Thought Dump

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    Duff...
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    Re: Thought Dump

    Post by Duff... on Thu Jan 14, 2016 4:30 pm

    Ҩ wrote:There was basically no protest to the War
    That's not been my experience. Anyway, the lack of a draft certainly explains why more conscription-aged americans didn't protest.

    For all that other stuff, I dunno, revolutionary thought isn't something I have a lot of time for these days. I do notice that you lament a lack of figures, of names, and it seems that people these days put less faith in single figures. Probably because a particular person is always going to let you down in one way or another.
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    Re: Thought Dump

    Post by Ҩ on Thu Jan 14, 2016 7:11 pm

    Duff... wrote:
    Ҩ wrote:There was basically no protest to the War
    That's not been my experience.
    Could you elaborate on this.

    Duff... wrote:I do notice that you lament a lack of figures, of names, and it seems that people these days put less faith in single figures. Probably because a particular person is always going to let you down in one way or another.
    They might let you down but the emergence of individual intellectuals or political militants does do a really great job of unifying people, whether that be for a common political cause or for a common intellectual investigation... It is a problematic but powerful thing.

    Duff... wrote:For all that other stuff, I dunno, revolutionary thought isn't something I have a lot of time for these days.
    It doesn't necessarily need to be "revolutionary". Part of the problem, maybe, is that there has been a shift both politically and academically to privileging issues of race and gender over issues of class and the role of the State. And by problem I don't mean to say that this is purely negative. A lot of great work has been done and perceptions of race and gender have changed over the last several decades for the better. That being said, I think it is important to maintain these issues as interwoven. A lot of theorists do this (Judith Butler maintains the primacy of class struggle and her partner does a great job of unpacking the rise of neoliberal ideology and the detrimental effects it has on popular democratic movements. In the 80s the Birmingham School of Contemporary Cultural Studies -- with major figures like Stuart Hall and Paul Gilroy -- had a politically effectual critique of mass media through their critique of race and class as well). So yeah, things haven't just stagnated and I don't agree that we are at "the end of history." If for no other reason than people have agency...

    Another interesting thing, too, is to think about your own positionality within these debates. I can critique the capitalist mode of production all I want but I'm also in many ways a successful bi-product of its function. I'm the grandson of immigrants and my parents have been able to establish a really incredible degree of comfort for themselves and for me, which benefited me because they have the money to afford to send me to an expensive, private institution to study. For a long time that made me feel really guilty. In some ways it still does and its important to always keep in mind, at least for myself. I try not to let it completely sadden me though either and I don't think it implies being thankful to the point of becoming politically sympathetic to the structural conditions that produced by relative affluence (which seems obvious but for a lot of people it certainly isn't).

    Anyways, I'm interested in what you have to say and what everyone else (probably with the sole exception of Michael K) has to say as well. I spend most of my day thinking about these things and I find them stimulating and exciting. So anytime anyone wants to long-form board about this... I'm ready!
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    Re: Thought Dump

    Post by Ҩ on Thu Jan 14, 2016 7:15 pm

    Ned Braden wrote:So I just remind myself from time to time that beer and sunshine are good.
    I remind myself of this everyday and it is, without a doubt, the main source of my sanity and stability.
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    Re: Thought Dump

    Post by Duff... on Sun Jan 17, 2016 8:13 pm

    Ҩ wrote:
    Duff... wrote:
    Ҩ wrote:There was basically no protest to the War
    That's not been my experience.
    Could you elaborate on this.
    I suppose it's a sad commentary on geopolitics in the 21st Century that I'm not absolutely sure what war you are referring to, but when people talk about "The War" I assume they mean America's adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan, the both of which had plenty of protesting going on for (the former more than the latter). No, not like Vietnam, but again, there was no draft and a clearer reason (flawed as it may be) for military action.

