“While we do not presume a simplistic causal relationship between anthropocentrism and the myriad crises impacting our planet, we believe that its narrow humanism and restrictive definitions of the human have played significant roles in shaping these crises. We need new definitions of the human, new subjectivities, and new epistemologies. In short, we need new worldviews. Rosi Braidotti makes a similar point: “[W]e need to devise new social, ethical, and discursive schemes of subject formation to match the profound transformations we are undergoing. That means we need to learn to think differently about ourselves[,] … . to think critically and creatively about who and what we are actually becoming.”3 Like Braidotti, we call for the development of “alternative schemes of thought, knowledge, and self-representation." And so, in this article, we explore the possibilities of shifting from anthropocentrism into less centralized, more expansive and interconnected worldviews in which the human is neither exceptionalized nor excluded.”
Decentring the Human? Towards a Post-Anthropocentric Standpoint Theory AnaLouise Keating, Kimberly C. Merenda*
“I am a wind-swayed bridge, a crossroads inhabited by whirlwinds. Gloria, the facilitator, Gloria, the mediator, straddling the walls between abysses. “Your allegiance is to La Raza, the Chicano movement,” say the members of my race. “Your allegiance is to the Third World,” say my Black and Asian friends. “Your allegiance is to your gender, to women,” say the feminists. Then there’s my allegiance to the Gay movement, to the socialist revolution, to the New Age, to magic and the occult. And there’s my affinity to literature, to the world of the artist. What am I? A third world lesbian feminist with Marxist and mystic leanings. They would chop me up into little fragments and tag each piece with a label.”
"The range of the human mind, the scale and depth of the metaphors the mind is capable of manufacturing as it grapples with the universe, stand in stunning contrast to the belief that there is only one reality, which is man's, or worse, that only one culture among the many on earth possesses the truth. To allow mystery, which is to say to yourself, "There could be more, there could be things we don't understand," is not to damn knowledge. It is to take a wider view. It is to permit yourself an extraordinary freedom: someone else does not have to be wrong in order that you may be right." - Barry López
So I wrote a little book review a while back. The book is Together by Richard Sennett. Sennett does great work showing how society is de-skilling people in practicing cooperation. No matter what side you are on in the "ice bucket challenge" I think you will find this book important. Please take a look.
A quote: "Increasingly our national communication style can best be described by what Richard Sennett calls "f*ck you, f*ck you." More here
So I'm firing this blog back up because I'm bored with Facebook and I want to write some more, look some more, think out loud some more, share some more, and stare at my navel some more. Come along. :)
I used to think the power of words was inexhaustible, That how we said the world was how it was, and how it would be. I used to imagine that word-sway and word-thunder Would silence the Silence and all that, That worlds were the Word, That language could lead us inexplicably to grace, As though it were geographical. I used to think these things when I was young. I still do. - Charles Wright from Body and Soul
The inevitable backlash against the "story-teller" movement is here. In this vid designer Stefan Sagmeister, creator of the firm Sagmeister & Walsh, talks about the transformation of the term storyteller in to a meaningless buzzword. “Story-teller” has been swept in to the lexicon of trendy art-speak, which bears many similarities to corporate jargon, in that it is a way to say something that sounds good without having to think too critically about it. (via Carolina A. Miranda) Some swearing. You are warned.
"The first text that really got me thinking about this deeply was Chela Sandoval’s Methodology of the Oppressed. When I thought deeply about her use of the term “oppositional politics,” I saw her as trying to say that, beyond the “point-counterpoint” binary of typical, Western-style politics (which focus on us-them, right-left, in-out, ally-enemy, etc.), there was this group of outsiders whose speech, thinking, and action were outside the binary altogether — whether culturally or for other reasons."
“Latour draws no distinction between blind practical manipulation and privileged theoretical awareness. For Latour, we have nothing but our dealing with networks of objects; some may be nobler and others more base, but all are on the same ontological footing…If philosophy is to make any progress in the decades to come, it is vital that we consistently oppose Heidegger and side with Latour: against the ontological/ontic distinction, against the theory/practice distinction, against the blanket contempt for mass produced objects, against the idea that knowledge means transcendence of the world, against nothingness, and in favor of endless curiosity about all manner of specific beings.”
Graham Harman - Prince of Networks: Bruno Latour and Metaphysics
“The critic is not the one who debunks but the one who assembles. The critic is not the one who lifts the rugs from under the feet of naive believers, but the one who offers the participants arenas in which to gather.”
As a therapist (a different kind I hope)...he has a point...
“We’re swamped with therapies, self-help books, and techniques—what musician and activist Bob Geldof called ‘the thriving economy of psychotherapists, designer religions, and spiritual boutiques’—which treat our lives as projects to be tweaked and fixed. Isn’t meditation (if it’s anything at all) a relief from all this? Isn’t it the opposite of repairing and adjusting and striving and perpetually wanting things to be different?”
— Barry Evans, “The Myth of the Experienced Meditator”
“As I write I create a textual self which is different from the “me” who lives out in the world. But the textual self I create also changes the historical “me.” And so I’m kind of creating myself as I go along, mostly through the writing and the speaking. In order to do this I have to take myself apart and then put myself together. This is the Coyolxauhqui metaphor. It’s very painful, this dismemberment, burial, and then having to look for all the hidden parts of yourself that have been scattered about. When you constitute yourself, or when I reconstitute myself, it’s a different me that I reconstitute, and that’s where the transformative aspect come sin. But also it’s like tearing apart your inards, your entrails; it’s physically, emotionally, and psychologically painful.”
"In addition to inhibiting our ability to develop and implement innovative strategies for progressive social change, oppositional thinking erodes our alliances and communities. As the histories of numerous social movements have demonstrated, all too often oppositional politics fragment from within, damaging the individual and the group. These hostile, oppositional energies become poisonous when we direct them at one another, as we often do." - AnaLouise Keating