Monday, April 05, 2010

Note taking: It's the motherfucking Zietgeist [what's old is new again]
Outside of actual mathematical calculation, as distinct from the values that accrue to it, everything you do from the way you dress to the intellectual categories you inherit and adapt, describes the present. Post-war American academic philosophy contextualizes within post-war American culture no more or less than post-war American painting, the New Critics, or the Edsel. MIT’s capitalist culture vultures are the product of their age. And I’m still waiting for someone to describe for me the relation of the techno-formalist optimism of video design geeks with the dystopian narrative of Grand Theft Auto. This reminds me of fights in my youth when I insisted on pointing out the violence underlying Robbe-Grillet and Borges. “But it’s about language!” No it’s not. This has no more to do with pretentious comp-lit grad students than it does spiritualizing hippies. Just ask a trial lawyer, and not one who has the luxury of only taking cases he believes in but who goes for whatever pays the rent. Most lawyers are hack actors and they’re at the center of our culture. They’re storytellers for hire. They’re craftsmen, and the only ones left who are considered intellectually respectable, though in truth it’s only law professors who are taken seriously because they’re engaged in the reasoned conversation of the ivory tower. A lawyer loses patience with law professors. [same as previous post] And there’s no such thing as pure description. You sound just like Orin Kerr. Who sounds like Borges. “One suspects that at least those who spend their time in role-playing games or the business school are acutely aware of spending their lives in performance.” Again this refers to games you have the choice to play. The prime mover of MIT’s games is functionalism: marketing is a priori. It may be for them but what is it doing as part of the academy? Have business schools taken over everything? The imperative of free inquiry is just that. It may include inquiry regarding the church, the state, the market, or the military[!]* but it is not bounded by any of them. Nor should it ever be.
*The context is the discussion of the military's HTS The larger context: The google site search link I removed was to monthly archives. These are to individual posts: 2006 and 2 [a good explanation] 2008 and 2 "Grant McCracken makes DeLong seem like Tiresias." And Henry Farrell is Jacob Burckhardt.

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