Once upon a time, I did a snippets every week. I'd like at least to get back to doing them every month if I can. So without further ado, here are my idle thoughts:
- Reading my second Whitehead book, his 1925 lecture series Science and the Modern World - and it's phenomenal. Ideas in this book do not re-emerge until the 1970s or later, and his critique of scientific materialism is essential reading for anyone with an interest in philosophy of science. Forget Popper; Whitehead is the twentieth century master of scientific philosophy.
- While away in the States, I read two more books by Alain Badiou, who I continue to enjoy - while disagreeing with him on many points. I am particularly stirred by his explanation that what he called 'true' is what Plato calls 'good', what Deleuze calls 'sense' etc. This point makes me utterly re-evaluate Plato. Still reeling from the implications of this.
- The fallout from the terrible events in Paris recently have shown the shallow appreciation we have for our now-fragile, collective rights. It is perfectly reasonable to defend freedom of speech and yet suggest that we should not use it to defame (as Pope Francis recently did) - don't confuse legal protections with moral duties. Those who think you 'protect' freedom of speech by intentionally speaking offensively have failed to understand the moral project of the Enlightenment or the responsibilties entailed in freedom of speech.
- It is also worth stressing that the motive for the Paris attacks was not the defamation of the prophet Muhammad, per se, although this was the reason for the choice of target: terrorist groups are responding to the atrocities conducted - primarily via robotic bombings - in and around countries such as Pakistan etc. We all should be horrified by what is being done in our name: why aren't we even talking about this?
- On a lighter note, I am very excited by the new Tale of Tales project, Sunset, and am indeed in the process of conceptualising Michael and Auriea's work in terms of Badiou's truth procedure for art. I hope to write to them about this later this year, if only I can find a gap in their busy schedule!
More nonsense just around the corner!