Showing posts from September, 2015

Guide to Heidegger's Question Concerning Technology

As a central part of my thesis, Heidegger's essay "The Question Concerning Technology" (Heidegger, M. (1977). The question concerning technology, and other essays. Chicago) is not an easy read. It is a strange and worthwhile read, though, so in order to help fellow travellers and to venture further in myself, I have written this guide to the essay, breaking it down into eight steps to make it more manageable. I took this idea from - somewhere! A book! I can't find the reference now, so I'll update this as I stumble across it again!  I'm also using this very helpful guide to the essay and this creative and subtle reading of the essay, although condensing these to make more manageable. I haven't added any page numbers, as I found it helpful to go through the essay and mark the eight steps in the text itself - and you can do likewise! Anyway, here's the eight steps as a graphic (click to make it all big), followed by my summary description of the text.



One highlight of the trip to The MayDay Rooms was discovering the Strike! newspaper which is published and distributed there. And it raises an interesting question generally about The MayDay Rooms project, which also publishes pamphlets: in the age of the Internet, why would people be interested in print publishing?

A quick search of said Internet gives me this paragraph about why people still read newspapers:
Two key responses emerged from our latest research. First, people enjoy the medium's portability because they can take it wherever they go, and second, they say the medium contains information they cannot get from another source-information we presume they must deem essential because they often devote precious time to retrieving it.  I agree completely - having something tangible gives it much more of an identity, in opposition to the amorphous mass of information that comes our way digitally. Somehow, the word 'luxurious' comes to me when I think about both the pamp…

Who owns UK Newspapers? #corbyn #anthemgate

The childish distraction of 'anthemgate' is a revealing moment - Jeremy Corbyn genuinely seems to have unsettled the establishment, whose shrill trumpeters were clearly seen in all their ingloriousness. And, although patently absurd, it isn't to be taken lightly. Even in the age of alternatives via the internet, these newspapers increasingly manage to set the agenda, so that what they deem to be 'news' in the morning becomes 'news' throughout the day on radio and television, on the 'impartial' BBC, and especially on the so-called 'rolling news' stations, which really struggle to fill airtime, so such content is vital to their existence. And most of the content is about the inevitability of neoliberal economics in all areas, which values everything based on the competitive profit motive and devalues public ownership, cooperation and equality.

Therefore, it's important to ask, who owns the newspapers that give our political debate such str…

Sing. Kneel. Defer. "He loved Big Brother" #Corbyn


Philosophy in Pubs, TUC Archive and the MayDay rooms

I took a trip to Huddersfield to experience PiPs - Philosophy in Pubs(Philosophy. In pubs.) namely THINK Huddersfield - it was a really nice experience despite having chosen not to drink when I'm going and spending time in pubs with good beer. The conversation was lively and challenging, the people welcoming and friendly. A wonderful model to emulate.

Being-with my friends from the Social Science Centre, one foot in the institution at London Metropolitan University's TUC Archive, and one foot defiantly out at MayDay Rooms - "MayDay Rooms is an active repository, resource and safe haven for social movements, experimental and marginal cultures and their histories., " - we spent a lovely free afternoon with Ian and Pauline shaped by love and challenge and generosity and food and sharing and a little madness and a lot of inspiration. I still haven't fully processed all of this yet, so MayDay rooms will return here at some point.

The TUC Archive

I went for an adventure to London with the pioneering scholars of Lincoln's Social Science Centre - I wasn't terribly sure for what, so was happy just to go along and be in company with Peaceful Warrior, Wendy, Mike, Sarah and Andrew. And it turned into something worlding. London Metropolitan University's TUC Archive, where James the archivist had very generously prepared an amazing display of education-related documents, which kept us all engrossed.

After my IWCE residential weekend, I was particularly interested in the Plebs magazines and they have a substantial collection - some of the cartoons on the front covers are no less relevant today, unfortunately...

Woke up this morning, feeling round for my #FLNutrition

I got either the last night's comfort food take-away onion bhaji with possible wheat contamination
Or a full week without booze after much booze for a long long time withdrawal blues

Fortunately, for me this week'sNutrition and Wellbeing Mooc is all about the link between diet and health, so here's some of the things I learnt and what I'm doing about it.
The Five Dietary and Behavioural Risk FactorsHigh BMI - I am aware and am taking stepsLow fruit and veg intake - I like to think this is my reward for loving our animal friends too much to eat their corpses, so I'm just fabulous, baby, on vegetables - just need to tweak my fruit intake as I tend to let this slip, so I have put reminders in my system to eat fruit for/with breakfast, to eat fruit not chocolate when I'm travelling and to place my 5-a-day next to me in the main room as a permanent visual reminder. I like fruit, so it's no chore. Lack of physical activity - pretty good on this one, I do regular …

Quantum Jump

I had this album on vinyl and I've just managed to find it again online - I have played it back to back all day! I remembered it as being good, that I liked it a lot - I had forgotten just how good it is. Fucking good is how good. They were one of a number of great bands that fell victim to the unstoppable punk revolution - nobody wanted to listen to them any more. That must have been really hard. Bet they hated punk. There's a nice bit of background here that I was unaware of, which tells me that there's even a Caravan connection, so what's not to like. File under jazz/rock/pop, apparently, but also file under play and play again:

If I take death into my life...

...or, if it's September, it must be Heidegger.

Such an unusual pleasure, I don't need to write anything for a while, as I'm ahead of myself a little in the doctoral thesis, so I am going to be mostly reading and thinking and it will be exclusively devoted to the great thinker of being, Martin Heidegger:
If I take death into my life, acknowledge it, and face it squarely, I will free myself from the anxiety of death and the pettiness of life - and only then will I be free to become myself.