Everything we do on 'Luck' is absolutely no different than if we'd had been doing it in a feature film. There's no short cuts. The specificity of what every single line might mean. Everything Dustin Hoffman does. Kevin Dunn is as authentic in the last scene of the last episode as he is in the first scene of the first episode.
If there is a lack of specificity in Grossman's description of the town and the walkers, and if the story perhaps sometimes becomes lost and confusing, then it is because the landscape and its inhabitants are really shadows, creatures of an interior world, whose journey and whose quest are within. Falling Out of Time is short, and clearly a deeply personal book, but its importance and impact ought not to be underestimated.
Sex almost always disappoints me in novels. Everything can be said or done now, and that's what I often find: everything, a feeling of generality or dispersal. But in my experience, true sex is so particular, so peculiar to the person who yearns for it. Only he or she, and no one else, would desire so very much that very person under those circumstances. In fiction, I miss that sense of terrific specificity.
I think fiction isn't so good at being for or against things in general - the rhetorical argument a short story can make is only actualized by the accretion of particular details, and the specificity of these details renders whatever conclusions the story reaches invalid for wider application.
Record labels, which used to have complete control, are essentially irrelevant. The process of a band exposing itself to the world is extremely democratic and there are no barriers. Music is no longer a commodity, it's an environment, or atmospheric element. Consumers have much more choice and you see people indulging in the specificity of their tastes dramatically more. They only bother with music they like.
The being level speaks the language of art, music, color shape and pattern directly -- a language that requires no words -- is not limited by words -- nor does it have the specificity of words and thus cannot be broken onto parts that can be manipulated or analyzed by the intellect. It must be swallowed, whole not parsed, sorted and justified.
First, it is a commitment to particularism, to giving priority to the specificity of particulars, not to abstractions and generalities that divert our attention away from concrete realities. Idealizations tend to be partial and distorting, obscuring the heterogeneity and complexity of actual experiences and concrete practices, which is why they do not provide an adequate standpoint for the diagnosis of social problems and injustices.
There is no agreement on the extent to which metabolism could develop independently of a genetic material. In my opinion, there is no basis in known chemistry for the belief that long sequences of reactions can organize spontaneously -- and every reason to believe that they cannot. The problem of achieving sufficient specificity, whether in aqueous solution or on the surface of a mineral, is so severe that the chance of closing a cycle of reactions as complex as the reverse citric acid cycle, for example, is negligible.
We live in capitalism, and capitalism is defined by the production line, and the production line is defined by specificity. If you see yourself as an artist, which I do, then you can't be limited by that. You can't let somebody tell you, 'Well, you can only draw this kind of picture or write that kind of book.'
I truly believe that to stay home, to learn the names of things, to realize who we live among . . . then I believe a politics of place emerges where we are deeply accountable to our communities, to our neighborhoods, to our home . . . If we are not rooted deeply in place, making that commitment to dig in and stay put . . . then I think we are living a life without specificity, and then our lives become abstractions. Then we enter a place of true desolation.
Terry Tempest Williams
In truth, "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" isn't about Sept. 11. It's about the impulse to drain that day of its specificity and turn it into yet another wellspring of generic emotions: sadness, loneliness, happiness. This is how kitsch works. It exploits familiar images, be they puppies or babies - or, as in the case of this movie, the twin towers - and tries to make us feel good, even virtuous, simply about feeling. And, yes, you may cry, but when tears are milked as they are here, the truer response should be rage.
Becaise I love God, I want to handle his truth with accuracy, clarity, and specificity. I want to build bridges of understanding from the wisdom of the Word to the details of people's lives. And because I love people, I will not be satisfied with lobbing grenades of general truth at them. Rather, through good questions, committed listening, and careful interpretation, I will enter their world with the understanding necessary to bring Christ's help to where it is really needed.
Paul David Tripp
Where some may see flat, static narratives, I see a spectrum of tonal gradations and realities. What I am creating is literally black portraiture with ballpoint pen ink. I'm looking for that in-between state in an individual where the overarching definition is lost. Skin as geography is the terrain I expand by emphasizing the specificity of blackness, where an individual's subjectivity, various realities and experiences can be drawn onto the diverse topography of the epidermis. From there, the possibilities of portraying a fully-fledged person are endless.