    Ҩ wrote:
    Duff... wrote:I do notice that you lament a lack of figures, of names, and it seems that people these days put less faith in single figures. Probably because a particular person is always going to let you down in one way or another.
    They might let you down but the emergence of individual intellectuals or political militants does do a really great job of unifying people, whether that be for a common political cause or for a common intellectual investigation... It is a problematic but powerful thing.
    Oh sure, just making an observation. There seems to be a sorta "gotcha" obsession from pretty much everyone where any deviation from some form of purity discounts the entire person.

    Ҩ wrote:Part of the problem, maybe, is that there has been a shift both politically and academically to privileging issues of race and gender over issues of class and the role of the State. And by problem I don't mean to say that this is purely negative. A lot of great work has been done and perceptions of race and gender have changed over the last several decades for the better. That being said, I think it is important to maintain these issues as interwoven.

    I think we definitely talk about class and the role of government but you're right that they tend to be separated and they shouldn't be. Read an interesting thing that while citizens were protesting in Baltimore, conspiracy theorists were convinced the federal government was trying to take over Texas (in whatever way that could possibly mean), and that while the concerns of both groups were remarkably similar, there's almost no way you could take both seriously at the same time.
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    Re: Thought Dump

    Post by Ҩ on Fri Jan 22, 2016 9:56 pm

    This is an excellent piece that relates very nicely to a lot of this.
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    Re: Thought Dump

    Post by Nick on Fri Jul 08, 2016 8:35 am

    Lots of confusion this morning around which thread in this forum to post in.
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    Re: Thought Dump

    Post by Ҩ on Fri Jul 08, 2016 3:35 pm

    Certainly not this one.
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    Re: Thought Dump

    Post by Ҩ on Sun Jul 10, 2016 4:54 am

    I was assuming that U were looking 4 the appropriate place to talk about this weeks terrible series of events and this half-baked, shitty thread idea that I had definitely isn't the place 4 it. That's all I meant by that.

    U should talk about it in the 2016 Election Thread?
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    Re: Thought Dump

    Post by undo on Thu Jul 14, 2016 8:27 pm

    Ҩ wrote:this half-baked, shitty thread idea that I had definitely isn't the place 4 it. That's all I meant by that.

    U should talk about it in the 2016 Election Thread?

    I really don't know if that's the right thread 4 this stuff or not.

    And I don't even know what I mean by this stuff because that could be anything U know? What will it be a week from now?

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    Re: Thought Dump

    Post by undo on Thu Jul 14, 2016 8:28 pm

    I can't talk about this or that or anything with people anymore because this week I learned that I can't have a normal conversation about this stuff without getting upset and ruining people's days.
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    Re: Thought Dump

    Post by Ҩ on Fri Jul 15, 2016 1:22 am

    It's really, really upsetting. In a weird, fucked up way I was pleasantly surprised by the aftermath of Dallas because it seemed like it didn't deter a lot of major news outlets from engaging in a very difficult but necessary conversation about race relations and police brutality in this country.

    The event tonight is just so awful. The attack in Istanbul was terrible, which set off four straight days of other terrorist attacks around the world. Honestly, I can't even keep track of it. I have a rule that no matter what I will always pause and reflect whenever I hear terrible news like this. I know it is stupid and probably somewhat of a self-absorbed practice. But my biggest worry is that the constancy of tragic violence will someday numb me to the reality that these R real people who were killed tonight, with families and loved ones who they forever left behind. I always force myself to think about that and just let it sit with me and I try my best to avoid any conversation that could lead to a fucked up polemic that frustrates me and pisses off those around me.

    I think the really difficult part is that all of this seems like it will get worse before it gets any better. Hostility between police departments and low-income black communities is going to get worse before it gets better, but I do think a real conversation is starting to take place. The lone wolf terrorist attacks we R seeing throughout Europe is going to maintain this disgusting pace and will probably lead to right-wing nationalist parties gaining a lot of support in upcoming elections, which is terrifying. The effect that could have on the most vulnerable people in the world, mostly refugees, is heartbreaking. And we R going to continue to C truly senseless instances of gun violence, like in Orlando, without any response from our lawmakers!

    It's a very helpless feeling. :'(
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    Re: Thought Dump

    Post by Nick on Wed Sep 07, 2016 8:10 am

    How do flies just keep smashing into mirrors without knocking themselves unconscious or worse?

