The brave fool who advanced a model of the Earth’s movement
developed a magnificent idea,
was regarded as insane,
and then died.
The rhythm of Copernicus’ breath
turns the worm-eaten ten into a starlit sky.
The stars turn.
In accordance with Copernicus’ breath.
I fly freely
though Copernicus’ starlit sky.
Eventually, I’ll break off from the swing
and become a constellation.
I’ll become Copernicus’ constellation.
Source: NPR: Hollywood Needs More Women
Seriously, go listen to this.
17% of cardiac surgeons are women, 17% of tenured professors are women. It just goes on and on. And isn’t that strange that that’s also the percentage of women in crowd scenes in movies? What if we’re actually training people to see that ratio as normal so that when you’re an adult, you don’t notice?
…We just heard a fascinating and disturbing study where they looked at the ratio of men and women in groups. And they found that if there’s 17% women, the men in the group think it’s 50-50. And if there’s 33% women, the men perceive that as there being more women in the room than men.
As soon as night falls our perception of the most immediate things changes. The wind goes along as though on forbidden pathways, whispering as though seeking something, ill-humoured because it does not find it. The lamplight shines with a dull ruddy glow, gazing wearily, unwillingly struggling against the night, an impatient slave of wakeful man. The sleeper lies breathing fitfully, a shuddery beat to which ever recurring care seems to play the melody - we cannot hear it, but when the sleeper’s breast rises we feel our heart tighten, and when his breath sinks down and almost dies away into deathly silence we say to ourself ‘rest, rest, poor perturbed spirit!’ - we desire for all that lives, because it lives so oppressed, an eternal rest; night lures us over to death.
All human behavior is scheduled and programmed through rationality. There is a logic of institutions and in behavior and in political relations. In even the most violent ones there is a rationality. What is most dangerous in violence is its rationality. Of course violence itself is terrible. But the deepest root of violence and its permanence come out of the form of the rationality we use. The idea had been that if we live in the world of reason, we can get rid of violence. This is quite wrong. Between violence and rationality there is no incompatibility.
Debt/money clearly represents a technique for governing behavior, but it also and above all functions as a subjugation ‘governing’ dividuals ‘cybernetically’ through machinic recurrence and feedback. With subjugation, ‘there is a process of learning the nearly automatic, procedural movements.’
We could make the same critique of the sociology and philosophy of the norm, of which Foucault was one of the subtlest critics. Social subjection functions according to norms, rules, and law, but subjugation, inversely, involves only protocols, techniques, procedures, instructions, and asignifying semiotics requiring reaction rather than action. Subjection implies and demands a certain self-relation, it brings into play techniques of the self. Machinic subjugation, on the other hand, dismantles the self, the subject, and the individual. The norm, the rule, and the law have a hold on the subject, but none on the dividual. Much attention has been paid to subjection. In reality, it is but one form of the production and control of subjectivity. A critique of neoliberalism must on no account neglect subjugation, since machinisms are incomparably more developed now than during the industrial age.
The good, healthy mentality would naturally be to work on research that we believe is important. Unfortunately, most such research is challenging and difficult to publish, and the current publish-or-perish system makes it difficult to put bread on the table while working on problems that require at least ten years of labor before you can report even the most preliminary results. Worse yet, the results may not be understood, which, in some cases, is tantamount to them being rejected by the academic community. I acknowledge that this is difficult, and ultimately cannot criticize the people who choose not to pursue such “risky” problems.
Ideally, the academic system would encourage those people who are already well established and trusted to pursue these challenges, and I’m sure that some already do. However, I cannot help but get the impression that the majority of us are avoiding the real issues and pursuing minor, easy problems that we know can be solved and published. The result is a gigantic literature full of marginal/repetitive contributions. This, however, is not necessarily a bad thing if it’s a good CV that you’re after.