The recognition that management theory is a sadly neglected subdiscipline of philosophy began with an experience of déjà vu. As I plowed through my shelfload of bad management books, I beheld a discipline that consists mainly of unverifiable propositions and cryptic anecdotes, is rarely if ever held accountable, and produces an inordinate number of catastrophically bad writers. It was all too familiar. There are, however, at least two crucial differences between philosophers and their wayward cousins. The first and most important is that philosophers are much better at knowing what they don’t know. The second is money. In a sense, management theory is what happens to philosophers when you pay them too much.
It’s making me question my preconceptions of what pigeon-ness is.
“There is no such thing as perpetual tranquility of mind while we live here,” he told us in Leviathan, “because life itself is but a motion and can never be without desire, or without fear, no more than without sense; there can be no contentment but in proceeding.”
How can technology want anything? Kelly’s provocation is not as kooky as it seems. He does not claim that human-made artifacts—spoons, fax machines, iPads—have wants in the same way that human beings have wants. He argues, less crudely, that once we add all of these artifacts together, they acquire collective properties that may not be present in the artifacts themselves. Just like most of us tacitly accept the fact that markets may “want” things that are not wanted by any of the market participants, we should also entertain the possibility that Technology with a capital “T” may have wants that are not present in individual technologies. Kelly believes that “Technology” gives rise to a “network of self-reinforcing processes,” and is shot through with feedback loops, and exhibits a considerable degree of autonomy that is not present on the micro-level of individual technologies. To describe the macro level, the mechanized and electronic sphere of being composed of the entirety of technology, Kelly coins a new word: “the technium.” The technium is “the accumulation of stuff, of lore, of practices, of traditions, and of choices that allow an individual human to generate and participate in a greater number of ideas.”
From a much longer, and unfortunately gated, article on the transformational qualities of technology, and our role within it.
Don’t miss the rebuttal.
Thus, ordinary people find it much more natural to say that “The Acme Corporation is upset about the court’s recent ruling” than to say that “The Acme Corporation is feeling upset.”
Thus, people find “The Acme Corporation intends to release a new product this January” and “The Acme Corporation wants to change its corporate image” natural, but “The Acme Corporation is now experiencing great joy” weird.
Thoughts on the philosophy of subjective experience.
(via the browser)
“You’ve been described as a more hard-line atheist than Richard Dawkins. Do you think that is a fair comment?”
As a scientist, how do you think philosophy can help society? Do you think it does have a place?
Moral philosophy is useful; political philosophy is useful. They help solve those conundrums relating to deportment of individuals in societies. In terms of science, I think it has nothing to contribute. I think science goes out and looks at what the world is like. Philosophers sit around, either reflecting on what the world should be like or telling scientists that they can’t believe their own observations!
More images & observations from Jaipur.
You’ll spend your life believing yourself to be deathly afraid of high places when, in fact, your real issue is with falling or even jumping and is therefore only tangentially attached to the notion of the high place that you’ve set in your mind as so cripplingly off-putting.
Eventually you’ll come to know that it’s not even the falling or the jumping that should frighten you but rather the nauseatingly abrupt landing that accelerates toward you at a rate of 9.8 meters per second squared. The tragedy is that you’ll soak in this wisdom for a second or two at most before it goes back to being a secret again.
And so that’s one of the ways that each of us guards a world’s greatest secret.
I call in sick Monday. I was coughin and pootin. I call in about 6:20 in the mornin, say You don’t wont me comin in coughin and pootin, do ya. They say no, you stay on home. But that one over there? She get sick, she come into work anyhow. Pootin all over the place! I tell her, Stay the hell on your own damn side! She can’t hear nothin, either.
I’m watching it right now. It’s brilliant. Watch it. You’re welcome.
They are the stuff of tragicomedy. The Unbearable Tragicomedic Lightness of Salad, or, When It’s Just Not Enough and It Ain’t What You Want.
And they set me to pondering a Unified Field Theory of Dinner and Dessert.
Preach not to others what they should eat, but eat as becomes you, and be silent.
