Listening in Paris


Whoever did this great service to humanity deserves a medal – great book on music and culture: Listening in Paris. One of the few books I have read cover to cover. Enjoy!

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David Kishik’s Question


From here.

“I have a question for you:

What is the proportion between the time you spend, on the one hand, reading and thinking and writing in your field, and the time you spend, on the other hand, selling yourself by writing proposals and applications, shmoozing with colleagues and professors, and so forth?

And I have another question:

Did you know that the most cold-blooded corporations spend on advertisement anywhere between about %1 of their revenues (in the retail business) and about %7 (for companies selling packaged goods)?

This is just an educated guess, but I have a feeling that, on average, successful academics spend a much bigger chunk of their intellectual resources on self-promotion than what good capitalists spend on marketing their wares.”

The Secret of Object-Oriented Living


For years you have been waiting for a post that can translate the power of object-oriented ontology into immediate, practical, and concrete results. You are now reading this post. Here you will learn a simple yet startlingly effective process which will change your life forever. The best part is that anyone can do it …without special training. Give it a try – you will be surprised at how quickly this process will work for you.*

There are only a few basic principles that you need to learn and practice, so sit back and absorb the wisdom of object-oriented living that thousands already discovered.

1) Reinvent the wheel, rediscover the old.

Objects are all around us and yet we do not see them. Well, we do see them and so does everyone else but they do not know it. Well, they do know it and so do we but we need to rediscover them as new. Well, there is not much to discover in them as they are what they are, but we have to start somewhere, so let us start with mundane objects that are all around us. Look at your toaster, all shiny and full of bread crumbs – there in front of you lies a potent source of future happiness and equanimity. While others search for meaning in relationships and intellectual challenges, you already discovered the source of all that is truly important in life – toasters… I mean objects! There is so much to discover in the old familiar circumstances of life – just look around yourself, stare at the world in disbelief, probe it with your curious mind (avoid probing other people, could be really weird, stick with objects).

Homework: Spend a couple of days slowly moving around your place of habitation and discover some new unfamiliar objects (avoid hammers and door nobs – Heidegger already discovered all there is to discover about those).

2) Be conceptually promiscuous.

Today it is called objects, tomorrow – machines, on Wednesdays it is usually units, then it is relations, and back to objects on the weekends. Why stick to one conceptually consistent system of notions when you can have it all? Read an interesting but philosophically ambiguous essay from The New Scientist while on the toilet? Incorporate its folk-scientific pseudo-notions into your daily philosophical existence! Play with your vocabulary. After all, it is not attached to any actually existing entities. See what combinations work best for your shallow meaningless existence – it’s all there is. As long as your conceptual adventures do not give you the intellectual equivalent of syphilis, you are ok.

Homework: Take the work of someone who is so against everything you stand for (which is really nothing, so this could be tricky) and incorporate his/her conceptual apparatus into your philosophical thinking. It’s hard at first – your intellectual integrity will stand in the way. But it’s only a matter of time. Do it every day for 10-15 minutes and you’ll get there in no time.

3) Don’t hate the message, hate the messenger.

Object-oriented living is thoroughly and knee-crushingly positive and open-minded. Object-oriented thinkers are some of the most welcoming, warm and friendly people you will ever meet in your life. Why? Because they fought for their philosophical lifestyle and won. Who did they fight? A veritable army of mean-spirited trolls and professional failures. How did they win? They ignored the message and went for the jugular of the messenger. There is peace only after a prolonged and ruthless blood bath. As soon as someone raises a voice against object-oriented living, crush them with everything you have. Kill them.

Homework: Browse the blogs for object-oriented discussions, look up everyone who is talking against object-oriented living, make a kill-list, share it with everyone you know, hire a detective and find out who they are, where they live, what they do and start drafting a plan of their intellectual assassination.
If you implement these three basic rules of object-oriented living, your life will change forever. For more specific advice, hire your object-oriented living adviser by following this post to this object-oriented living hub. For only $29.99 a month you can change your life forever.
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* This opening sequence is blatantly plagiarized from a self-help book – don’t sue me.


AGENT SWARM

update: some people whose opinion I respect criticised the initial version of this post as unfair and homogenising. I have changed the title and slightly modified the first paragraph. May the conversation prove fruitful!

I do not like the term “para-academics” as it suggests a mere neighbouring but parallel postion in relation to academia, as if the ghetto were isomorphic with the official hierarchy and seeking merger. I find myself in agreement with R.Scott Bakker’s Wake-up Call, but I have this minor terminological quibble with his call to the “para-academic shadow” to manifest itself against the hegemony of the cronies. The problem is that lurking in that shadow are those who are isomorphic to and commensurable to the institutions stratifications and who seek to profit from the confusion at the expense of those who are individuating on a radically different model.

Commensurable cronies are both like-minded and in-group-identified. That…

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