Marduk is a black metal band that formed in Sweden in 1990, releasing their first album Dark Endless in 1992; their latest album Viktoria is their fourteenth LP to be released. Two years ago, in early 2017, their show in Oakland was cancelled by the venue to prevent a local anti-fascist group from violence after they reportedly threatened the venue staff. This was due to accusations that Marduk promotes racism and fascism. Is this accusation true?
In Fear and Trembling Søren Kierkegaard asks us to look at the story from Genesis of Abraham being asked by God to sacrifice his son Isaac. Kierkegaard wants us to understand that Abraham is heroic not in an abstract sense, but in that this level of faith is something we should all aspire to. It’s only at this level of faith – where one can expect the impossible – that one can truly love God, which is the definition of true happiness for humankind.
I don’t have a real hot take on the issue of the Trump impeachment, but I thought it important to lay down some of my thoughts. My opinions follow directly from my political cynicism: 1) it’s more political theater than a sincere desire to save the republic, 2) it’s a bad idea, and 3) it’s not going to work.
This Cato Institute 2019 poll has some telling results about the state of people’s feelings toward a meaningful existence. What does it mean to have a meaningful existence? Religion, of course, says that a meaningful existence can only happen through religion. Without religion, people seem to seek meaning through politics. Once politics is seen for what it really is – a soul-shaped cavity overflowing with fetid swamp water where dreams go to die – people are left with nothing but hollow materialistic consumerism. When that fails to satisfy the need for purpose, the meaning-wheel comes full circle and people seek a metaphysics to explain how the world works. The most popular of which currently is identity politics.
What is it that makes an organization what it is? Is it the sum of the constituent people? An idea? The problem of sports organizations is that they don’t have anything that persists through time – the 1985 Chicago Bears is not the same thing as the 2019 Chicago Bears.
Mary Eberstadt has a new book called Primal Screams: How the Sexual Revolution Created Identity Politics where she makes the case that the 1960s sexual revolution is what gave rise to identity politics today. I think, while that may have played a part, the identity politics craze can’t be completely laid at the feet of the sexual revolution.
This is a sort of half-baked theory I was playing around with in my head. Maybe someone else will know where to take it from here?
Poststructuralism is a theory of semiotics (language and signs) that, broadly speaking, says that meaning is an effect of language, rather than a cause. In other words, what things mean to us is formed by language as opposed to our language having a 1-to-1 correspondence with reality. This theory, of course, takes the blank slate theory axiomatically. But what if we combine it with evolutionary psychology?
Any U.S. readers will be aware of this, but for those outside the U.S. who aren’t, there were two independent mass shooting incidents in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio over the weekend. As per usual, both immediately became political. Soon after political blame games, the other usual suspects are trotted out – music and video games.
I am currently reading David J. Chalmers’ 1996 book “The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory” which claims that, due to consciousness not being logically supervenient, there is no reductive explanation for consciousness. Thus Chalmers concludes that consciousness must be explained through a dualist paradigm. I have some issues with the argument.
Memes are not just the captioned images shared on Facebook and Twitter. The original conception of the term was to conceptualize the propagation of propositional and cultural information between human minds. But has human society reached a point where the natural selection of memes has stalled, thereby halting memetic evolution?