Pokémon Go!! Augmented Reality finally comes to the party and validates what I’ve been doing for 7 years

Time to dust off this blog for another annual entry…

A major media event, and a major breakthrough for much of what I have been doing professionally for what seems like forever. Pokémon Go! was released last week in Australia and the USA and social media, the technology press and much of the smartphone-owning western world seems to have gone mad with Pokemon mania. I have to admit I’m too old to have been part of the Pokémon generation (give me Garbage Pail Kids any day) but even the old, wizened cynic in me had to give this a try. The reason for doing this though was less being a old-enough-to-know-better wannabe hipster, and more to do with what looks like a certain validation through augmented reality (AR) for some of the ideas that I’ve been throwing out into a void for what seems like all my life.

My academic research has concentrated upon location-based social networking (like Foursquare) and how the use of this social media can lead to new understandings of place. Simple. Or not so much. In my book released last year and papers published in 2011 and 2015, I used a Heideggerian paradigm to understand our comportment towards place through using these services and smartphones generally. I linked this very closely to the Heideggerian concepts of care and withdrawal, and to the notion of embodiment. In my more recent work with Mike Saker, we’ve looked at a range of issues with LBSN use, including  using the concept of the playeur (as an update of the ‘flaneur’) to understand how game-based locative media allows users to explore and engage with spaces in the creation of place. When using Pokémon Go! last night and this morning, our arguments in this paper and theoretical arguments from Heidegger in my book became very salient very quickly, and in fact the experience of using this app crystallized much of my work for me. I think I’ve learned something phenomenally important about my own work.

So, Pokémon Go is a game that uses your phone’s GPS and clock to detect where and when you are in the game and make Pokémon “appear” around you (on your phone screen) so you can go and catch them. When playing this morning, I was seeing these kinds of ‘things’:

 

Now, as I said, I’m no Pokémon expert. In fact, I know nothing about Pokémon beyond the image of Pikachu. However, while taking my usual stroll to the office through the Hastings old town, I was ‘confronted’ by all sorts of odd-looking creatures that I flicked my ‘Poké Ball’ towards in order to catch them. I have to admit the augmented reality-effect here of super-imposing the characters onto the street as I look at my iPhone screen is pretty neat, and is a definite hook for using this that other failed AR apps just didn’t have. These are of course not things at all (as indicated by my punctuation) but one could argue that they are performing the role of being in thing in a phenomenological, Heideggerian sense – see my book if you want to know more about this! It is fun too, but I suspect that might wear off quickly. Much more interesting for me was the way you are led by the app to interact with places around you. Part of the game is ‘stopping’ at Poké Stops, which are notable locations in the real world marked on the in-game map. You go to these to get items for the game, such as Poké Balls that you use to catch Pokémon. This seems much like the ‘check-in’ of LBSN apps such as Foursquare (or now the Swarm app) that I have written so much about over the last 6 years. However, even for a grizzled old-timer of LBSN such as me, something very neat happened when I visited these ‘places’.

 

At each of these stops, you are given an image and some information on that place as it is outside of its function in the game i.e. the real place. Until this morning, I was only really aware of the Seagate on my walk; I’d never noticed that the big church I pass every morning is a Catholic Church, or that the Duke of Wellington had a headquarters in the town. Pretty cool. Much better followed:

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This rather nice statue of Admiral Nelson has adorned the building for a long time, yet I had never seen it until this morning. It comes up in the game, I crane my neck, and all of a sudden its there. Now, I’ve written about this phenomena before as it had been experienced by my research participants using LBSN, but I don’t think I was getting the same experience. I’d found the odd pub or interesting thing, but this had a certain awe associated with the discovery. The fact I’ve walked past this loads of times without seeing it, then been alerted to it in the game, then saw it – woah!!

On it went. I’d never noticed this commissioned graffiti before – I had seen it as I’ve walked past it twice a day for the last 6 months, but not noticed it until the game drew it to my attention.

These two nice pieces of street art – never seen them at all, despite again walking by them twice a day for 6 months. Being part of the game genuinely made me aware of the place around me much more than I had before. Many of the conclusions that I had drawn in my book, and that Mike and I linked to the concept of the playeur as someone who explores and understands places through play became concrete to me in a way that even my own research and writing had not made clear before!

I’m glad I felt that this experience validated all this work rather than trashed it, but it does raise questions about LBSN and how AR might take my own research forward. As a confession, I was looking to end my association with LBSN after the publication of a joint-authored book with Mike Saker this summer. Ironically, I was getting ideas together around projects on AR and Virtual Reality. Well, looks like I’m on a continuum loop rather than revolutionary road now. What Pokémon Go does is create what Horea Avram in defining AR terms a convergent space  (which will remain inevitably imperfect)   between material reality and virtual information. This is the critical advance from LBSN, which could not render the user-generated information on places into an interface or perspective that allowed for this convergence to effectively occur in real-time. LBSN users were always looking at LBSN screens – this instance of AR means that we have the (phenomenally) mixed reality so long promised. In my own experience, it is unquestionably different, more powerful and more enjoyable. I probably lack the motivation from in-game achievements to carry on with it, but the immersive effect could be something that keeps me coming back as it shows me things I didn’t know about places that I do know – a form of localism that Mike and I have written about for this forthcoming book. In an excellent short piece, Travis Holland outlines offers an opening to a view of ‘layering’ place that develops from Paddy Scannell and Shaun Moore’s concept of the ‘doubling’ of place from overlaying digital information with physical spaces. In very quick time I’ll be adding thoughts on playful engagement with place, Pokémon as ‘things’, care and withdrawal of the device in using AR and placehood and worldhood in AR as this app spreads and others follow in its wake.

All this work just got interesting again…

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Privacy Parenthesis

privacyI’m currently working on fleshing out some ideas on privacy and the re-situation of privacy as a result of the use of digital media in everyday life. This was the catalyst for my involvement in the Privacy: Gathering Insights from Lawyers and Technologists event, which I co-organised (with great success I should add) with my colleague Maria Murphy from Maynooth University.

The Privacy Parenthesis is something different to the discussions you’ll find at the Privalaw site.  In this work, I want to draw parallels between the post-phenomenology I began theorising in Locative Social Media: Place in the Digital Age  and broader notions 9781137456113of citizenship in late capitalism and the digital world. The intention here is not just to broaden theory, but to concretise the influence of media that has calculative reason as its dominant logic in a specific aspect of being-in-the-world. That aspect is privacy; quite literally being at home, but not being-at-home (excuse the Heidegger pun, irresistible). I want to assess how the proliferation of digital media in private spaces and lives have re-spatialised privacy. My overarching hypothesis – if I have one – is that privacy has been de-spatialised and that privacy has become a set of embodied practices or performances that are aligned with particular computational and technological epistemologies.

