You should not be reading this!


Jean-Michel Kantor is concerned that “the American intellectual world is … closed to European (French /CNRS) ideas,” and that readers of this blog, especially American intellectuals, have not had the opportunity to read what Michael Blay has written about blogs and other forms of electronic communication.  The proof that you are closed to French/CNRS ideas is that you are still reading this blog, and even the quotation on the back cover of Blay’s book has not yet convinced you to stop.  At Kantor’s request, I am therefore making the pages he selected from the book available so you can decide whether or not to overcome your click-addiction and devote fingers like the ones (presumably Kantor’s) pictured in the photocopies to slower and more ethical activities.


And if your fingers are not yet convinced of the virtues of slowness and don’t have time to read the three pages in French, here is a key excerpt, with (absent) punctuation as in the original:

“[…] choose slowness in order to recover the viewpoint of an actor of your existence by escaping the supposed virtues of the ever-faster and of acceleration that dispossess each of you of your existence by reducing it to unreflected behavior that is to say to ideologically conformist and learned behavior, to behaviors by means of which the totality of existence can enter into the productive field;”

Beneath the excessively long jargon-and-banality-packed phrasing — a clear sign that the author chose something other than slowness in pasting together this pamphlet — the reader may recognize one of the recurring themes of this blog, and of MWA:  namely, the resistance to reducing mathematics to its function in “the productive field.”  Although Blay concludes with a conclusion with which I believe I am in agreement, I am unable to detect anything resembling a persuasive argument in this excerpt, and, unlike Kantor, I remain convinced that it is possible to reason within the frame of a 250-1000 word blog entry.  For all I know, Blay may even agree with me.


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