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Old 02-28-2011, 10:10 PM   #1
Baneling
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Michel Serres - the parasite

Atm im reading a pretty intersting philosophy book.

The author is basically claiming that the parasite is the atom of the cosmos. Every relationship is a parasitic disease, may it be between humans or in any other system that relys on communication.

He defines a parasite as something that just works in one direction. It takes but it doesnt give. The reason behind this is that any movement relys on imbalance as far as i understand so far.

The real question now is: Is the parasite the weal or the woe of a system, in other words is the noise in a communication channel part of the system although it seems unnessesary and annoying? This seems stupid at first glance, but if we think of a society without criminals, all policeman would suddenly lose their job and propably wouldnt be too happy about this. Or if all science problems would be solved there would be no more room for new ideas what would be pretty boring to say the least.

So although we are claiming to fight the disturber we infact rely on them at least sometimes.
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:36 PM   #2
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Re: Michel Serres - the parasite

Huh? When a cation and an anion get together, which is the parasite? When two penguins mate, which is the parasite? When Farmer John trades a bag of wheat to Jim at the general store for a new hoe, which is the parasite?
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:51 PM   #3
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Re: Michel Serres - the parasite

John is exploiting the fact that Jim as a general store owner cant grow wheat himself i guess. else he wouldnt get a new hoe

The 2 pengiouns dont give a dime what their sexual counterpart thinks they just wanna **** and exploit the fact that the other pengioun wants to get ****ed.

And the cation ... hard to say. I guess it makes no sense to argue here with a 'will' or something. But i guess you could say that the cation just follows the flow and somehow finally meats the anion.

The point is that the symbiose of the kation with the anion, the 2 pinguins and the farmer are pretty much random. the symbiose is NOT the aim of the original motivation to move or to exploit, the symbiose happens by accident.
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Old 03-01-2011, 01:46 AM   #4
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Re: Michel Serres - the parasite

You defined a parasite as something that "takes but doesn't give," that only interacts in "one direction." This doesn't apply to John, he gives as well as takes and it's a bidirectional interaction. Neither side can complete the deal unless the other side is satisfied with the conditions.

If we change the definition, then the assertion that everything is a parasite sounds tautological.
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Old 03-01-2011, 02:18 AM   #5
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Re: Michel Serres - the parasite

after all john didnt gave away too much. he didnt plant the wheat for Jim. it is just his surplus that he is sharing. he kinda has to because he cant eat it all himself.

The idea applies especialy if you use them on a network transferring information, cash or another countable thing.

For a network to function it must consume some of the goods you try to transfer with it. the leaks in a goods transporting network makes trading attractive.
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Old 03-01-2011, 09:36 AM   #6
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Re: Michel Serres - the parasite

Pretty terrible argument, imo.

Matter/antimatter: which is the parasite?

Madnak gave other good examples. It's absurd.
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Old 03-01-2011, 09:43 AM   #7
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Re: Michel Serres - the parasite

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baneling View Post
after all john didnt gave away too much. he didnt plant the wheat for Jim. it is just his surplus that he is sharing. he kinda has to because he cant eat it all himself.
Um, I guess we can just repeat this response:

Quote:
Originally Posted by madnak View Post
You defined a parasite as something that "takes but doesn't give," that only interacts in "one direction." This doesn't apply to John, he gives as well as takes and it's a bidirectional interaction. Neither side can complete the deal unless the other side is satisfied with the conditions.

If we change the definition, then the assertion that everything is a parasite sounds tautological.
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Old 03-01-2011, 10:30 AM   #8
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Re: Michel Serres - the parasite

And people ask me why I don't like most continental philosophy! You get crap like this with no analytical skills (or attention) given to working it out.
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Old 03-01-2011, 10:57 AM   #9
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Re: Michel Serres - the parasite

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baneling View Post
Atm im reading a pretty intersting philosophy book.

The author is basically claiming that the parasite is the atom of the cosmos. Every relationship is a parasitic disease, may it be between humans or in any other system that relys on communication.

He defines a parasite as something that just works in one direction. It takes but it doesnt give. The reason behind this is that any movement relys on imbalance as far as i understand so far.

The real question now is: Is the parasite the weal or the woe of a system, in other words is the noise in a communication channel part of the system although it seems unnessesary and annoying? This seems stupid at first glance, but if we think of a society without criminals, all policeman would suddenly lose their job and propably wouldnt be too happy about this. Or if all science problems would be solved there would be no more room for new ideas what would be pretty boring to say the least.