My thinking here follows the now accepted fact that the “Snowdon Revelations” revealed the extent of surveillance of everyday citizens in everyday life. These revelations have been a focal event for discussion on the mediation of privacy itself in the digital age. As technological development moves towards the everyday integration of things in the “Internet of Everything” in “smart cities”, I’m intending my work to focus upon the shifting sense of citizenhood in these spaces in light of the extraordinary levels of data collection continuing unabated in everyday life. When one considers the implicit desires in schemes such as “smart cities” to produce “smart citizens”, through education, everyday practices and continual connectivity sits uneasily with any notion of privacy in a “traditional” sense. The desire to realise these futures for the logics of efficiency and control is in a tense relationship with very concept of private space and private citizenhood. Drawing on philosophical arguments to historicise privacy as a situated phenomena, such as Arendt’s notions of different epochs of the private realm and their importance in citizenhood, I aim to argue that the comparison between the privacy desired by critics of the current situation and the privacy afforded to persons in the digital world constitute a dialectic that reveals an emerging – but currently undefined – epoch of private space and the private realm. The computational logic of digital media, with industrial level big data collection fuelling algorithmic governance of spaces and citizens, is fundamentally incompatible with the private realm as detached from the public sphere.

However, claims to the “death of privacy” simplify the unfolding processes of remediation that are underway. The logic of computation, as a particular manifestation of the current moment of late capitalism, does not eliminate privacy but instead repositions and respatialises privacy as an affordance of living in a digitally-infused world. The points of contestation and resistance are scaled at the individual rather than societal level and constitute a negotiation with the expectations of being-digital in the world. The digital citizen is therefore always moving between the private in public as a function of engagement with digital media, and this indicates a coming or already-present epoch where privacy is not defined by property but by knowledge, awareness and caution of digital media. The “digital” or “smart” citizen is a therefore a contested entity, desired ideologically from two sides of a dialectical relationship but continually shifting through engagement and non-engagement in the digital apparatus of the world.

I began this work with a brief presentation of my ideas at the recent Surveillance and Citizenship conference in Cardiff University (June 18-19), part of the Digital Citizenship and Surveillance Society project.

 

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Admitting one’s failings and the Holy Bible

In 2007, when I was not so young but might well have been more stupid, I wrote an article on the use of Nietzsche’s thinking in the songs of the Manic Street Preachers. As my first ever publication I’m quite proud of it (it took three years to appear in print, for reasons I’m not too sure about as it was never rewritten from submission) although I see it as deeply flawed and superficial. I was still an MA student in Philosophy at the time, and primarily wrote the article as a way to kill time in the office on a boring Thursday afternoon in June.

Despite my pride, I’m also embarrassed by one line.  In the article, I described the Holy Bible as “an education in nihilism and alienation”. Of all the things I’ve written, it’s that downloadstatement that actually hurts to read. I’m not certain I ever thought the Holy Bible was nihilistic, although the sentence may have some meaning in the context of a discussion of Nietzsche. In December I’m going to watch the Manics play the album in full to mark the 20th anniversary of the release of the album, and here I want to redress the balance somewhat with my current feelings and thoughts on the album.

What to say? The album is lauded, rightly, as not only the Manics best work but also one of the most important albums of the 1990’s. It’s easily one of my favourite albums, although it remains often difficult to listen to due to the mood of the work. Musically it is brilliant, lyrically it veers from off the scale brilliant to incredible, although always challenging and difficult. Its this challenge that, for me, defines the greatness. The topics of the songs are in themselves challenging: prostitution, serial killers, anorexia, the holocaust, fascism, political revolution and often despair. Nihilism in the face of such topics is a comfort – easier to believe in nothing than confront the issues. In listening to the album though, I do not retreat from the ideas that are fired forth like a machine gun. Through confrontation comes an affirmation every time I listen to the album (I did so earlier today while working on an operations management paper – infinitely more horrifying). There is something life affirming about being challenged to confront ideas, history and mortality and come out the other side. This is Yesterday always feels like a sigh of relief, despite its lamentation on ageing, and despite Die in the Summertime, The Intense Humming of Evil and PCP to follow. There is an existential mood in listening that is angst in character; cathartic and at the distance that listening to an album allows the angst is realised through the the process of listening through the album and coming to an understanding and accommodation with the album.

I now see the album as a massive critique of modernity and the need for quantification, valuation and reduction of humanity down to category. The themes fit such a view: they revolve around exploitation, mechanised and systematic annihilation through reduction to less than human status and quantification on measures applied empirically. The latter point is exemplified by 4st 7lb, the weight at which death is medically unavoidable for anorexics. The life of the human is compared to a quantification that results in annihilation. The churning up of humanity in the face of modernity – the will to improve, to make more efficient, to destroy difference and make valuable on market rather than moral worth – is the theme that I keep revisiting when listening now. This is of course a consequence of my own development intellectually, as I have developed from a naive reader of Nietzsche to a more rounded academic interested in the Philosophy of Technology and the reorientation of humans in the face of ubiquitous computing. The album serves as a touchstone to the rawer feelings associated with this critical position, as in how far this orientation to life can take people when they invest in efficiency over man.

The album is (primarily) the thoughts and feelings of one man. I cannot speculate on the mental state of Richey, nor would I want to – many amateur psychologists have, trying to answer the unanswerable. I’m thankful that these thoughts were produced in a form to be preserved, replayed and dwelled upon 20 years later and many years from now. There’s not been an album like this since that I’ve heard, and I doubt there will be. It’s the Manics in an isolated, liminal state away from being from Wales, being male, being anything. Beautiful and harrowing, but not nihilistic.

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Morozov, To Save Everything and the art of the Ad Hominem

A week spent with Evgeny Morozov (in reading, I should add) has led me to consider how useful the ad hominem attack is in critical debate. I know – but please bear with me. This is firstly not an attack on Morozov, and as I have never (nor would I think I ever would) had any contact with Evgeny Morozov, then I have no reason to attack him ad hominem. A criticism frequently made of Morozov though is that he is quick to go to ad hominem attacks himself, and this was the first of three “events” that made me dwell on the idea of the ad hominem in the last week. The other two were: the revealing of the name of the tweeter Old Holborn, and a remarkable twitter conversation I witnessed on Friday afternoon. I’ll deal with these two cases before I return with a partial review of To Save Everything, Click Here and my final thoughts on ad hominem as a technique.

