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.

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.

Are You Just a Tourist or Are You an Explorer?

A tourist, by definition, is someone who visits a land different from theirs, usually for enjoyment. After travelling to several countries, I distinguish between ‘packed tourism’ and ‘exploring tourism’. The first kind of tourism is related to tour guides and full-time plans. The second one is riskier, but it involves more independeance and movement from you.

If you choose ‘packed tourism’, you will not cover some areas that I find important as well. The city center, the old town, the most acclaimed museums, a famous park… you will see all of those by choosing this option. But you will not get deeper in the culture.

‘Exploring tourism’, of course, implies more time. You cannot organize your schedule exploring with unlimited freedom. However, if your interest is reaching to the culture you are trying to discover, you should follow your own way. Apart from typical attractions, you can take a walk around small streets where there are more local people than tourists. Perhaps, the biggest problem today in tourism sector is that the offer goes to relevant places, where you can even see more people from your country than from the one you are visiting. That way, you manage to buy souvenirs, but you do not really reach to catch essential traits in your journey: glittering, small details; the (real) social atmosphere.

‘God’ Is Dead

God is dead. That is one of the most popular quotes in philosophy, concretely on Friedrich Nietzsche’s work. What does Nietzsche say has been widely discussed, so there are almost as many interpretations as readers.

One of them is that God, not just a deity, but the concept of unity and metaphysics, has reached to its very end. So it includes reason, ultrapositivism, scientism and everything that ressembles platonic ideas (universal and abstract thoughts).

Reading Nietzsche, we can think: Ok, historically speaking; religion, universal moral and great reason are no more what guide us. It is nihilism and materialism.

But more than a contextual issue, I think the assertion which says God is dead never ends. It is a constant pursuit we must overcome. When we have crossed the first big ilusory fear, whatever it is (every kind of belief, knowledge or what we stick for because we need to control in order to have stability), we ought to see ourselves as humans.

What does that mean, to be human? That we always live needing something to live for, an explanation for our lives. Without them, we might perish. God, love, science, moral. Are these ideas true? I believe that is not the real question. We must ask how are those limiting our lives, and what we should do for a next step.

Fear will always be there. We just need to acknowledge our human condition. To grow, to live, to breath. Ultimately, that’s what Nietzsche was referring to: do not escape from the struggles of your life, but embrace them, fight them, and grow up in the process.