I've been talking for a while about a new series on TealArt because I think that I've basically warn out the hypertext topic. Like the productivity/rethinking gtd series that I wrote during the first part of the semester, I'm not foreclosing the possibility of occasional essays on hypertext when something important comes up or strikes my fancy, but on a week to week kind of basis, I think any more would sort of defeat the purpose. Additionally, I think in a lot of ways, I'd rather work on actually writing some sort of digital text (ie. Station Keeping) than blather endlessly when I'm not sure that there are good answers to the questions that I raise. Someday there will be answers [1], but that day isn't today. So I'll move on.

One of the guys at pro.jectioni.st quoted the following twitter message the other day:

i've not met anyone whose favorite philosopher is deleuze who is not also an ass-hat."

While I protest the implication I certainly can understand the type. I hope, in this series, to explore at least for starters, Deleuze and Guatteri's Anti-Oedipus the first volume of their capitalism and schizophrenia series. I would suggest to the twitterer, that, the asshats are the ones that think that A Thousand Plateau's [2] is their favorite book of philosophy are the real asshats. It's cool stuff, from what I've read, not perfect, clearly, but then again folks keep reading Decartes, and Hegel, and no one seems to mind very much.

My other edict for the new revived TealArt is that it must be fun, and though certainly my style and amount of effort that I put into my academic research and writing is quite different from what you see on TealArt, they're similar sorts of tasks. I don't mind this, but I think it's also good to have some balance in ones life. This series is sort of a departure, but let me rationalize for you a bit:

I'm a social science guy--developmental psychology with leanings toward cultural and linguistic flavors of anthropology--and while many of my friends are humanities issues, and I feel fairly connected and intrenched in humanities issues and debates, the way I theorize and approach the work I do is really quite different from the way that they do, and my tendency is to think about theoretical issues and tradition far more than my current discipline. This is alright, but as I get more involved in my own field and less in history and literature, I think that I would still like to play around with cultural theory a bit. Yeah it's heady, yeah it's probably useless, but there's possibility there. I figure anything I can do to start looking at things a new way is probably helpful. And reading theory and writing about it on TealArt, is about as far as I can get from reading the literature that I will also be doing this summer to prepare for the future.

My interest and background in this is complicated: last fall, I did a reading project where I read some of AO, and I took a historiography class this semester (for fun, mostly) that also engaged theory, so I have a bit of background, but not much. So in a lot of ways I'm an outsider to a lot of these debates, which I think can be a good thing. One thing you'll note is that I call all this "theory", rather than philosophy, because I'm less interested in figuring out the logical conclusions, questions, and problems with particular ideas and more interested in the implications and applications of ideas and theories. So that's going to be my focus and attempt; and yeah, maybe that will piss of philosophers.

It seems that these series at TealArt are inspired by my reading of a new segment of the blog world [3] and interest in contributing to the discussions at these blogs. This series is no different, in fact I was reading Larval Subjects, where they have been posting Spinoza quotes and commentary as part of a series for that blog. I thought the format was cool, and so I thought that I would borrow it, in my own TealArt sort of way. In the direction of locating this series in context of other blogs I'd like to provide an esoteric list of links to the theory/philosphy blogs that are in my news reader and that I've been reading, at least cursorily for the past few months:

Enjoy, and I'll be back in a week with something more substantive!

'till then, tycho

[1]It seems to me that the iPod has done a lot to revolutionize the way that people interact with digital (and by effect, non-digital) music, and I think that we need some sort of parallel development in digital text presentation that will make it easier for us to read and interact with digital text. Maybe it will be solid state laptops, or better tablet PCs, or better pocket computers, or even better screens, but whatever it is, it ain't here yet.
[2]I think the stereotype of asshattery in Deleuze's followers is due to the fact that A Thousand Plateaus is really an experimental text and is supposed to be literary in some sense (except of course it's written by philosophers and rogue/ratical psychoanalysts, so there is a limit to the scope of their literary brilliance). So it's theory, and it's not all at the same time, and I think--particularly in today's world--if that's you're only interaction with philosophy, it's kind of asshaty.
[3]I'll be damned if you ever get me to use the term "blogosphere" honestly without irony.