Refracted Input

Clare O’Farrell’s blog on books, TV, films, Michel Foucault, universities etc. etc.

“A relationship of violence acts upon a body or upon things; it forces, it bends, it breaks on the wheel, it destroys, or it closes the door on all possibilities. Its opposite pole can only be passivity, and if it comes up against any resistance, it has no other option but to try to minimize …

Continue reading

Between these poles of training in thought and training in reality, melete and gymnasia, there are a whole series of intermediate possibilities. Epictetus provides the best example of the middle ground between these poles. He wants to watch perpetually over representations, a technique which culminates in Freud. There are two metaphors important from his point …

Continue reading

The intellectual par excellence used to be the writer: as a universal consciousness, a free subject, he was counterpoised to those intellectuals who were merely competent instances in the service of the state or capital — technicians, magistrates, teachers. Since the time when each individual’s specific activity begun to serve as the basis for politicization, …

Continue reading

Matthew B. Crawford, The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015 This sounds like a rather interesting book, although I have only read a brief extract and a review. I like Crawford’s point, at least as described in the review below, that we need …

Continue reading

I have been doing some research around the increasing trend towards constructing open-plan offices for academics in the UK, the USA and Australia and thought this passage from Discipline and Punish might be apposite. Open-plan office design is now widespread across all industry sectors and around the globe and universities are starting to follow suit. …

Continue reading