robertogreco + matthewcrawford   10

The World Beyond Kant's Head - Text Patterns - The New Atlantis
"Crawford does some of both, but in many respects the chief argument of his book is based on a major causal assumption: that much of what’s wrong with our culture, and with our models of selfhood, arises from the success of certain of Kant’s ideas. I say “assumption” because I don’t think that Crawford ever actually argues the point, and I think he doesn’t argue the point because he doesn’t clearly distinguish between illumination and causation. That is, if I’ve read him rightly, he shows that a study of Kant makes sense of many contemporary phenomena and implicitly concludes that Kant’s ideas therefore are likely to have played a causal role in the rise of those phenomena.

I just don’t buy it, any more than I buy the structurally identical claim that modern individualism and atomization all derive from the late-medieval nominalists. I don’t buy those claims because I have never seen any evidence for them. I am not saying that those claims are wrong, I just want to know how it happens: how you get from extremely complex and arcane philosophical texts that only a handful of people in history have ever been able to read to world-shaping power. I don’t see how it’s even possible.

One of Auden’s most famous lines is: “Poetry makes nothing happen.” He was repeatedly insistent on this point. In several articles and interviews he commented that the social and political history of Europe would be precisely the same if Dante, Shakespeare, and Mozart had never lived. I suspect that this is true, and that it’s also true of philosophy. I think that we would have the techno-capitalist society we have if Duns Scotus, William of Ockham, Immanuel Kant, and G.F.W. Hegel had never lived. If you disagree with me, please show me the path which those philosophical ideas followed to become so world-shapingly dominant. I am not too old to learn."
philosophy  correlation  causation  history  kant  alanjacobs  2016  matthewcrawford  illumination  hegel  whauden  via:lukeneff  individualism  atomization  dunsscotus  williamofockham 
july 2016 by robertogreco
CTheory.net: Conversations in Critical Making: 6 Critique and Making
"GH: What useful things can be taken from the concept of critical design as established by Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby?

AG: Critical design is a bit silly. Designers have always been great at branding, and this is no exception. Design is a fundamentally critical process from the get-go. That's what the design process means. Design is an iterative process in which one revisits ideas, refashions them, recalibrates them, and produces multiple versions. That's why people say "everyone is a designer" today. We live in the age when everyone is a curator, everyone is a DJ, and everyone is a designer. We need to take seriously the notion that, whereas a generation ago critique was more or less outside mainstream life, today critique is absolutely coterminous with the mainstream. Hence a designer might engage with a so-called critical design project on Monday, but on Tuesday produce client work for IKEA. It's normal.

GH: Do you have the same response to speculative design?

AG: I'm interested in communism. And love. And darkness. I'm interested in smashing the state. And the total elimination of petroleum. I'm interested in the end of racism. I'm interested in the next 44 presidents being women--fair is fair! Speculation is mostly harmless, I suppose. But speculative thinking has been affiliated with idealist philosophy and bourgeois thought for so long--think of Marx's aversion to Hegel--that it's difficult for me to see much hope there. I've said it many times before: we don't have a speculation deficit; we have a motivation deficit. We should keep imagining new worlds, yes absolutely! But it's supplemental. Any child can tell you how to make the world just and fair and joyful. This is not to denigrate the creative work of Dunne and Raby, who are very talented at what they do. But rather to direct the focus where it should aim. The problem is not in our imagination. The problem is in our activity."
alexandergalloway  garnethertz  speculativedesign  criticaldesign  communism  motivation  capitalism  economics  makers  making  makermovement  2015  anthonydunne  fionaraby  dunne&raby  christopheralexander  geertlovink  matthewfuller  tizianaterranova  criticalartensemble  mckenziewark  guydebord  gilledeleuze  digitalculture  diy  culture  richardsennett  matthewcrawford  markfrauenfelder  phenomenology  karlmarx  kant 
august 2015 by robertogreco
the inattention game - bookforum.com / current issue
The bigger problem with The World Beyond Your Head is that of an author trying to wring a social theory from a set of personal grievances, no matter how accurately he perceives what Marilynne Robinson called “the sadness so many of us feel at the heart of contemporary society.”

The Society of the Spectacle, Guy Debord’s work of anticapitalist critical theory that influenced the strikes and protests of May 1968, made many of the same arguments that Crawford does. In fact, the first sentence of Spectacle is like a summary of The World Beyond Your Head: “In societies dominated by modern conditions of production, life is presented as an immense accumulation of spectacles. Everything that was directly lived has receded into a representation.”

