a Cheap Holiday

Cheap Holiday

Welcome to a cheap holiday in my life. At least you get to go home at the end of the day!

Friday, July 18, 2003

Sometimes my workday goes like this. I've managed to accomplish one major task and maybe the resources or content I need to continue on to another task are not quite available. So, I run off to do a little bit of websurfing on the news sites, the better to at least appear marginally informed about current events. I skim through a review/news piece on a new book about the Islamic Revolution that the imprisoned terrorist Carlos the Jackal has published from his cell in France. Not surprisingly, the reporter views the work as a stroke-job for the Muslim terrorists from a decadent, former wreaker-of-havoc, who has nothing but time to pump out doggerel and "appeal to French intellectualists." During the course of the article, the reporter mentions the phrase "dialectical materialism." Well, like every good American child learns about classical music from watching Bugs Bunny, the most I know about philosophical terms I got from Monty Python. Sad, but true, I had not a clue what "dialectical materialism" referred to. I Google it (isn't it great how "Google" is now a verb? like that old Star Trek: TNG episode where the alien species speaks in metaphor!) and notice that the URLs it is pushing me are things like Marxism.com and Marxist.org. Hmmm, probably not a good idea to go to such a URL on the work line. This is why About.com is so helpful. A nice, bland URL that won't get you into trouble with the IT guys.

Anyways...so far I've learned that "dialectical materialism" is a "Marxist doctrine that asserts that matter is the fundamental substance of reality and, as such, the laws which regulate the motion and existence of matter also regulate all of reality. This is not so much a reductionist theory asserting everything is matter, but is instead an argument against philosophies of idealism. Whereas Idealists argue that matter is a product of mind, Marxists argue that the mind is a product of matter."

Hmmm...guess I need to go look up "Marxism" now...


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