Firstly, we are always instructed (and I have instructed) that ad hominem attacks are a logical fallacy, and worse an admission of weak argument or lost argument if one has to resort to personal attacks over the substance of one’s argument. I’ve always accepted this, but also had both an odd respect for the ad hominem and a weird belief that in particular circumstances its fine to use this technique. What circumstance you may ask? When you have so completely pwned the object of your derision; then, the personal insult can work nicely as a kick to the ribs when the person is down, figuratively speaking. This is, of course, indicative of my immaturity and liking for vicarious violence, and should not be seen as anything else or a valid and respectable way to behave. The case of Old Holborn – a vicious, right-wing troll – is one ad hominem I could do without. After many years of trolling in the name of “free speech”, this repugnant individual attacked the memory of the 96 Hillsborough victims this week, again trotting out the discredited and ancient, Sun-fuelled lies of Liverpool fans being at fault. This was reported to the Police, and the troll has apparently now been caught. Boo Hoo. Free speech enthusiasts and “libertarians” are of course up in arms, aghast at the idea that this man should be prosecuted for merely causing offence when the sacred cow of free speech is threatened by his silencing. Debates on free speech are notoriously thorny and caustic, and I do not advocate censorship – but I do advocate the thorough kicking (through legal means or otherwise) of pathetic keyboard warriors that deliberately set out to offend, and offer nothing for free speech at all – unless the trotting out of discredited lies is now a pillar of the right to free speech? If so, then …. no, better not go there. You see, I was just about to conflate all Thatcher sympathisers with comatose vegetables, but that would be an offensive LIE and not free speech. Hope that helps. I found the whole affair interesting (and wholly depressing) for 2 reasons: one, free speech apparently overrides the ad hominem and two, if this should not have been censored why should tweets about Fabrice Muamba have been? Let me be clear: I have no sympathy for the “man” who racially abused Muamba on Twitter as he lay clinically dead on the pitch at White Hart Lane, and was in agreement with the outright disgust and condemnation of the individual. I also thought the prison sentence fair. Frankly, similar treatment for Old Holborn would also be fair given his long history of racist tweets concerning Muslims and Islam, again defended by his right to “free speech”. In the Old Holborn case, there have been many (inevitably Guido Fawkes followers) that have jumped to his defence. So, is the logical fallacy overcome if one is using the technique to defend free speech? Well, no.

The second event was highly amusing, and had me in stitches. It involved two people I admire, one that I know and admire greatly, the other that I do not know but who’s work I respect and enjoy. Dr David Berry (admission: my PhD supervisor) and Professor Tim Morton were involved in a bizarre Twitter exchange on Friday afternoon (UK time) that had me in stitches in the University Library. I will not go into it too much, but it reminded me of this in its pace and odd turn:

It really did get out of hand fast, and I won’t repeat it for respect for the two individuals involved, here. I’m not sure if I missed something, but there seemed to be a rapid descent into something that could be construed as ad hominem attacks. However, I may have missed something (maybe private messages or a tweet that was erased or not in my timeline). I must admit again, it was pretty funny. I respect both men, so I’ll say no more on the matter, and it was cleared up very quickly (I think) – the motto, no ad hominem in academia! Seems fine to me (at least in public).

Or so you’d think, because Morozov has been accused of this type of behaviour frequently. My thoughts on this become a little more clouded when I consider my favourite philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, a man never far from ad hominem attacks on just about anybody or anything he didn’t like: women, utilitarianism, various religions etc… Why can Nietzsche do it, and others cannot? Well, Nietzsche had a style that in itself may have lent itself to this kind of pithy putdown, and Nietzsche was (for me) at his best when being destructive. His positive philosophy is never as effective as his negative attacks in my view. This helps lead into a review of Morozov, who has been accused by others (I’m thinking of Tim Wu here, whose excellent review can be read here) of having no positive response to his criticisms of Internet culture and use. In short, Morozov makes two claims about Internet enthusiasts that make claims that the Internet is a solution to many of the problems of democracy, capitalism and other -isms: internet-centrism and solutionism. Internet-centrism is the notion that these people take the internet to be a thing (an actual thing), which Morozov disagrees with vehemently. Such a view is mistaken because i) it’s not a thing and ii) ascribing the internet the identity and properties of a thing is to give room to the possibility that the internet can, in itself, be a solution to problems. As the internet is not a “thing” (as an entity that can be discussed) then it cannot be the solution to these problems (apologies for the oversimplification, but that is the gist). I’m pretty amused at this to be honest, as this view of the internet – if followed – would also mean that there is no point in talking about many things: Wales, society (as pointed out by Cory Doctorow), Christianity etc. The internet does exist as a thing as it is discussed, used, explained and used to explain and is clearly a phenomena in our world that people encounter. Just a very weird idea, and completely at odds with my own view of things as entities that phenomenally exist in the world and orient people in particular ways – which the internet does, as Morozov implies throughout.

The problem of solutionism that Morozov raises is something I found myself much more sympathetic to in the book. I do agree (and I may well be wrong, but hell, that is no crime) that there are intractable problems in human existence, and the internet is not going to help to solve those any more than voodoo or sticking knitting needles in the eyes of strangers would solve them. However, I can see where the accusations of the ad hominem attacks come from here (although they are nothing compared to Morozov’s twitter exchanges) and they are pretty unnecessary smears, especially when Morozov attacks ideas that are clearly flawed and do not require the rhetorical flourish of a slight on the intelligence of the other person. Like I said, I am sympathetic to some of the examples made here, and to some of the criticisms of solutionism. However, I also think that criticising solutionism itself as a position that uses the internet to solve problems is very problematic. The internet has solved problems which could not have been solved otherwise: talking to loved ones around the world for free, with video interfacing, was not something I recall prior to Skype (an inventive mind could go on for hours here, but I’m getting bored). Morozov is not wrong (in my mind) to identify solutionism as an attitude or mindset, but I fail to see the problem in the application of that mindset to many problems. The internet may not solve the problems of democracy, but what will? People perhaps? Those that claim the internet can maybe want to rethink their claims, but to cast all solutions aside seems odd in itself.