So although we are claiming to fight the disturber we infact rely on them at least sometimes.
Thing is you cant just claim things... you kinda need to have evidence which supports your claims. If he provides evidence in this book then please summarize it / his arguments so SMP can discuss them.
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Old 03-01-2011, 01:41 PM   #10
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Re: Michel Serres - the parasite

Worst opening argument and worst supporting responses I've seen in a while.

Does this theory include reverse parasites? Like people who give up vital organs to save the lives of loved ones? Or is the organ transplant like the giver implanting himself into the "host"s body? Lovely theory.
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Old 03-01-2011, 02:07 PM   #11
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Re: Michel Serres - the parasite

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Worst opening argument and worst supporting responses I've seen in a while.

Does this theory include reverse parasites? Like people who give up vital organs to save the lives of loved ones? Or is the organ transplant like the giver implanting himself into the "host"s body? Lovely theory.
it does involve these, these people makeing a sacrifices are called hosts. the parasit (fe the baby) exploits the host (the motherbreast). Or is the mother the parasit exploiting her breast to tie the baby to her?

I think i did a bad job explaining the theory as i am just beginn understanding the book and english is not my first language, but you people are giving it far to less credit. I think it has potential.
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Old 03-01-2011, 02:21 PM   #12
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Re: Michel Serres - the parasite

I read where Serres writes prose in French which so depends on sounds of the language that it's practically untranslatable. As I read a brief excerpt of his Parasite philosophy it strikes me as indecipherable. Nevertheless, I have to assume his metaphor of the Parasite has some connection to something - although I can't see what it is - or else he wouldn't get the play he evidently gets.

But there are good and bad metaphors. And all metaphors - even ones in science called "models" - are imperfect with associations and inferences that don't apply and which have the potential to mislead. Two stone age men having never seen an airplane are taken to an airport and watch planes come and go. One man goes back to the jungle and reports to his tribe that he has seen giant shiny birds called airplanes. The other man goes back to his tribe and reports that he has seen giant boats that navigate the clouds and sky rather than streams and lakes. These metaphors get passed down in the tribes' oral traditions. In later generations the first tribe, working off the bird metaphor, concludes that airplanes must have shiny feathers and live in giant trees. Later generations of the second tribe deduce that airplanes must be made of wood and employ giant sails to move them across the sky. Both metaphors have some merit but both are imperfect with the potential to mislead.

I assume Serres' Parasite metaphor, if it can ever be made to fly, is in the same boat as the stone age metaphors above.


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Old 03-02-2011, 01:46 AM   #13
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Re: Michel Serres - the parasite

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baneling View Post
it does involve these, these people makeing a sacrifices are called hosts. the parasit (fe the baby) exploits the host (the motherbreast). Or is the mother the parasit exploiting her breast to tie the baby to her?

I think i did a bad job explaining the theory as i am just beginn understanding the book and english is not my first language, but you people are giving it far to less credit. I think it has potential.
I was talking about organ transplants where the "host" (okay, the one giving the organ) willingly does it, where the relationship between "host" and "parasite" becomes very blurred if not reversed.

Regardless, I feel like seeing the world this way is just fairly suboptimal, requiring a lot of contortions to make it fit, and in many cases it just isn't terribly appropriate, or at best just makes things sound more sinister than they could otherwise be seen.

I love a girl, girl loves me. I can see it as we're both parasites living off each other's affection (and bodies), or we both are giving and taking and appreciating the exchange as "traders". I feel like "trading" makes 10x more sense as a general approach, with many exceptions in the form of "parasite relationships". "Parasites", in my mind, are unthinking carnivores that provide no benefit to the host, and on the contrary extract resources with some considerable pain to the host. This seems a fairly simple and tight definition, and it just doesn't fit with a large portion of human relationships (although it does with some, of course).

Typical, depressing French rubbish imo. It is popular because there are a lot of typically depressing people who devour such rubbish like so much cheese and frog legs. That is my interpretation of these sparse bits of information. I have no desire to look into it more to confirm them.
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Old 03-02-2011, 03:36 AM   #14
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Re: Michel Serres - the parasite

the fascinating idea behind it is for me thinking about the consequences if reality doesnt work with interaction (which is common sense) but is just going "in one way".

It are not so much the ethical ideas.
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Old 03-02-2011, 06:56 AM   #15
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Re: Michel Serres - the parasite

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Originally Posted by durkadurka33 View Post
And people ask me why I don't like most continental philosophy! You get crap like this with no analytical skills (or attention) given to working it out.
Hey some of us have to make a living over here.
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