How does the History of Ideas “Move”? Metaphors that are going somewhere.

Thought moves. Whether with fluidity or rigidity, the movements of thought may remind us of the movements within Glenn Gould’s performance of Mozart’s Sonata No. 10 in C Major: rising and falling, bifurcating – a strange mirage of continuity and discontinuity. The movement of thought can also be articulated rhythmically, like the hammering of the…

Why was everyone all always talking about Attention?

  Attention is a central concept in our thinking. Few concepts have changed as dramatically throughout their diverse and sordid histories, and few have had as many theoretical or incestuous liaisons. Yet “attention” has manage to convince us that its meaning is atemporal, or at least consistent. In the 1700s, attention was entangled with Reason, and they…

Gaston Bachelard

Gaston Bachelard is for me one of the silent giants of contemporary philosophy. Well, to use Mill’s term this is only “half-truth”. Bachelard’s work still remains aloof to the English world. He was one of the last of a breed of early 1900s French epistemologists for whom a non-positivist study of science was a window into…

Destination SkyNet: Human Anxieties about Humanizing Technology

Consider this exhibit at the World Economic Forum in Davos: Paola Antonelli, the Senior Curator in the Department of Architecture and Design at MOMA is the force behind the “Talk to Me” exhibit, which explores the world of communication between people and things. The exhibit considers how designers seek to enable a nonverbal dialogue through clever design. As…