Sunday, July 10, 2011

Quads and Foucault

I slept late today. It feels really good to do a lot of sleeping on the weekends. I'm still waiting for my leg to heal, still relaxing so I don't re-injure it by pushing myself too hard.

I woke up and I went to Top Pot and got a 16 oz iced americano and a pink feather boa donut. Delicious. I was sitting waiting for my drink and the barista said 'who ordered the grande iced americano'. I said I did. She said 'do you want all four shots or just the three'. Oh I'll take all four I said, of course. I fucking love quad iced americanos. That is what I have been drinking at work lately. Iced americanos are soooo good. I had a hot quad americano recently in a 12 oz cup. Also delicious. Usually americanos suck. Two shots is weak sauce. A double 12 oz americano just tastes bland to me. I need a really intense coffee flavor. And 4 shots will do it. A double shot in the dark or a quad americano, or a quad latte. Sometimes a double latte is great. But I loveeeee quads. Soooo tasty.

So it was a great start to the day.

Then I walked to volunteer park. I just wanted to walk and enjoy the weather while I sipped my delicious drink. I wandered through the park for a little while. I looked at people. I thought about them in vague ways. I envied them for the qualities of their life that are foreign to me at this time in my life.

I sat down in the middle of a field by a stage. There was some kind of performance going on. There was a sign that said there was a young Shakespeare workshop going on. There were people pretending to fight one another with different weapons. The announcer made a joke about two women taking place in a mock fight. He said that the amount of grunting made it sound like a tennis match. It was an interesting thing to say. It was interesting to hear him clearly introduce an anachronism into the reenactment.

I was reading Michel Foucault's The Archeology of Knowledge. I have not read this book yet. It will be the sixth monograph of his that I will have read. I have read the first 30 pages and I'm really feeling good about it. I feel like I'm really understanding his questions and some of his tentative answers.

I've also been struck by how confessional the text seems. He is very frank about his insecurities, about his confusions about the nature of his project. He had already undertaken three of his historico-philosophical studies, and this fourth book was an attempt to make a strictly methodological statement. He admits that he had been carrying out his previous studies with only a vague sense of what he was up to. He seems to have had only a vague inkling of what the projects were aiming at, what the writing was doing for him or for others. So, AK is therefore Foucault's attempt to answer the question 'What have I been doing? What is this historico-philosophical enterprise that I have begun?'

I have read complaints about the translation, about the clarity of the text. In the first 30 pages, however, I'm finding it quite clear. I'm already pretty familiar with Foucault's work. I've read five of his books, lots of his interviews, and some of his essays. So I've seen him engage in a lot of reflection on the nature and use of his work. I think I will be able to make a good deal of sense of AK.

I also think that it will be much more relevant to the writing that I have been trying to do. My current essay project, 'Mediums and Relationships', has been baffling me for the last few weeks. I think that this is because 1. it is a hard problem and I am in over my head, and 2. because the book I was reading, Leviathan, was too difficult and wasn't helping me think about the problems I was trying to deal with. The project is explicitly about trying to synthesize philosophy of mind and philosophy of history, I am trying to create a historically augmented theory of mind. And I think that Foucault is super helpful in this enterprise. Basically, if I can synthesize Collingwood, Clausewitz, and Foucault, I will be in pretty good shape. I still think that Leviathan probably has a lot to offer me, and that I will return to it at some point. But jesus christ I was struggling to read that book.

Oh well. I'll get to it someday.

But for now I hope to keep reading AK and I hope that it will offer me some insights into my current questions, which you will hopefully see more of sometime soon when I post more of the project.

I posted the first section yesterday.

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