Hierarchy and Communication

Have you ever had an experience like this Dilbert comic?


This reminds me about working in a new company, or on a new team, in a new department, with a strict union, etc. Strange how complicated work and relationships / territory / job security / sense of worth or importance can make some things that seem to be easily understood into situations that are much more complex. Power and positionality in organizations are often more complex than they seem at face value.

Perhaps the lessons here will help reveal us to who will win in the next presidential election?

Countdown to Infinity

I received an email from my colleague, Robin, who stated that he got this odd email. Trusting he would not send me anything like a virus or other problematic surprise, I clicked it. Ouch. Living in New York City these days prepares me for a lot, but nothing like this. I decided to reproduce it here for the full effect.

How to handle an irritating seat-mate on a plane
If you are sitting next to someone who refuses to let you travel quietly, follow these instructions:
1. Quietly and calmly open up your laptop case. 
2. Remove your laptop.
3. Start up.
4. Make sure the guy who is annoying you can see the screen.
5. Close your eyes, tilt your head up to the sky and move your lips like you are praying
6. Then hit this link

I showed it to a few friends, and they were all equally disturbed. I am sharing it here as I think it warrants discussion. Is this real? Alarmist? Funny? Racist? Stereotypical? Appropriate? Inappropriate? Callous? Fill in the blank ______.

It comes from the website of a talk show host, Neal Boortz. I am not familiar with him, but thought some people out there may be. What do you make of this?How do we make sense of a world like this? Can we? Is there sense to be made, or is this subject still too close and intimate? How do others outside the US feel? Perhaps my musing on this is just overreacting?

Introduction of the Political Philosophy Symposium

Here I am liveblogging again. I was finally able to connect to the New School wireless network (the instructions for doing so were well hidden on their website, locatable only via a Google search), and thus am hoping to be able ot post this in real time as well.

I did not think I was going to be able to make it today, as I have not been feeling very well today (too much work this week while suffering from Thanksgiving overload with the eating that accompanied it). Nevertheless, I am now beginning to feel a bit better, so decided to go for a walk in the beautiful and sunny but chilly day today. I recalled the symposium is today, so thought it might be nice to listen here, so here I am. 

Waiting for the event to begin. The welcome and introduction was supposed to begin 18 minutes ago, not that I am counting. But as of yet, nothing.


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Symposium in Political Philosophy

Tomorrow is the Hannah Arendt / Reiner Schurmann Symposium in Political Philosophy at the New  School for Social Research. The theme for this year’s symposium is Critical Theory Today, and speakers include Axel Honneth, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Luc Boltanski, Judith Butler, and Etienne Balibar.

In the words of Jay Bernstein, the chairperson of the Philosophy Department, the symposium promises to expose its listeners to ideas that will challenge their perceptions and make them uncomfortable. That is one of the very reasons to do philosophy–to  bump into ideas that make us uncomfortable and thereby force us to think through our lives in different and more critical ways.

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