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Showing posts from June 15, 2014

Lepore and the smarmmasters at slate!

I've been loving Jill Lepore's   t akedown of the new business snakeoil, disruptive innovation and the responses to it. I especially love how  Slate's Will Oremus replied. This is a man who has inherited the humorous stylings of Mickey Kaus and the ignorance of subject matter of Will Saletan. Those are big shoes to fill - in fact, I think size 24s - the bozo class. Of course, he trips all over himself trying to find an angle. His angle is, wait for it, that this being the internet, he, Oremus, is able to paraphrase Lepore's article, which is apparently behind a pay wall, and thus you, the reader, get it for free. Sakes alive! Lepore has been disrupted. Why is it like this is 1996 - or maybe 1936, since Readers Digest did the same thing.  But the freebie you get from Oremus is worth what you pay for it. He evidently never met an argument with more than one variable in it that he could understand, and he severely misunderstands, and thus misparaphrases, Lepore's art

Absence one

Anyone who reads continental philosophy or the philosophical essayists will soon be impressed by the almost obsessive mooning over the concept of absence. This has no parallel in Anglophone philosophy – absence is at most treated as a simple description of a physical phenomenon. Jack doesn’t show up for the exam – he is absent.  There is nothing here  for the analytics (or post-analytics) to get moony about. Nevertheless, there is something strange about the absence of absence in Anglophone philosophy. The unexamined master-trope of that philosophy is substitution.  Surely it if were examined, understanding substitution should encourage us to look at absence more closely. Substitution implies that a place is preserved – in logical or physical or social space – that is filled with one or another variable. In a sense, the presence of the variable isn’t total, since it isn’t identical to the place. One can find another variable to put in that place. The latest metaphor in the ana

the material life

We call it a sucette. Our babysitter calls it a binky, and a couple of days ago the clerk at the grocery store, teasing Adam by asking for it, called it a nuk-nuk – I think. Nuk nuk sounded vaguely disturbing to me, and the surprisingly popular game of leaning over Adam and asking for something – can you give me your shoe? Your fruitpack? Or whatever, which many people seem to think is just the way to tease a baby, was played by that clerk just a tiny bit too roughly. This went with nuk nuk, I thought. Such are the various titles of what is more neutrally called a pacifier. It is an article that, for the last year and a half, has been essential in our house. When Adam was very young – around three months, I believe – we bought our first one and he rejected it, and I thought that we wouldn’t need a pacifier. However, it turned out that this rejection was more in the nature of a misunderstanding. Or rather, it was more in the nature of how a sucette is used – for the calm that com