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Old 09-29-2013   #1
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Topic Winner Our personal own progress

I am relatively new to this forum, but there is something which attracted my attention right away due to my own beliefs.
It is kind of funny, seeing so many individuals proclaiming their utmost respect for Ligotti and probably to some minor or major degree identifying with his opinions and ideology and though, referring to their kindles and clever and cellular phones with such a taken-for-grantedness that I begin to wonder at that specifically human phenomenon of subconscious contradiction. Many of us must have read My work is not yet done, I assume, where we get to know what Mr. Ligotti thinks of the accumulation of metal pieces and rare earths, like computers, and it is striking to never have him on the phone in any way, at least I could not detect any passage in the works I have read by him so far. Feel free to correct me.
From what I get from his works there is this aversion for anything which originally was invented for serving the human race and said to make things easier in terms of communication and saving space etc. and eventually turned out to be enslaving stupid enough mankind.

What do you think? Is reading Ligotti, stating your admiration for his works and his views and explaining that you are able to relate to his world views in terms of despair and desolation
enough? Doesn’t he make you think? And here we all are, typing on our computers to feel at home in the illusion of “togetherness”? Is there no Ligotti legacy in terms progress? The very existence of this forum, if we think it through to the end, could not be any more contradictory to Mr. Ligotti’s philosophy than it already is (although I am well aware of the raison d'être of this forum which we must have agreed on).
I am aware of the impossibility of any definite and fully satisfying answers to this question, but that does not keep me from posing it.

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Old 09-29-2013   #2
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Re: Our personal own progress

In terms of his fiction, I admire Ligotti's work tremendously. When it comes, however, to his philosophical endeavours, I don't.

I doubt one needs to conflate the two, however, in order to determine who is more authentically "Ligottian" than the next person (with all due deference to the fact I'm posting this where I am, at the TLO). Not that I think you're suggesting this.

Doubtless there are lots of folk out there who, for example, enjoy the work of Machen or Blackwood or Aickman etc etc without sharing their own particular worldview in its entirety.

Mark S.

"You have no idea how much nastier I'd be if I were not a Catholic. Without supernatural aid I would hardly be a human being." Evelyn Waugh
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Old 09-29-2013   #3
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Re: Our personal own progress

I agree with Mark; you don’t have to embrace a writer’s worldview in order to appreciate his work. I also suspect there’s more than one reason to justify the existence of this forum: interest in Ligotti, interest in Lovecraft, interest in new books being offered by many different publishers…many more reasons.

I really think it’s a terrible mistake when a writer slants his work because of his philosophical/political views rather than following the organic unfolding of a story. Durrenmatt once remarked that Brecht was never better than when he had characters say things he didn’t particularly want them to say. Lovecraft’s “Dreams in the Witch House” is, I think, one of his most underrated stories because some critics can’t get past the religious symbolism in the story. Hey, if it works, it works and that particular story is one of my favorites.

Human beings are full of contradictions. I love building desktop computers but detest mobile devices, along with texting, tweeting…I think technology does have the effect of contributing greatly to the dumbing down of human beings…but, man, don’t touch my desktop!
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Old 09-30-2013   #4
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Re: Our personal own progress

Just because I like one or even several things a person does, doesn't mean I have to like all the rest. Ligotti is my favorite horror author by far, and 'I Have a Special Plan for This World' is what actually sparked my now fervent love for writing and Literature. But, I don't agree with him fully on his philosophical beliefs and ideas and I certainly wouldn't expect to. I've never been one to hold any human being to any high regard, so I don't really expect anyone to be anything other than a plodding human, complete with all the beautifully devastating existential scarring that makes us all the flawed things we are. My view of Ligotti is no different.

