it's the best part? should i just stop reading bergsonism now? the definition of virtuality/actuality given later on (70s, i looked it up from the index) looks promising!
The whole thing is wonderful, but I find this moment a great teaching tool. So often, I can answer students’ questions by asking them to question the way they are framing it as a problem. I owe that to this book—that part.
“We are wrong to believe that the true and the false can only be brought to bear on solutions, that they only begin with solutions. This prejudice is social (for society, and the language that transmits its order-words, “set up” ready-made problems, as if they were drawn out of “the city’s administrative filing cabinets,” and force us to “solve” them, leaving us only a thin margin of freedom). Moreover, this prejudice goes back to childhood, to the classroom: It is the school teacher who “poses” the problems; the pupil’s task is to discover the solutions. In this way we are kept in a kind of slavery. True freedom lies in a power to decide, to constitute problems themselves. And this “semi-divine” power entails the disappearance of false problems as much as the creative upsurge of true ones.”—
“There’s no doubt that late capitalism certainly articulates many of its injunctions via an appeal to (a certain version of) health. The banning of smoking in public places, the relentless monstering of working class diets on programs like You Are What You Eat, do appear to indicate that we are already in the presence of a paternalism without the Father. It is not that smoking is ‘wrong’, it is that it will lead to our failing to lead long and enjoyable lives. But there are limits to this emphasis on good health: mental health and intellectual development barely feature at all, for instance. What we see instead is a reductive, hedonic model of health which is all about ‘feeling and looking good’. To tell people how to lose weight, or how to decorate their house, is acceptable; but to call for any kind of cultural improvement is to be oppressive and elitist.”—Mark Fisher, Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative? (via spectaculardistractions)
“Slowly I began to understand fully that there was no place in academe for folks from working-class backgrounds who did not wish to leave the past behind. That was the price of the ticket. Poor students would be welcome at the best institutions of higher learning only if they were willing to surrender memory, to forget the past and claim the assimilated present as the only worthwhile and meaningful reality.”—bell hooks (via wretchedoftheearth)
“Let us take chess and Go, from the standpoint of the game pieces, the relations between the pieces and the space involved. Chess is a game of State, or of the court: the emperor of China played it. Chess pieces are coded; they have an internal nature and intrinsic properties from which their movements, situations, and confrontations derive. They have qualities; a knight remains a knight, a pawn a pawn, a bishop a bishop. Each is like a subject of the statement endowed with a relative power, and these relative powers combine in a subject of enunciation, that is, the chess player or the game’s form of interiority. Go pieces, in contrast, are pellets, disks, simple arithmetic units, and have only an anonymous, collective, or third-person function:’It’ makes a move. ‘It’ could be a man, a woman, a louse, an elephant. Go pieces are elements of a nonsubjectified machine assemblage with no intrinsic properties, only situational ones. Thus the relations are very different in the two cases. Within their milieu of interiority, chess pieces entertain biunivocal relations with one another, and with the adversary’s pieces: their functioning is structural. On the other hand, a Go piece has only a milieu of exteriority, or extrinsic relations with nebulas or constellations, according to which it fulfills functions of insertion or situation, such as bordering, encircling, shattering. All by itself, a Go piece can destroy an entire constellation synchronically; a chess piece cannot (or can do so diachronically only). Chess is indeed a war, but an institutionalized, regulated, coded war, with a front, a rear, battles. But what is proper to Go is war without battle lines, with neither confrontation nor retreat, without battles even: pure strategy, whereas chess is a semiology. Finally, the space is not at all the same: in chess, it is a question of arranging a closed space for oneself, thus of going from one point to another, of occupying the maximum number of squares with the minimum number of pieces. In Go, it is a question of arraying oneself in an open space, of holding space, of maintaining the possibility of springing up at any point: the movement is not from one point to another, but becomes perpetual, without aim or destination, without departure or arrival. The ‘smooth’ space of Go, as against the ‘striated’ space of chess. The nomos of Go against the State of chess, nomos against polis. The difference is that chess codes and decodes space, whereas Go proceeds altogether differently, territorializing or deterritorializing it (make the outside a territory in space; consolidate that territory by the construction of a second, adjacent territory; deterritorialize the enemy by shattering his territory from within; deterritorialize oneself by renouncing, by going elsewhere…). Another justice, another movement, another space-time.”—Felix Guattari & Gilles Deleuze, A Thousand Plateaus (via sfpml)
“As is evident from his letters, his encounter with Hannah Arendt in the fall of 1924 was to shatter for many years the established order of his existence. It was to bring out a side of him that he himself did not know existed and make him break the fundamental rules of the respectable social and academic milieu, rules he had attentively followed.”—Elzbieta Ettinger, Hannah Arendt, Martin Heidegger (Yale University Press, 1995), 13
(NEWSER) – Of all the places to commit a crime, you may want to avoid Arizona. Amnesty International today released a report blasting the state’s “cruel isolation” practices. It claims that Arizona’s state prisons overuse solitary confinement, with prisoners spending as long as 15 years alone in a windowless cell for 22 to 24 hours a day. According to the state’s figures, 8% of its prison population is jailed in maximum-security units, most alone. What’s more, Amnesty says those figures also reveal that 35% of those 3,130 inmates committed non-violent crimes.
The Arizona Republic notes that only 1% of federal inmates and 1% to 3% of most state inmates are subjected to similar conditions. Other damning findings:
Amnesty tracked down 14 teens between the ages of 14 to 17 who had been held in isolation.
The “special management units” Arizona’s inmates are isolated in have lighting on 24 hours a day (it’s dimmed at night); inmates generally leave the cell no more than three times a week for two hours to exercise and shower (again, typically in windowless rooms).
Anyone sentenced to life is required to spend a minimum of the first two years of their sentence in solitary.
According to an ACLU lawsuit, prisoners in solitary tend to wait as long as six to eight months to meet with a psychologist; unlike many other states, Arizona allows mentally ill inmates to be placed in solitary.
Amnesty suspects that these conditions are fueling the state’s prison suicide rate, which is double the national average; 70% of the most recent suicides were committed by those in solitary.
“The demand for lucidity forgets the ruses that motor the ostensibly “clear” view. Avital Ronell recalls the moment in which Nixon looked into the eyes of the nation and said, “let me make one thing perfectly clear” and then proceeded to lie. What travels under the sign of “clarity,” and what would be the price of failing to deploy a certain critical suspicion when the arrival of lucidity is announced? Who devises the protocols of “clarity” and whose interests do they serve? What is foreclosed by the insistence on parochial standards of transparency as requisite for all communication? What does “transparency” keep obscure?”—Judith Butler in the 1999 Preface to Gender Trouble, taken from the Routledge Classics publication on p. xxi (via yourharbour)