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Seems about right

Roquentin February 5, 2017 at 12:15 am | #

I’ve arrived at the conclusion that by and large Trump supporter don’t really give a shit about what he does. The whole thing runs on spite. The thought process of the average Trump supporter goes “Making the liberals squirm = good.” That’s as far as most of them think it through. This is why the big figures on the alt-right are self-professed trolls like Milo Yiannapoulos. That’s the main animus behind 4chan’s /pol/ board. Anything to get a rise out of the SJWs. Peel away the malice and these people have very few ideas, and the ideas they do have are stupid. But this is also their strength. Trump could literally deliver on none of his promises so long as they knows it hurts the people they can’t stand. The GOP could desert him, most of them never liked Trump to start with, which will be all the more reason to blame Trump’s problems on the political establishment rather than the man himself.

Trying to make this about Roe v. Wade, Obamacare, or The Wall is still playing yesterday’s game. It almost gives the face of modern conservatism too much credit. The troll is the present face of conservatism. Short on ideas of any kind and long on petty, malicious antagonism. These people don’t want anything done. They feel like losers and the thought that anyone else is winning drives them insane. They want to piss in the punchbowl and ruin the party so everyone else goes home as miserable as them. That is what we are dealing with.

“Roquentin” (nice Sartrean allusion) seems about right to me. His comments come from a conversation found here.

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Going to have to read Zweig

In his memoir, Zweig did not excuse himself or his intellectual peers for failing early on to reckon with Hitler’s significance. “The few among writers who had taken the trouble to read Hitler’s book, ridiculed the bombast of his stilted prose instead of occupying themselves with his program,” he wrote. They took him neither seriously nor literally. Even into the nineteen-thirties, “the big democratic newspapers, instead of warning their readers, reassured them day by day, that the movement . . . would inevitably collapse in no time.” Prideful of their own higher learning and cultivation, the intellectual classes could not absorb the idea that, thanks to “invisible wire-pullers”—the self-interested groups and individuals who believed they could manipulate the charismatic maverick for their own gain—this uneducated “beer-hall agitator” had already amassed vast support. After all, Germany was a state where the law rested on a firm foundation, where a majority in parliament was opposed to Hitler, and where every citizen believed that “his liberty and equal rights were secured by the solemnly affirmed constitution.”

Read more at the New Yorker.

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What is Philosophy and Where Should It Happen?

Worth considering: Philosopher Scott Soames argues that [1] philosophy’s recent history has been much more impressive than its critics would have you believe, and [2] philosophy is best done in a university setting, rather than in the public square.

Soames is generally irenic (so long as the grumbling parties are fairly connected to the Anglo-analytic methods he favors). He does not take too seriously the fad of logical positivism in the 20th century, and he does not limit legitimate philosophical interest to any one are of exploration (e.g., he does not dismiss moral philosophy as a going concern). On the contrary, he argues that real advances have been made across the board, and that this is mainly thanks to philosophy’s having been disciplined by the modern research academy. This is no argument, however, for philosophy’s being arcane or divorced from concerns of non-professional philosophers. There is much to consider in this essay.

The impetus for this piece was another that appeared in the NYT “The Stone” philosophy column by Bob Frodeman and Adam Briggle, which argued that philosophy lost its way when it morphed into just another academic discipline (one with science-envy). I confess, I’ve seen it in much the same way as Frodeman and Briggle, and having just re-read their piece I generally still do.

It makes me wonder: Is there just *one* thing that philosophy is? Or  is term “philosophy” like term “religion” — a blanket term that (legitimately?) covers widely divergent practices? Is the philosophy for the public square (or philosophy-as-a-way-of-life) “the same thing” as the philosophy done in academic settings and disciplinary practices? If not, is there at least a possibility for a mutually enriching intersection or overlap? Philosophers themselves have been notoriously argumentative about what counts as philosophy at all (for instance, the Derrida affair). Often they divide up their “orthodox” and their “heterodox” and their outright “heathen dogs.” Maybe that’s just part of the game.

But I know I do more than one thing as a philosopher…or maybe I am more than one thing as a philosopher. What and how I teach (and to what end) is not the same (exactly) as what I do when I write a journal article or a book review on a technical issue in, say, ontology. And I don’t think, as a philosopher (not as a philosopher professor), that I am ever “off the clock.” Perhaps I am large and contain multitudes. But why not be large and why not try to contain multitudes? Frodeman/Briggle and Soames. Why not?

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A Tenured Professor On Why Hiring Adjuncts Is Wrong

Well, I know what she’s trying to say…but my cat needs food! Can we continue to do the wrong thing until we figure out how we’ll do the right thing (which we should do, of course)?

A Tenured Professor On Why Hiring Adjuncts Is Wrong.

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What can’t you say? Stephen Fry, Slavoj Žižek, Elif Shafak and more say the unsayable

quietplease

Over there at the New Statesman, a gaggle of interesting people were asked what you can’t say, what we’re not allowed to say…and then to say it. Well worth a scan, but I think I prefer Nick Cave’s answer the best:

The lovely thing about the unsayable is that it is unsaid. As soon as it is said, it is sayable and loses all its mystery and ambiguity. Art exists so that the unsayable can be said without having to actually say it. We cloud it in secrecy and obfuscation. The mind is free to roam and all things can be imagined, under the cover of darkness. How nice that is. The unsayable. How tired we are of having things explained to us. Having things said. How nice it is, when people just shut the fuck up.

What can’t you say? Stephen Fry, Slavoj Žižek, Elif Shafak and more say the unsayable.

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Prof, no one is reading you – Opinion More Opinion Stories ST Editorial – The Straits Times

Prof, no one is reading you – Opinion More Opinion Stories ST Editorial – The Straits Times.

And you probably didn’t read this either.

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Adjunct pay: A quarter of part-time college faculty receive public assistance.

Consider: Adjunct pay: A quarter of part-time college faculty receive public assistance..

 

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