We have been in El Paso all week, and Cindy has been sick the whole time. We meant to send out Christmas cards while there but didn’t plan for the task very well. Here’s this year’s Christmas letter:
Mary Christmas from Randy Taylor and the rest of us,
We went out last night for a Christmas tree and ended up having to shoot some people. That can put a damper on the holidays, but it’s not the end of everything if it happens in Texas. We went to buy it down by the tamale place. The boys had got into their presents early like they do and were in the backseat loading and unloading them. When the police came they were real nice and helped us get the tree into the back of the Tahoe. They felt bad that we had this happen to us in the middle of a family tradition. This fellow pushing a stolen shopping cart full of frozen turkeys he had also stole got a little too close to the car with his friends, and you know how you have to act fast with carjackers. Bobby got one of the frozen turkeys that hadn’t got anything on it, but I made him put it back. That’s not what we believe in. When we got home Paula cooked us some scrambled eggs and that venison sausage I’m having made for us now. It’s been a hard year. First the Pastor getting too handy with Paula, then the internet thing going all venereal about my complaint to the Jimmy Dean sausage factory that the sons of bitches recorded and let out all over the goddam world. Then Mama dead and cremated in January and Rusty finds a bone in the urn, sharpens it, and stabs Daddy with it. And then Bobby nor Donny either one making the football team because of grades. I almost didn’t let them go deer hunting this year, but I think it does no good to punish kids in unchristian ways. And Paula likes to catch up on praying when we’re gone anyway. I don’t know what the deal is with Vanna. She turned twelve and can dress herself now.
Anyway, I got the tree out and up and lighted and the target deer look real good out front of the house since I used spackle and brown shoe polish to cover the holes.
This is all I want to write about now. I hope everybody will think hard about how worse it could be and have a good Christmas. Okay then—bye. RT
world, stark naked; am I to go back, in a blink, in the same stark nakedness? It is not fair though: why should I have made such a trip for nothing!
You guys are so lucky I saved some of the comments on the video before he disabled them. My favs:
EwokTheMoid: “Hi. That top makes you look like you’re trying to use your sinful woman’s nature to distract me from my Christ-centered purity. Don’t get me wrong; that top is cute. But tell the truth. Are you trying to use your sinful woman’s nature to distract me from my Christ-centered purity?”
Exallium: “DO NOT WATCH THIS VIDEO — Yesterday, I saw this and felt INSPIRED. So, I did what he said, I went to a church, and found a girl, and approached her. I said “Hey, those boots… are you in a gang or something? Don’t get me wrong, they’re adoreable… but honestly, what gives?” The guy behind me punched me in the back of the head, and his 3 buddies all ganged up on me. Now I’m in a hospital, bandaged, bruised, and still an atheist. THATS THE LAST TIME I INTERRUPT A WEDDING FOR THIS SHIT”
Treycarnes: [excerpt] “I tried to talk to her about dove tails but she didnt know what they were.”
It’s funny how people with opposing views argue with each other as often as they do. More often (at least here on thoughts) do I see someone to say your wrong about this this and that, then I hear someone say, great post I totally agree with you. But here specifically in the religious sections this is so much more evident. It’s like we’re attracted to what sets us off. Or attracted to what we must correct (regardless if intentions are positive or negative).
Good ole’ Zizek, always shit stirring:
Progressive liberals are, of course, horrified by such populist racism. However, a closer look reveals how their multicultural tolerance and respect of differences share with those who oppose immigration the need to keep others at a proper distance. “The others are OK, I respect them,” the liberals say, “but they must not intrude too much on my own space. The moment they do, they harass me – I fully support affirmative action, but I am in no way ready to listen to loud rap music.” What is increasingly emerging as the central human right in late-capitalist societies is the right not to be harassed, which is the right to be kept at a safe distance from others. A terrorist whose deadly plans should be prevented belongs in Guantánamo, the empty zone exempted from the rule of law; a fundamentalist ideologist should be silenced because he spreads hatred. Such people are toxic subjects who disturb my peace.
On today’s market, we find a whole series of products deprived of their malignant property: coffee without caffeine, cream without fat, beer without alcohol. And the list goes on: what about virtual sex as sex without sex? The Colin Powell doctrine of warfare with no casualties (on our side, of course) as warfare without warfare? The contemporary redefinition of politics as the art of expert administration as politics without politics? This leads us to today’s tolerant liberal multiculturalism as an experience of the Other deprived of its Otherness – the decaffeinated Other.
Slavoj Zizek, if you are not familiar, is a rather atypical thinker.
The basic issue, then, seems to be a conflict between values: prevention of suffering and preservation of animal species.
This is a thought that has plagued my mind for the last year or so. We are powerless to stop suffering in the animal world (beyond our own infliction) without loss of species. Even then, suffering by predation would seem to be necessary to stop population explosions.
The capacity to tolerate seemingly contradictory ideas is said to be the hallmark of a peculiar form of sanity. Somebody said that.
Or maybe they were talking about insanity.
Whichever it is (and whoever said it), it’s what I have been trying to do in recent days. Trying something fierce.
Example: (1) Assume that my missing cat is dead and get on with my life, and ( note: and, not or ) (2) Do what contributes reasonably to the chances I will find my cat.
This is but one instance of how my life has been going lately. One among many.
I express to you, I more often than not get irked any time consumers consider aspects that they plainly are not aware of about.