Monday, March 14, 2016

Hobbes Versus Spinoza: This Time It's Anthropological

This morning I received an email that had the following sentence in it: "A demographic note for this week is that we have almost three times as many applicants to online programs as we did this time last year, confirming a trend we are all aware of --- that students want online degree offerings." Maybe it was the lack of coffee, or the fact that I was woken up in the night by a barfing dog (don't worry, Bento is fine. He just eats garbage sometimes), but I thought for a minute about responding to this email, pointing out that the premise did not support the conclusion. There are multiple reasons why people take online classes. They are ways of dealing with jobs that demand increased flexibility from employees, ways of finishing school around the demands of families and work. Negotiating these demands is not the same as wanting something, as desiring it or choosing it. 

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

The Power of the False: On Fargo

Fargo opens with a claim that the story the film tells is based on a true story. As is well know by anyone who has looked into the story this claim is a lie. What is less remarked upon, however, is the way in which much of the film is structured around a series of lies. These lies move beyond the ordinary deceptions to become part of what Deleuze calls "the power of the false."