    I'm watching this fly right now and he has hit the bathroom mirror about 20 times and doesn't seem worn out at all.
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    Re: Thought Dump

    Post by Ҩ on Sun Oct 16, 2016 3:37 am

    NYTimes wrote:Skepticism about capitalism and free markets is rising. A survey by the Harvard Institute of Politics found that a majority of 18-to-29-year-old Americans do not believe in modern capitalism at all.

    Have U guys run across this survey? It's cited fairly often as evidence that the millennial generation is somehow going to usher in some sort of democratic socialist panacea. I take it to mean the exact opposite. The phrasing of the survey question is fascinating. Capitalism has become so completely abstracted from material reality that any opposition is voiced as 'belief' or 'disbelief.' It doesn't work that way, of course. So long as structural realities continue to reproduce themselves that insure that the majority of people will continue to find themselves in a situation where they R forced to alienate themselves from their own labor power under threat of starvation or other disciplinary measures it doesn't really matter if U 'believe' in the system or not.

    I'm not bringing anything new to the table with this point but it's just kind of amazing how uncritically this same survey keeps getting cited all over the place. It's also just endlessly fascinating and insidious how periods of crisis within capitalism always end up further legitimizing it as a system. After 2008, very few people were asking larger questions or searching 4 radical alternatives, or emancipatory possibilities. Instead, the majority of our attention was in figuring out what exactly went wrong, how it can be avoided in the future, and at best what moral or ethical problems (inequality being the big one) need to be addressed.

    In the process of achieving stability and returning to a period of growth, the public at large uncritically accepts the axioms of the capitalist marketplace as a kind of ontological truth. Our ability to think outside of the system is somehow, almost inexplicably, lessened every time this happens.
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    Re: Thought Dump

    Post by Duff... on Wed Nov 30, 2016 7:31 pm

    What if the narrator in "When You Were Mine" was dead the entire time?
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    Re: Thought Dump

    Post by Ҩ on Thu Dec 01, 2016 11:58 pm

    It's my goal in life to end up on this list someday. Some of the complaints are so funny. One is just that an American history professor investigates the links between capitalism and American slavery. iwantsomeofthat iwantsomeofthat iwantsomeofthat iwantsomeofthat iwantsomeofthat iwantsomeofthat iwantsomeofthat
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    Re: Thought Dump

    Post by reuben on Fri Dec 02, 2016 12:12 am

    We should spam their "submit a tip" line somehow.
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    Re: Thought Dump

    Post by undo on Fri Dec 02, 2016 12:23 am

    reuben wrote:We should spam their "submit a tip" line somehow.

    http://www.colum.edu/academics/faculty/jim-derogatis.html
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    Re: Thought Dump

    Post by undo on Sat Jan 21, 2017 3:04 pm

    I honestly believe that social media has ruined this country (to say nothing of the rest of the world), if there was a way to put it back in the box, we might still be saved but it's really twisted everyone's ability to communicate peacefully and think clearly in a wholly irreversible way. Some more than others.

    The ignorance it spreads and the sense of power and community it creates among the most prejudiced, vicious, vindictive people just starts a chain reaction that no amount of reasoned dialogue from the left can simply nullify or contain. When vulnerable people tap into the culture of the alt-right (which has become rapidly normalized on Facebook and Twitter to the point of no return), the reassuring worldview that materializes in their mind cannot be shifted by facts or any old-fashioned sense of morality. The power-trip that comes from bullying people weaker than they are provides a rush they've never been allowed to have or haven't experienced in years. It's a tremendously empowering force that's filled a void in people's hearts with a psychological reward system that the world has never seen.

    All this is framed as part of a cultural "debate" that must be allowed in any free and healthy society, that calling people names on Twitter and engaging in endless rhetorical gymnastics to dismiss anyone's concerns out of hand is just part of Free Speech, that protecting the worst behavior is actually the barometer for protecting our first amendment rights.

