomfield may not get a complete pass and while his theories can certainly—and fairly (depending on use)—now be critiqued using what we know from neuroscience I feel Harris’ critique was extremely poorly worded. He needs to better tie the specific evidence available to Bloomfield into his argument or he needs to be much clearer than he is in applying a temporally aberrant requirement.

Harris is getting up in age and, as usual, he has credited his wife for “her meticulous editorial work.” I do not know the circumstances and I do not want to falsely attribute any particular reasons for these two lapses but they are fairly serious. I am kind of dreading reading INP 2014 which is queued up next. I sure hope it “meticulous” compared to this volume. [By the by, I have read 100s of 1000s of words—many books and articles, several multiple times—by Roy Harris and have not seen such “sloppiness” until now.]

Screen cap of the Roy Harris items I have read in Zotero

Screen cap of the Roy Harris items that I have read in Zotero

I do so love the ideas in these papers but I am concerned there may be some “slippage.” I am beginning to wonder if I am missing any other howlers of the Bloomfield-nueroplasticity kind. And that concerns me greatly.

But I still love the ideas contained in it.

Contents:

  • Preface
  • 45 Ordinary Language Again
  • 46 Empiricism and Linguistics
  • 47 Why There Are No Languages
  • 48 On Relativism
  • 49 Much Ado About Nothing
  • 50 Languages and Politics
  • 51 Normality and Neuroplasticity
  • References

This is the 7th book in my Traditional Chesterfield armchair

Exercise goals for 2015

Back in December when I saw the endocrinologist we had no real leads so I brought up that I needed to get back “in shape” so we could help ascertain what are “real” symptoms of whatever is the health issue and the those of the larger health issue of absolutely poor fitness.

I have always been a “fair weather” exerciser. Motivation is my personal downfall. I have the education and knowledge (and personal library) and was even once certified by the American College of Sports Medicine as a Fitness Trainer and am a US Army Master Fitness Trainer.

So. This year. I am trying to build on the motivation I grasped at at the doctor’s office. I do NOT like how I feel and how my illness makes me so I am currently highly motivated (for me).

For annual review at the start of the year I grabbed some numbers I had written down at least a year ago, maybe closer to two, for a “goal.” I was to walk a minimum of 4 mi/week and run (once I started) a min. of 15 mi/week. Surgery and forest fires and a move and selling the treadmill all added up to zilch running and pretty much the same for walking. Since Broken Top Bottle Shop & Ale Café was about the only place to walk from our previous place and it involved a big hill it was hard to get in 4 mi/week.

Where we live now we can do all kinds of walking, although I would do a LOT more if Bend would do something about being a pedestrian here. You know, like they actually want them. Starting with some freaking sidewalks, everywhere. And then enforcing clearing of sidewalks, etc.

Anyway … we live quite near Pilot Butte State Park so I decided I wanted to walk a minimum of 4 mi/wk AND climb Pilot Butte an average of once/week.

We began the new year with a pre-dawn climb with a new friend. There was a couple day fresh pack of snow on the trails and we crested four minutes before sun up. Good thing too as it was in the single digits temperature-wise. Quite glorious actually.

Picture of the sun peaking over the eastern hills from the summit of Pilot Butte, Bend, OR

Sun up (7:41 am) 1 January 2015 from the crest of Pilot Butte

I managed to climb it again with Sara six days later and then by myself six days after that. I treated that one as sort of a “fitness test” and it almost killed me despite a strong start. My back really tried to completely break me during and for a couple days after. My next climb was about eight or nine days later (but still making average) and I took it much slower. I also took the road up that day and the trail down, instead of trail for both. My back still hurt a fair bit but began much later and did not last as long.

Picture from the summit of Pilot Butte on 7 January 2015 just a few minutes past sunup but looking west to the Cascades.

The summit of Pilot Butte on 7 January 2015 just a few minutes past sunup but looking west to the Cascades.

Another issue with climbing the butte is that from our house, if I take the most likely way and then the trail up and down, it is a 4.5 mi walk. So achieving my Pilot Butte climb gives me more mileage than I had as a goal. Silly, boy.

Nonetheless, I decided that maybe I am not yet in the shape necessary for climbing the butte. I could always take the base trail around and get in a lot of up and down and several miles but not the mostly up and mostly down of trying to crest.