I’ve heard other, more stringent critiques of this book. Morozov as proto-George Soros amongst other things. I think students may benefit from the whistle-stop tour of modern Philosophy of Technology included in the work, and in engaging with the arguments presented. I ended up agreeing with little, but not by any means thinking of the work as a waste of my time or a wasted opportunity – hell, it will provoke a lot more debate than most works will. As for the ad hominem attacks, its pretty clear that people don’t like Morozov using them, and my opinion is that his arguments are not widely accepted enough to take the “I’ve won, now I’ll kick you when you’re down, b*tch” stance of the ad hominem warrior. Still, I kind of like the style. Much more than hiding behind free speech to cause deliberate offence when you’ve already lost (or never had) an argument. Sadly, it looks like my opportunity to use this rhetorical flourish/logical fallacy will have to remain with trolling Cardiff City fans on Twitter, and academia will have to be conducted with a more noble and mature tone – unless I rule, then watch me go.

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Death and respect: why should I be respectful of the death of Margaret Thatcher?

urlThis is a response, and a very personal response, to the social media explosion that I have seen on my own timelines and datastreams since the death yesterday of Margaret Thatcher. I have my own political views, and these views will inform this response to an extent, but as a man that grew up in South Wales in a family supported for many years by the mining industry I’m sure you can guess what those views are. That these kind of views are being represented in the media as a footnote to the life of the former Prime Minister will be reflected upon in the conclusion to this post.

I’d like to concentrate on the idea of death in this post, and how one should react to death. As a phenomenologist and Heideggerian, death is normal and abnormal. The life of a human being is projected towards the inevitability of death, and the undeniable finality of existence as a human being in the world. This is what has happened to Margaret Thatcher, and indeed will happen to all of us (sorry Ray Kurzweil, it will). The reaction to the death of others, as human beings in the world that have to deal with such events on a daily basis, is in this instance the fascinating aspect. It seems there are two competing views on offer here – respect for the dead against a desire to debate the political influence of the person that has died.

In the mass media, this division can barely be felt. The British media is in full reverent mode, aligning opinion from the right of the political spectrum and seeing a quiet, tempered response from the left. To the extent to which these labels exist anymore in British political life, the media is perpetrating the age old political division through often presenting the two sides together, both eulogising the most divisive Prime Minister since the current one. The effect of this is realised through the tone of the programmes and the inherent attitude of the production: respect and reverence. The “right” eulogises its fallen leader, the “left” (vanquished 3 times in electoral battle by the great warrior) must nod in pious agreement and only allude to the huge ideological battles of the 1980’s, as a passing resentment to the great leader. The production is framing the mood: respect, reverence, solemnity. Any critique of the person must be made with the addendum that “on this day it is not appropriate to speak of the dead.”

Social media is not constrained by this editorial voice that pervades and shapes the coverage of the BBC, ITN, Sky and others.  The user generated comments and posts on my Twitter and Facebook accounts still show the basic structure of the mass media presentation of the event of death though: reverence vs political (often pseudo-political) statement (there is a hilarious third position on Twitter, people that have no idea who Margaret Thatcher was). On social media, there is (as would be expected) comment that breaks the reverent stranglehold imposed in the mass media and that makes insulting, confrontational and angry remarks about the person that has died. The response to this forms what I see as a “be respectful to the dead” core notion that splits into other key notions on the person under this core idea. These other ideas are 1) support for Thatcher and her political ideology, often taking the form of “she did a lot of good for the country”; or 2) a kind of “won’t somebody please think of the children” type response where the identity of Thatcher as a mother and woman becomes the core of being respectful to her in death; or 3) a weird instinctive reaction to death that is exhibited in the ubiquity of #RIP and the idea that when someone dies there is a suspension of all criticism (or insulting) them for a period.

That social media mirrors the basic structure of the mass media in this case is not surprising, especially considering the polarising nature of the person that has died. The weird aspect of this is, for me, that death is considered an abnormality in the production of ideas and spread of coarse, insulting and non-respectful comments on Margaret Thatcher. People that didn’t know Thatcher personally, were never going to know her (and in some cases were too young to recall her as a public figure in Britain, so quick was her descent into shadow after the Matricide of 1990) are jumping to quickly try to restore some order to their timelines and datastreams with pleas to propriety and respect. Indeed, the idea that the young can have no opinion on the political legacy of Thatcher is continually spouted on Twitter as a way of belittling some opinions. I’m not sure if these people want to ban History in schools too, but it would seem a good course of action.

The prevailing dialectic is between expressing hate/joy at Thatcher (and her death) and the retention of some kind of reverential attitude to death itself – not necessarily Margaret Thatcher, but death itself. There are, of course, some that are celebrating the life, politics and achievements of Thatcher, and this is allowed (although heavily criticised also – see the responses to George Osbourne’s lament to his ideological hero) as to validate and celebrate does not break this taboo on death, only criticism is taboo. This seems highly problematic to me – in death, a person is freed from criticism and festooned in praise? Both are opinions (often as shaky and downright imbecilic as one another) and yet death only allows for the one side. Death as a phenomena is therefore (for many, not all) the closing down for an unspecified period of time of criticism and a period of celebration of perceived achievement.

In Britain, we see this all too readily in the figure of Princess Diana, dead for over 15 years and still venerated in the Daily Express as a latter day saint, with no mention of infidelity and a life of indulgent opulence in any media production houses. Yet we are happy not to have this attitude to death with other figures – see the recent coverage and social media reaction to the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Here, the death of the democratically elected president of a country was met with innuendo over his perceived status as a dictator and figure of the political left. So, a further question can be asked. Is death, as the event that prevents criticism, only death on the right-wing or the privileged and politically advantaged in the UK? When will it be ok to criticise Thatcher again? Will it ever (as it seems the moratorium on criticism of Diana is everlasting)?

This question brings social media and the mass media back together nicely. We should not criticise Margaret Thatcher because she is dead. To do so is to disrespect death. The idea that death is something so powerful, so taboo and so painful is an effect of the mass media presentation of death as an event that must be met in a manner that is reverential, not critical – as long as that dead person was of a political and cultural position that suits an agenda that the mass media agrees with and propagates. This attitude filters itself back into social media discourses, where those that express their negative opinions are castigated both for having those opinions and for expressing them in a media where the expression of opinion is a currency.

