I was listening the other day to Fractal Ontology’s recent podcast, which made me think how awesome it would be to start a collective blog which analyzes current events (politics, econ, business, etc.) through the lense of theory—post-structuralism, semiotics, psychoanalysis, philosophy of praxis, feminism, that sort of thing. I think there’s definitely a niche for it—something like a mix of Fractal Ontology (if they were remotely accessible to anyone but hardcore theory buffs) and The Disorder of Things (if they actually wrote anything). With printemps érable & the failure of Rio+20 there are surely a lot of philosophically inclined people who would be immensely receptive to the sort of in-depth and reflexive articulations that such a medium could provide; nor would the writing be much more difficult than for a ‘pure’ theory blog—to illustrate your concepts, just use a news article instead of a Borges story.
I just thought I’d throw the idea out there to see if anybody is interested. I have a wordpress blog (here) that I think would suffice for the job, and I wouldn’t at all be averse to changing the name, the layout, and so on, if desired. It would be possible to just make a collectively authored Tumblr, but I find that wordpress blogs are better overall for more lengthy and discursive posts.
With school starting in September, it might seem like a bad time to suggest this kind of thing, but on the contrary, there’s nothing wrong with posting one’s homework assignment on a blog, provided it’s done well. In my own experience, having a blog increases my motivation to work hard on writing assignments, since I’d much rather write something for my limited online readership than for some flabby professor.
Tumblr spoils its users by not necessitating any written contribution on their part, so a lot of people using Tumblr might be intimidated at the thought of writing at length. But as Epictetus said: “If you would be a reader, read; if a writer, write!” There’s a fair amount of polemical debate on Tumblr, but if it bears any semblance of discursive rationality at all, it overwhelmingly tends to consist of the same vapid rhetoric that everybody else uses. Yet, to me it’s self-evident that in order to get beyond the antinomies of contemporary political debate it’s necessary to progress to a higher level of thought than that from which these viciously circular debates first arose.