The behaviours that make us human are not professional. Honesty, frankness, humour, emotionality, embracing the moment, speaking up for what you believe, affection, sincerity. Quoting extremely offensive trolls. These are all things that will make some people love you and others hate you. When you get more attention, these aspects of your personality fuel the inevitable backlash. As your audience grows, the chance of any given action triggering criticism asymptotically approaches 100%.
“If you want to get better at what you do, and you want to make better things, you are going to have to make your peace with the fact that it’s going to be out there. People are going to think what they think of it, and you have to decide what their response to it has to do with what you decide to do next. I would hope that strangers not liking what you do is not going to stop you from doing things you want in the way that you want.”
- Merlin Mann, Back to Work #149
I’m not entirely in love with the reblog (and the quote post) at the moment - hence a slight lull in Tumblr activity. They feel… noisy and a bit pointless: everyone shouting and shouting about how we ought to go and read some other article, somewhere over there. Shouldn’t we be trying to write the thing worth reading, not just the signpost toward it?
But of course sometimes there are ideas we want to share. In order to make them Minimum Viable Blog Post, there’s one question the blogger can answer, and that’s “Why did I want to share this with you?”
Why did I want to share this with you?
Well, clearly something resonated. It’s a few days after I saved the draft above on Tumblr, and I ended up talking about this on Twitter tonight. This was why I wanted to share this with you - I don’t know what to call it exactly, perhaps -
On Tweeting In Public
U know when you write something weird/speculative & u just wanna caveat yr tweet, “This is for this group of ppl. Rest of you just ignore” 
Even the txtspeak in my last tweet says (to me, at least) that I am addressing a certain community & this isn’t aimed at all. 
Because you can’t address 2400 people in the same way. Cannot be done. Anything interesting you say will inevitably alienate/annoy someone 
My more political followers may call me up on it, this has happened. The marketers just stay hush but the professional consequences worry me 
I don’t want Google+ circles though - or even custom FB friends settings. There’s value to speaking in public that means we take these risks 
But really it’s a desire to be read but not necessarily judged - impossible! 
“I have experimented with @replying people I reasonably suspect will be a mutual follow for the right group.”
This is a good idea - @justinpickard or @jessedarling have 100+ mutual followers to me, but the intersection selects for a much more specific group.
“Context. “This is not the content you’re looking for, but you’re welcome as a guest; know that this is a foreign country of me..”’
No, not not-judged, just judged within the context it’s intended to be read in. But twitter collapses contexts, superlatively.”
Ella got it: you wanna be “judged within the context it’s intended to be read in.” My Tumblr piece used Derrida as a “here be dragons”…
..a lil bit of theory-dropping as if to signal “If this isn’t familiar, realise that what I’m writing isn’t for you.” Theory to alienate :\ [8, 9]
But also for legitimacy, to make it ok (literary) to say the word “phallic” in public. Cos nice marketers probably shouldn’t…
I studied social anthropology. We had lectures on “the deep psychological identification of Balinese men with their cocks” (Clifford Geertz, 1973 p.417) and endonecrophagy (go on, Google it). As a result, there is very little I regard as outside the realm of polite discourse. But I gather YMMV.
Ok, so why do this? Why talk about interesting weird things in public that you’re not sure will always be received quite right? 
As mentioned, a value to speaking in public - namely that of weak links and serendipity 
The Network Shall Provide. The guiding logic of my digital peer group. You get further by entertaining it than by placating institutions.
Unprofessionalism, or People Build Relationships With People (not Marketing Week Retweeting Bots). cc Allen Pike:
"Unprofessionalism: taking my humanity just as seriously as I take my profession. It generates a lot more feedback. I encourage you to try." [14, 15]
Sometimes you’ve gotta experiment in public. Release early, release often. You learn much, much faster. 