So, what of death? Let me be clear on a few points: death is inevitable, it is not abnormal, its happening all the time and it will happen to you too. You’d better get used to it. One reading of the death of Margaret Thatcher is that the phenomena of death – the perfectly natural, unavoidable and inevitable occurrence of death – is utilised to stifle debate and consolidate the power of a neo-liberal status quo in the UK. More interesting is the idea that we have to be reverential in the face of the inevitable. Ok, I’m cutting my toenails later, show some damn respect you unfeeling scumbags! Maybe not. Much more interesting to me is that as a culture – and as a culture that now has all of us producing media – we are emotionally and intellectually incapable of dealing with the death of major figures in our society. The idea that a figure as powerful, divisive and downright important as Margaret Thatcher should not be debated on any day is ludicrous. That Thatcher is not debated daily is an indication of the infantilisation and political immaturity of the UK, particularly in a time of ideologically-driven social engineering by her intellectual heirs (although these heirs also are the intelectual runts-of-the-litter). The death of Margaret Thatcher has at least made people think and express opinions on politics, no matter how crude, insulting and “tasteless” they may be. The treatment of death as an phenomenon of unyielding reverence as opposed to a biological and humanistic inevitability is more problematic than any of this.

People die, stop treating it like it is the end of the world. Showing your respects is not the same as controlling debate, imposing conformity and obedience and marginalising those that are damaged on a daily basis by neo-liberal economics and ideas. Don’t let death shape the legacy of a woman who changed Britain for all its citizens, and who’s legacy courses through its current government like poison. Yes, Thatcher had a family and now she’s dead. Not one of those things is remarkable in itself. If you’d like to explore the fact that she was the first and to date only female prime minister then fine, go ahead – not particularly interesting without a serious debate into the nature of her femininity and attitude to feminism, which of course is insulting to the dead and “death” itself, yada, yada, yada.

Grow up Britain, this infantile fear of death is a death of critical engagement.

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End of year notes

Authentically, time should be a horizon to death, but I don’t have the time for that – and not having the time for that will be the topic of a new book I will start in 2013. I plan to work on publishing my PhD post-viva too, and putting that baby to bed finally will be quite the relief. With 2 conferences confirmed – 1 with Bernard Stiegler as keynote, the other with Davd Berry and Graham Harman – and a book chapter in the bag for January, all is well academically at the moment.

But back to that not having time, it’s a real issue. I’ve barely had time to pick up the guitar for 5 minutes, or read a paper, over the last few months. I’m on a 2 week break, my first since 2009, and now I’m struggling in trying to do nothing. I’m tempted to go back to Sartre to assess how I could do nothing, but I’m not meant to be reading that! I’ll rely on Cory Doctorow and some video games, and try to decompress. Once you’re in a routine of flogging yourself to death, then it’s really hard to stop. Flogging yourself to death may new this generation’s amusing ourselves to death.

On the subject of death, being hit in the head by a football will not kill Robin Van Persie, just would like to point that out Sir Alex. Your hysterical hyperbole also failed to get Ashley Williams banned. Trying to deflect criticism from your team not beating Swansea is really classless – why not admit Swansea defended well? Great manager, no class.

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The best 22 minutes of any life, ever.

I’ve not written much about media for a while, but there is something I have been wanting to write about for a while. At the beginning of September I bought Series 4 of the Simpsons on DVD for a bargain price. Episode 17 of that Series (which is in with a shout for greatest series of TV in history I think) is, in my humble and irrelevant opinion, the greatest single TV episode in the history of the medium. Ever. Period. Last Exit To Springfield is just about damn perfect, and after exploring some dark corners of life via Heidegger recently, I’m going to explore some lighter, more delightful stuff (although there is a fair bit of dark in this episode, but its funnier than watching David Cameron take a colonoscopy from Freddy Krueger).

People who spout “X is the best thing ever” are usually scum of the highest order, so I need to justify myself. The greatness of Last Exit is, for me, a triangulation of plot, character and cultural references. The plot, Homer becoming a Union kingpin to preserve the Plant Dental Plan after Lisa is told she requires braces is, of course, utter genius. It acts as a gateway into twin critiques of the corruptness of organised labour (Homer: So what does this job pay? Lenny: Nothing. Homer: D’oh! Lenny: Unless you’re crooked.
Homer: WOOHOO!), brilliantly observed in the Jimmy Hoffa-esque “disappearance” of Homer’s predecessor, and the equivalent moral decrepitude of capitalism, personified by Mr. Burns (morphing into the Grinch as the episode goes on). The plot plays on Homer’s

mmm… organised crime

moral incontinence, base greed and rank ignorance to perfect effect, as he outwits Burns with no awareness or strategy of any kind, relying on luck and Burns’ own greed-fuelled incompetence (his attempt at running the death-trap nuclear plant is testament to this). Homer wins – but as Burns acknowledges, he may not be the great tactician he appeared. Burns has always been one of my favourite characters – part Charles Foster Kane, part Satan, part dementia. This is the character’s finest hour (with the notable exception of ordering the Rolling Stones to be killed after the Ramones play at his birthday party). The petty thugs of the union and the gloriously creepy dentist also play key roles in this fest of quality.

The cultural references are where Last Exit totally kicks ass. The Godfather II, The Beatles, Citizen Kane, Moby Dick, Tim Burton’s Batman – all there and all perfect. This triangulation makes Last Exit awesome no doubt, but then there are the actual jokes that make it transcendently good. Firstly, the greatest sequence I have ever seen on TV (here in a very poor tv copy, as YouTube does not carry Simpsons clips):

Along with:

And

I could go on, but NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES YOU HAVE SEEN THIS EPISODE, I URGE YOU TO WATCH IT AGAIN. This is the one episode of TV that can always, no matter what, take me out of myself for its duration and make me forget whatever is happening in life at the time. Its perfect. Its a Marxist cultural critique wrapped in a poisonous attack on union greed wrapped in a comedy that is so well written it would make you cry if you attempted to match it. I’ve missed so much out of this it is untrue. Just go watch it again. NOW.

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Harassed Unrest

In my thesis, I have made much of Heidegger’s idea of modern existence being a form of harassed unrest. Being-in-the-world that is revealed through a technological mode of revealing is termed a “harassed unrest” (Heidegger 2008: 247) in which thinking and dwelling are made impossible by the need to realise the insatiable demand of using things and entities as ever unfolding resources. I’m increasingly feeling like I’m being milked like a resource, and these things that I’ve written are really coming to life. Unfortunately, they are coming to life for me.

