Other stuff

This post is sort of about cooking.

One of the things I found in boxes when I moved (see previous post), there were old notes from the academic dimension. All between 20 and 30 years old.

Notes from reading books. Some of the books I still own, I think, some I just have notes. While the notes might seem interesting, a quick glance did not show much anything except what was in the books. They were surprisingly impersonal. I did not read all, I would have died of boredom, to express myself youthfully! Typical exaggeration of course, as there are probably more old people that would die a premature death out of boredom.

Some other notes were from lectures. Now these are records of unique moments where a lecturer and me, the spectator, met. The lecturer might have droned them many times before, but for me it was unique. I guess hearing the same lecture live more than once is quite meaningless. I tried reading them. Some I actually remembered the lecture from, typically not course lecture but some one-off thing. Some notes I for the life of me can not remember the context of. My notes were mostly as a whole rather incomprehensible. Not that individual sentences or even sections did not make sense. Just that they were very contextual, not made to last, but as a reminder, or a source for some further scribblings later on. Lecture notes could be interesting long after their creation if the spectator was somehow an object of research, even more so if the teacher also was an intellectually important person. Consequently, I threw almost all the notes away.

Many of the notes concerned anthropology. In the late 1980s, "The Other" was a concept under heavy discussion, not the least in anthropology. It was later it became a culture pop culture term (I dare say) in general media. By default, the anthropological discussion mostly concerned with the "other" as in "culturally different", in being confronted with and hopefully reaching some understanding through participant observation ("anthropological fieldwork"). That said, of course the "other" as a discourse about culture can't really be separated from its philosophical and psychological roots. Nowadays it mostly feels to me like a slightly worn out word coming out of pretentious sofa personalities. But your mileage might vary.

It seems the concept has its origin in Hegel, which I did not know until I read it (five minutes ago).

Anyways, this isn't really a discussion of the concept, more of giving an image of the context in which I had scribbled down the following:

Brother, can you spare me a dime?
Other, can you spare me a rhyme?

The first line is an old song from the depression, which is appropriate for our times. For many times with injustices. But I think when I wrote down that quite bad rhyme, I had in mind a more begging song. That brings us to the second line, which I guess was my pun on the anthropologist desperate to get some ethnography so as not to have too few "facts" (another loaded concept). All in all, my use of rhyme to produce the whole rhyme is a bit meh. Now it is too late, you have already read it. The search engine bots have read it, too. My maybe slightly cynical bad-rhyme scribble from the 1980s will live in obscurity, but it will live. If digital stuff lives.

There, I just made soup from a nail. I do not charge anything for it.