Because it might provoke an interesting response 
The principle of idealist aesthetics, purposiveness without purpose, reverses the schema socially adopted by bourgeois art: purposelessness for purposes dictated by the market. In the demand for entertainment and relaxation, purpose has finally consumed the realm of the purposeless. But as the demand for the martketability of art has become total, a shift in the inner economic composition of cultural commodities is becoming apparent. For the use which is made of the work of art in antagonistic society is largely that of confirming the very existence of the useless, which art’s total subsumption under usefulness has abolished. In adapting itself entirely to need, the work of art defrauds human beings in advance of the liberation from the principle of utility which it is supposed to bring about. What might be called use value in the reception of cultural assets is being replaced by exchange value; enjoyment is giving way to being there and being in the know, connoisseurship by enhanced prestige. The consumer becomes the ideology of the amusement industry, whose institutions he or she cannot escape. One has to have seen Mrs. Miniver, just as one must subscribe to Life and Time. Everything is perceived only from the point of view that it can serve as something else, however vaguely that other thing might be envisaged. Everything has value only in so far as it can be exchanged, not in so far as it is something in itself. For consumers the use value of art, its essence, is a fetish, and the fetish—the social valuation which they mistake for the merit of works of art—becomes its only use value, the only quality they enjoy. In this way the commodity character of art disintegrates just as it is fully realized. Art becomes a species of commodity, worked up and adapted to industrial production, saleable and exchangeable; but art as the species of commodity which exists in order to be sold yet not for sale becomes something hypocritically unsaleable as soon as the business transaction is no longer merely its intention but its sole principle. The Toscanini performance on the radio is, in a sense, unsaleable. One listens to it for nothing, and each note of the symphony is accompanied, as it were, by the sublime advertisement that the symphony is not being interrupted by advertisements—“This concert is brought to you as a public service.” The deception takes places indirectly via the profit of all the united automobile and soap manufacturers, on whose payments the stations survive, and, of course, via the increased sales of the electrical industry as the producer of receiver sets.
Horkheimer and Adorno, The Dialectic of Enlightenment
Still, as is the case with every potential reform in academic life, there are perils. The world of knowledge production is a marketplace, but it is a very special marketplace, with its own practices, its own values, and its own rules. A lot has changed in higher education in the last 50 years. What has not changed is the delicate and somewhat paradoxical relation in which the university stands to the general culture. It is important for research and teaching to be relevant, for the university to engage with the public culture and to design its investigative paradigms with actual social and cultural life in view. That is, in fact, what most professors try to do—even when they feel inhibited from saying so by the taboo against instrumentalist and presentist talk. Professors teach what they teach because they believe that it makes a difference. To continue to do this, academic inquiry, at least in some fields, may need to become less exclusionary and more holistic. That may be the road down which the debates I have been describing are taking higher education.
But at the end of this road there is a danger, which is that the culture of the university will become just an echo of the public culture. That would be a catastrophe. It is the academic’s job in a free society to serve the public culture by asking questions the public doesn’t want to ask, investigating subjects it cannot or will not investigate, and accommodating voices it fails or refuses to accommodate. Academics need to look to the world to see what kind of teaching and research needs to be done, and how they might better train and organize themselves to do it. But they need to ignore the world’s demand that they reproduce its self-image.
Their ‘knowing’ is creating, their creating is a legislation, their will to truth is—will to power.
I insist that people should finally stop confounding philosphical laborers, and scientific men generally, with philosophers; precisely at this point we should be strict about giving ‘each his due,’ and not far too much to those and far too little to these.
It may be necessary for the education of a genuine philosopher that he himself has also once stood on all these steps on which his servants, the scientific laborers of philosophy, remain standing—have to—remain standing. Perhaps he himself must have been critic and skeptic and dogmatist and historian and also poet and collector and traveler and solver of riddles and moralist and seer and ‘free spirit’ and almost everything in order to pass through the whole range of human value feelings and to be able to see with many different eyes and consciences, from a height and into every distance, from the depths into every height, from a nook into every expanse. But all these are merely pre-conditions of his task: this task demands something different—it demands that he create values.
Those philosophical laborers after the noble model of Kant and Hegel have to determine and press into formulas, whether in the realm of logic or political (moral) thought or art, some great data of valuations—that is, former positings of values, creations of value which have become dominant and are for a time called ‘truths.’ It is for these investigators to make everything that has happened and has been esteemed so far easy to look over, easy to think over, intelligible and manageable, to abbreviate everything long, even ‘time,’ and to overcome the entire past—an enormous and wonderful task in whose service every subtle pride, every tough will can certainly find satisfaction. Genuine philosophers, however, are commanders and legislators: they say, ‘thus it shall be!’ They first determine the Whither and For What of man, and in so doing have at their disposal the preliminary labor of all philosophical laborers, all who have overcome the past. With a creative hand they reach for the future, and all that is and has been becomes a means for them, an instrument, a hammer. Their ‘knowing’ is creating, their creating is a legislation, their will to truth is—will to power.
Are there such philosophers today? Have there been such philoso phers yet? Must there not be such philosophers?
"It’s like we’ve been flung back in time," he said. "Here we are in the Stone Age, knowing all these great things after centuries of progress but what can we do to make life easier for the Stone Agers? Can we make a refrigerator? Can we even explain how it works? What is electricity? What is light? We experience these things every day of our lives but what good does it do if we find ourselves hurled back in time and we can’t even tell people the basic principles much less actually make something that would improve conditions. Name one thing you could make. Could you make a simple wooden match that you could strike on a rock to make a flame? We think we’re so great and modern. Moon landings, artificial hearts. But what if you were hurled into a time warp and came face to face with the ancient Greeks. The Greeks invented trigonometry. They did autopsies and dissections. What could you tell an ancient Greek that he couldn’t say, ‘Big deal.’ Could you tell him about the atom? Atom is a Greek word. The Greeks knew that the major events in the universe can’t be seen by the eye of man. It’s waves, it’s rays, it’s particles."