I’m feeling it Jello

I’ll explain with reference to my own thesis. Heidegger argued, “to be a human being means to be on the earth as a mortal. It means to dwell” (Heidegger 2008: 325). The very core of human existence is to dwell then, but this needs more unpacking. Human being is human being. This is explicitly Heidegger’s use of being, the being for whom being is itself a question. To be this being, we need to dwell, or to be situated in a particular manner in the world that allows us to be in a way that questions on being can be genuine questions for being (that is confusing as hell, I know). Heidegger argues that the technological mode of revealing (the modern world; all things are used as resources to realise the needs of other resources) hides this dwelling, obscuring the character of the things in the world that make dwelling possible. These things would be things that gather the world for being, and allow for a kind of resonance that is a thinking about being (much more on this in my these, not much more here). Contemporary man is therefore homeless in that the ordinary, everyday dwelling (as opposed to essential dwelling, which necessarily belongs to all men through the facticity of being-in-the-world), which is what we want to achieve, is ignored through technological revealing, and hence the nature of the world itself is not properly understood (Young, 2000: 190).

A technological mode of revealing entails a covering-up of things that as those things extend beyond the technological frame. For example, a field extends beyond the use of the field as a site for the harvesting of a crop; it is a habitat, an inspiration for an artist and a field in its own right. In a technological mode of revealing this is what is hidden, and what is revealed is the pure resource. Only when we dwell – when we are in place in a  kind of attunement or mood that allows for a revealing that is not technological but instead allows for being to be questioned – can the further revealings of the field emerge. The disclosure of things as-such still occurs in a technological mode of revealing, but this disclosure is not satisfactory as the being of entities is obscured in that all things are revealed as resource or standing-reserve rather than being revealed as entities. Dwelling, therefore, is the structure of the world that “gives room” for things to stand in the world; for Dasein to stand in relation to those things and have an understanding of the world (Malpas 2000: 207).

The referential totality of the world (how all things fit together to create the meaning of place through the inter-relationships between those things) is, therefore, not understood in this technological mode of revealing, as man cannot dwell in the world in a state of harassed unrest where all things are revealed as endless resource, rather than meaningful as part of the structure of a dwelling. Dwelling properly is therefore essential to disclosure as-such, and without an authentic or proper dwelling in the world, things in the world cannot stand in relation to Dasein that will allow for revealing as-such.

I’m surrounded by human being that does not dwell. I’m a resource. My own dwelling is being seriously undermined. I’m in a brutal state of harassed unrest. I’m of the opinion that such a state is not good too. Not good at all. This is not some emo rant, this is being in a place where people are resources to be used, and that infuses the attitude of others there to take that world view as the objective reality. It is totalising; there is no alternative.

I am not a resource.

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Working this job…

I’m now 8 weeks into my new job, so its time I made time to write a blog entry and evaluate where my head is at regarding this new state of affairs. I’ve been nominally working part-time for 4 years (it is a slight misnomer, as I have been doing a PhD and doing some part-time work in addition at university at that time, so full-time hours were not unusual and I’ve worked flat out pretty much), so the transition to full-time hours has been a little jarring.  I’m struggling to say I’m enjoying the job, but then I struggle to say I have enjoyed any job; its work after all, done to bring the money in, not to dance around like a demented camel or to build ones social life upon in lieu of having a life outside your occupation. I’m finding some aspects hard, and some aspects surprising, and some aspects beneath me: all in all, like any other job I have done. Sometimes, I’ll come home feeling like the sentiments of this song:

But then I remind myself not to be a whining little maggot, and I’m not doing something paying minimum wage while being viewed as a dreg of society. Doesn’t shake the feeling that I’m always going to be dragging my tired carcass to a job I’ll never attend with a smile on my face though. This is perhaps my condition, so I’m getting used to it.

He finds it funny too

I am however in thrall to the wonderful unfolding power structures that you uncover when you begin a new job. Sitting in Foucault-inspired wonder at the futility of it all is probably not the best use of my time, but this is something I always do; either try and trace the power structures, look for the dominant personalities inspired by Weber, or analyse the place and the structures in terms of biopower and biopolitics. This is the appropriate means of analysis for the current situation, no doubt. Weird relationships between colleagues and departments are fixed by the conditioning of people by the structures in which they work. People that should be senior are expected to do very odd things, while management and administration rule everything through the application of practices, meetings, feedback and continual disruption which renders any attempt at alternative practices futile. Its really interesting and cool. My vision of these things also either marks me out as incredibly perceptive (doubtful) or engaged in a semi-detached manner. I’m going with the latter as I’m still scanning the vacancies sections of other places of work… In the meantime I’ll continue to ironically enjoy the processes of subjectification I’m observing (ironic as I’m as subject to them as anyone) while I do what needs to be done and prey for that lottery win to come in before I lose my mind one day.

Recommended reading

One thing that is grinding my gears though is the pure neo-liberalist ideology that permeates both the institution and what the institution produces. The latter is in a most implicit manner, as in there is no discussion of the underlying problems with the assumptions being made by subscribing to the base and heavily criticised economic orthodoxy of the last 30 years. There is an acceptance that things are this way, can be no other way, implicit in the kinds of work done and the manner and content of discussions within the organisation. This is symbolically represented in the use of terminology that is sprayed liberally when discussing subjects and themes of work. “Synergies” is used in an directly neo-liberal way all the time; an assumption that co-ordination and co-operation based on profit is instantly preferential, regardless of any human costs in such a move, which even a cursory glance at the topic in a subjectivist stance would reveal to be problematic. Reminds me a great deal of Mark Fisher’s excellent Capitalist Realism, in that here is a place where there is no alternative and to suggest problems with orthodoxy would – it seems on observation rather than any experience of threats to my safety or future – not be received in a spirit of debate and intellectual curiosity.

Indeed, the absence of the subjective in general is a huge feature, as positivism and objectivity rule supreme. Maybe as an inherently subjectivist phenomenologist I should be asking what am I doing in such a place of work? Good question, but I’ll give it a few more months before deciding whether the question needs an answer based on action rather than introspective self-pity.

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Stadia as Things; Or how the sports stadium gathers into an event (an ode to the Liberty)

It is 2 games into a 3 game home match run for Swansea City, and I have been motivated by the performances to write about the Liberty Stadium and how I see it as a place. Some of my thoughts on the matter are in the book Swansea ’til I Die, the anthology of Swansea  fans’ comments for the centenary season of the club. I’m going to expand on that here, with some thoughts on what makes a stadium a place in reference to how the stadium “things”; stick with me, its into the Heidegger looking-glass again…

A welcoming sight on a Saturday afternoon

The Vetch Field was a ramshackle, possibly hazardous place to spend a great deal of time as a young man… but what a place it was. Emblazoned into my memory are the smells (both pleasant from the week-old burgers that mopped up excess beer, to the frankly cholera-inducing toilets), the sounds, the look of the pitch under blazing floodlights (and occasionally non-operational floodlights) and the viewpoint that I had perched in the back of the old North Bank parallel with the away fans. The place could never be called salubrious, but it had an atmosphere and soul that cannot be replicated. The Liberty Stadium does not replicate it; it offers something very different. Nevertheless, it is something very special now, and the word now has a significance in this piece that will become apparent.

