Wednesday, June 1, 2011

June? June?!: Still Hung Up On Culture And Habit

June first, eh?

I have a hard time believing that it is June.

For one thing, my friend was right in that the weather is still pretty lame.

But I mean I guess that is fine.

But it seems weird. Just strange.

I haven't been doing serious writing, still.

Still taking a break from all of that. It feels nice to be relaxing a bit.

I'm reading though. Currently halfway through Edward Hallett Carr's book What Is History? Is definitely right up my alley. Philosophy of history is such a fascinating field. I need to read more of it. Much more!

I was reflecting on how some of my shorter pieces of writing are just about flash, quick analyses of certain things. I frame things, and I explore small interconnections between different things.

If I wanted to write on habit (which I do), for example, I would just figure out what kinds of things I'd want to talk about in order to talk about habit. I would talk about Zizek and Gray and their work on culture and habit. I would then talk about how culture happens, how culture is created. For that I could use Foucault and Claxton and others. Then I would talk about theories of mind (cause that is something I always do) and how habit would effect us at that level of mindreading.

So, to write an essay on habit would look something like this.

1. Culture and Habit in general
2. On the How Of Culture: On The Creation And Maintenance of Culture
3. Culture and Mental Habits: Theory of Mind, etc..
4. On Changing Personal Habits
5. On Changing Social Habits, Or, On Creating Cultures

Lol. Bogus stuff.

But at the same time very interesting stuff.

One of the main claims of Zizek's In Defense Of Lost Causes was that past political revolutions were not radical enough in that they were not truly social or cultural revolutions: they did not succeed in so radically restructuring the social world so as to create a new set of habits for people to live by. The morning after political power is seized we are still left with the reality of our existing economic and cultural institutions.

These are ideas I have been sitting with for a few months now. I once saw an article that accused the US military of allowing a masculine and sexist culture to thrive. But the question I had was this: did the US military ever work at cultivating its culture? Did they ever think that they could perhaps create a culture? Or was that military culture something that just sort of happened?

I just feel like these issues of politics, culture, habit, education, etc., are very fascinating. And the idea I have been pondering, which Zizek also explores, is the need to create new cultures and new habits in order to create new political institutions. Errr. I wonder if that is the best way to put it.

But politics, culture, and habit. What things.

I was thinking about how I wrote a little while ago about Foucault and Claxton. I still that it makes. Foucault believes disciplinary society, disciplinary culture, was created through the control of very basic things like space, time, movement, etc.. Claxton, too, thinks that culture is created (in schools) through the control of those basic things. So, then, looks like city planners and other people would be really valuable people to know. Those that control our sense of space and time. Yup.

I'll have to talk to some people.

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