Kierkegaard: "Hope is a pretty girl, who slips away from one’s grasp." And again (!), "He who will only hope is cowardly. He who wants only to recollect is a voluptuary. But he who wills repetition, he is a man, and the more emphatically he has endeavoured to understand what this means, the deeper he … Continue reading Hope Contra Kierkegaard
The foremost imagery that I associate with the later Heidegger's analysis of technology is the Mine. A place where the logic of "challenging" nature, measuring the resources available, the most efficient ways to mine, the instrumental value of the stones, thus seeing everything as a "standing reserve" to be used and exhausted, "enframing" nature in … Continue reading Minecraft and Heidegger
(I organize a Maths-Except-That-It-Is-Much-Cooler-Than-Most-School-Maths Society, and during our last meeting a question came up: What do we mean by an "event"? Here is my answer—which reads like a piece of Heideggerian apology): We have to first specify what we really mean by an "event". When we say event, we can mean an "event" in mathematics … Continue reading The Humanity of Mathematics, from discussing “Event”
The most interesting type of love is the purely formal one. A contentless transcendental object=X that is the condition for the possibility of my elusive desire, of my overwhelming, burning, wrenching, parching, swarming thought about an other, not for any fact, any empirical discovery about them, but about them qua themselves. To love them with … Continue reading Love. Rethought.
(A series of ethical reflections after realizing how incredibly unlikely I am to be where I am) I am fortunate to not have been in the Chinese educational system, designed to produce mandarins. The more I think about it, the more it horrifies me. You are just your score. And your score at a single … Continue reading (Chinese Education)U(Ethical Reflections)
Chaplin did not disappoint. The Great Dictator is profound. It would be an ordinary, though terrifically executed, political satire without the mysterious last scene, where Hynkel (i.e. Hitler)'s benign double, the Barber, gives a benign humanitarian speech? And this seen really is enigmatic. Though it seems to be a triumph of speech from its dimensions … Continue reading The Great Dictator
Unedited essay for the UChicago supplement: “Don’t play what’s there, play what’s not there.“—Miles Davis (1926–91). (It is way over the word limit. But...) I “Why do you love me?” This is an impossible question that we can only answer with our flailing gestures and stutters and awkward false starts and pauses and frustrated faces. … Continue reading (Very Long) Reflections on Nothing
Ecstatic comes from the Greek word ekstatikos, of "unstable, inclined to depart from." Heidegger made a big deal about it by writing existence as ek-sistence. "Ek" as outside of yourself. This eksistence is characteristic of Dasein's temporality, because the present is always sandwiched between the past and the future, where we also, strictly, are. That … Continue reading Ecstasy.
This year will probably be the most stressful year of my school life. I am applying to University this November. There are still 3 months but I am frankly already worn out. I frankly just want to do what I love (reading Literature, writing, doing contemporary continental stuff), but instead I have to do what … Continue reading David Foster Wallace—Choose Your Desires Wisely!
I discussed this with my friend, and she said that this is depressing. I said, the more depressing thing is that if we cannot know ourselves, then we can less know anyone else. We are fundamentally alone. Know thyself is a problematic proposition. It is not without value. Only that it cannot be taken as … Continue reading Know Thyself?