Another Busy Day

It seems like the time allotted to just be free is so little that it is hard to decide what to do. Work takes up so much of my time and then I get home and either prepare dinner or clean up messes that I can’t even claim responsibility for. Once that’s done, I might have 30 min or an hour to myself if I’m lucky. But what else kind of life is even an option for me at this point? And so we all just take it.

Well, besides that depressing rant…. I figured out what it was in Harman’s work that bothered me. I think he makes a case for considering objects the way he does, but it’s a language game more than a true ontology. An object for Harman is something distinct from other objects by not being the totality of their effects nor the pieces that make up the object.

But really what he is saying simply results in an object merely being recognized by its relationships to its own identity and to the identity of other objects.

In other news, my stomach has killed me most of the day and I don’t know why. Eating and not eating have the same result. I need to be getting ready for a Tennessee trip this weekend too, but it’ll have to wait.

Graham Harman’s Object-Oriented Ontology: A New Theory of Everything – Part 2

I’m finishing up the first chapter of Harman’s OOO today, but I have to comment on his view of an object, especially in relation to his equivocation of objects and events.

To Harman, “an object is more than its pieces and less than its effects” (53, emphasis his). But what does this really tell us? To me, it means that any conglomeration of any group of things is an object. But each of those things is also an object. I’m assuming that calling this an event means that an object is in time as well as space.

On the surface, there doesn’t seem to be any issue. However, an object seems to lose all sense of identity when viewed this way. I think my objects extend well beyond identity though. From a New Realist perspective, objects must exist somewhere. Harman combines the object with its space-time location. But consider the nature of reality – it contains everything within it. It eliminates effects – true, but it also makes all objects fall into Harman’s category of objects being less than their effects.

This does not mean that he is wrong, only that he isn’t telling us much in a positive sense. I think that he might fail due to his rejection of a physical basis of objects and the combination of an object with its information.

On another note, the book is quite enjoyable to read and his writing style is wonderful. For now, I’m off to sign some providers up for training and reconcile some Excel sheets.

Today in Summary

I have a playlist that I rarely take away from and only occasionally add to. I call it Down. It’s twin is called Positive. The former was the list for the night with only a few showing above.

Tonight, I also added some Minecraft worlds for my daughter to play with and got frustrated that the Xbox One doesn’t exactly play nice with iOS add-ons so I had to buy a different set for her there in the end. I had one phone call, one FaceTime, and a few texts that said Happy Birthday.

But tomorrow, I won’t receive texts unless someone is telling me they are running late for work or they are out with a sick kid (or because they are without electricity from this weird ice storm that did nothing at my house but tore up areas within a 30 min drive). On the upside, I did have one of my wife’s friends say, “Hey, friend!” When I saw her Friday and it shocked me for a moment because I haven’t heard that phrase towards me in a while. She works with good people and that one has even come to a game night and slept over. It makes me wonder if a shift in jobs to people who are also near my age would make me feel better. Everyone I work with is older than me except for one. And I’m over almost all/responsible for all of them so I don’t interact much outside of my tasks. It sucks life from you.

I need to find some positive things to talk about on here. One day RC may find this and think man this guy’s life sucks! But really it’s not that bad – just mediocre, like everyone else.

Graham Harman’s Object-Oriented Ontology: A New Theory of Everything – Part 1

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Although I started reading Graham Harman’s Object-Oriented Ontology: A New Theory Of Everything a few days ago, today (my 32nd birthday) I really dove in. I’ve reached page 38 and the major takeaway is that OOO (pronounced Triple O) opposes physicalism, smallism, anti-fictionalism and literalism. Quoting Harman’s here, physicalism assumes that “everything that exists must be physical” (25), smallism assumes that “everything that exists must be basic and simple” (29), anti-fictionalism assumes “everything that exists must be real” (33), and literalism assumes that “everything that exists must be able to be stated accurately in literal propositional language” (35).

