The second part of Solitude in Context examines the ways in which solitude, solitary activity, and meditative thought are devalued and stigmatized through linguistics, thereby discouraging these practices.
In establishing a basis for understanding solitude, Part I considered it as a personal mode of being distinct from, but complementary to, interpersonal and social modes of being. The article then outlined the historical decline of personal being including the practice of solitude, citing the introvert/extrovert dichotomy and, more crucially, the polarized disparity between these two concepts in both professional and cultural contexts. Finally, linguistics was identified as the primary means of this conceptual polarization, illustrated by a comparison between the synonyms assigned to ‘introverted’ and ‘extroverted’. Part II continues this theme by examining the linguistic associations of words in the representation of concepts directly related to solitude and solitary practices.
The first in a series on solitude and solitary activity, this article outlines the personal, interpersonal, and social modes of being before discussing how postmodern culture obscures solitude and attenuates personal being.
Solitude is an integral aspect of human experience, hence its eternal relevance. By intention or by circumstance to either positive or negative effect, people experience periods of aloneness to some extent and degree. More fundamentally, a human being is a separate sentient entity prior to his associations with others, no matter the degree to which he is immersed in a social environment. Thus, solitude is an inherent aspect of life whether one cultivates it personally or suppresses it collectively.
Based on my regular practice of solitary activities (which are to be the topic of subsequent articles), this article establishes solitude as an important yet misrepresented aspect of life. After outlining modes of being I then discuss the sociocultural status of solitude in the postmodern world, specifically, the various ways it has been disassociated from its authentic meaning and demoted from its traditional value.
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.
This article features a selection of quotes from the book Homo Deus, each accompanied by my notes, comments, and references to related media.
Part 3 of this article series features my expansion of Ncaps 31-40 for the book Homo Deus (as discussed in the Introduction, which also includes the full list), as a basis for identifying points of significance and referencing a variety of relevant media.
Themes covered in Part 3 includeDialectics of Government, Principles of Revolution, Submission to Authority, Continuity of The Establishment, Emotional Decision-Making, Elite Minority Rule, Conceits of Modernity, Social Instability, Civilized Barbarism, Collectively Believed Fictions, Society as Entrapment, Hindsight via History, Suppression of Awareness, Ideological Bio-Engineering, Prophetic Sci-Fi, Modern Forms of Religion, Rationalized Immorality, Incongruous Speech, Hypocrisy of Civilization.