Eagle and serpent

explorations and philosophy: in the world, of the world

Month: December, 2009

This is not…

One of the most often heard outcries in art galleries, universities, and conferences starts: “This is not…”

Be it ‘art’, ‘philosophy’ or ‘science’, each has their very own guardians devoting time and effort on the assessment, fulfillment and reproduction of the criteria of their precious doctrine. As if the ‘art’ would disappear if the linguistic conventions surrounding it would (and they inevitably are) be structured and re-structured.

And I’m not talking about the underlying theory of truth shaping the world-view of the guardian, but rather the need for ontological security through departmentalist smothering.

Acclaimed French sociologist/anthropologist/philosopher Pierre Bourdieu noted (in his famous Distinction) that different tastes emerge from fundamentally negative positioning. Someone is not to be associated with something–the definition being absence rather than presence.

This puts the current departmentalisation of knowledge and even scholarship into a questionable light, in the very ‘scientific’ terms that it outspokenly embraces. How is it possible that (at least in my mind) most fundamentally new insights emerge from the ranks of talented generalists refusing to take a tag of one camp or another?

Moments of clarity

It’s always as intriguing to come up with ideas between sleeping and being awake. Given the abstraction capabilities of the human mind, one can not but wonder the role of consciousness on the creativity of ideas one gets. I’ve gotten many of my personally most captivating thoughts either just about to wake up or fall asleep. This is, of course, not to speak of a collection of much much fuzzier moments…

Taking the notion of ‘consciousness being sleep guided by the senses’ seriously, what are the consequences? Instead of trying to deliberately come up with theories of creativity, should we rather concentrate on sleeping more, spending more time with the activities and people that enrich our lives and finding meaning in subtleties? It might be too radical to the industries of knowledge (management consulting among others) to start selling ‘insights emerging from laid-backedness’, but on a more personal level, should we start to be just a bit more greedy in this sense?

Also, in terms of much serious matters–such as ‘decision making’– should one more readily rely on one’s gut instead of seemingly-sophisticated-but-helplessly-bogus models?

In other words, ‘avant-garde art’ or ‘serious science’?!

Violent, us?

Once someone criticises this place, the righteous appear to come up with all kinds of explanations and feeble defenses. Quite recently, an Estonia-born author noted Ultima Thule to have a culture that embraces violence at all its levels. With the obvious reactions.

One doesn’t have to refer to the national statistics to note that here people are unfriendly, untactful and unappealing. Added to the visions of war and mythical relationship to the existence of the nation make the obvious contribution. Everything here seems to be just one more instance of the ‘miracle of the winter war’.

Luckily, we’ll once again see how the nation lies (as independence day looms just one away). It’s interesting to see in practice and festive speeches how ‘our’ security is nowadays extended to participate in the coalition of the willing, defending what the Americans call ‘human rights’.

It might also be intriguing to psycho-analyse our militaristic right, as it seems to be suffering of the fact that they cannot openly and with the fullest of their ability participate in the so-called ‘peacekeeping’ operations.

UPDATE: Breaking news–the defense minister visiting Afghanistan over i-day! How metaphorical!