As far as the Neo-Luddism goes, there is no blanket statement about technology that can describe it as being wholly good or wholly bad. Technology is a set of tools that fell into the hands of a bunch animals without any real understanding of their responsibility to it. You have people out there doing wonderful and brilliant things for the betterment of ourselves and fellow living things, and then you have others who just want to inflict as much pain and suffering on others as they possibly can. To me it all comes down to who is using, how much power they have and what their intention is. Facebook only exists in the capacity that it does because it's the kind of thing people want these days. It would have tanked if not(see MySpace). It has nothing to do with technology making people dumb and everything to do with people's priorities changing. Facebook can be a great tool, but I'll be damned if people don't go full obsessive-compulsive mode and let it devour them. But, is that Facebook's fault? Is it the fault of math and science that we decided to build bombs and blow innocent people to smithereens? Nah. A lot of people out there suck and unfortunately a lot of those people have a lot of friggin power.

It is fun though to think about humans destroying themselves. I'm not really sure why, but it sure is something to look forward to.
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Old 09-30-2013   #5
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Re: Our personal own progress

Indeed I was not about to start a game of who is more Ligottian. Yet, I thought or hoped there was a chance, if only a slight chance, that constructive world views of an appreciated author would infect the readership.
Don't you look at the world in a different light after having read the first book of Ligotti? May it be in terms of surrealism or understanding, but does not his work influence our minds simply because we open up enough to read it? So I was misled to believe that this idea would fall on fertile ground and I am sorry to have aroused your minds in this way.

The notion of permanently being available on the phone or Internet is one just so alien to me that I began to wish to understand beings who participate in that way of life and wherever I stick my nose into, I get beings complaining about their lack of time resulting from obsessive use of these devices. It is the unwillingness to stay with oneself, to contemplate and introspect and instead focus on the distractions our modern time provides us with. I am not accusing anyone in this forum of not practicing introspection, but I thought chances were higher to find more beings sharing this view here than anywhere else.

Cnev, sooner or later the human race will die out. It is just a pity that we won't be able to witness that anymore.

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Old 09-30-2013   #6
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Re: Our personal own progress

Your chances of finding Ligotti readers who reject technology might be higher somewhere other than on an internet message board, where everyone has necessarily accepted the use of computers and networks.

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Old 09-30-2013   #7
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Re: Our personal own progress

What is interesting to me about this thread is the thought that this forum provides a sense of "togetherness". I have never felt that. I come here because I know that I will discover new writers/artists/musicians etc. that will speak to me on some level. That is all. I still feel the same sense of isolation that I do in other aspects of life. In a way, constantly being online adds to that sense of isolation...
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Old 09-30-2013   #8
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Re: Our personal own progress

I'm not anti-tech but technology does have the power to make people dumber over time by providing countless distractions that only encourage laziness and self-indulgence...to amazing degrees. The Wierd is right about that. John Hiatt has a song about how he and his wife used to talk while driving; now he says there are 50 people in the car, waiting to tell you when they take their next breath. Not my idea of Progress.

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Old 09-30-2013   #9
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Re: Our personal own progress

When the Internet had become affordable for any average household I got lost in the depths of it myself, pampering my social phobia and remaining a faceless, inexpressive creature behind the monitor, having my thoughts circling around any way of artificial communication the entire day. I am not projecting my character onto any user of this or any other forum, but I know a big deal about isolation and Internet myself.

The most shocking situation struck me on the streets, as it usually does. Someone was staring at his phone and at the same time trying to put out his cigarette in one of those tubular trash cans, missing the hole for the cigarette several times before finally looking up from his phone and stubbing it out. I eagerly await professionally studies; until then I will also claim that misused technology is leading to a weakened will and mental degeneration.
I tend to express the core of ideas in an extreme way, as it was the case yet again in my first post, that is in my nature, I would say, if I wasn’t a believer of Skinner; and I did not intend to insult or put off anyone.

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Old 09-30-2013   #10
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Re: Our personal own progress

Let's step back and remind ourselves that advancing technology is not some new concept from the last 20 years, but has been in place almost as long as we as a species has been around. The same arguments about the internet making us less intelligent are the same arguments that were made when Gutenberg's Press brought forth mass produced books. Each generation of us lives in this bubble where we believe we were at the pinnacle, and everything afterward is moving downward, but this isn't historically the case. Technology is not the issue. Smart people will continue to be smart; ignorant will still cling to their ignorance. Technology is simply a tool that changes the way we do things, sometimes for the worse, often for the better.

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