Every so often I look over my blog – just skimming the posts – and as I was doing so lately I realised that it’s turned into a whole lot of ‘presentation without comment’. So let’s do some good old fashioned blogging. What have I been up to recently?
I haven’t really written a whole lot lately for the blog partly because I’ve been kept busy – I just finished a draft of a paper I’m presenting in July at the Videogame Cultures and Future of Interactive Entertainment conference (in Oxford, UK) which I’m actually rather happy with (p.s. if you’re in the UK and wanna hang out in the first week of July get in touch!) . When I finished writing it I realised that the ideas contained in it are kind of exploding out into a shimmering array of glistening new ideas waiting to be plucked from the air and placed into a big ol’ PhD chapter. So that’s nice. I’ve have more ideas about what to write about, hooray!
I’ve also been doing a lot of reading and thinking about philosophy, in particular philosophy of mind, cognition, reality, etc. Mostly this has been for the paper mentioned above (Andy Clark & David Chalmers and theory of the ‘extended mind’ is super interesting; Paul and Patricia Churchland’s ‘eliminative materialism’ is stellar, even if I do have reservations), but I’m also sinking my teeth into Quentin Meillassoux’s After Finitude which I’ll spare you the evangelism of, but in my view it’s the most amazing philosophical proof of… reality? Proof of something like that. At any rate, if “proving” reality via accessing an “absolute” (that is, accessing the in-itself as exists when unafflicted by being given to-us) sounds like rubbish then it’s probably not your thing. But if you get off on thinking about the nature of thought’s relation to the absolute then this amazing text will become your bible.
I bought an iPad recently! It’s pretty neat, no denying. Is it living up to the purposes I bought it for? Absolutely. It’s a fantastic device to hold in your hand and enable you to read medium-large amounts of text. It beats the pants off a laptop screen by a mile. It’s also been interesting to see how it’s designed singularity eases something like the distraction burden on my mind/concentration. When I’m on my iPad I know that I won’t/don’t have to concentrate on subordinating those instinctive impulses to check Twitter or Facebook or my email when they arise (usually at the most inopportune time – right when I’ve hit a wall) because… it’s a much harder (or at least, much different) thing to do to swap out to those things when you do want to check twitter, etc. Perhaps it’s not even so much that it’s harder, but that it’s more complete of a switch when you do jump over to a different app.
I’ve got a book chapter out! Halo and Philosophy is apparently shipping to some pre-orderers already, and you can get that through your favourite online book retailer. My chapter is called (imaginatively) Halo and Music and is a refinement of my undergraduate research. Don’t think that you have to be a Masters or PhD student to get published, cause clearly some collections will take just about anyone! So that’s a thing. Still, I’m no Trent Polack.
Lastly, I’ve also been re-thinking my commitment to the ‘no comments’ policy. Do I still think they’re on-balance not worth it for this space? Yeah, I do. But… as ben abraham do net changes (hello continuous stream of ‘presented without comment’ posts!) so too should my conception of what this place is for. So I’m thinking (and I’m by no means committed) of opening up comments on the blog section, and making it more ‘blog-like’. The irregular, long form academic and pseudo-academic writing will remain comment free, however I may move it over to individual ‘pages’ so that each one can exist on it’s own as a standalone piece. This is already what Ian Bogost does (essentially) with his website. So what do you think of that idea, dear silenced audience? Let me know on twitter or Facebook or email me if you feel strongly either way about commenting (contact details are on the sidebar). I wonder if I’ve won over any serious fans of my no-comment policy who would object to the change.