Chance Seeking 2.0 on library encounters
of the random kind.
A digital library is something specifically built up to allow users to get what she or he wants as quickly as possible. And that’s great, no doubt about that. A digital library – optimizing a specific dimension of a complex experience like “consulting a text” – is built so as to make us far less exposed to unanticipated events. Some day ago I was in the library – a real one. I was getting to the exit in a typical flaneuristic style, when I noticed an interesting section containing books about existential psychotherapy (weird stuff, indeed). There was a book called “Dictionary of existential philosophy”. I couldn’t miss it. I briefly skimmed it and I got my attention captured by a Heideggerian term – Ereignis. In plain German Ereignis means “event”, but for Heidegger it is a particular event: an event – it was written – affording appropriation, making life your own – or something like that. I actually already knew the word. But this definition connected it with the concept of appropriation, which is something I’m working on. That made me think about the possibility to see a chance as something related to the concept of Ereignis.
I take it that flaneuristic style, now, no longer has to do with sartorial presence. It's like a Neoplatonist said, the philosophical attitude can be all internalized. Seen from the outside, by others, the philosophically minded flaneur is just another schlub.