Truth has never been sexy – let’s focus on the real issues please

It should be extremely clear to everyone that truth is besides the point. And has been for decades already. 

Truth does not exist. It is not something you can simply point out and say: look at that, that is the truth. Truth is made. Truth exists only in a particular world, in which specific rules and regulations about what is reality matter. Truth is always subjective, as it depends on which world you live in on what kind of rules you will follow, what truth-procedures you follow. And truth is always objective, as within that specific world with its truth-procedures, that truth is the truth, no matter who says it or who thinks it. That is the truth, and nothing but the truth (so help me God). Continue reading “Truth has never been sexy – let’s focus on the real issues please”

The Ethics of Being First

Making distinction in order define oneself on the basis of what something is not, instead of having an holistic approach, is responsible for the main problems of humanity. Difference is what perpetuates poverty, climate change, social inequality, genocide, and war.

When D.J. Trump spoke his inaugural speech, many things he said were obscured through the simplicity of the words he used. One of those is the phrase “America First”.

Being first can mean different things. Whatever meaning you prefer, it refers to a politics of difference that is detrimental to the whole. Continue reading “The Ethics of Being First”

On the (end of the) commercialization of writing

What happens when money is involved in the process of thinking and writing? Is there a danger, or is it simply a neutral motivation?

The end of media?

In a time in which media seems to be of a growing importance in the personal every-day lives of people, conventional organisations that used to provide the content of these platforms are rapidly disappearing or changing their mode of business. Newspapers fire people or become based on a version of crowdfunding (for instance De Correspondent in the Netherlands), and people who try to come up with alternative have a difficult time doing so. As Medium-originator Ev Williams said:

“The vast majority of articles, videos, and other “content” we all consume on a daily basis is paid for — directly or indirectly — by corporations who are funding it in order to advance their goals. And it is measured, amplified, and rewarded based on its ability to do that. Period. As a result, we get…well, what we get. And it’s getting worse.”

Continue reading “On the (end of the) commercialization of writing”

Words&Statistics – “Fact” and post-truths

What happened in 1965? After that date, the word ‘fact’ has decreasingly been used in books. But how come? Did the ‘post-truth’ world start not with social media, but maybe with the rise of relativism and existentialism?

A reflection by Nicole des Bouvrie.

Philosophers deal with words, often in etymological sense, in that they try to understand the meaning of a concept by looking at the history of a word, how it was used, what roots it has. But there is another way in which words are interesting, also for a philosopher: quantitatively. Continue reading “Words&Statistics – “Fact” and post-truths”

On when to cause offence

There is something that has bothered me for years.

Different groups of people who live by the idea that doing their best is good enough, but who actually fail to be good enough. Teachers, family, bahá’ís, friends, co-workers, academics, authors, activists. Many people whose heart is in the right place.

If I’ve learned anything in 2016, travelling in the United States, in China, in Japan and in Europe, it is that people mean well, but expect that change comes about through intentions alone. Continue reading “On when to cause offence”

Why again do we want this ‘freedom of speech’? Or: reading Spinoza

Watching the news, reading social media contributions, I more and more come to the conclusion that it might be time to end our persistent liking of this concept, the ideal of freedom of speech. In a world where opinions create problems, perhaps it is time to stop having opinions altogether. Especially when having an opinion is seen as ‘doing something’, as ‘contributing something’ to society. Thus, the main problem I have with the ‘freedom of opinion’ is that is seems to warrant a liberty through which people feel entitled to say whatever they want, even if it hurts, even if it confirms prejudice and ignorance.

When we take into account that we are mostly limited in our thinking by the world in which we find ourselves, then we must conclude that our opinions can only be a confirmation of who we already are, of what we already know.

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Continue reading “Why again do we want this ‘freedom of speech’? Or: reading Spinoza”

Prologue to publishing the dissertation

It is because of the inner calling to reach for a new that is unrelated to the present, for that which lies beyond the realm of the possible, that I started out on this path and will continue to do so, in order to search for some form of truth while facing evidence that truth does not exist, to search for meaning in a meaningless world, to search for change in a world that is nothing more than eternal repetition.

At some point you’re ready to start working on it. The publication of what you’ve worked at for so many years. But rereading the prologue, I feel I’m finally ready to part with it. It has taken some time, some distance, it has taken writing another book in the meantime. But I’m ready to look into the long and arduous road of publishing The necessity of the impossible…

Here the prologue for your consideration: (And publishers are welcome, of course!)

“By choosing to write about the desire to reach the impossible and the closely related illusion of change, I have chosen to fail. To fail in life. And synonymously to fail in thinking.

Continue reading “Prologue to publishing the dissertation”