Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Icarus swims

Human rights, parenting, ecopolitics—how does it all fit together?—you don’t much wonder. (Who has the time? And Why?)

The conditions of humanistic flourishing are manifold, to say the least. The nature of human futurity is vastly elusive—but a discursive luxury, you might think.

The ultimate singularity of planetary life “with” the increasing hyperintegration of humanity is a brute fact in a vacuum, astronauts so dramatize. Either a cohering of it all emerges (since life requires enough homeostasis), with humanity coping with The Given (as the Earth goes its own way). Or the cohering must be engineered—and not quietistically (i.e., not conservatively)—for the sake of broadening our flourishing and for sustaining the irreplaceable regions of Earth’s Givingness that are still flourishing, such as rainforests.

I believe that the whole scale of our planetary existence, down to (up to? into) the ostensible, lived level, can be made coherent, purposefully and constructively—can be explicated progressively and practically (or pragmatically—realistically and idealistically).

In service to that, discursive inquiry is worthwhile, just as the university is more than an administrated network of professional schools. We belong to a living well of intelligent life—evolving, historical, and exemplified in leading lives—through which prospects for constructive humanistic union, for richly flourishing widely—“evolving” in an active sense (evolving ourselves, democratically governing our evolution)—are kept realistically alive and properly ambitious.

Anticipating discursive inquiry into Our Singularity (in much detail, by the way—no romanticist garden of rhetorical well-formedness), I live a sense of holism that’s delightful to me—inspiring, thus durably motivating, an elating pleasure of mind—a veritable eros of our evolving. Our Gaic, hyperintegrating singularity is a thrilling wonder. Wanting to make time for detailing and advancing my sense of this, our Perpetual Project, feels like the ecstatic kid I commonly was and, so, remain.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

a preface on ecopolitics

That image doesn’t really fit the following, but I just so want to use it for something (more on the image, at the end here).

The Copenhagen Climate Talks go on, marginal to most lives (except governments, leading capital, and activists). Anyone would agree that it’s important, but the complexity escapes us?

It escapes me, I think. I don’t believe the following captures it. Nonetheless...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

a perpetual project

With “deep gratitude and great humility,” President Obama accepted the Nobel Peace Prize for the sake of “our highest aspirations.” He endeavors to recount a story of our inhumanity and avarice that must lose their war against our humanity and generosity. The real substance of Our Perpetual Project is intangible: ideas bearing values that work as ideals.

“Concretely, we must direct our effort to the task that President Kennedy called for long ago. ‘Let us focus,’ he said, ‘...on a gradual evolution in human institutions.’ A gradual evolution of human institutions. What might this evolution look like? What might these practical steps be?”

“Agreements among nations. Strong institutions. Support for human rights. Investments in development. ....And....the continued expansion of our moral imagination...[W]e do not have to think that human nature is perfect for us to still believe that the human condition can be perfected. We do not have to live in an idealized world to still reach for those ideals that will make it a better place....[F]undamental faith in human progress...must always be the North Star that guides us on our journey....what’s best about humanity....our sense of possibility....our moral compass....Let us reach for the world that ought to be—that spark of the divine that still stirs within each of our souls.”

Monday, November 23, 2009


Tom Friedman’s typically large-minded view of the world is on good display in Sunday’s New York Times, “Advice from Grandma,” on importances of social imagination for national well-being in a global economic environment and the importance of governmental facilitation of this, which I categorize as a matter of comparative advantage through knowledge-intensiveness.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

practicing the “Idea of Human Development”

Habermas notes in his “Author’s Preface” to Europe: The Faltering Project that “The final essay...[which] deals with the structuring infuence that a normative theory of the public sphere can have on the design of empirical particularly close to my heart.”

Normative theory is different from “Critical Theory.” McCarthy, in his new book, Race, Empire, and the Idea of Human Development is involved with Critical Theory.

Friday, August 28, 2009

a healthy market is a fair market

J├╝rgen Habermas is residing on Long Island this autumn, hosting a seminar on political theology. I haven’t intended to get into Habermasian exchanges soon, let alone another round of exchanges on religion. But the domain is relevant to prospects for health care legislation in the U.S., so I forwarded to the Habermas group the link to an article in today’s New York Times that is pertinent, and I provided some commentay. But text turns up lousy at the Yahoo! Groups site (turns up better in the emails distributed) and isn’t revisable. So, here’s my commentary, subject to improvement.