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harry roberts

harry roberts's Public Library

  • It is not the world of beginnings nor the world of ends that obsesses: it is what Lionel Trilling called the middle of the journey.
  • how a single, powerful question pertains: what now?
  • characters out of Sinclair Lewis and Theodore Dreiser,

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  • academic
  • or what a professor of mine once scorned as “enthusiasm”
  • ay — wou

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  • Psychoanalysis. all of the instinctual energies and desires that are derived from the id.

  • Disgrace under Pressure
  • In America, where publications such as Esquire and GQ originated, men’s magazines weren’t scuzzy in the way ours are, and quite often they were venues for some of the country’s best and most expensive journalism.
  • n which even the writer seems completely bored with the subject:

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  • and the exercise of control through the command to transgress, rather than to repress

  • that the core and coherence of Dewey's writings can be spelled out as a philosophy of technology.
  • Why then is it that Heidegger has left so much stronger an impression on philosophers than Dewey has?
  • are submerged in a wealth of observations that are interesting in their own right but tend to blur the contours of his critique of modern technology.

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  • Hyperactivity
  • "a state of mobilization where the richness and variety of social and cultural pursuits, and the natural pace of daily life, have been suspended to serve a higher, urgent cause"

  • Hannah Höch in the 1920s,
  • re burdened by accretion of historical data
  • r this seems to rest, to a great degree at least, on the lack of actually existing socialism as spur to cultural production

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  • but he is surely right in his insistence that the secret of instilling confidence in the afflicted is to dial down the fear and humiliation.

  • Colonisation and slavery have created a sentiment of culpability in the West that leads people to adulate foreign traditions.
  • "Ayaan Hirsi Ali is now a brave, outspoken, slightly simplistic Enlightenment fundamentalist."
  • fanaticism for the prophet for that of reason

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  • “Please tell Mr Jagger I am not Maurits to him.”
  • Maurits was affectionately known as Mauk.
  • His work gradually became less observational and more formally inventive.

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  • has nothing to do with its value.
  • earning you hours more freedom to hunt and hoard ever more productivity tips, until you are a purely theoretical master at doing nothing of value in the most efficient way imaginable. 

  • ootball coaches and commentators praise a player’s “work rate”, which is thought to compensate for a lack of skill
  • “Some are always in a state of preparation, occupied in previous measures, forming plans, accumulating materials and providing for the main affair. These are certainly under the secret power of idleness.
  • (Time is not amenable to management: it just keeps passing, whatever you do.) Not allowing children to zone out and do nothing, Smart argues, is probably harming their development.

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  • System-preserving power is not repressive, but seductive
  • Instead of making people compliant, it endeavors to make them dependent.
  • Conceptual artist Jenny Holzer has formulated the paradox of the present situation: “Protect me from what I want.”


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  • (as Reaganism crested) “infantile leftist” spontaneism
  • succeeding at best in generating a striking metaphor or two
  • that he was not a serious enough figure to deserve that level of scholarly attention

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  • A chapter that touts the oft-mocked practice of collecting physical things as a counter to the homogenizing minimalism of Apple and Ikea rings true,

  • we must understand how belief imbues ideas with truth, how faith lends weight to an argument.
  • "framework of ritual."
  • "fictional force.

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  • he derives his critique of utopianism from Norman Cohn’s 1957 book, The Pursuit of the Millennium.
  • As such, the best that flawed and potentially wicked human creatures can hope for is a commitment to civilized constraints that will prevent the very worst from happening: a politics of the least worst.
  • It’s the thrill of reading Adorno or, in a certain light, Agamben. Such is what Nietzsche called “European Buddhism.”

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  • Maintaining attachments that sustain the good life fantasy, no matter how injurious or cruel these attachments may be, allows people to make it through day-to-day life when the day-to-day has become unlivable
  • at the same time as that object is actually a threat to your flourishing
  • s structured through “crisis ordinariness,

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