With that in mind, this morning I tried to find the base trail from our way in and got off to the wrong start and was doing way too much climbing pretty much straight up the side. NOT what I had in mind. I retraced and re-found my way to the base trail and took it the whole way around. My back was not happy early on but after my mis-taken route it only made sense.

I have decided that taking the base trail around or some even longer version can count as “doing” Pilot Butte for now. When I got to the trailhead I also found the poster and cards for the Century Club.

Picture of Century Club tracking postcard

Postcard to track your Century Club progress. Available at the signpost for the Club near the trailhead.

Basically, for them, up and down once or around the base trail once is “2 miles” and 50 times gets you in the Century Club and a certificate. Some of those folks have clearly been doing it for decades as they have thousands of “laps”.

So my revised goals are:

Walking

  • 8 mi/week [till needs to go up]
  • Pilot Butte 1x/week
  • Make the Century Club by the end of 2015

Running

  • That is flexible as I have no idea if I will be in good enough shape to try running soon but I hope to, especially if the weather stays anything like this. Ha ha ha.

I am also building myself a pull-up bar from galvanized steel piping. I have an over-the-door one but I can’t make it work in this house. I am hoping that by having it there and handy I will treat it as a exercise of opportunity.

I am also doing (too infrequently) a little hopping around aerobic/calisthenic/strength routine that takes about 5 minutes to do.

There is also a Pilot Butte Challenge in September that I would like to do perhaps in 2016 if I can get in much better shape. But that is another day. I may go to registration on 7 February to see about volunteering. That way I can easily learn more about how it is run; managed, that is.

When I got home today Runkeeper joyously announced that I had achieved the most elevation gain in a month, 3488 ft. I’m guessing that’ll get broken soon.

My main goals are: to build cardiovascular endurance, gain strength, sleep better, be in far less pain, be able to determine a pain is indicative of an actual short-term problem versus arising from gross structural inadequacy, and those sorts of larger-scale more important things than simply tracking miles or reps.

Speaking of more important things, I leave you with one of my favorite junipers on Pilot Butte:

Picture of a juniper tree on Pilot Butte at Pilot Butte State Park, Bend, OR

B. and Mac Orlan – The Littlest Pirate King

The Littlest Pirate King by David B. and Pierre Mac Orlan. Translated by Kim Thompson.

Date read: 08 January 2015

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Cover of B. and Mac Orlan's The Littlest Pirate King

Hardback, 44 pages

Originally published in French 2009; this ed. 2010 by Fantagraphics Books.

I knew nothing about this artist or the novelist & songwriter (Mac Orlan) whose story it is based on. It was recommended to me by Unshelved. As Gene Ambaum said in his review, “It’s a kid’s book with an edge.” (Mar 9 2012)

I really enjoyed it but it ends so abruptly: a great cliffhanger. But I believe it, simply, is the end. There doesn’t seem to be another.

And, yes, I (and I imagine others) can work with that. Did the pirates get redemption after all? What happened to the Little Pirate King? We generally do not get the answers to these sorts of questions in life so it is realistic in that sense.

I truly enjoyed it; I just wanted more of it. It is also a beautifully designed book and the artwork, while simple in a way, has a lot going on. I recommend it highly.

I picked this and four others up at the public library this morning and then sat at Lone Pine Coffee Roasters and read it while enjoying a tasty cookie and a lovely Cortada. I only had a single shot as I had already had a cup of coffee at breakfast; would love to try it with its normal two shots some day.

Book, coffee drink, cookie and glass of water

My little self-indulgence this morning after walking to town for a haircut and books at the public library. And before walking back home.

This is the 11th book in my

GN2015

Temperance

Friday night at BTBS I had Dr. Evelyn Crook read my tarot. My question was “How will DigiWriMo go for me?” She decided to do one card with the possibility of more. [See my previous post for more context.]

I drew the Temperance card. We did not draw more.

Temperance tarot card [little processing]

Temperance tarot card [little processing]

Temperance in Emily’s deck was the Blue Heron, which got her excited. She said it was about self-determination and self-reliance and progress through evolution and compromise. [OK, that’s what my couple words of notes say when I reconstruct them.] I asked her about the water drops (tears?) and fire and she said it represents the calm in the midst of the two extremes. This is echoed in Pollack below [not quoted].

