What is Theory for?

Not a long time ago, someone proclaimed the end of theory and the beginning of masive data era. Considering the hyper-reality we are living in, that assertion seemed plausible to describe our saturated times. But there is a huge obstacle there: those words were born amidst the chaotic changes of our contemporary society. Economical and political structures were facing a crisis. Therefore, if Theory was dead, how could we, as citizens of liberal democracies and as agents in a late-capitalism age, be capable of making a relevant impact in the heart of our communities?

Affirming a statement like “theory is dead” ends up, ironically, hidding a theoretical agenda, where only praxis is recognised, and it is oblivious to the real effect that theory has over reality, the one we can solely perceive through our human veil.

Every branch of theory, from physics to philosophy, is now forced to follow the path of utility. Of course, this utility has to be measurable and efficient towards its ends.  Continue reading

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Like, Upvote, Retweet. I don’t usually use them. If we think about it thoroughly, liking something has nothing to do with quantity. So the approach taken by most social networking sites isn’t effective if we consider the human factor.

I prefer the Sharing button, although it’s not one of the best ways to express your agreement (or disagreement). When watching a video on YouTube, views and upvotes are the first quantifiers we see. However, I prefer scrolling down and read the comments, which are, at least, more sincere and personal.

If I truly appreciate some publication, I’d save it. I may even contact with the emissor and say ‘thank you’. It can mean much more than one thousand Likes.

The Reader As An Artist

When asking popular writers for advice, most of them remark the act of reading as a must. A duty for every aspiring author to acknowledge. Read, read, read. Read and don’t cease to do it, even if you have published more than a hundred books.

At the very least, that piece of advice is ambiguous. It seems like reading is the first step of a great writer. A first step to the perfectly crafted artwork.

Most people are not aware of the power of reading. To read (to read well) is sometimes— with due respect to writers— more critical and more creative than writing. Many authors have a single idea in mind when they write (even if good literature implies many interpretations, metaphors, and allegories) a story, often plainer than what readers theorize about.

Readers dissect, analyze and comment in ways that enrich the writing universe. They have the audacity to unveil hidden truths, some of them harsh and disturbing for the upcoming readers. To uncover the political meaning, the many clichés of a passage. To create new unseen shapes for the original story. That is, by far, one of the most compelling creative ‘jobs’: the reader.

About Meritocracy and Getting What We Deserve

Getting what we deserve is one of the most common desires we usually share. Nonetheless, what we deserve is down to subjective stands. Surely, we cannot all agree on the amount of outcome we should take considering our previous efforts. Some people would be happier if we shared a part of our rewards, while some others may agree with having more individualistic ways. Therefore, our personal work —no matter how hard it was— always meet contextual factors and follow unpredictable patterns. The path of our work and its consequence is never a straight line, and it’s important to us to accept this underlying principle. That’s not to say, however, that every of our actions doesn’t have any value.

About Hollywood’s Liberal Bias

Liberal. That single word is changeable within the context. It could mean opposite ideas. In North America, it seems leftist. But if you say neoliberal, you are shaking the concept again. Maybe it is not coincidence for these ‘accidental’ similar words being different in a prefix (which calls for ‘new’).

There have been many discussions about mass media and culture products. Some people deplore the ‘strong liberal bias’ from Hollywood to other forms of art. Now suppose that Hollywood has indeed a liberal agenda. How can we believe that the final product embraces equalitarian views while the means of production belongs to a limited set of enterprises? From this perspective, Hollywood would be a perfect reflection of neoliberalism: free market, expanded society, ultra-connected world.

What about indie films? Are those another product of neoliberalism? That totally depends on what indie films are we talking about. Sometimes, the attitude of a film’s members (actors, director, scriptwriters…) tells us more than the film’s message. It doesn’t matter if these people are commenting against injustice in social networks like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter; but you will never see them in a local social movement. Influence derived from fame is relevant for protesting, but that doesn’t quit the fact that these celebrities will rarely be willing to compromise their comfort for standing up for a social issue.