Debord’s complaints about France were made in the service of a Marxist vision of social reorganization. Absent such a philosophical basis (which obviously need not be Marxism), Crawford’s disgust with representations becomes something much less generous, a disgust for the people who need representations most. It is often this way with elegies for attention to the physical world. The writers who demand that everyone live in the “real” are usually those who are already comfortable there. Consider the example of the woman who’s buried in her iPhone while she walks, and won’t make eye contact with Crawford. “A public space where people are not self-enclosed . . . may feel rich with possibility for spontaneous encounters,” he writes; such a situation “gives rise to a train of imaginings, often erotic.” This is dead accurate to certain moments in a straight man’s afternoon in the city. But a person could also be forgiven for seeking the reassurance of a phone when feeling overexposed on the street.

The beam of contempt is even more visible when it focuses on the slot players, who, despite Crawford’s wish to make them exemplary of the “autistic” strain of modern life, are more likely—visit any casino—to be old people without a ton of money, unluckily susceptible to a certain kind of addiction, exploited by a sophisticated technology. Even Crawford’s basic premise that “representations” are undesirable begins to buckle under scrutiny. An odd teenager in an uncomprehending suburb using Tumblr to find peers who don’t deride her seems unlikely to agree that the problem with America is the prevalence of images.

Reality can be the site of surreal amounts of cruelty, and to mock those who seek refuge from it can be a way of excusing oneself from the labor of improving it. Not everyone accepts the supremacy of the tangible. It’s indisputable that many people prefer screens to the company of humans, but it’s less clear that all of them do so for reasons of passivity and narcissism. The autistic come to mind as examples. Close attention to the social world reveals, in this way, its unlikeness to a starter motor or a short circuit—most problems don’t have universally self-evident solutions.

In the parable of the game preserve, Cheetos fell out of the sky and the lions got complacent and stopped hunting. It’s an offense to the hunter’s aesthetics. But from a zebra’s perspective? Let it rain."
jessebaron  matthewcrawford  2015  attention  physical  digital  guydebord  marilynnerobinson  sadness  society 
may 2015 by robertogreco
» The New Ecology of Things: Slabs, Sofducts, and Bespoke Objects Johnny Holland – It's all about interaction » Blog Archive
"Several major trends are emerging that affect interaction design. With the advent of post-PC devices like the iPad, cheap sensors and microcontrollers like the Arduino, and services like Kindle Wispersync, we’re in the middle of a shift towards ubiquitous computing, tangible interaction, and cloud services. Because of these trends, our field must consider the integration of the traditionally separate areas of screen and tangible interaction design.

Of particular significance is the shift away from the generic computation typified by the “personal computer,” which never really achieved the individuality or specificity implied by the term “personal.” In short, we’re experiencing the emergence of The New Ecology of Things, where a network of heterogeneous, smart objects and spaces are replacing our current design context."
consumerism  twitter  ipad  ecology  internetofthings  ecologyofthings  matthewcrawford  shopclassassoulcraft  making  meaning  meaningmaking  personalization  sofducts  bespoke  bespokeobjects  craft  slabs  interactiondesign  interaction  glvo  diy  iphone  applications  computing  fabbing  3dprinter  3d  culture  software  hardware  prosthetics  tailoring  animism  sound  light  haptics  kinetic  kineticbehavior  behavior  android  arduino  nikeid  manufacturing  apple  philipvanallen  spimes  ios  iot  from delicious
may 2011 by robertogreco
Next American City » Buzz » Richard Florida’s Monorail
"MacGillis quotes Florida: “We can confer subsidies on places to improve their infrastructure, universities, and core institutions, or quality of life, [but] at the end of the day, people—not industries or even places—should be our biggest concern. We can best help those who are hardest-hit by the crisis, by providing a generous social safety [net], investing in their skills, and when necessary helping them become more mobile and move to where the opportunities are.”

"What it reminded me of most, sadly, was the episode of The Simpsons, in which Springfield gets a monorail." [Explained.]

"Though he spends the rest of the book waxing philosophical on motorcycle repair, Crawford does touch on economics from time to time, and he raises some damning points. In essence, he points out that in the race to make our workforce more and more skilled in the “knowledge economy” we have forgotten entirely about the value, both economic and cognitive, of the skilled trades."

