Thursday, January 30, 2014

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Off Again

Off again. Our administration is now "stepping away" from most of the extraordinarily time-consuming and ill-conceived program prioritization that took center stage last year. There will now be a brief intermission while some top administrative jobs are reshuffled, and then next year we will see if this plan re-emerges or simply disappears.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Galt or Gor?

Ayn Rand. Nothing good tends to follow after her name comes up in discussion. Currently, my favorite way to respond to such digressions is by comparing her ideas with those of another work from the same time period, John Norman's Chronicles of Gor. Although this may be somewhat unfair to Norman, I like the idea of characterizing the ideas of John Galt and Rand's other characters as Gorean economics.


Both in content and style, the two authors resonate for me. So, here is a short quiz for you: Galt or Gor?

See if you can tell if the following quotes come from Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, or John Norman's Chronicles of Gor. The answers are in the first comment below. Feel free to share your score out of 10 in the comments as well. But no cheating. Cheating is for the slavish, weak, and corrupt.
  1. "I once betrayed my codes," I said. "It is not my intention to do so again."
  2. “I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.” 
  3. “Never think of pain or danger or enemies a moment longer than is necessary to fight them.” 
  4. "In denying it we deny our nature. In betraying it we betray no one but ourselves." 
  5. "Invisible chains are those which weigh the most heavily." 
  6. “If one's actions are honest, one does not need the predated confidence of others.” 
  7. "Did I feel a physical desire for him? I did. Was I moved by a passion of my body? I was." 
  8. "Hate them for their pride and power they will pity you for your shame and weakness." 
  9. "Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach."
  10. "He will always be attracted to the woman who reflects his deepest vision of himself, the woman whose surrender permits him to experience a sense of self-esteem."

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Preparing For Classes

At the beginning of the semester, I can often convince myself that wandering through YouTube videos in search of new things to show in class is a useful way to spend my time. Below are two videos I unearthed in this quest. The first is short compilation of Sigmund Freud's home movies including clips of Herr Doktor playing with a baby and a dog. The second is a film of André Breton's apartment and art collection. I find them both charming, so I believe I will inflict them on my students this semester.

Monday, January 06, 2014

Dubstep Theory

Here is a disturbing artifact, not so far removed from the Freire Death Metal below. Dubstep theory may be the next leap forward: the sublation of philosophy and a danceable beat.

Similarly when it is said: "the real is the universal", the real, qua subject, passes away in its predicate. The universal is not only meant to have the significance of a predicate, as if the proposition stated that the real is universal: the universal is meant to express the essential nature of the real. Thinking therefore loses that fixed objective basis which it had in the subject, just as much as in the predicate it is thrown back on the subject, and therein returns not into itself but into the subject underlying the content. – from the Preface of Hegel's Phenomenology of Mind.

Friday, January 03, 2014

Academic Kindness

A small blog, but I approve.