Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Owners are superfluous in the 21st century sports environment.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Ordinary life, previously conditioned by the problem of survival, can be dominated rationally — this possibility is at the heart of every conflict of our time — and play, radically broken from a confined ludic time and space, must invade the whole of life.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Combat Utility

"The modern world has caught up with the formal lead that surrealism once had on it. The manifestations of novelty in effectively advanced disciplines (every scientific technique) have assumed a surrealist appearance: in 1955, a robot at the University of Manchester wrote a love letter that could quite easily have passed for an example of automatic writing by a gifted surrealist. But the reality that controls this evolution is that in the absence of a revolution, everything that once constituted a margin of freedom for surrealism has been co-opted and utilized by the repressive world that the surrealists fought against.


"The use of a tape recorder to teach sleeping subjects reduces the richness of dreams to derisory and repugnant utilitarian ends. Nothing, however, constitutes such a clear co-optation of the subversive discoveries of surrealism as much as the exploitation of automatic writing, and the collective games founded on it, in a method of idea mining known in the United States as 'brainstorming.' In France Observateur, Gérard Lauzun writes of the function:

In one session of limited duration (ten minutes to an hour) a limited number of people (6 to 15) have every liberty to express their ideas, the most ideas possible, no matter how outlandish, without risk of censure. The quality of the ideas is not as important as the quantity. It is absolutely forbidden to criticize an idea expressed by one of the participants, or even to smile while they are speaking. Moreover, each one has the most absolute right, the very duty, to pillage the preceding ideas in order to lend credence to them... The army, the administration, and the police have also found uses for it. Scientific research is itself substituted for brainstorming sessions at conferences and 'round-tables'... If a film producer at the CFPI needs a title, eight people can propose seventy in around fifteen minutes! Next, a slogan: one hundred and four in thirty four minutes; two are kept... Thoughtlessness, irrationality, absurdity, and sudden changes of subject are the rule. Quality makes way for quantity. The main goal of this method is the elimination of the various barriers of social constraint, timidity and stage fright that often forbid some people from speaking up at meetings or during administrative conferences, from advancing ludicrous suggestions that may still contain buried treasure! With these barriers down, we can now see that people talk and, above all, that everyone has something to say...

"A few American managers have been quick to see the interest of such a technique at the level of employee relations: those who can express themselves can have more. 'Organize brainstorming sessions for us!' they tell the specialists: 'this will show our employees that we care about their ideas, because we're asking them what they think!' The technique is rapidly becoming a vaccine against the revolutionary virus." - The Bitter Victory of Surrealism

You Don't Own Me

"The Jills aren't paid for games or practices and have to make 20-35 appearances, most of which are unpaid, at community and charity events each season, the lawsuit said. On top of that, they have to pay $650 for their uniforms and are not reimbursed for travel or other expenses, the cheerleaders said.

"All five cheerleaders said they had to take a 'jiggle test' so that Mateczun, Stejon's president, could assess their physiques. And Mateczun, they said, controlled everything from their hair and nail polish color to what they could post on Facebook." - Buffalo Bills cheerleaders suspend operations
"There is a rich history of atheism and questioning the existence of God in Indian philosophy. Atheist philosophy can be found in fifth century BCE India, potentially even earlier. Early schools such as Carvaka claimed the Vedas (holy Hindu texts) were made up by men, had no religious basis and were generally sceptical about the existence of God. The Samkhya school of philosophy concludes there is no way to definitively prove God existed. This is not dissimilar to the views presented by Richard Dawkins who has admitted that whilst those who practice a religion cannot prove the existence of God, he is unable to prove that God doesn’t exist. Indeed, if one follows one of these schools of thought, it is possible to practice Hinduism in the spiritual sense, whilst not believing in God.

"Communities and groups on the African continent such as Pygmies and some Zulu communities also have a history of non-believing, as observed by American historian William Durant (albeit such analysis is contentious). Science, reason and critical thinking inform such philosophies.

"Indeed, atheist networks are becoming more common across Africa, Asia and Latin America. Not believing in a Supreme Being is not exclusively western, nor should it be viewed as such. However, prominent atheists such as the Nigerian Leo Igwe rarely get the same level of air-time as Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens. These views and voices too often go unheard.

"Atheism, as presented by predominantly white men, is seen as a form of modernity achieved through white western liberal enlightenment. Despite there being a rich history and continuation of atheism in Asia and Africa it is widely believed that atheism is a ‘phenomenon with its roots in Europe,‘ seen by the new atheists as being the next step on from secularism in a progression to a more civilised society. This in turn presents a euro-centric view of events.

"Such atheism and associated ideas of white liberalism has become intertwined with right wing neo-conservatism. Sam Harris went as far as to say, "It is time we admitted that we are not at war with terrorism. We are at war with Islam." Indeed, Richard Dawkins doesn’t waste any time pretending to be subtle, once describing Islam as the ‘greatest force for evil in the world today.’

"Such atheism seems to specifically single out Islam, presenting a clash of civilizations, with western liberalism threatened by the innate backwardness and intolerance of Islam. [...]

"Behind this arrogance and obnoxious overtones there is a real lack of originality, which isn’t often picked up on. Dawkins positions himself as one of the forefathers of atheism presenting ideas in his book (as Harris and Hitchens did before them) as original and cutting edge, as obvious, as corroborated by… science and reason.

"They associate atheism with western science and reason and project ideas of white male superiority on other races and ethnicities presented as backwards in their analysis. This fails to acknowledge the advances of reason, science and logic made in communities and countries around the world. Rarely do we hear about roots of atheism outside Europe or about atheists from other parts of the world. [...]

"This white male ‘band of intellectual brothers’ have hijacked the atheist narrative. It is now time to reclaim it." - Amit Singh, All Atheists Are Not White Men