In some ways, I value specificity. I think that there's power in, once you know who your fan base is, being able to speak to them. I hope to cultivate a fan base of black girls and black people and people of color, women of color, queer people, people who are are marginalized in general.
In its most primitive form, life is, therefore, no longer bound to the cell, the cell which possesses structure and which can be compared to a complex wheel-work, such as a watch which ceases to exist if it is stamped down in a mortar. No, in its primitive form life is like fire, like a flame borne by the living substance;-like a flame which appears in endless diversity and yet has specificity within it;-which can adopt the form of the organic world, of the lank grass-leaf and of the stem of the tree.
Desire I think has less to do with possession than with participation, the will to involve oneself in the body of the world, in the principle of things expressing itself in splendid specificity, a handful of images: a lover's irreplaceable body, the roil and shimmer of the sea overshot with sunlight, a handful of cherries, the texture and weight of a word. The word that seems most apt is partake... We can say we partake of something but we may just as accurately say we take part in something' we are implicated in another being, which is always the beginning of wisdom, isn't it- that involvement which enlarges us, which engages the heart, which takes out of the routine limitations of self?
Few scientists acquainted with the chemistry of biological systems at the molecular level can avoid being inspired. Evolution has produced chemical compounds exquisitely organized to accomplish the most complicated and delicate of tasks. Many organic chemists viewing crystal structures of enzyme systems or nucleic acids and knowing the marvels of specificity of the immune systems must dream of designing and synthesizing simpler organic compounds that imitate working features of these naturally occurring compounds.
I'm struck by the difficulty I had in formulating it. When I think back now, I ask myself what else it was that I was talking about in Madness and Civilization or The Birth of the Clinic, but power? Yet I'm perfectly aware that I scarcely ever used the word and never had such a field of analyses at my disposal. I can say that this was an incapacity linked undoubtedly with the political situation in which we found ourselves. It is hard to see where, either on the Right or the Left, this problem of power could then have been posed. On the Right, it was posed only in terms of constitution, sovereignty, and so on, that is, in juridical terms; on the Marxist side, it was posed only in terms of the state apparatus. The way power was exercised - concretely, and in detail - with its specificity, its techniques and tactics, was something no one attempted to ascertain; they contented themselves with denouncing it in a polemical and global fashion as it existed among the "other, " in the adversary camp. Where Soviet socialist power was in question, its opponents called it totalitarianism; power in Western capitalism was denounced by the Marxists as class domination; but the mechanics of power in themselves were never analyzed.
I love the way folktale and fantasy tap into the roots of story telling. The paradox, for me, is that by moving a story into the fantastic we can actually bring it closer to the reader, not move it further away. It is more than an escape. When we read of the only daughter of a fisherman (or the third son of a woodcutter) in a fairy tale, we are all that character. That's the underlying pulse beat of such tales. Using the fantastic as a prism for the past, if done properly, removes the tale from distancing specificity. It can't just be read as unique to a time and place; it is universalized in interesting, powerful ways. When I wrote Tigana, about the way tyranny tries to erase identity in conquered peoples, the fantasy setting seems to have done exactly that: I'm asked in places ranging from Korea to Poland to Croatia to Quebec, "Were you writing about us?" I was. All of them. That is the point. The fantastic is a tool in the writer's arsenal, as potentially powerful as any there is, and any tool we have works to the benefit of the reader.
Guy Gavriel Kay
Four healthy ways to spur people to keep the agreements they make: 1. Specificity Boosts Clarity and Accountability The more concrete the agreement, the more clear the obligation and the more difficult it is for someone to misunderstand. "Please get right on that" does not create as much clarity nor accountability as, "Please finalize your choice of vendors by 5 p.m. tomorrow." 2. Peer Accountability Pins Us Together Although this did not work on the non-profit committee, when peers meet face-to-face or via group video and make specific agreements with each other and they all have a stake in the outcome there's a higher probability of securing accountability. 3. Written Proof So We Don't Goof To reinforce the power of mutual accountability, have a designated meeting recorder (or take turns with the role) so one participant is responsible for recording action items, deadlines and who's responsible for each item. The recorder sends that list to all participants' computers before they leave the meeting. 4. Upfront Rules of Engagement Are Our Guardrails A company, team, or committee is more likely to spur mutual accountability when it adopts a few, specific agreements about how people will operate together, from punctuality to pithiness in writing or conversing.
