Monday, March 7, 2011

On Blogging: Philosophical Stephen Colbert or Sarah Palin?

There has been a whole host of commentary about academic blogging since my last post. I am sure to miss at least a few, but here are the links I have: Tim Morton's brief commentary on my original post, Place Hacking has a both insightful and visually stunning response, Stuart Elden on why he blogs (pt 2), Craig on blogging as a way extracting surplus-value from academics (I might counter that blogging is a way of overcoming the alienation inherent in many modes of academic publishing), Alex Reid, Tim's Commentary on Alex Reid's post, Adrian has been trying to curb what he sees as excessive reactions or over reaction at his place (here and here), and lastly P+M has some links to various blogger manifestos.

And I was ready to let that be that. However, Ray Brassier did an interview with Kronos, where he said the following:
The ‘speculative realist movement’ exists only in the imaginations of a group of bloggers promoting an agenda for which I have no sympathy whatsoever: actor-network theory spiced with pan-psychist metaphysics and morsels of process philosophy. I don’t believe the internet is an appropriate medium for serious philosophical debate; nor do I believe it is acceptable to try to concoct a philosophical movement online by using blogs to exploit the misguided enthusiasm of impressionable graduate students. I agree with Deleuze’s remark that ultimately the most basic task of philosophy is to impede stupidity, so I see little philosophical merit in a ‘movement’ whose most signal achievement thus far is to have generated an online orgy of stupidity.

APPS already responded here. Brassier's comments are, of course, completely over the top. To the degree that I don't know what is going on here. If I was to write a caricature of the anti-blogging position, I don't think I could have done a better job. Is Brassier engaging in some sort of mockery or satire? Or is he, Sarah Palin-esque, making statements that self-caricature without meaning too? I don't know Brassier, so this is a sincere question.