Archive for May, 2003

The first ‘real’ stay in Darmstadt

Saturday, May 31st, 2003

When I arrived here in Darmstadt yesterday I was wondering what the coming days would bring. I’ll stay here until next Friday, when I’ll be going up north to attend the wedding of Meik and Katja on Saturday (old school, stylish wedding – yeah!). They brought a lot of warm and moist weather and they also brought the nicest side-effects warm weather can have: allowing one to loiter around in outdoor swimming pools. Here in Darmstadt we have the “Woog”, a lake close to the city’s center. It’s nice, only 1 EUR entrance fee, not too crowded and the water was as refreshing as one could wish it to be.
After enjoying the weather, doing some water-diving for the first time since ages and even playing some volleyball I was pretty exhausted. And happy. Praise going to outdoor swimming pools together with some nice buddies!

Tomorrow I might want to tell you about my first visit to a discotheque in South-Western Germany. The ‘Steinbruch’….

Some musings on Marcuse

Saturday, May 31st, 2003

This week, the reading digest for our Kolleg were two chapters from Herbert Marcuse’s One Dimensional Man. I was quite excited about reading Marcuse for the first time. I first encountered him in my late-adolescence Fromm reading in about 1993 and since then I read most of the major works written the good old Frankfurt posse. Since the One Dimensional was written after the Eclipse of Reason and after the Dialectics of Englightenment I expected it to at least add something to, if not ‘transcend’ these dark, beautiful, and bold analytic masterpieces of social and philosophical critique. People whispered something about a positive solution sketched out in this text. Eros should be part of it, I heard.

Well, I was disappointed. The way in which he portays technology, the way in which he puts the potential for change into the development of technology. A technology that’s reaching it’s highest level and then changes to something radically different, left me without agents, but with a lot of techne and greek classicism. What’s even more dissappointing, he left me desolately looking for the role which Praxis plays in his theory. Perhaps the chapters we read (5 and 9, I think) didn’t cover the right ground in this regard. But I fear that I didn’t just miss it. Without a solid and sympathetic understanding of Praxis, of the interactions between people and their environment, it seems to be almost impossible to bring to life a positive imagination of what life and society could be like. A positive imagination that doesn’t strive for perfection, instead encompassing the shortcomings of human actions, motives and utopias, that’s what I want.

To my personal enjoyment I might add that I think that Fromm, who is often stigmatized for catering to a ‘late-adolescent’ audience, does a better job in the positive imagination business. Perhaps Marcuse should have added more Meister Eckehardt to his somewhat hidden Heideggerisms ;-)

Migration of project description from self.html to this blog!

Thursday, May 29th, 2003

During the next days I will start to migrate my project description from my “offical style” self description page (check it out) to this blog.
This will hopefully enable me to put regular updates about the progress of my dissertation on this page. Then YOU can comment it.

Comment system implemented

Thursday, May 29th, 2003

I now have a working comments system installed – you are all welcome to comment on anything I write here.

Now, it can begin

Thursday, May 29th, 2003

Well, well, setting up this blog thing was quite easy. It only took me an hour or two to figure out the customizations, and get the wiki-style plugin (wikieditish) to work. But now everything is up and running. Amazing. I guess I will be tweaking some of the blog settings pretty soon nonetheless ;)