Nietzsche On The Interpersonal Dynamics Of Social Networks

This afternoon, I sat down to read through the portions of Human, All Too Human (Section VI – ‘Man in Society’ or ‘In Relations with Others’) that I had assigned to my Social Philosophy class, and once again, was struck by how acute and perspicuous so many of its aphorisms are–especially when it comes to anticipating theContinue reading “Nietzsche On The Interpersonal Dynamics Of Social Networks”

Are There No Ethically Uncompromised Lunches In The Universe?

Once upon a time a farmer told his neighbors that they could use his land for ‘free’–as a kind of community recreational space. His neighbors were told they could set up little stalls. where they could play music, show off their handicrafts, display family photo albums, and of course, walk over to their friends’ spacesContinue reading “Are There No Ethically Uncompromised Lunches In The Universe?”

High-Tech, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down

This afternoon, overcome by a mounting frustration at being unable to get two monitors working on my new single-graphic-card-equipped home desktop personal computer, I blurted out the following on Facebook (only a couple of minutes before I entered a plaintive plea for help on the same forum, which resulted in several responses, and indeed, evenContinue reading “High-Tech, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down”

Reflections On ‘Imagined Communities’ – II: Newspaper Reading As Modern Prayer

In Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (Verso, New York, 2006, pp. 34-35), Benedict Anderson writes: [T]he newspaper is merely an ‘extreme form’ of the book, a book sold on a colossal scale, but of ephemeral popularity. Might we say: one-day best-sellers? The obsolescence of the newspaper on the morrow of its printing….createsContinue reading “Reflections On ‘Imagined Communities’ – II: Newspaper Reading As Modern Prayer”

On The ‘Net: Letting ‘Em Have The Last Word

I began arguing on the Internet some twenty-seven years ago. I haven’t stopped yet. At first, it was all about the Usenet newsgroups; later it was mailing lists–private and public, online conferences, blog posts, blog comments spaces, IRC channels, Facebook and Twitter timelines. I read, I wrote, I flamed; I was read, I was flamed.Continue reading “On The ‘Net: Letting ‘Em Have The Last Word”

Self-Promotion And Failures Of Generosity

Like most authors today, I am expected to hustle a great deal–to ‘market’ my books.  I am supposed to set out a shingle on social media–like a Facebook page, or a special Twitter account. I should post news of reviews, flattering things that people have said about my writing, and provide updates on podcasts, interviewsContinue reading “Self-Promotion And Failures Of Generosity”

What My Facebook Like Means

Facebook users often express dissatisfaction over the limited range of options available to them for responding to posts made on their newsfeed by their ‘friends.’ (I wish there was a ‘dislike’ button! I wish I could like this a thousand times! I wish I could tell you how much I liked this!) My sympathies areContinue reading “What My Facebook Like Means”

Praising One Partner, Dissing The Other

Sometimes, on Facebook, an innocent will post a photograph of himself and his female partner, and be greeted with a slew of admiring comments and ‘likes’. These will often be things like ‘you guys look great together’ or ‘fabulous couple!’ Sometimes there are  comments about the wife or girlfriend’s looks: ‘X is beautiful’ or ‘XContinue reading “Praising One Partner, Dissing The Other”

Learning From Freud: Addiction, Distraction, Schedules

In An Anatomy of an Addiction: Sigmund Freud, William Halsted and The Miracle Drug Cocaine, Howard Markel writes: At some point in every addict’s life comes the moment when what started as a recreational escape devolves into an endless reserve of negative physical, emotional, and social consequences. Those seeking recovery today call this drug-induced nadir a “bottom.”…TheContinue reading “Learning From Freud: Addiction, Distraction, Schedules”

That Guy, The One Who Picks Fights With Your Facebook Friends

Like many Facebook users, I have defriended ‘friends.’ Enough was enough, and the ‘Unfriend’ option got selected. Sometimes, it was because I was sick and tired of seeing their posts in my newsfeed–for whatever reason, perhaps they were politically or personally offensive, or just too silly to put up with anymore. (Pompous, self-inflated, pretentious, bonContinue reading “That Guy, The One Who Picks Fights With Your Facebook Friends”