    There is no difference between the Internet and real life for kids who've grown up into this and who are experiencing this perpetually toxic, hateful culture 24 hours a day and accepting it as completely normal because how would they know anything else? Every four years, we pat ourselves on the back because of shit like this, as if half these kids won't flip conservative by the time they're 25. It was never "cool" to do that, like that matters, but I assure you that it is now. There's no shame in embracing blatantly racist attitudes or any reason to question those beliefs when you've got a support group of a million peers at your fingertips every second. The narrative of tolerance/civility/generosity=weakness/being "PC" has become a mainstream, legitimate worldview and one that's tremendously motivating because it's been framed as standing up against a corrupt establishment. 

    The amount of time and energy and futile good-faith efforts required to pull anyone back from this world is at least ten times greater than whatever passive tactic sucked them into it. There is no strategy to combat this force besides hoping (!) that Trump fails in some spectacularly public fashion, and even then, that's going to have to hit millions of people where it hurts before anyone even thinks about unplugging from this world and coming back to reality.

    Mark Zuckerburg and the spineless Nazi-enablers at Twitter need a punch in the face more than this nazi did.

    edited for wording


    Last edited by undo on Sat Jan 21, 2017 3:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Re: Thought Dump

    Post by Ҩ on Sat Jan 21, 2017 3:11 pm

    I agree with you, but I think we should consider an important counter-point:

    https://twitter.com/RetepAdam/status/822725263293353985?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
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    Re: Thought Dump

    Post by reuben on Sun Feb 19, 2017 9:59 pm

    Happy Birthday man.
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    Re: Thought Dump

    Post by Ҩ on Sun Feb 19, 2017 11:06 pm

    bumpin

    Thanks!
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    Re: Thought Dump

    Post by chrondog on Wed Mar 01, 2017 5:29 am

    http://www.businessinsider.com/uber-ceo-travis-kalanick-apologizes-for-leaked-video-2017-2

    I'm impressed by whichever PR manager wrote this bit:
    It’s clear this video is a reflection of me—and the criticism we’ve received is a stark reminder that I must fundamentally change as a leader and grow up. This is the first time I’ve been willing to admit that I need leadership help and I intend to get it.

    I think in this modern climate, this type of "I'm taking ownership of everything" style of damage control is very effective. It messes with people's expectations in the age of denial, denial, denial. People are so willing to forgive, it just makes sense. This is one of the first and/or biggest examples I've seen of it being used in the corporate world. I expect we'll continue to see more of this in these scandal-plagued times. It's basically the CEO equivalent of saying "I know I have a problem and I'm going to rehab."
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    Re: Thought Dump

    Post by Ҩ on Sat Mar 04, 2017 3:17 am

    Would we find out if anyone of us died?

    This board is one of the only places that I check daily and the low activity is kind of nice because I can keep up with everything. I don't have any social media presence and generally don't interact much on the Internet, so this is basically the only online interaction that I've maintained throughout the years.

    At this point, I feel like I know most of you pretty well even though I might not know much about your personal lives. (Duff, what the hell do you do and where do you live?) Anyways, I hope all of you live forever but I just had this very odd thought the other day when I was daydreaming about stupid shit in the car and felt like asking this weird question.
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    Re: Thought Dump

    Post by undo on Sat Mar 04, 2017 4:26 am

    I'm going to need to sleep on that, O-hook.
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    Re: Thought Dump

    Post by ? Ospink on Sat Mar 04, 2017 2:00 pm

    Ҩ wrote:It's my goal in life to end up on this list someday. Some of the complaints are so funny. One is just that an American history professor investigates the links between capitalism and American slavery. iwantsomeofthat iwantsomeofthat iwantsomeofthat iwantsomeofthat iwantsomeofthat iwantsomeofthat iwantsomeofthat
    Clicked on that link, and lo!  The college I work for is on that list.  

    As well as one of our faculty: http://www.professorwatchlist.org/index.php/watch-list-directory/search-by-name/150-keith-kostecka

    Never met him, but I like the cut of his jib. Think I'm gonna look him up and congratulate him. Maybe buy him lunch or something.


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    Re: Thought Dump

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