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Splitting Skulls

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14 posts
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Tech Support Notes from the Underground 

I'm deep in the bowels of AT&T and Apple. I've actually got them talking to each other. I feel like an extreme match maker. Increasingly senior tech people, roused from their slumbers... Cheerful persistence in the face of polite deferral... All I want for Christmas is for this SIM card to Validate... After endless hours …

Posted 29 months ago by

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The Work of Toys 

I'll be teaching a course this summer on "Objects of Play," in the strange hope that if we looked at the things we play with, we might surprise ourselves. We'll be looking particularly at the large scale toys—ladders, oil barrels, etc.—at play in the early childhood education of Anji, China. I am reminded of my …

Posted 32 months ago by

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Walking’s the thing 

An excellent interview of Frédéric Gros, author of A Philosophy of Walking. There is, it reminds me, something tricky that happens when walking becomes a thing. In articulating the thing one never talks about, we find ourselves speaking to its other. One does not just walk, in walking one is not walking but rather not …

Posted 43 months ago by

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Abandoned Toys 

… As an artist friend of mine pointed out in response to this photo: On BBC crime shows, an abandoned children's toy is always a metaphor for "something horrendous happened to a child." Which got me thinking. What is it about this? If it were simply a question of restraint or reserve—a discomfort in showing …

Posted 73 months ago by

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Mindless Academics 

Žižek quoting Malabou in his essay, Descartes and the Post-Traumatic Subject: These figures are "not so much figures of those who want to die as figures of those who are already dead, or, rather, to put it in a strange and terrible grammatical twist, who have already been dead, who 'experienced' death." But what does …

Posted 74 months ago by

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Against Specialization 

No one takes thought very seriously, except those who claim to be thinkers or philosophers by profession. But that doesn't stop it from having its own apparatus of power—or its being an effect of its apparatus of power when it tells people: "Don't take me seriously, because I think for you, since I give you …

Posted 84 months ago by

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Confidence 

We tend to be confident in education in inverse proportion to our faith in it.

Posted 85 months ago by

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The Wonder Wheel 

Plato famously affirms that philosophy begins with wonder. This strikes me as at least revisionist. The comment of an old philosopher reminiscing on distant beginnings. Even if one imagines arche less as "beginning" than "principle." Are we to believe that philosophy is really so dreamy eyed? And is not this aspect of philosophy, at least, …

Posted 87 months ago by

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What do Evil Geniuses Dream Of? 

Ah, the beginnings of the school year... When one begins to suspect that one is merely an epiphenomenon of bureaucracy. I suppose that would give new meaning to "the American dream." (Anywho, speaking of paperwork, what I love about this clip from Brazil, is how astutely it shows the official workers themselves to be most …

Posted 88 months ago by

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Perfect Strangers Playing Mothers 

What does it mean to be a teacher? Caught between the need to differentiate ourselves as professionals and the need to be recognizable, have we gone the way of the British School of psychoanalysts? According to Adam Phillips, in On Kissing, Tickling, and Being Bored, the paradox of the analyst is that they must not …

Posted 90 months ago by

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The Problem with Problems 

The problem with problems—math problems, word problems, the stock in trade of schoolwork—is not that they are not "real." As if that distinction were un-problematic. Isn't it that they are insufficiently playful? They are irrelevant, not because we can't relate to them, but because they are not fantastic. It is common enough to point out …

Posted 90 months ago by

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In Depth: Swimming to Learn 

A sixteen-year-old-boy, for example, tells me in a session about the moment, at age ten, when he eventually learned to swim after having been terrified of water: "I knew I was safer out of my depth because even though I couldn't stand, there was more water to hold me up." —Adam Phillips in "On Risk …

Posted 90 months ago by

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Philosophy in Bed 

Like the juvenile that knows that adding "...in bed" to the end of every sentence will likely be funny, provocative, or at least get a rise, doing Philosophy of Education often amounts to adding "...in the classroom" to the end of concepts. Spinoza as educator.... It at least matches, like the bedroom, education's pervasive yet …

Posted 90 months ago by

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Laughing at School 

Philosophy is properly home-sickness; the wish to be everywhere at home. —Novalis Laughter is in league with the guilt of subjectivity, but in the suspension of law which it announces it also points beyond that complicity. It promises a passage to the homeland. —Horkheimer & Adorno Can one find oneself at home in the classroom? …

Posted 90 months ago by

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