I certainly stand with him referring smallism because of my standing with New Realism against reductionism. The relationship between objects results in an emergence of a new object/property/event. You secure a cylindrical block to a wooden stick and a hammer emerges. Not only that, but when the hammer is put into various hands, it affords the user a tool, weapon, doorstop, etc. I also agree with the 3rd and 4th point due to my agreement with New Realism (and the fourth also with India and Buddhist philosophy).

However, I’m no so convinced with the first objection against physicalism. I agree, overall, Hartman is right to reject the idea. However, a simple change of wording makes a massive difference. Instead of “everything that exist must be physical”, stating it as “everything that exist must have a physical basis” creates a better view of the world (to my mind). All thoughts and information are stored and process in and through a material object, whether it be neurons, circuits, or simply objects themselves. I call this interaction between objects and data (or information) “relationships.”

But I look forward to seeing how my views and Harman’s might be reconciled as I continue through the book. A mental challenge may be the best thing I could as for as a birthday present.

On a separate note, I think I’m changing this blog to be a personal journal. I’m losing my mind with no one to talk to. Either this will help with that frustration or turn me into a raving lunatic. We’ll see.


Harman, Graham. Object-Oriented Ontology: A New Theory Of Everything, Pelican, 2018.

Phentermine and Numbness

ADHD medicine/weight loss medicine does not give me energy. The weight loss – yes, but it’s driving me insane with boredom. There’s a feeling of numbness that pervades everything. Nothing feels beautiful or fun, nothing tastes good. We are simply a bundle of chemicals and mass and we’d better not forget it. We are happy because of these chemicals and there’s nothing we can do about it. Evolution sucks sometimes.

Phentermine and Numbness

ADHD medicine/weight loss medicine does not give me energy. The weight loss – yes, but it’s driving me insane with boredom. There’s a feeling of numbness that pervades everything. Nothing feels beautiful or fun, nothing tastes good. We are simply a bundle of chemicals and mass and we’d better not forget it. We are happy because of these chemicals and there’s nothing we can do about it. Evolution sucks sometimes.

A Mild Crisis

Tonight, I’m laying in bed listening to Mike Waters’ “Shiver” on faux repeat, reflecting on a mild crisis I had today: wondering what I’m searching for.

I’m currently running a medical office of 52 people while the manager is out (normally, I’m second in command), playing music on the weekend, writing as a ghostwriter, and shooting photography and video for a music project. In exactly one month, I’ll be starting my last year of my M.A. in Humanities. By April, I’ll have finished recording 2 EPS for some guys. I’ve also taken sketching back up as a hobby and resumed going to the gym at 5:30 AM every frickin day.

But when I get home each day, I feel so distracted and usually tired that I dismissed the kids begging me to play. When dinner is finished and they’re in bed, I feel awful for not spending time with them or reading at bedtime.

There’s no use in wondering about some ultimate meaning in life when I can’t simply enjoy the simple things. But that’s always been my problem – I’ve neglected the present to chase the future. Once upon a time, that meant ignoring life on earth trying to understand life afterwards. Now, it’s all temporary and material. Just more evidence that no questions can be satisfied without raising new questions.

Questions – those incestuous, relentless demons – how I’ve love and hate them.

Now, “Shine” by The Morning Of is playing and I’m just wondering how it is that love songs start to just sound stupid. So full of absolute words like “always” and “forever” and the like (not even sure if those are in that song though) that I shake my head. Perhaps I’m just growing old a bit more. I’ll hit 32 in a few more days. All I really long for now are good laughs and nice long conversations, both of which are too few and far between.

Maybe the answer to my little crisis today is that I just need to put more time and effort into being around people. But besides those in my house and my immediate family, there’s no one else I can just talk to anymore. It’s been more than a year since I’ve had that and about two years since I’ve heard from anyone in my past. I’m convinced that ghosts are just the memories of people who don’t exist as you remember them. I think of those ghosts often and often without meaning to.

Goodnight ghosts and strangers.

A Sad Farewell

Everyone knows the feeling of a sad farewell. The moment you realize the truth about Santa Claus, the final scene of Harry Potter, or the sensational taste of the last Cheeto in the bag – all of these leaves you satisfied, yet disappointed. Of course these don’t seem too severe (rarely things are after enough time), but tonight I find myself reaching that point. I say farewell to the philosophy of Markus Gabriel.