A pertinent question, rarely asked, is where did that unique atmosphere come from? Part bear-pit, part theatre, part dream factory, it was pretty unique. Firstly, the architecture must be acknowledged. There was no more idiosyncratic ground than the Vetch Field: the bizarre roof on the away end, a lingering memorial to the old double-decker at the Mumbles end; the semi-complete East Stand, anticipating the never-to-be partner that would have replaced the decrepit and ancient Centre Stand; and then the North Bank, the terrace where I and many others carved out their own niche and stood to cheer, abuse and generally breathe in the Swans. A picture of an empty North Bank does no justice to the red-hot atmosphere that the place could generate, especially on a Tuesday night where under floodlights the whole place seemed to take on a new, more magical appearance and feel. Nobody will ever strip me of the memories of being packed into the Bank to see the Swans beat Hull 4-2 on May 3rd 2003 to stay in the Football League; watching Gilligan slide in front on his knees as we beat Cardiff 2-1 in 1991; seeing someone throw tea at the Soccer Sunday commentary team in the mid-90’s; taking up smoking to beat off crippling cold during a 0-0 draw with Hull in front of barely 2,000 in 1996; and many more great memories that came from standing in the great place. The terrace oriented me and others to the action. Obviously, it focusses attention towards the pitch; it would have been pretty useless otherwise. In doing this though, the terrace allowed for movement, away from the action if necessary, towards others for discussion and chat, to move with the motion of the game and to go absolutely mental if necessary when the Swans scored or if the Referee made a shocking decision (Carlisle in 2003 – I ran from the back to the front in about 2 seconds hurling abuse after a shocking penalty decision against Lee Jenkins). The architecture allowed this kind of movement while being oriented to the match, focussing attention and allowing for attention to be focussed on the others in attendance too. This can be seen in the singing in the ground; the terrace allowed for movement, for space for expression in a way all seaters don’t, and its no surprise that singing seems less loud, less inspiring and IS less frequent now.

The architecture of the stadium is important, but design the greatest stadium in the world and it’s still an empty husk without fans. The stadium in an obvious sense is a focal gathering place for fans: people with the roughly the same desires and aims (to see the Swans win), with their thoughts focussed on a temporal event that will last roughly 105 minutes and will deliver a result. This projection forward to the match and the result gives the fans themselves focus and a towards-which (here comes the philosophy…) to the result of the game. What I mean by this is that the event itself, by being temporally defined as 90 minutes (plus half-time) focusses attention and projections towards that end point, creating a forward projection in the fans; the fans are “pulled forward” to that event. Both the presence of the fans themselves and the possibilities that are offered by the game itself are important. The fans bring practices and habits to the game that creates a sense of place in the ground: that patch of terrace where I lit up on 20 minutes regular as clockwork was my patch dammit, and hell rained down on anyone that dared stand there in my place, but I could still run like a crazy person as Steve Torpey rose like a slightly drugged salmon to head home a cross. All these things made the Vetch the place.

So what of the Liberty? I’d argue its become a place, over the last 7 seasons. At first it was strange and weird as the habits, orientations and people of the Vetch (I know they were still at the Liberty, but they were in different, wrong places if you get what I mean) were swept aside in the new stadium. I admit at first I disliked it intensely, as I got used to new people, no smoking, less tasty (no doubt due to less alcohol) burgers and a new orientation to the action. That the Swans have been uniformly brilliant and got better throughout our time there has helped, but the first impressions were not good. The Liberty has become a place though, it has a gathering of those elements that the Vetch did and because of that I love it now. It does not do the job the same as the Vetch did; that was unique, just as the Liberty is unique, and so by its nature it will be different. Unlike other new stadiums (see legoland) the Liberty does gather and “thing”. It’s about time I explained what the hell “thing” means.

To do this, I’m thinking of Heidegger’s analysis of the temple in The Origin of the Work of Art (2008), which can be read as a way of understanding the role of a thing (the Temple) in creating a place. Heidegger (2008: 168-179) describes the Greek temple as a thing that takes what is initially inchoate and is withdrawn i.e. in the background of the world, and gathers it into a world-defining thing (Guignon 2004: 404). It is the temple that, when built, lets the valley and the surrounding environment take a determinate form that stands in relation to the temple and has meaning in reference to the temple as a thing (Guignon 2004: 401). It is the temple-work that first fits together and at the same time gathers around itself the unity of those paths and relations in which birth and death, disaster and blessing, victory and disgrace, endurance and decline acquire the shape (Gestalt) of destiny (Geschick) for human being. (Heidegger 1971: 42)

The temple is a thing that performs work in the world (just as a Stadium does), and the nature of that work is both to provide meaning (or shape) to human experience and from that, to guide experience after the work-event – a work of art. The nature of this work is a revealing: the temple allows the environment to be revealed as a letting-come-forth in that it does not bring-forth intentionally, but allows for the environment to become meaningful and part of the circumspection of human being through its work in the world. The Stadium does work in letting the experience of being a fan come forth. Heidegger’s understanding of the temple is as a thing that lets things come forth by gathering them within a referential totality, and therefore spatiality must be understood as how things stand in relation to one another and how this standing in relation to one another allows being to become intelligible to Dasein. The referential totality of the football fan is in the stadium (take note plastics that think being a fan is subscribing to Sky) and the work of the stadium both gives this totality and from that gives the meaning of what it is to be a football fan, in the practices and orientations that a football fan has and exhibits in accordance with the affordances of the place.

When a thing “things”, it draws together elements in the world in a manner Heidegger called the fourfold (Heidegger 2008: 243). The idea of the fourfold – earth, sky, mortals, divinities – is a simple oneness (Wrathall 2006: 112), which is how entities in the world exist if that entity has the presence in the world as a thing rather than an object. Young (2002) and Wrathall (2006) instead consider the fourfold as the pivotal aspect of Heidegger’s concept of dwelling. I argue that dwelling is the attunement to the world that allows for a an authentic mode of being-there, and that this attunement is one in which Dasein (Heidegger’s term for being, literally “being-there”) understands place as meaningful but which is dependent upon both the orientation of things in that place, Dasein’s towards-which in that place (the underlying motivation or desire of the user to find out about the place) and the practices of being a fan in attuning to the local world that comes from gathering work that the stadium does. The bringing of all this together is the event, or Ereignis, where thinking and being is allowed to take place as the rest of the world is cleared away – a place where one can be a football fan in an authentic sense.

