The shortness of life, so often lamented, may perhaps be the very best thing about it. If, finally, we were to bring to the sight of everyone the terrible sufferings and afflictions to which his life is constantly exposed, he would be seized with horror.
— From The world as will and representation
by Arthur Schopenhauer (via bookoflead
If, in everyday life, you are asked about continued existence after death by one of those people who would like to know everything but refuse to learn anything, the most appropriate and approximately correct reply is : ‘After your death you will be what you were before your birth.’ For this answer implies that it is preposterous to demand that a species of existence which had a beginning should not have an end; in addition, however, it contains a hint that there may be two kinds of existence and, correspondingly, two kinds of nothingness.
House at Mathildenhohe.
Architect: Peter Behrens.
The Behrens’ house in the Darmstadt artists’ colony betrays his connection with Jugendstil. It foreshadows the rational synthesis between design and industry that he would achieve later as a leading figure of the Deutsche Werkbund. In 1901, Behrens was still transforming himself from a Jugendstil artist into an architect via interior decoration. Following the philosophy of Nietzsche, Behrens and his contemporaries believed that art could address the huge social and economic questions of modern life which characterized Wilhelminian Germany.
After reading this enlightening post on Zunguzungu about Julian Assange’s philosophy, it’s clear that his intention isn’t just to provide a medium by which whistleblowers can expose individual cases of wrongdoing, he’s instead attempting to alter the communication and secrecy landscape entirely, thus eroding the very possibility of what he calls ‘conspiracy’.
Where details are known as to the inner workings of authoritarian regimes, we see conspiratorial interactions among the political elite not merely for preferment or favor within the regime but as the primary planning methodology behind maintaining or strengthening authoritarian power.
Authoritarian regimes give rise to forces which oppose them by pushing against the individual and collective will to freedom, truth and self realization. Plans which assist authoritarian rule, once discovered, induce resistance. Hence these plans are concealed by successful authoritarian powers. This is enough to deﬁne their behavior as conspiratorial.
His idea is to basically remove the capability of ‘conspirators’ to be able to communicate effectively and in secret, thus removing their ability to conspire. The leaks also turn the organisation on itself and fosters paranoia, thus further reducing its ability to ‘conspire’.
The more secretive or unjust an organization is, the more leaks induce fear and paranoia in its leadership and planning coterie. This must result in minimization of efficient internal communications mechanisms (an increase in cognitive “secrecy tax”) and consequent system-wide cognitive decline resulting in decreased ability to hold onto power as the environment demands adaption. Hence in a world where leaking is easy, secretive or unjust systems are nonlinearly hit relative to open, just systems. Since unjust systems, by their nature induce opponents, and in many places barely have the upper hand, mass leaking leaves them exquisitely vulnerable to those who seek to replace them with more open forms of governance.
click through to read on.
Click through to download some lectures on Existentialism in Film, courtesy of iTunes U.
Philosophers Agree: Existence of God and Nature of Morality are Two Different Questions
“Despite the fact that more and more people are comfortable “coming out” as atheists, the word is still very much associated with being immoral, or at the very least amoral. This, of course, despite the fact that there is neither logical nor empirical reason to draw that conclusion. Ever since Plato’s dialogue, philosophers have agreed that gods are simply irrelevant to morality, regardless of whether they exist or not. And of course modern sociological research shows that atheists are just as moral as religious believers. Still, the stigma persists.”
Read the whole bit by Ned Resnikoff.
In the words of the ancients, one should make his decision within the space of seven breaths. It is a matter of being determined and having the spirit to break through to the other side.
— Ghost Dog (Jim Jarmusch)
I have very strongly this feeling… that our everyday life is at one and the same time banal, overfamiliar, platitudinous and yet mysterious and extraordinary.
Suggestions for films that deal with Existentialism
I’ve been receiving a lot of questions asking for more movie recommendations and several followers have send in their own suggestions as well so here is an updated list.
a lot of foreign language movies by Rohmer, Traffaut, Bergman, Fellini and Godard have an existential overtone but here are some that are readily available on netflix or elsewhere:
- Waking Life
- I Heart Huckabees
- Broken Flowers
- 13 Conversations about one thing
- Groundhog Day
- Requiem for a Dream
- American Beauty
- Citizen Kane
- Me You and Everyone We Know
- The Jacket
- Donnie Darko
- A Scanner Darkly
- A Clockwork Orange
- El orfanato
- Synedoche New York
- Lost Highway
- The Tenant by Polanski
- The Bothersome Man
- Un Secret by Claude Miller
- Wild at Heart by David Lynch
- The Big Lebowski
- Le Feu Follet
- The Graduate
- The Machinist
- IKIRU by Akira Kurosawa.
- The Cruise by Bennett Miller
- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
- Being John Malkovich
if you’d like to add more message me here.
Being and Nothingness: What is it like to be a human being?
for Sartre, human reality consists of two modes of existence: of being and of nothingness. The human being exists both as an in-itself (ensoi), an object or thing, and as a for-itself (pour-soi), a consciousness. The existence of an in-itself is ‘opaque to itself .. because it is filled with itself.’ In contrast, the for-itself, or consciousness, has no such fullness of existence, because it is no-thing.
Sartre sometimes describes consciousness of things as a kind of nausea produced by a recognition of the contingency of their existence and the realization that this constitutes Absurdity.