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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Interesting RAW interview

More goodies from RAW week at BOING BOING, including Mark Dery's article and interview with RAW, which I couldn't find on


Dery: In the final analysis, doesn’t guerrilla ontology crystallize into yet another pinhole view of reality – another ‘reality-tunnel,’ to use your term, equal parts chaos worship and contrarianism?

Wilson: The way I look at it, there are some things which I’m going to continue to support even though they’re unsure because they seem good enough to me, even in this universe of uncertainties. One proposition I hold to very strongly is the general structure of the Bill of Rights, which I think has produced a better type of society than ever existed before.

Dery: You’ve mentioned Nietzsche. In your introduction to Semiotext(e) SF, you wrote, “I, like Bob Black, have a Nietzsche trigger finger.” What did you mean by that?

Wilson: Bob Black used that expression before me; I was giving him credit for it. I don’t know what he meant, but what I meant was that, like Nietzsche, I philosophize with a hammer. Nietzsche gave me the problem I’ve wrestled with all my life, which is: Why do I choose one course as better than another? He undermined all my traditional morality and yet I haven’t become a mass murderer, so I must have a morality, but what’s it based on?

I’ve struggled with that problem all my adult life and although I don’t claim to have solved it, I think I’m beginning to shed some light on it after decades of mulling it over. My morality derives from the world I will to exist. The concept that all men are created equal is obviously not true – some are taller, some write better poetry, etcetera – but that concept represents an affirmation of a certain type of will, the democratic will, which Nietzsche didn’t like, whereas I do. This allows me to be a First Amendment absolutist even though I’m a relativist philosophically; I will a world in which there are no interferences with freedom of expression. I don’t claim I can prove that such a world should exist, just that I wish it existed. That’s how you can be an absolutist and a relativist at the same time.


Oz Fritz said...

The Dery interview link yields a 503 page : "Service Intentionally Unavailable:. I'll have to see it tomorrow.

Cleveland Okie (Tom Jackson) said...

BOING BOING went dark Wednesday as part of the SOPA protest, but the link seems to be working today.