Archive for the 'philosophy' Category

Enlightenment, Porn, and Worse: Studying Human Cruelty

2009-02-12

Re–blog from the OUPblog.

I totally agree: we are in great need to understand human cruelty. The media landscape and the availability of, in lack of a better word, negative news has changed our perception of violence, war, etc. I often speak about our — that being the global — culture as pornographic. It all reminds me of Susan Sontag’s Regarding the Pain of Others.

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The Many Faces of Pablo Picasso

2009-02-09

Re–blog from the Guardian.

A very well written article by Peter Conrad on Picasso. It’s quite long but well worth the read. Whenever I read about Picasso I come to think about the French philosopher Michel Serres’ book the Parasite. The parastitic as metaphysics, as a necessity of human existence.

The Frightening Beauty of Bunkers

2009-02-09

Re–blog from the Morning News.

The English translation of well known French critic and urbanist Paul Virilio’s Bunker Archeology, originally published in French 1975, was published earlier this year by Princeton Architectural Press. Here you find an excerpt from the preface, introduced by Rosecrans Baldwin and published together with some of Virilio’s photos.

Glitches Adding Authenticity

2009-02-09

Re–blog from c.oncio.us/ly.

Glitch art is a big interest of mine. I’ve done a lot of glitch art myself — both visual and audio — that I will be present to you as soon as I get the money to fund the Web gallery project.

This was posted on Iman Moradi’s blog, one of the authorities on visual glitch art. What grabbed me wasn’t the post but the title: That glitches add authenticity. I’ve never thought about it but of course it can! Mind though that it’s a dangers business, as the case with the fake photo of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il shows.

Student Fights Record of ‘Cyberbullying’

2009-02-08

Re–blog from NY Times.

I’m not going to defend the student Katherine Evans for bullying her English teacher Sarah Phelps on Facebook. But I feel a strong urge to comment on the utterance made by Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, towards the end of the article:

If Katie Evans said what she said over burgers with her friends at the mall, there is no question it would be protected by free speech.

What Simon most understand is that speech and text by no means is the same type of entity. Sound, that being speech, is a temporal entity. The sound object produced is immaterial and dissolves quickly, it never reaches beyond the very near environment. Of course it can be reproduced by someone else at a different time, but that’s another matter.

Text, that being for instance a post to Facebook, on the other hand is a material entity. It has a very long, or none at all, decay time — if we do our job correctly; see my precious blog entry — and can spread across and continue to be apart of the world for a very long time with the help of today’s information technology.

So to utter and to writing something isn’t exactly the same thing.

One last thought. Not that it is the case here but of course one can transform the chronological into something spatial by recording it. In other words, by using recording technology one can materialize the immaterial.

Philosophy in the Mountains: Arne Naess

2009-02-07

Earlier this year the norwegian philosopher Arne Naess passed away. Today the Philosophers Zone, a podcast by the ABC, dedicated their show to his memory.

Being a member of the Vienna Circle in the 1930’s he founded the Oslo School, a forerunner of the today so popular experimental philosophy. He understood the philosophy of language as a kind of social science where the thoughts, views and use of language among ordinary people had an important role to play. As a student of philosphy in Sweden, where several generations has read his paper on empirical semantics as course literature, this is the Naess I first came into contact with.

Later on in the 1960’s Naess, spending a great amount of time in the mountains, came to develop the philosophy known as deep ecology. Influenced by Spinoza his philosophy was founded on a view of nature and the environment as something of supreme importance for the human existence. Deep ecology has had a great impact on enivronmental movements throughout the world and has a strong following among philosophers in Australia.

Rest in peace Arne Naess.