The Data-Driven Life

This piece was presented at the conference Digital Existence: Memory, Meaning, Vulnerability in October 2015, under the title “The Data-Driven Life: Existential Correlates of Knowing in the Surveillance Society”. The boilerplate caveat: most of it is preliminary thoughts in an ongoing project. After years of rumbling in the backstage, online surveillance had its breakout moment in…

Morton – Hyperobjects

Timothy Morton, Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology at the End of the World. 2013.   J.M.W. Turner, The Slave Ship, 1840.   Hyperobjects is a book about a single concept: objects so ‘big’ – in multiple senses – that they exceed typical human capacity for grasping, comprehending, keeping hold of, controlling, counting, taking account of them. Deriving…

Sheehan – Making Sense of Heidegger

Thomas Sheehan, Making Sense of Heidegger: A Paradigm Shift. 2014.     From Existential Comics, link here. (Please contact me if you are the author and want it gone.) Double points for irony if you know the actual source of that quotation…     I typically deal with primary texts in this site – but this book, with its…

Hansen – Feed-Forward

Mark Hansen, Feed-Forward: On the Future of Twenty-First-Century Media, 2015.   Eadweard [Edward] Muybridge, Boys playing leapfrog, 1887   Feed-Forward is a project to use Whiteheadian philosophy for a philosophy of ‘new’ media. Its central conceit is the notion of 21st century media: media that not only ‘augments’ or otherwise modifies our sensory experience of the world, but undercuts and…

Merleau-Ponty – Phenomenology of Perception

Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception, 1945 [EN 1962] Page numbers and quotes are from the 2013 Donald Landes translation.    Pieter Brueghel the Elder, Children’s Games, 1560.      Phenomenology of Perception [PP] does a fair bit of work to ensure that the neophyte is left floundering for a chapter or two. One grasps at the flurry…