Failure to recognize the historical specificity of the bourgeois conception of rights and duties leads to serious errors. It is for this reason that Marx registers... a vigorous indictment of the anarchist Proudhon... Proudhon in effect took the specifics of bourgeois legal and economic relations and treated them as universal and foundational for the development of an alternative, socially just economic system. From Marx's standpoint, this is no alternative at all since it merely re-inscribes bourgeois conceptions of value in a supposedly new form of society. This problem is still with us, not only because of the contemporary anarchist revival of interest in Proudhon's ideas but also because of the rise of a more broad-based liberal human rights politics as a supposed antidote to the social and political ills of contemporary capitalism. Marx's critique of Proudhon is directly applicable to this contemporary politics. The UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 is a foundational document for a bourgeois, market-based individualism and as such cannot provide a basis for a thoroughgoing critique of liberal or neoliberal capitalism. Whether it is politically useful to insist that the capitalist political order live up to its own foundational principles is one thing, but to imagine that this politics can lead to a radical displacement of a capitalist mode of production is, in Marx's view, a serious error.
Rarely do wonder tales end unhappily. They triumph over death. The tale begins with "Once upon a time" or "Once there was" and never really ends when it ends. The ending is actually the beginning. The once upon a time is not a past designation but futuristic: the timelessness of the tale and its lack of geographical specificity endow it with utopian connotations - "utopia" in its original meaning designated "no place, " a place that no one had ever envisaged. We form and keep the utopian kernel of the tale safe in our imaginations with hope. The significance of the paradigmatic functions of the wonder tale is that they facilitate recall for teller and listeners. They enable us to store, remember, and reproduce the utopian spirit of the tale and to change it to fit our experiences and desires, owing to the easily identifiable characters who are associated with particular assignments and settings... The characters, settings, and motifs are combined and varied according to specific functions to induce wonder, It is this sense of wonder that distinguished the wonder tales from such other oral tales as the legend, the fable, the anecdote, and the myth; it is clearly the sense of wonder that distinguishes the literary fairy tale from the moral story, novella, sentimental tale, and other modern short literary genres. Wonder causes astonishment, and as manifested in a marvelous object or phenomenon, it is often regarded as a supernatural occurrence and can be an omen or a portent, It gives rise to admiration, fear, awe, and reverence. The Oxford Universal Dictionary states that wonder is "the emotion excited by the perception of something novel and unexpected, or inexplicable; astonishment mingled with perplexity or bewildered curiosity." In the oral wonder tale, we are to wonder about the workings of the universe, where anything can happen at any time, and these happy or fortuitous events are never to be explained. Nor do the characters demand an explanation - they are opportunistic, are encouraged to be so, and if they do not take advantage of the opportunity that will benefit them in their relations with others, they are either dumb or mean-spirited. The tales seek to awaken our regard for the miraculous condition of life and to evoke in a religious sense profound feelings of awe and respect for life as a miraculous process, which can be altered and changed to compensate for the lack of power, wealth, and pleasure that is most people's lot. Lack, deprivation, prohibition, and interdiction motivate people to look for signs of fulfillment and emancipation. In the wonder tales, those who are naive and simple are able to succeed because they are untainted and can recognize the wondrous signs. They have retained their belief in the miraculous condition of nature, revere nature in all its aspects. They have hot been spoiled by conventionalism, power, or rationalism. In contrast to the humble characters, the villains are those who use words intentionally to exploit, control, transfix, incarcerate, and destroy for their benefit. They have no respect or consideration for nature and other human beings, and they actually seek to abuse magic by preventing change and causing everything to be transfixed according to their interests. Enchantment equals petrification. Breaking the spell equals emancipation. The wondrous protagonist wants to keep the process of natural change flowing and indicates possibilities for overcoming the obstacles that prevent other characters or creatures from living in a peaceful and pleasurable way.