"We’re doing all right."
"We’re sitting in this huge moldy room. It’s like we’re flung back."
"We have heat, we have light."
"These are Stone Age things. They had heat and light. They had fire. They rubbed flints together and made sparks. Could you rub flints together? Would you know a flint if you saw one? If a Stoner Ager asked you what a nucleotide is, could you tell him? How do we make carbon paper? What is glass? If you came awake tomorrow in the Middle Ages and there was an epidemic raging, what could you do to stop it, knowing what you do about the progress of medicine and disease? Here it is practically the twenty-first century and you’ve read hundreds of books and magazines and seen a hundred TV shows about science and medicine. Could you tell those people one little crucial thing that might save a million and a half lives?"
“‘Boil your water,’ I’d tell them.”
"Sure. What about ‘Wash behind your ears.’ That’s about as good."
"I still think we’re doing fairly well. There was no warning. We have food, we have radios."
"What is a radio? What is the principle of a radio? Go ahead, explain. You’re sitting in the middle of this circle of people. They use pebble tools. They eat groups. Explain a radio."
"There’s no mystery. Powerful transmitters send signals. They travel through the air, to be picked up by receivers."
"They travel through the air. What, like birds? Why not tell them magic? They travel through the air in magic waves. What is a nucleotide? You don’t know, do you? Yet these are the building blocks of life. What good is knowledge if it just floats in the air? It goes from computer to computer. It changes and grows every second of every day. But nobody actually knows anything."
“All my human relationships have to do with a mask of me and I must perpetually be the victim of living a completely hidden life. I have always been exposed to the cruelest coincidences - or, rather, it is I who have always turned all coincidence into cruelty.”—Friedrich Nietzsche (via silencemadenietzschecry)
“Since beginningless time and into the never-ending future, men have loved women without telling them, and the Lord has loved them without telling, and the void is not the void because there’s nothing to be empty of.”—Jack Kerouac | Tristessa (via fuckyeahexistentialism)
I said to him, “Why is it, Alfonse, that decent, well-meaning and responsible people find themselves intrigued by catastrophe when they see it on television?”
I told him about the recent evening of lava, mud and raging water that the children and I had found so entertaining.
"We wanted more, more."
"It’s natural, it’s normal," he said, with a reassuring nod. "It happens to everybody."
"Because we’re suffering from brain fade. We need an occasional catastrophe to break up the incessant bombardment of information."
"It’s obvious," Lasher said. A slight man with a taut face and slicked-back hair.
"The flow is constant," Alfonse said. "Words, pictures, numbers, facts, graphics, statistics, specks, waves, particles, motes. Only a catastrophe gets our attention. We want them, we need them, we depend on them. As long as they happen somewhere else. This is where California comes in. Mud slides, brush fires, coastal erosion, earthquakes, mass killings, et cetera. We can relax and enjoy these disasters because in our hearts we feel that California deserves whatever it gets. Californians invented the concept of life-style. This alone warrants their doom."
Reblog with your Personality types bolded, for your own reference, or for your followers to get to know you better! Add some others if you know any (such as Hogwarts houses: not a typical personality test, but they give other people insight into what you’re like!) Ones with free online tests are linked.
We are finally in a position to understand how the computerization of society affects this problematic. It could become the ‘dream’ instrument for controlling and regulating the market system, extended to include knowledge itself and governed exclusively by the performativity principle. In that case, it would inevitably involve the use of terror. But it could also aid groups discussing metaprescriptives by supplying them with the information they usually lack for making knowledgeable decisions. The line to follow for computerization to take the second of these two paths is, in principle, quite simple: give the public free access to the memory and data banks. Language games would then be games of perfect information at any given moment. But they would also be non-zero-sum games, and by virtue of that fact discussion would never risk fixating in a position of minimax equilibrium because it had exhausted its stakes. for the stakes would be knowledge (or information, if you will), and the reserve of knowledge — language’s reserve of possible utterances — is inexhaustible. This sketches the outline of a politics that would respect both the desire for justice and the desire for the unknown.
This is, in fact, the use of the ordinary desk computing machine as employed in banks, in business offices, and in many statistics laboratories. It is not the way that larger and more automated machines are best to be employed; in general, any computing machine is used because machine methods are faster than hand methods. In any combined use of means of computation, as in any combination of chemical reactions, it is the slowest which gives the order of magnitude of the time constants of the entire system. It is thus advantageous, as far as possible, to remove the human element from any elaborate chain of computation and to introduce it only where it is absolutely unavoidable, at the very beginning and the very end. Under these conditions, it pays to have an instrument for the change of the scale of notation, to be used initially and finally in the chain of computations, and to perform all intermediate processes on the binary scale.
