[NetBehaviour] Against Aphorisms

James Morris james at jwm-art.net
Sun Sep 23 11:16:44 CEST 2012

Their there like flatulence.

On 22/09/12 Alan Sondheim <sondheim at panix.com> wrote:
>Against Aphorisms
>Facebook is loaded with them. At one point I loved Karl Krauss,
>Adorno's Minima Moralia, Schlegel. But aphorisms out of context,
>used as slogans on Facebook, presenting the righteous act or
>moment, are deadly; they're inauthentic in the existentialist
>sense, cut off; they don't spur to action - they make one feel
>better under capital, they suture the subject with a thinned-out
>cleverness, they make it appear as if something actually has
>been accomplished. The more famous the writer quoted, the better
>the aphorism appears to be, the name lending false authority to
>the vapidity of the words. And Facebook's aphorisms stand for
>the speed-up of the attention economy; why worry about something
>if an aphorism seems to sum it up in a few words that slip by,
>require little thought? The aphorism not only stands in for
>action; it also stands in for the depth of thought and context
>necessary for understanding, particularly given the complexities
>of the world we live in. This isn't true for all aphorisms, of
>course, but the short quote, the succinct phrase, gives us
>pleasure, even when we're contemplating slaughter, racism,
>violence, and so forth. At the least, give sources and urls so
>that one might take some sort of action, instead of nothing more
>than agreement over the superstructure of word-choice. The use
>of aphorisms is as well meaning, as meaning is drained by their
>use of them. We should all wake up in the midst of the battle-
>field by any other name...
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