Looking in Mistress Quantum Sum’s books:

Pollack: Seventy-eight Degrees of Wisdom 105-

“Temperance, appearing below the Chariot, shows a person whose behaviour [sic] is once again connected to the real world but in a way more meaningful than ever before. … Temperance indicates the ability to combine spontaneity with knowledge.” 105

“The divinatory meanings, like the card’s ideas, begin with moderation, balance in all things and taking the middle path.” 108

Bartlett: The Tarot Bible 112

Keywords: Self-control, compromise, moderation, virtue

Key phrases: The blending of ideas, harmony and understanding, Alchemical process

My interpretation/commentary:

Moderation seems to be a key to staying away from the [what the fuck do I call one of my “attacks”?] pain and long-term elevated stress levels. Moderation is often a good guiding principal whether of natural, right action or as an ethics-backing one. In this case, it is focused on bringing opposites/dualities into balance/inseparability.

Compromise: between ambition and desire, between others and myself in the production of ‘writings,’ and between the many others that will arise.

Blending ideas, alchemically or otherwise, is definitely one of my goals and desires. Always a desire.

As I said at the end of my last post, “Temperance. Am going to have to spend some time with that concept.”

This is a slippery one; eel-like. More like chameleon eel-like. Slippery and changing its “appearance.”

Kick-Off Surroundings

I was unable to participate in the Digital Writing Month Launch Party celebration so this is my response, particularly to the Kick-Off Surroundings bit.

The kick-off happened at 12:01AM UTC 1 November which was 5 pm Halloween here in Oregon. I had just closed the library at a few minutes after and then had to catch a bus to the bottom of the hill to meet some folks. I was also having a discussion with one of my usual patrons while waiting. I did check my phone for the kick-off post and had a quick look. Saw I wouldn’t get any done on time. No worries. I was with friends and had a good grip on ideas already.

We were supposed to accomplish three tasks within the 1st hour:

  • Who are you? Post a Vine to Twitter, due by 20 min.
  • Where are you? [Environment] 3 photos to Twitter, due by 40 min.
  • What are you going to do? [Goals] Roster and abridged version to Twitter

I was not going to bother with the first. Just not interested. And that’s OK. “The point is creation; the method to the madness is up to you.” Sean Michael Morris in Invention, Ambition, Fearlessness: Digital Writing Month 2014

Sure. The idea is to push one’s boundaries, creativity, and so forth. I plan on doing that. And while I may well ignore some of the prompts and perhaps not participate in everything, I did the same last time. Some of the new things I did to push my limits worked and some didn’t. That’s OK, too.

This post serves as my Kick-Off Environment post, which stands in way “late” for the three tweets. I did post my goals to the roster and had earlier tweeted my goals but did so again. It was definitely after the party was over by a couple hours but not many folks got to that part anyway.

Photo #1

Dr. Evelyn Crook and Mistress Quantum Sum before Halloween tarot readings for the Humane Society at Broken Top Bottle Shop & Ale Café.

Dr. Evelyn Crook and Mistress Quantum Sum before Halloween tarot readings for the Humane Society at Broken Top Bottle Shop & Ale Café. [somewhat processed]

Sara and Emily prior to giving their first readings of the night. They were doing Halloween tarot readings for charity at our local, Broken Top Bottle Shop & Ale Café (BTBS). When I got there, Sara was with three of our friends who I joined until they headed out. Not a whole lot later another couple friends, along with two more new-to-me friends, joined me for much of the evening. While we love BTBS we do not spend many Friday evenings there. Halloween was a lot more mellow than I figured it’d be though.

Photo #2

Cooler case and BTBS sign [heavily processed]

Cooler case and BTBS sign [heavily processed]

I am (consciously) unclear as to what this image means to me or the story I am trying to tell. I have an as yet undiagnosed illness, since this summer, that is playing havoc with me in many ways. For some reason this appealed to me. I, and Sara, spend a lot of time in front of these colors. They are a refuge, of sorts. This image is anything but refuge-like though. The unprocessed image is. So. This. Is a story element. Yet to be fully realized.

Photo #3

Temperance tarot card [little processing]

Temperance tarot card [little processing]

For the significance of this photo you will have to read my next post, which is thankfully 95% written already. Past me doing current me a favor [Wickett’s Law/Rule].

This was a large part of my environment for the kick-off of Digital Writing Month 2014.

Temperance. Am going to have to spend some time with that concept.