[via: http://twitter.com/agpublic/status/19607992852815872 ; see also: http://twitter.com/agpublic/status/19616177701523457 ]
adamgreenfield  richardflorida  urban  urbanism  creativeclass  socialsafetynet  mobility  education  reeducation  mindchanges  shopclassassoulcraft  crisis  recession  urbandecay  urbanplanning  socialprograms  policy  monorails  snakeoilsalesmen  alanbinder  matthewcrawford  thesimpsons  mindchanging  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
Matt Hern » Blog Archive » A FREEDOM FROM THINGS
"A lot of uneasiness about living life on-line gets focused around ‘work’. We’re a culture that simultaneously reveres and reviles work, but when that ‘work’ and/or employment means sitting on our asses for eight hours at a stretch, producing nothing tangible, talking to no one, expending almost no physical effort, not even the effort of banging on a typewriter, things get sketchy. And not just that creeping ontological anxiety, but a bodily twitchiness that’s more than needing to stretch for a minute."
material  physical  online  productivity  concrete  tangibility  matthern  work  internet  web  digital  matthewcrawford 
october 2009 by robertogreco
Book Review - 'Shop Class as Soulcraft - An Inquiry Into the Value of Work,' by Matthew B. Crawford - Review - NYTimes.com
"ideologists of knowledge economy have posited a false dichotomy between knowing & doing...most forms of real knowledge, including self-knowledge, come from the effort to struggle with & master brute reality of material objects...All these activities...require knowledge both about the world as it is & about yourself & your own limitations...can’t be learned simply by following rules...require intuitive knowledge that comes from long experience & repeated encounters with difficulty & failure...self-esteem cannot be faked...Highly educated people with high-­status jobs often believe that they could do anything their less-educated brethren can, if only they put their minds to it, because cognitive ability is the only ability that counts. The truth is that some would not have the physical & cognitive ability to do skilled blue-collar work & that others could do it only if they invested 20 years of their life in learning a trade."
books  francisfukuyama  matthewcrawford  psychology  culture  society  work  manual  vocational  self-esteem  knowledgeworkers  bluecollar  whitecollar  knowledge  learning  experience  failure  mechanics  tcsnmy  tangible 
june 2009 by robertogreco
The Case for Working With Your Hands - NYTimes.com
"If the goal is to earn a living, then, maybe it isn’t really true that 18-year-olds need to be imparted with a sense of panic about getting into college. Some people are hustled off to college, then to the cubicle, against their own inclinations and natural bents, when they would rather be learning to build things or fix things." ... "Those who work on the lower rungs of the information-age office hierarchy face their own kinds of unreality, as I learned some time ago." ... "A good job requires a field of action where you can put your best capacities to work and see an effect in the world. Academic credentials do not guarantee this." ... "The visceral experience of failure seems to have been edited out of the career trajectories of gifted students. It stands to reason, then, that those who end up making big decisions that affect all of us don’t seem to have much sense of their own fallibility, and of how badly things can go wrong even with the best of intentions"

[so much here to quote, see also: http://www.slate.com/id/2218650/pagenum/all/ ]
education  learning  well-being  life  cv  making  doing  crisis  highereducation  colleges  universities  middlemanagement  matthewcrawford  alternative  careers  unschooling  deschooling  careerism  society  class  failure  moralhazard  credentials  gradschool  degrees  meaning  happiness  fulfillment  economics  mechanics  macroeconomics  philosophy 
may 2009 by robertogreco
Matthew Crawford's Shop Class as Soul Craft. - By Michael Agger - Slate Magazine
[see also: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/24/magazine/24labor-t.html?pagewanted=all ]

"When Matthew Crawford finished his doctorate in political philosophy at the University of Chicago, he took a job at a Washington think tank. "I was always tired," he writes, "and honestly could not see the rationale for my being paid at all." He quit after five months and started doing motorcycle repair in a decaying factory in Richmond, Va. This journey from philosopher manqué to philosopher-mechanic is the arc of his new book, Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work. ... maybe, five years from now, when they [graduates] can't understand why their high-paying jobs at Micron Consulting seem pointless and enervating, Crawford's writing will show them a way forward"
books  work  careers  well-being  cubicles  economics  mechanics  philosophy  meaning  education  skills  life  happiness  cv  learning  macroeconomics  matthewcrawford 
may 2009 by robertogreco

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