Performative Authenticity: Mass Society in Real Time

The demand to be authentic is so commonplace that it has lost its meaning. ‘Today, there is little premium placed on being authentic,’ writes the American philosopher Gordon Marino in his moving meditation The Existentialist’s Survival Guide: How to Live Authentically in an Inauthentic Age (2018). The increasing prevalence of social media constructions of ourselves, … Continue reading Performative Authenticity: Mass Society in Real Time

The Sickness Before the Infection, Part 2: Preservation or Carrying On?

The seeming inability of recent generations to purchase either home or land is known to be a first-order symptom of this historical system of wealth acquisition, like having shortness of breath and a fever are first-order symptoms of having acquired the corona virus. At least two full generations of people who do not know how to grow food is another first-order symptom of the failure of a system of wealth acquisition.

The Sickness Before the Infection: Why we Want Social Distancing

Part 3 This is a continuation of Part 1: https://idealsandidentities.com/2020/03/28/the-sickness-before-the-infection/ and Part 2 https://idealsandidentities.com/2020/04/10/the-sickness-before-the-infection-part-2-preservation-or-carrying-on/ I am continuing to write it, and will publish the entire “The Sickness Before the Infection” upon completion.  This is the up-to-date edit of Part 3. What amazes, and sometimes perplexes, me is what will be carried on after the coronavirus … Continue reading The Sickness Before the Infection: Why we Want Social Distancing

The Sickness Before the Infection, Part 1: Urgently Stopping the Sniffles.

In other words, there is no identifiable locus of the virus. It doesn’t matter whether the virus is transmitted among the community, or brought in on a plane or train. It doesn’t matter whether we have been globally exposed or locally situated, the virus is all around, and it could be transmitted by any of us. And even though I might feel well, I have been infected and have transmitted it to others before I even knew I was sick. How terrifying is that?

A Deeper Cliche

When someone uses capital letters incorrectly in official documents, we tend to think of the writer as having missed a lesson from their elementary school Language Arts class. They may also be conforming to the format of texting out of context. In reviewing student writing for a living, I find misused capitalization to be a … Continue reading A Deeper Cliche

Hints and Allegations

"the overlooked habits in human beings’ interactions with one another will also rear their ugly, destructive, and malicious effects on the world around us and within us. Unconscious habits will emerge because we have too often overlooked them, and they will appear and be treated as hints and allegations that exist on the periphery of our conscious view, with the grand temptation to push them aside because the reality from which they emerge is too uncomfortable to deal with."

Living Abroad and Our Sense of Self

“Often I feel I go to some distant region of the world to be reminded of who I really am…Stripped of your ordinary surroundings, your friends, your daily routines…you are forced into direct experience [which] inevitably makes you aware of who it is that is having the experience.” Michael Crichton, Travels In the process of … Continue reading Living Abroad and Our Sense of Self