Wednesday, July 23, 2014
In the Jerusalem Post, Alan Dershowitz connects the dots.
Hamas, after all, is an outgrowth of the Muslim Brotherhood, which Heidegger, actively supported Hitler during World War II.
Wouldn't von Braun work better as the intellectual villain in this piece? Oh dear, Slothrop's scored in Tel Aviv.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
In Forbes, Jordan Shapiro on the τέχνη of blockheads.
At its worst, Minecraft reinforces an already predominant worldview in which everything can be reduced down to common-denominator monads–in this case, blocks. An over reliance on rigid, angled, quantifiable ways of being in the world eliminates the equally important soft fuzzy curves of qualitative ambivalence. Martin Heidegger once wrote, “being is not something that can be found in the nature of a table, even if the table were to be broken down to its smallest parts.” On some level, we all know that the world is not actually made of extractable resources (human or ecological) available for guilt-free rape and pillage. Still, for some reason, we choose to see it that way.
Monday, July 21, 2014

core77 on Tools of Design Representation and designers.
The inherent characteristics of the tool-in-hand (the TDR in use) can and does have an influence upon reflective practice. However, this tool-focused approach overlooks one important factor. As the German philosopher Martin Heidegger once said, 'A tool is only a tool insofar as it is used as such to achieve an expected goal'. That is, the designer brings his or her expertise, skills, knowledge and judgment to TDR choice and use (or lack thereof); their understanding of a tool's strengths and limitations, in terms of the requirements of design practice (or lack thereof), has clear implications for the extent to which the design tool influences the design practice.
I haven't come across that "A tool is only a tool..." quote before. The only link in Google is the blog post.
Sunday, July 20, 2014

Opinionator has Michael Marder on the uses of the Black Notebooks.
Of course, none of the recent revelations about Heidegger should be suppressed or dismissed. But neither should they turn into mantras and formulas, meant to discredit one of the most original philosophical frameworks of the past century. At issue are not only concepts (such as “being-in-the-world”) or methodologies (such as “hermeneutical ontology”) but the ever fresh way of thinking that holds in store countless possibilities that are not sanctioned by the prevalent techno-scientific rationality, which governs much of philosophy within the walls of the academia.
Best to suppress thinking before it corrupts the youth of technutopia.
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
In The Week, Damon Linker on Americans' anxiety about thinking.
I'm inclined to follow philosopher Martin Heidegger down a different, deeper, and darker path of speculation. Heidegger proposed that we human beings are uniquely terrified of our own mortality because we're more keenly aware than any other animal of all we have to lose by dying. Each of us inhabits a world overflowing with meaning. We care deeply, almost infinitely, about ourselves, our lives, our loved ones. And the prospect of losing it all — of the world and everything in it winking out of existence when we cease to be — is unspeakably horrifying. Heidegger also suggested that we spend much of our lives fleeing from the fact of our finitude, throwing ourselves into the world and its concerns, including technological distractions and diversions.
In Slate, the no thing of nothing.
Science and religion ask different questions about different things. Where religion addresses ontology, science is concerned with ontic description. Indeed, it is what Orthodox theologian David Bentley Hart calls their “austere abdication of metaphysical pretensions” that enables the sciences to do their work. So when, for instance, evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne and pop-cosmologist Lawrence Krauss dismiss the (metaphysical) problem of how something could emerge from nothing by pointing to the Big Bang or quantum fluctuation, it is difficult to be kind: Quantum fluctuations, the uncertainty principle, the laws of quantum physics themselves—these are something. Nothing is not quantum anything. It is nothing. Nonbeing. This, not empty space, is what “nothing” signifies for Plato and Aquinas and Heidegger, no matter what Krauss believes. No particles, no fluctuation, no laws, no principles, no potentialities, no states, no space, no time. No thing at all.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Zizek on the Event of the disclosure of being.
While the transcendental turn is a specific move that characterizes the core of Kant’s philosophical revolution, it is, at a deeper level, a name – arguably the name – for the move that characterizes, constitutes even, philosophy as such, i.e., philospphy in its difference from knowledge about positive reality. Heidegger saw this very clearly when, in his Being and Time, he proposes his redefinition of hermeneutics as ontology proper, as fundamental ontology, not only as a science about understanding and interpreting texts. Let us take the example of life: the proper topic of philosophy is not the real nature of life as a natural phenomenon (how did life evolve out of complex chemical processes, what are the minimal scientific characteristics of a living organism, etc.). Philosophy raises a different question: when we encounter living entities, when we treat them as such, we already have to possess a certain pre-understanding which enables us to recognize them as alive, and philosophy focuses on this pre-understanding. The same goes, say, for freedom: in what way do we understand “freedom” when we ask the question “Are we free or not?”. The basic transcendental-hermeneutic move is the move towards this horizon of pre-understanding which is always-already here, and this is what Heidegger means with the Event of the disclosure of being: history at its most radical is not the change in reality, but the shift in how things appear to us, in our fundamental pre-understanding of reality.
Monday, July 14, 2014
Wozu Dichter?

Daniel Bosch invites Jorie Graham.
Lies and silos fog the landscape; Iowa
rustles with Dasein on an ordinary evening,
so live out your sentences.
For when Ereignis is not sufficient.

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