While I’m sure I’ll still interact with him on several occasions, I finally grasped the consequences of his position on objects and realism. For those who do not know Gabriel or his work, he is an incredible writer who playfully espouses his new realist philosophy in the book, Why the World Does Not Exist, complete with a unicorn on the front (1). He tries to link analytic and continental philosophies by basing an ontology on objects and domains, “fields of existence,” as he would call them. Basically, he argues that science and the humanities can all get along now because really we are just talking about the same things from our relative domains. I first had my suspicions roused when I read Maurizio Ferraris’ Introduction to New Realism (2), however, tonight I read an article by Arjen Kleinherenbrink titled “Fields of Sense and Formal Things: The Ontologies of Tristan Garcia and Markus Gabriel” (3).

While Ferraris explained how Gabriel’s ideas still subjected objects to the observer for existence, Kleinherenbrink explained how Gabriel did this. He prevents objects from retaining their identity over time and creates infinite regressions to sustain an sense of existence for objects. This just seems absurd. Gabriel’s conclusion, while inventive, if far too cumbersome to carry weight in the long run. As responses to his philosophy increase, I suspect Gabriel would be the type to modify this thoughts as needed. I look forward to his future work as a result, although I cannot stay with him any longer regarding his new realism. I will carry on his idea that objects require domains for existence, but in my own way. I hope to flesh out my full concept in due time. For now though, I bid a sad farewell to a literary mentor who has taught me how to be original and how to write well enough to keep readers engaged until the end. Thank you, Markus.

D. Wilson


Works Cited

(1) Gabriel, Markus. Why the World Does Not Exist. Polity, 2015.

(2) Ferraris, Maurizio. Introduction to New Realism. Bloomsbury, 2015.

(3) Kleinherebrink, Arjen. “Fields of Sense and Formal Things: The Ontologies of Tristan Garcia and Markus Gabriel.” Open Philosophy, no. 1, 2018, 129-142. https://doi.org/10.1515/opphil-2018-0010. Alternative link: https://www.degruyter.com/downloadpdf/j/opphil.2018.1.issue-1/opphil-2018-0010/opphil-2018-0010.pdf

Happy Vietnamese New Year!

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I took my daughter with me to the New Year’s celebration at Chua Quan Am where I did my visit for Buddhism a few weeks ago. I ran into Kim too! This time around, the temple was busy and loud. I walked my daughter around outside to check out the statues and the koi pond. From my previous visit, I was able to tell her what most of the statues meant and that was a dad-score moment for me.

The evening started off with introductory drumming and then the Flower Dance. Unfortunately, I was unable to get a good video because I was sitting right where the dancers started and behind where there were facing the entire time.

After that dance, there was a short (30 min) service. My daughter kept asking me about the smell (incense) and what everyone was saying. I explained that they were praying and likely giving thanks for the previous year and the next since it was New Year’s. The temple handed out paper pamphlets with the words for chanting, but it was all in Vietnamese. If you have never tried to read Vietnamese, just know that your vowel sounds will change – and quickly!

Then came the drumming again and we knew it was almost time for the dragons! What we weren’t expecting was the longest firecracker I had ever heard. At least half of all ~150 people in that room had their hands over their ears. The rest needed their hands for their phones. Then the dragons came in and excitement filled the air even more! It’s hard to describe the atmosphere we experience because, at least for me, it was so easy to get lost in the moment. Just getting to see the wonder on my daughter’s face was amazing for me. And knowing that she was getting to engage in a culture she never would have on her own, well to me that is priceless.

As the dragons dance, children come up and “feed” dollar bills to the dragons for good luck. At the end, everyone had a chance to bull a token treat from the trees near the altar. I held my daughter up and she was able to grab one of the high ones. We got home after midnight and still managed to make it to school/work on time in the morning. Pretty good for a kindergartener!

Link to Chua Quan Am site (you’ll need a translation tool): http://www.chuaquanam.com/

The short video shows part of the Dragon Dance and the long video has the entire firecracker explosion and start.