Berfrois

November 2010

Theory of Everything but the Theorist

Theory of Everything but the Theorist

Arrow of Time, Vladimir Kush From Philosophy Now: Denying the reality of tensed time illustrates what happens when physics exceeds its proper bounds. Shrinking the conscious subject to an observer who is in turn reduced to a group of values assigned to mathematical variables, thus discarding memory and anticipation...

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‘Playing at cards is, after all, close to playing with fate’

‘Playing at cards is, after all, close to playing with fate’

What's the Big Deal? | by Sally Feldman

New Humanist

The Church has always been wary, regarding cards not merely as the route to gambling, but also as “the Devil’s picture-book” because of their association with dark practices like fortune-telling...

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The Cosmos: Capitalism’s New “Outside”

The Cosmos: Capitalism’s New “Outside”

Total Recall, 1990 From Monthly Review: In the early twentieth century, Rosa Luxemburg argued that an “outside” to capitalism is important for two main reasons. First, it is needed as a means of creating massive numbers of new customers who would buy the goods made in the capitalist countries....

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‘An examination of cannibalism is bound to induce a species of metaphysical unease’

‘An examination of cannibalism is bound to induce a species of metaphysical unease’

Illustration by Theodor de Bry from Americae Tertia Pars, 1592 From Cabinet Magazine: Have you sensed that readers have had trouble coming to terms with how there could be an intellectual history of cannibalism at all? I think cannibalism is challenging not just on an epistemological level. The cannibal provokes...

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Ten Million Hopeful Scribblers

Ten Million Hopeful Scribblers

From More Intelligent Life: Somewhere in the world right now, ten million souls are hunched over their keyboards writing novels. Ten million hopeful scribblers in their holes. Good Lord, I’m one of them. The figure is an invention, but backed up by rough math. A quarter of a million...

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Namely Oprichniki

Namely Oprichniki

Tor-Björn Adelgren From The Day: You have stated previously that 20 years is a short term for history, yet some changes are taking place. I am personally worried not simply by reanimation, but by a powerful promotion of one of the most terrible people of the 20th century —...

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Alice Gregory: Refresh to See

Alice Gregory: Refresh to See

From N+1: When we self-diagnose, we look for control factors. Sometimes we invent them. The goal of solipsistic anxiety is to find an individual agent that explains our misery. We eliminate possibilities one-by-one in hopes that a single cause remains. This is how people deduce food allergies and come...

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Reflections on a Jewish Mirror

Reflections on a Jewish Mirror

by Julian Bourg Jean-Paul Sartre and The Jewish Question: Anti-antisemitism and the Politics of the French Intellectual (Texts and Contexts) by Jonathan Judaken Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 408 pp. Given the sinuous tale of the distinctive relationship between France and Judaism and especially because the figure of the...

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Eugenia Herbert on Julia Margaret Cameron

The Victorian photographer Julia Margaret Cameron is currently undergoing a revival with a recent exhibition of her work at the Metropolitan Museum in New...

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Philippe Theophanidis on Jean-Luc Godard

At one point near the end of his unfinished novel Jean Santeuil, Marcel Proust describes a painting by Claude Monet from 1897, titled “Bras...

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An Enigma Wrapped Inside an Enigma by Michael Munro

There is perhaps nothing more enigmatic in the history of philosophy than that which in the tradition is known as the active intellect (nous...

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Jeremy Fernando
Jeremy Fernando on Tan Chui Mui

For, it is not as if films speak; nor are their filmmakers there—at the site where this alleged speaking to, speech, takes place —...

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Jason S. Polley: Prawns

The suburbs, aka first-world neighborhoods, are present via their conspicuous near visual absence in 2009’s District 9, a film focusing on an increasingly disorderly...

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Reality Principles: Berfrois Interviews Frank Smecker

I don't know if I ever wanted to become a theorist. I struggle with this position. For me, it's a hystericized — and therefore...

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Jesse Miksic on Dark Souls II

Is Dark Souls II the crowning rebirth of Gothic Romance for the digital age? I'm being dramatic, I realize. The spirit of Gothic has...

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Michael Munro
A Quotation and Provocation by Michael Munro

The teleology of the Universe is directed to the production of Beauty. That is the opening line of the text, its first thesis. It’s...

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Menachem Feuer
Menachem Feuer: Schlemiels

As human beings we have to “court” failure. This term suggests two things: on the one hand, it suggests dating and becoming intimate with...

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Bobbi Lurie
Bobbi Lurie with James Franco

Every day after that, I stood outside The Italian Restaurant on Fourteenth Street until it closed. I didn’t even smoke. The guy from The...

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Henry Giardina
Henry Giardina: Furrows and Hollows

There’s an oft-quoted line out of Candide that goes, “I have wanted to kill myself a hundred times, but somehow I have never fallen...

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Ashley James
Ashley James: Personhood

It seemed that by the close of January this year, the entire country could recognize the face of Sergeant Cory Remsburg: Near the tail-end...

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Logan K. Young on The Replacements

I, myself, was barely six months old when Twin/Tone put out The Mats’ Let It Be. The day, they say, was Orwellian: Tuesday, October...

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Tyranny Is a Growth Industry by Vladimir Savich and Zachary Bos

Tyranny is a growth industry. Each day brings exciting new developments. These events imprint themselves upon the world in the form of newspapers, magazines,...

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