Thinking aloud

2 thoughts
last posted Nov. 12, 2015, 2:58 a.m.
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We must define relation as the intersection of two subjective experiences. Any communication technology is necessarily alienating, because it can only—at best—bring a proxy of someone else into my experience. But as long as there is a mediating layer between our two experiences, we can't be said to be interacting with each other. Only with representations of each other.

This fundamentally alienating quality of all communication media remains unaltered in the present age. The exponential growth of social media might have the appearance of bringing people into relation to each other, and certainly exposes the individual to far more numerous proxies of others than before, but they remain proxies. So the more people seem to be connected, the more alienated they are in fact, as more of their postures of relation are concerned with representations and proxies, rather than subjective beings.


That element of style which isn't aesthetics, or which is aesthetics but gives no pleasure, or gives pleasure but makes life no easier, or which makes life easier but doesn't support one in goodness—should be relinquished.

Child Streams

At Work

In the workplace, I might respect your skills while not respecting your talents. Different roles have different requirements, different balances of the two. But as you ascend the hierarchy you often find the balance tipping in favor of talent.

'I don't know any of this stuff; you're the expert,' the CEO tells the IT guy, as he waits for his printer to be set up. But there's an inversion of the Hegelian Knechtschaft, a righting of the traditional dynamic: there's the message, It is not worth my time or talents to know this stuff; better I should pay you to know it for me. The slave secretly pities his master for his master's ignorance and dependency; the master pities his slave for his skill—for the degree to which his life energy has been transformed into technical ability, the crude stuff of labor.

Talent, like art, always tends to uselessness. The more of a capacity for idleness, philosophy, reflection—the more of a capacity in the aristocrat or his modern reflex, the CEO, for uselessness, the more brilliant and worthy of his station he may consider himself.

The most perfect leader is the one who has perfectly abstracted himself, until he stops being a leader and becomes a philosopher.

7 thoughts
updated July 19, 2014, 1:39 p.m.