Occasional Notes No. 1

  • Above is my first tattoo; here is its Kantian inspiration. And Foucault’s commentary on Kant:

    It seems to me we may recognize a point of departure: the outline of what one might call the attitude of modernity…

    Thinking back on Kant’s text, I wonder whether we may not envisage modernity rather as an attitude than as a period of history. And by “attitude,” I mean a mode of relating to contemporary reality; a voluntary choice made by certain people; in the end, a way of thinking and feeling; a way, too, of acting and behaving that at one and the same time marks a relation of belonging and presents itself as a task. A bit, no doubt, like what the Greeks called an ethos. And consequently, rather than seeking to distinguish the “modern era” from the “premodern” or “postmodern,” I think it would be more useful to try to find out how the attitude of modernity, ever since its formation, has found itself struggling with attitudes of “countermodernity.”

  • I blogged at Ordinary Times. “Games Without Fairness” looks at why people go into a knowingly unfair MMO scenario, and what that might or might not say about political theory.
  • I blogged twice at my real job. First I looked at the political landscape of marijuana legalization, particularly in this November’s elections; next I considered how and to what degree legalizing all drugs is likely to help with our mass incarceration problem.
  • If anyone is still unaware, I’m on Instagram, where I scrupulously avoid anything having to do with work.