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Philosophy ENGRAMS

Het merkteken van ongenade (Dutch)

‘I don’t know what the question is any more. Between Lucy’s generation and mine a curtain seems to have fallen.’ (Coetzee 2000, 210). In het boek Disgrace van J.M. Coetzee wordt het leven van de academicus David Lurie en zijn dochter Lucy overhoop gegooid door een aanval op de boerderij van Lucy, op het platteland van Zuid-Afrika, waar David na zijn ontslag vanwege een ongepaste relatie met een studente tijdelijk verblijft.

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Friendship, death, and writing in Michel de Montaigne's Essays

Introduction In the center of the first book of Michel de Montaigne’s (1533-1592) Essais we find his famous essay on friendship. We should not ascribe the central location of this essay to coincidence, in particular not when we take the introduction of this famous essay on friendship into consideration. In that introduction Montaigne compares his Essais with the work of a painter he had employed. This painter meticulously placed his paintings on the wall.

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Automation and the ethics of work

For a working group I give at the Radboud University, students were asked to read “The Coders Programming Themselves Out of a Job”. This article discusses the ethical considerations of people automating their own jobs, either partly or completely. What are these considerations, and how do they relate to common work ethic? On the one hand, these people fulfill their job description to perfection through the scripts they wrote. One could applaud this clever increase in efficiency and …

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What is the purpose of this website?

I largely quit social media because it transformed from being something that helps me keep in touch with people and that stimulates social interaction, to an endless stream of promoted clickbait content. The little “real” personal content that made it to my feed, was usually dull and did not facilitate any interesting conversations. With the creation of this website I’m trying to take control of my online identity, making this domain a main hub for various dispersed identities, …

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Warlike acts in the cyber domain

This CSO article reports on a massive ransomware attack with NonPetya that is estimated by CyberReason research to have costs businesses globally around 1.2 billion dollar. One paragraph in particular caught my eye: To complicate matters, having cyber insurance might not cover everyone’s losses. Zurich American Insurance Company refused to pay out a $100 million claim from Mondelez, saying that since the U.S. and other governments labeled the NotPetya attack as an action by the Russian military …

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Morton's Perverse Holism - A Twelve-step program

A year ago I attended a lecture by Timothy Morton. I had not seriously read anything of Morton except a quite extravagant paper called “From modernity to the Anthropocene: ecology and art in the age of asymmetry”, which flamboyantly combined Hegel, art and ecology in a manner I do not recall. The lecture was equally flamboyant, and can perhaps best be described as a confused rant that simultaneously felt very genuine and personal.

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Reve's God and the Paradox of Intimacy

Gerard Reve was quite infamous for the enigmatic world view that speaks throughout his novels, in particular for his singular religious experiences that are almost always sexualized, and for the (homo)sexual acts that seem to be rituals in a partly mythological and partly Christian lifeworld. Add to all of that a dash of sadomasochism, and it becomes easy to understand how being a fan of Reve can seem like participating in some secret religion.

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Course overview

I drafted up a preliminary list of the courses I followed at university. It can be found here, and I also added a link to it in the “about” section of this blog.

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