The fourfold refers directly to the thinghood of things (Harman 2007: 129). Each thing in the world “things”; it performs a function of “thinging” appropriate to what that thing is and its position in the world. This “thinging” is a part of an event in the world, and its “thinging” is a gathering of the elements of earth, sky, mortals and divinities known as das Geivert or the fourfold (Harman 2007: 131). For Harman (2007), the thing (when “thinging”) produces a nearness to that thing. This nearness is when the thing produces a specific locale for being based around how that thing operates in the world, that is what its function is, how it gathers the elements and how this is given back to being as a revealing of the thing and its region, therefore providing an explanation of the (local) world. Malpas (2000: 218) argues that distance is the factor by which objects in a region are near or far (dis-stance). It is this dis-stance, the nearness or farness of an object, which decides whether an entity is a thing firstly, and secondly whether that thing can perform its “thinging”, with a thing being existentially near in the region or locale. So, a thing is the critical aspect of the region itself in that without a thing, there is no region or locale (and hence the homelessness of man in the technological age).

We dwell by attuning ourselves to the local world, and this attunement must be an attuning to things in that locale. When becoming a fan, we attune to the stadium, and the period of adjustment to the new ground is difficult because our previous attunements need to be swept away and re-attuned to the new place.

Dreyfus and Spinoza (1997) argue that when things “thing”, the thing is bringing together these four elements. A local world occurs when an everyday thing “things” and temporarily brings things and people into their own appropriation. The taken-for-granted practices that ground situations and give them significance, as situations are earth. Buying a burger, the pre-match route to the ground, buying a programme, calling your mate a tool, abusing the pathetic excuse for a sentient human being they have appointed as a referee, all these practices operate to make the gathering significant in that for a family such a dining practice is not an option to indulge in or not, but the basis upon which other options appear (Dreyfus and Spinoza 1997). Heidegger regards this grounding of practices as withdrawn and hidden, whereas sky is the revealed or manifest possibilities that arise from the focal situations (attending the match) and therefore is explicitly revealed.  These are the possibilities for action that are appropriate for that focal gathering or locale in the case of the football match; discussion of the game and predictions would be appropriate (Dreyfus and Spinoza 1997), while discussion of flower pressing and Cardiff City would not be appropriate. The possibilities of action are dictated by the situation which itself is disclosed by the fourfold.

By divinities, Heidegger refers to the attunement of being in the situation to an extent that one feels in tune with what is happening and events unfold of their own accord without the need to push this unfolding through action. When a thing “things” this sense of divinity must be present, although this too will be withdrawn (Harman 2007: 132) such as the attunement of dwelling, which should not be thought of as explicit but as the mood in which Dasein is in at that time pre-reflectively. Mortals refer to how the thing “thinging” includes humans but in a specific sense. Obviously, the mortals will be revealed, but also act as disclosers of the thing “thinging” – and therefore the fourfold – itself, as without humans there would be no meaning to the gathering of the elements. By mortals, Heidegger means an attribute of the way human practices work that causes mortals to understand they have no fixed identity, and that being a fan is an identity appropriate to the place, possibilities and projections at that time. This understanding is necessary if one is to attune to the locale and nature of practices demanded by the thing “thinging” and the possibilities that are appropriate for that locale (Dreyfus and Spinoza 1997).

The fourfold is the event of the thing “thinging”; it gathers the four elements and in doing so, it reveals a local world of meaning that is dependent upon the thing. Wrathall (2006: 113) summaries Heidegger: in that we dwell in the fourfold by “saving the earth, in receiving the sky, in awaiting the divinities and in accompanying the mortals.” In doing this, our being-in-the-world is a dwelling rather than a “homeless” or lost state. Being at home at the match is not a lost state, unlike the rough first season at the Liberty; to be in the place is to be at home, to be used to the place, comfortable and in a clearing that allows for the mode of existence that is being a Swans fan. As Heidegger writes:

The thing things. Thinging gathers. Appropriating the fourfold, it gathers the fourfold’s stay, its while, into something that stays for a while: into this thing, that thing. (Heidegger 1971: 174)

When one is in the ground a feeling of oneness (the dwelling) comes that is unique, and the Liberty has this oneness after the practices, the memories, the habits and the feelings have been established. It is now a place in the sense I use the word here. Plastic feeling less bowls like Cardiff City’s awful stadium don’t have this, especially after their embarrassing rebrand. Is a colour important? Yes, especially when considering the importance of habit, history and memory in the foundation of dwelling. Other soulless concrete bowls could take note, but Swansea does not have this problem – the Liberty allows Swans fans to dwell as authentic football fans, gathered by the Liberty in a very different, but not different-bad, way as the Vetch gathered for so many years.

References

Dreyfus, H. and Spinoza, C. (1997). Highway Bridges and Feasts: Heidegger and Borgmann on How to Affirm Technology. http://www.focusing.org/apm_papers/dreyfus.html. Retrieved 03/05/2006.

Guignon, C. (2004). The History of Being, in A Companion to Heidegger (ed. Hubert L. Dreyfus and Mark A. Wrathall). New York: Blackwell, pp. 392-406.

Harman, G. (2007). Heidegger Explained: From Phenomenon to Thing (Ideas Explained). London: Open Court.

Heidegger, M. (1971). Poetry, Language, Thought (trans. A. Hoffstadter). New York: Harper and Row.

Heidegger, M. (2008). Basic writings:  from Being and time (1927) to The task of thinking (1964) (Rev. and expanded ed.). London: Routledge.

Malpas, J. E. (2000). Uncovering the Space of Disclosedness: Heidegger, Technology and the Problem of Spatiality in Being and Time. In Dreyfus, H. L., Wrathall, M. A., & Malpas, J. E. (2000). Heidegger, authenticity, and modernity:  essays in honor of Hubert L. Dreyfus. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, pp. 205-227.

Wrathall, M. (2006). How to Read Heidegger (How to Read). New York: W. W. Norton.

Young, J.  (2000). What is Dwelling? The Homelessness of Modernity and the Worlding of the World. In Dreyfus, H. L., Wrathall, M. A., & Malpas, J. E. (2000). Heidegger, authenticity, and modernity:  essays in honor of Hubert L. Dreyfus. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, pp. 187-204.

Young, J. (2006) The Fourfold, in Guignon, C. B. (ed.) (2006) The Cambridge companion to Heidegger (2nd Edition). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

 

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