Where is the global warming?
The last few days have been bitterly cold, and although today was supposed to be warm (about 48 degrees F or 9 degrees C), it stayed at about freezing for many hours. It was also raining, so we had freezing rain. What a bother! I would like to know when the globe will get warm enough so I don’t have to see any more snow.
One Ivy League Degree, One Vote
This essay by Nassim Taleb suggests that our elites like the idea of one Ivy-League degree, one vote. Yes, that seems about right. It does seem as though that is the way those people think. It’s strange that so many who are lower down on the intellectual spectrum put up with this, but they do. I’m talking about all the people who get their degrees from something other than an Ivy-League college. There are masses of such people, and yet many of them support the elites, who look down on them. See this essay, also. But why has this happened? Leftists didn't seem to be like this when I was younger. It seems that going back to the Sixties, colleges became the locus of a lot of leftist activity. But back then, professors came from a lot of different institutions. What changed was that the academic job market dried up, and colleges could afford to hire only those who had Ivy-League degrees. More and more, the spokesmen for the left were college professors (not labor leaders or ordinary teachers) who had gone to elite schools. And they looked down on anyone who wasn't part of their elite circle. Those leftists whom they scorned never quite noticed this change because it was so gradual.
Universities as Leftist Seminaries
Leftist seminaries is what Maverick Philosopher, in this essay, has suggested that we think of our colleges and universities. [Hat tip: Mark Spahn] Great idea. Especially when you find intellectual sludge like this:
Losing Steam After Marx and Freud: on entropy as the horizon of the community to come
Karyn Ball, University of Alberta
This essay undertakes a critique of recent trends in affect theory from the standpoint of the “human motor”: a trope that presupposes a thermodynamic psychophysiology distended between energy conservation and entropy. In the course of reanimating thermodynamic motifs in Marx’s labor power metabolics and Freud’s trauma energetics, the essay broaches entropics as a poetics of depletion that offsets affect theories promoting open-system metaphors. Open-system affect theory sometimes amalgamates emancipatory post-humanist gestures inherited from Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari with neuroscientific terms. In the course of “liberating” affect from subject-oriented topoi, this “liberation-scientistic” admixture expropriates organic matter’s degeneration over time. An “entropical” perspective also challenges Antonio Negri’s Spinozaist affect conceived as a capacitating power that encounters obstacles but never limits. Both “liberation scientism” and “capacitation rhetoric” mimic capital’s abstraction in infinitely expanding its potential to extract surplus value from finitely embodied labor. With enervation and deterioration at its crux, entropics illuminates how people might feel individuated by their respective struggles to safeguard scarce energy and forestall “heat death” while navigating simultaneous demands. The question is whether or not open-system motifs in affect theory can effectively register the political force of this struggle with depletion and present or imminent debilitation as its common ground.
[here; and another hat tip to Mark Spahn]
By the way, I sent this to a physicist friend, who initially thought I had written it. Perish the thought!
At some point, I argued that people like this shouldn’t be called “postmodernists,” but rather “pre-Islamists.” They are engaged in attacking the West, while doing nothing to prevent ultraconservative theocrats from taking over. In fact, they often defend such people by complaining that anyone who resists them is an Islamophobe.
What Should We Call the Destruction of the Left in Iran?
Back in 1979, the left in Iran was destroyed by Muslims. As far as I know, this event does not have a name. I thought that something like the Holocaust and the Holodomor would do, like the Hologauchiste. (“Gauchiste” was the only word for “leftist” of various languages I investigated that sounded good in this context.) I was surprised to learn that the word “Holodomor” isn’t a bit related to the word “Holocaust,” even though they share the first four letters. “Holocaust” splits into “holo” and “caust,” while “Holodomor” splits into “holod” and “mor,” both of them Ukrainian words.
Another possibility is “Sinistralocaust.” I’m not thrilled with either of these, but I can’t think of anything else. But it would be nice to have a word to use when talking about it with leftists, most of whom seem ignorant of this event.