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The Nihilist Roots of Futurism

The 20th-century nihilist belief that war is a salve to life's meaninglessness informs modern-day futurism, including those today who believe that humanity should be mechanized. Posted on 7 June 2014 | 10:07 am

Thoughtless Purposefulness

The word designating military drones comes from the word for bee. This is true all over the world, in countless languages. Partly because of this linguistic consistency, it is a common misperception that drones take their name from the buzzing sound when unmanned aircraft fill the air. More accurately, however, drones trace their etymological lineage…Read more Thoughtless Purposefulness Posted on 19 April 2013 | 1:09 pm

Beware of the Drones!

Thomas Levin of Princeton came to Bard Tuesday to give a lecture to the Drones Seminar, a weekly class I am participating in, led by my colleague Thomas Keenan and conceived by two of our students Arthur Holland and Dan Gettinger.  Levin has studied surveillance techniques for years and he came to think with us…Read more Beware of the Drones! Posted on 22 March 2013 | 4:45 pm

A Sorry Bunch of Dwarfs

Freeman Dyson, the eclectic physicist, took good aim at philosophy last week in a review of the silly book by Jim Holt, Why Does the World Exist?” An Existential Detective Story. Holt went around to “a portrait gallery of leading modern philosophers,” and asked them the Leibnizian question: Why is there something rather than nothing?”…Read more A Sorry Bunch of Dwarfs Posted on 5 November 2012 | 3:05 pm

The Marriage of Reason and Emotion

“We need to learn ‘simplicity’ and to unlearn ‘the simplification of abstract thinking’, to become fluent in the art and the language of ‘concrete’ thoughts and feelings, and thus to comprehend that both abstract notions and abstract emotions are not merely false to what actually happens but are viciously interconnected.” -Hannah Arendt: Introduction to J.…Read more The Marriage of Reason and Emotion Posted on 14 May 2012 | 12:51 pm