Norbert Weiner, Cybernetics: or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine
The dangers of a philosopher’s development are indeed so manifold today that one may doubt whether this fruit can still ripen at all. The scope and the tower-building of the sciences has grown to be enormous, and with this also the probability that the philosopher grows weary while still learning or allows himself to be detained somewhere to become a “specialist”—so he never attains his proper level, the height for a comprehensive look, for looking around, for looking down. Or he attains it too late, when his best time and strength are spent—or impaired, coarsened, degenerated, so his view, his over-all value judgment does not mean much any more. It may be precisely the sensitivity of his intellectual conscience that leads him to delay somewhere along the way and to be late: he is afraid of the seduction to become a dilettante, a millipede, an insect with a thousand antennae; he knows too well that whoever has lost his self-respect cannot command or lead in the realm of knowledge—unless he would like to become a great actor, a philosophical Cagliostro and pied piper, in short, a seducer. This is in the end a question of taste, even if it were not a question of conscience.
Add to this, by way of once more doubling the difficulties for a philosopher, that he demands of himself a judgment, a Yes or No, not about the sciences but about life and the value of life—that he is reluctant to come to believe that he has a right, or even a duty, to such a judgment, and must seek his way to this right and faith only from the most comprehensive—perhaps most disturbing and destructive—experiences, and frequently hesitates, doubts, and lapses into silence.
Indeed, the crowd has for a long time misjudged and mistaken the philosopher, whether for a scientific man and ideal scholar or for a religiously elevated, desensualized, “desecularized” enthusiast and sot of God. And if a man is praised today for living “wisely” or “as a philosopher,” it hardly means more than “prudently and apart.” Wisdom—seems to the rabble a kind of escape, a means and trick for getting well out of a wicked game. But the genuine philosopher—as it seems to us, my friends?—lives “unphilosophically” and “unwisely,’ above all imprudently, and feels the burden and the duty of a hundred attempts and temptations of life—he risks himself constantly, he plays the wicked game—
“Kierkegaard may shout in warning: “If man had no eternal consciousness, if, at the bottom of everything, there were merely a wild, seething force producing everything, both large and trifling, in the storm of dark passions, if the bottomless void that nothing can fill underlay all things, what would life be but despair?” This cry is not likely to stop the absurd man. Seeking what is true is not seeking what is desirable. If in order to elude the anxious question: “What would life be?” one must, like the donkey, feed on the roses of illusion, then the absurd mind, rather than resigning itself to falsehood, prefers to adopt fearlessly Kierkegaard’s reply: “despair.””—
But with many managers this skepticism coexisted with a powerful nostalgia for the analytic approach that they themselves were unable (and in the case of ISO 9000, unwilling) to apply. This point was driven home to us on a three-day trip to the San Francisco Bay area, during which we alternated between interviews with biotechnology companies and with Levi Strauss executives. After describing how their laundries developed and disseminated the finishing effects that drove style in blue jeans—a process involving a lot of ad hoc experimentation, closely akin to kissing frogs—one of the executives talked about his plans in the future to cross-train his jeans designers in chemical engineering. “Then we will do it,” he said, “just like they do in biotech.” But what we actually learned in our biotechnology interviews was that they were doing it just like they do in blue jeans! The chemists were producing new assays and giving them to commercial labs to play around with and see what they could discover in terms of new uses, just as laundries were playing around with different ways of washing and abrading denim
Lester and Piore, Innovation: The Missing Dimension
In the same way too, by determining the relation which a philosophical work professes to have to other treatises on the same subject, an extraneous interest is introduced, and obscurity is thrown over the point at issue in the knowledge of the truth. The more the ordinary mind takes the opposition between true and false to be fixed, the more is it accustomed to expect either agreement or contradiction with a given philosophical system, and only to see reason for the one or the other in any explanatory statement concerning such a system. It does not conceive the diversity of philosophical systems as the progressive evolution of truth; rather, it sees only contradiction in that variety. The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant’s existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another. But the ceaseless activity of their own inherent nature makes them at the same time moments of an organic unity, where they not merely do not contradict one another, but where one is as necessary as the other; and this equal necessity of all moments constitutes alone and thereby the life of the whole. But contradiction as between philosophical systems is not wont to be conceived in this way; on the other hand, the mind perceiving the contradiction does not commonly know how to relieve it or keep it free from its one-sidedness, and to recognise in what seems conflicting and inherently antagonistic the presence of mutually necessary moments.