My friend Pete Olen is both an accomplished philosopher and a 24-7-hustle concert booker for a number of venues in southern Florida. Via a post about a show he recently booked and is currently promoting, I was reminded of 80s Welsh goth rockers Gene Loves Jezebel. To my surprise they still exist. And I do mean “they.”
The post led me to read a little on the history of GLJ, whom I vaguely remembered from high school. The band was started by two identical twins who came to despise each other by the late 90s and refused to ever work together again. But both wanted to keep playing, and each thought he was the rightful inheritor of the “Gene Loves Jezebel” name.
“When you are going to a meeting, remember what kind of an act you are performing. If the meeting is in a room that was just being used for another meeting, and there is cold pizza in a box sitting on top of the garbage can, remind yourself of what this is: it is garbage pizza. When you desire the pizza, you are foolish, for it is garbage pizza, and you are no longer a 21 year old living on 1400 calories a day in a crackhouse in Pittsburgh because you refuse to participate in capitalism. You may desire all the pizza there is, but remember that when you do, your will is not in conformity with nature. If then you aim at the life of wisdom, remember that you must not attempt to lay hold of the garbage pizza with a quick, sneaky effort; but you must leave the garbage pizza alone entirely. And you may say, “But it is still good, and they’re just going to throw it away.” No, they have not thrown it away, they have restored it. They have restored the garbage pizza to where it now belongs…”
This Saturday is the Pittsburgh Area Philosophy Colloquium, and I’m looking forward to seeing a bunch of interesting papers. The act of giving a paper in a public forum can be nerve-wracking even in collegial settings (you’ve only been working on this most of your adult life, of course, so it’s not like rejection would hurt or anything). So it’s important for young and old philosophers alike to harness that feral panic of self-doubt and turn it into an engine of productivity for their work. That reminded me of something I wrote a few years back about getting ready for an impending Big Talk. The key is planning, people. Make yourself a schedule with all that nervous energy.
Below is a map of authors in the pragmatist tradition, with a lot of major authors, scientists and activists. The intent here was initially to create something that my student might use as a resource to think about how some big debates unfolded. Where one person contributed favorably to another’s work, a green line connects them. Where one author tended to clash with another, a red line connects them. The connections there are about the predominance of support/agreement or disagreement between the authors. If we were being totally honest, every author should be connected to every other by a variegated braid with more colors than your monitor would support, of course. This simply suggests predominant patterns on stuff for which we would remember their work.
This is a work in progress, as I am sure anyone who sees it can imagine. It might evolve into something else down the line, or it might not. To the degree that it helps others teach this material, feel free to use it.