Over the last century, general discourse concerning the topic of ‘free will’ has become increasingly more pronounced in Western culture—a trend that reflects the rapid development of societal complexity during this period: for especially since the postmodern era, the organisational phenomena of bureaucracy, specialisation, and compartmentalisation have intensified the diffusion not only of responsibility but also of knowledge. Concomitantly, scientific theory has supplanted philosophy as the locus of epistemology, producing theoretical phenomena such as relativity and quantum mechanics and instilling them into the foundation of Western ideology. Effectively, such theories have undermined not just traditional knowledge and wisdom but the very basis for their acquisition, i.e. the subjective perception of an objective reality. In concert, postmodern developments have thus created a culture of disintegrating knowledge and implicit indeterminacy, wherein matters both philosophical and practical are deemed – tacitly more so than explicitly – to be fundamentally uncertain. Crucially, this ideological domination includes the dimension of institutional contradiction; as in, for example, the periodical turnover of scientific axioms, many of which are treated as dogma until they have been deemed falsified and replaced by new axiomatic ‘truths’. Within this culture of impenetrable systemisation and philosophical confusion, the question of free will has arisen to prominence: For at least the last half-century, Western culture has been affirming an inherent inability to determine anything at all, let alone an ideology that is clear, consistent, and stable. Adversely, it has instilled a societal paradigm of reactionary measures against the flux of indeterminable existence, which thus represents the postmodern ideology of Western culture—an ideological inversion of Ideology.
An essay on Understanding (or, understanding for an Understanding of UNDERSTANDING)
For the proper philosophical discussion about any particular thing, the identification of the thing itself is more important than the word used to refer to it: A word is merely a tool used to approximate the meaning of a concept, thus enabling an expedient means to refer to that concept in conversation or writing. In a way, this conventional approximation of conceptual meaning highlights the purpose of Philosophy, which I define here as the unmotivated, uncompromised expression of the innate need to Understand. And, Understanding is perhaps the most important concept to philosophise about—which I define here as the pure and thorough attempt to clarify the essence and significance of a thing. Thus for this essay, a cluster of related ‘things’ I consider worthy of discussion are most closely approximated by the word ‘understanding’, with each of these things representing a particular aspect of that concept, thereby being a different sense of its meaning. Hence, I will use the word ‘understanding’ in multiple senses, supported by my definition of each one; and by which I attempt to describe these particular aspects of Mind and Life.
A discussion of the role of the Conductor in both music and society, beginning with my casual impressions (complimented with satirical examples); and followed by critical insights from a socio-musicologist, as well from conductors and composers themselves.
Although I have yet to acquaint myself with orchestral performance, which does interest me; the passive familiarity I have with it has nevertheless left me with a particular impression—specifically, regarding the role of the Conductor, which appears to be strikingly suspect. Upon casual contemplation, I had formed some substantial thoughts about it, from which I felt the subject would be would worthwhile to investigate one day. And due to this question of the Conductor being brought up by someone in a group conversation, that day eventually arrived.
An article on Stranger Things (SPOILER: it’s duffing long!)
Retromania: from the 2000s onward, pop culture has lacked the creative, future-oriented, dynamic energy of the previous decades: rather than opening the future, it inaugurated the ‘Re’ era, i.e. dominated by the ‘re-’ prefix – such as in revivals, reissues, remakes, re-enactments – thus representing endless retrospection. The post-millennium ushered in an era of unoriginality that feeds on its own history, trades in references, and quickly begun to rework material from a past that is increasingly immediate—thus has pop culture turned into an endless act of regurgitation.
What does this have to do with Stranger Things? With the debut of this series in 2016, pop culture has seen a particular development of retromania: from the mania of retro, i.e. the cultural pervasiveness of it; to the intensification of retro, i.e. the artifactual over-dosage of it.
And hence: Retroverdose (on strangely familiarthings)…