If you want “generosity” and “charity” maybe get some friends and no online “friends” are not really your friends I mean like real friends in real life…


oldmanaloneGreat blogospheric minds collide in a passionate Greek wrestling grapple over what constitutes “generosity” and “charity” in online interactions. Not surprisingly, both have a long history of “generous” and “charitable” interactions online – so their word must be golden.

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

In the end, maybe we should not invest the internets with so much affective capital? Maybe get a couple of friends, get a couple of beers and than just, you know, hang out with them?

Does Saying So Make It So? Copyrighting Blog Posts


Read an interview with someone somewhere – here is the kicker at the end:

© Eileen A. Joy and Figure/Ground Communication. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Awesome, right. The only problem is that, it appears, that the author simply threw this at the bottom of the text as if the magic formula works in and of itself. Well, I don’t think it does. I believe you have to register your blog post with the Copyright Office and pay a fee. Copyright Act was written and passed before blogs, so it is an interesting and tricky question. You certainly cannot just claim you have the copyright to stuff, can you?

I am quite certain that the brain behind Figure/Ground – Laureano Ralon – who at one point hilariously listed all the schools he has been accepted to and uploaded the acceptance letters to his then individual blog, did not in fact do any copyrighting. And this is just for show – look, we are a real publication with copyright claims!

(Actually a couple of letters are still linked to in his biowho does that?)

The easiest way to test my theory that Figure/Ground did not in fact register their blog (or individual blog posts) with Copyright Office and are therefore claiming copyright where none exists (blogs are not considered “published materials”), thus violating the law they claim is on their side, would be to republish their interview (or interviews) and wait for a “cease and desist” letter. But I am too lazy to do so.

© The Mind of Mikhail Emelianov. Unauthorized use without express and written permission is strictly prohibited. 

PS. The Figure/Ground blog has a Creative Commons logo:

You are free: to copy, distribute, display, and perform the work.

Awesome!

Philosophy, Rotten Meta-Theory, Bullshit


Skholiast (Speculum Criticum Traditionis) has an interesting post about bullshit and philosophy, prompted in part by Rogers Albritton’s remarks about rotten meta-theory (discussed here):

The bullshitter, as the one who is, not a liar, but indifferent to whether their utterances are true or false, is in some way the inverse of the poet (who “Nothing affirmeth and therefore never lieth”), because this indifference is not a sublimation in the service of something higher (and to which one must metaphorically extend the category truth), but a willful repression for the sake of something lower (reputation, career, getting the sex object into bed).

One of the greatest struggles I have, philosophically speaking, is wedding the seriousness of philosophy with the humility incumbent upon finitude. This constantly risks a kind of bullshit, as Albritton sees; one devotes a love to work one cannot ultimately believe in. (It is here that I’d locate the close kinship between philosophy and scientific method, which must also remain corrigible.

Or as Faulker so aptly put it, “”The measure of a writer isn’t success,  but how hard he tried to do what he knew he couldn’t do.”

Philistinism?


I read this rather depressing story in The New York Times about a Steve Martin discussion at the 92nd Street Y the other day. Martin was being interviewed about his latest novel set in the art world and…gasp… about art collecting in general. Sol Adler, the Y’s executive director, was just horrified. How gauche!  From the NY Times:

“Last night’s event with Steve Martin did not meet the standard of excellence that you have come to expect from 92nd St. Y,” Sol wrote in an e-mail to ticket holders. “We planned for a more comprehensive discussion and we, too, were disappointed with the evening. We will be mailing you a $50 certificate for each ticket you purchased to last night’s event. The gift certificate can be used toward future 92Y events, pending availability.” About 900 tickets to the event, which cost $50each, had been sold; all ticket buyers received the offer. Perhaps the audience saw that message coming. Midway through the conversation, a Y representative handed Ms. Solomon a note asking her to talk more about Mr. Martin’s career and, implicitly, less about the art world, the subject of his latest novel, “An Object of Beauty.” According to Mr. Martin, viewers watching the interview by closed-circuit television from across the country sent e-mails to the Y complaining “that the evening was not going the way they wished, meaning we were discussing art.”

It was, he said, “a little like an actor responding in Act III to an audience’s texts to ‘shorten the soliloquies.’ ” The audience cheered when Ms. Solomon read aloud the note. Still, Ms. Solomon said she had thought until that moment that things were going swimmingly. She said she was “appalled” to have their conversation publicly criticized by the Y and found deserving of a refund. Continue reading

Is Slavoj Zizek more than the pair of carats in his surname?


I’m going to go with probably not.  In a post entitled “Slavoj Zizek wants to See a Bloodbath,” Justin E.H. Smith suggests:

Žižek’s shtick works for a number of reasons among readers who are not ordinarily receptive to calls to the barricades. One is that he is a clown, that he cuts his Leninism with enough sweet stuff about Jennifer Lopez and whatever other trash passes across his hotel TV screens that readers can easily assume to be a put-on every bit that they are not inclined to accept. Another reason, obviously, is the way he plays on his foreignness. He’s been through it, Western readers will tell themselves, and has surely earned the right to hold forth on these matters. But anyone who would joke that the only position he would accept in the Slovenian government is that of chief of secret police evidently has not been through it quite enough. Slovenia was the freest republic of the freest federal state in the socialist bloc: the Switzerland of Yugoslavia, as Slobodan Milošević once scoffed. This does not mean it was always easy to be a Lacanian intellectual in Ljubljana during the Tito era, but the sort of inconvenience Žižek faced is categorically different than, say, the Stalinist show trials in the Soviet Union of the 1930s (made possible, of course, by the secret police).

Žižek, I mean, is not speaking from any particular position of experience when he suggests that there is something to be salvaged from the legacy of the Bolshevik revolution. When he suggests that what is to be salvaged is the very most brutal part of that legacy, moreover, he is just being flippant, and Western readers should not let him get away with it simply on the grounds that he has funny accent marks in his last name.

File Under…


…Things I don’t care about.

Just got this, which didn’t make it through the comment filter (note that he’s making a MAJOR appearance, not just a mere appearance AND the stupid invocation to “hide your tulips.” Ack):

Greetings from Verso Books NYC! Please help us promote this great event by posting it to your blog or adding it to your organization’s calendar of events.

Thanks for your time and support!

Best,
Verso Books
Brooklyn, NY

HIDE YOUR TULIPS, ŽIŽEK IS COMING!
Slavoj Žižek reveals the signs of the coming apocalypse… Continue reading