face+drawing+on+wall_54305003This excellent example of the way categories or names prescribe our way of conceiving or thinking through problem came through the nettime email list recently.

On 29/09/2007, Thijs wrote:

> “[…] In contrast to most post-modern nation states, Islamic  fundamentalism offers the kind of warm hearth for which many shaken Western souls might yearn.”

Maybe it would be more accurate to say that words like “fundamentalism” and “terrorism” offer the kind of warm hearth for which many shaken Western souls might yearn: the ability to lump together a wide range of social phenomena that they don’t understand under a few convenient labels taken from American and European history, such as American Protestant fundamentalism and the French revolutionary Terror of the 1790s.

Here are some possible alternatives (which I’m sure could be improved):

Al Qaeda: Salafi nationalist guerilla network

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood: Sunni reformist party

Hamas: Sunni Palestinian nationalist party and militia

Hizballah: Shia Lebanese nationalist party and militia

Two things leap out of this sort of classification: the need to know something about Islam in order to know what the Arabic words mean, and the need to take nationalism seriously as a force that motivates opposition movements.


# distributed via : no commercial use without permission # is a moderated mailing list for net criticism, # collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets # more info: and “info nettime-l” in the msg body # archive: contact:

class, experience and affect

class, experience and affect

Some rather peculiar argument has broken out amongst some of the radical philosopher types in the blogosphere, apparently kicked off, in part at least, by the comments of a blogger called k-punk (which you can read here – k-punks trackbacks don’t seem to work but the page is there). Larval Subjects has a kind of round-up and commentary and there’s… Read more →

Principles and Facts - notes

Principles and Facts – notes

There’s an interesting online psych project over here at Project Implicit…an interesting thing mentioned on Thought Capital’s blog post about the use of ’empirical data’ in ’evidenced-based meta-analyses’. I presume these EBMA’s are some sort of peculiar category of philosophical activity, perhaps connected to the idea of ’experimental philosophy’ which, whilst fascinating, seems to sometimes miss the point. Can evidence… Read more →

Ah Pook, the destroyer

Ah Pook, the destroyer

One of my favourite pieces by Burroughs is the short Ah Pook discussion of time, death, control and the ‘ugly american’. I showed it to my Introduction to Philosophy class this week, at the start of the lecture, then came across it again on Muli Koppell’s blog ‘Methods and Black Squares‘ blog. The brief film animation that is famously associated… Read more →

As an introduction to schizo-analysis: responding to 'The Anti-Oedipus Papers' (unfinished notes)

As an introduction to schizo-analysis: responding to ‘The Anti-Oedipus Papers’ (unfinished notes)

There is a background to every text, a life, a thought, an obsession, a spilt cup of coffee on papers badly placed on a temporary desk. Good sex, drunken rants, flirtatious concepts, all of these form part of that which will never be said within the text, only ever sensed, occasionally and differently, by the readers and writers who follow… Read more →