My current reading material leads me to believe that most of academic philosophy is careerist shit. There are a few worthy exceptions to this wide-ranging criticism, but not many. The mistake that all these authors make is that they assume their readers are in the same position as them.
So instead of simply getting onto my blog and having a whinge about it I decided a while ago to take other steps. One of the two books I am working on was meant to be a book of applied philosophy with the working title of ‘Event Mechanics’. However, instead of me writing the book on my own I want to write it with other critically-minded young-ish intellectual types. So I am recruiting co-authors for each of the chapters. After dinner with a friend on Thursday who has undergone a transformation from someone who was not really happy about the world to someone who has embraced this uneasy dimension and has reconstructed her life around this affirmation of uneasiness, I realised that there are others in the world like me and any sort of book on the subject should be a collective work that includes others. I don’t know if this will work or not! Could end in tears! So be it! Anyway, I have called this group of people the Uneasy.
So far I should have co-authors for one chapter and I am after more. Here is a list of chapter ideas from my original book with a brief description of what I imagined each of the chapters was going to be about. All of them already have content largely derived from my blog posts on the respective subjects, so long time readers will probably be familiar with the basic themes and ideas. I am open to modifying the chapters to better work with the co-author’s perspective and ideas, and certainly encourage anyone interested .
Let’s Get Down and Dirty
The introductory chapter that outlines what is forthcoming in the rest of the book and the rationale behind a book of applied philosophy.
1) War on Stupidity — need co-author(s), would love someone who works in government
This chapter is fun 🙂 The conservatives have their wars on everything, so why not have a progressive war? Stupidity is defined in terms of the structural constraints that transform very intelligent people into infantalised idiots. Case study here was going to be economics and governance. The chapter answers the question of how smart people do incredibly stupid shit on a grand scale.
2) Pedagogy as Practice â€“- should have co-authors for this already (my medical doctor friends!)
Current management practice has two focuses. 1) Extracting surplus value from workers by inciting workers to be enthusiastic about their jobs. This has a number of ramifications including the disolution of work time from other times and meaningless competition. 2) A punitive appreciation of error. Thinking of error as bad is stupid (see above). From a management perspective error should be a resource for improvement. The case study here is medical error. Gross negligence should be dealt with, but error is part of a learning process that should lead to better ‘outcomes’.
3) Uncolonise the Future — need co-author(s), someone from marketing would be fantastic
Our respective futures are colonised in two ways. Debt has long been a focus of critical philosophers and on a large scale debt is the model by which we suffer from a compulsion for a certain future. On a much smaller scale our attention is colonised by external expectations. We look because we expect to see. These expectations are acquired and are best understood as a form of affective programming produced by selling us a ‘world’ within which we desire to inhabit. There are two philosophical tools to be learnt here: How to slow down our perception to see and experience the world anew and how to depotentialise the false excitement of capitalist imperatives.
4) Fight for the Write — need co-author(s), not sure who would be best here
Language is a vehicle of oppression when used in the service of stupidity. How to free language and reclaim it. Kind of self-explanatory.
5) Romance as Truce — need co-author(s), maybe I should write this with an ex. That would be epic lols.
I have already written about this extensively (unsurprisingly, considering my abject failures!!). Fuck true love. Love is certainly a durable connection whereby individuals reconcile their individual perspectives of the world in which they live. For the Uneasy it is about becoming Uneasy together and facing the world, including the ‘world’ of each respective partner. Although I am a hetero kind of guy, I have been in too many weird relationship scenarios to restrict this to the classical hetronormative coupling.
6) Generations of Care — need co-authors, maybe I should write this with my parents? Not sure.
How to engage with older generations when they seem to own everything, be in all the positions of power, and have lived lives when aspirations were relatively innocent. This chapter is about the ethics of being worthy of the aging population.