When young people “discover philosophy” today, it usually means either that they have come upon writings that call into question what they thought they knew, or that they suddenly feel awake to new modes of perceiving and interacting with the world.
Michael S. Roth
The quote above is from one of my favorite philosophy teacher. I quote him all the time but I have never had the pleasure of meeting him. His online course on Couresa is a knowledge depository on philosophy and social theory to which I always turn whenever I am in doubt. Do you ever have the feeling of not wanting to stop watching something? Once I had begun watching videos of Professor Roth teaching this course on modern philosophy, I simply couldn’t stop watching, and before I knew it I had sat through the entire course. This quote of his works for me. I think it’s his course that has helped me discover philosophy, and to want to pass on what I know about it to those who may be interested in learning how to think about life in a much more meaningful way.
Now, this is my 60th post on this blog. You may notice that lately my blog post doesn’t have a topic of anything, which is lame. Yes. I agree. I have been asked, “where is that On Sex Part 3 you have promised to write?” and “where is that post on the idea of justice that you have said you would be writing for me,” and so on. I haven’t forgotten any of that at all. I know that it’s been more than 6 months since I had started this blog. So, had I been writing one blog a day as planned, I would have gotten close to the 200th post already. But, sadly, that’s not the case. As I mentioned in my earlier post, I have been interested in a different kind of writings, namely aphorism that which has been captivating my attention owing it to my recent interest in the so-called “simplicity turn” of my writing. Some of my followers do not like reading aphorisms that much. One of my friends, Max, had even pointed out to me:
Your writing style is moving more and more towards the modern and rushed snippets of condensed thought that are too open to interpretation. I was more fond of the blog posts. No doubt they are succint, but I don’t think there’s a way to convince someone of an argument or substantiate your stance/viewpoint with severely limited word counts. And I’m just not a fan of the Twitter-140-characters era of creating and consuming information. And I will agree if you call this a personal preference issue — it might as well be. I just lean towards quality over quantity in this spectrum
Point taken (although, what’s wrong with open interpretation?). That said, I always think of my writings as pretty straightforward. Each of my aphorism is as economical and direct as a sentence (or two) could be. I promise that as soon as I have lost my interest in the simplicity turn I will go back to the previous writing mode!
I have done the math and it seems to be the case that even if I write every day from today until the day I will be getting my doctorate I still won’t reach “100 Days of Writing,” as I had planned almost 6 months ago. It’s true that the goal of this blog has always been to keep me on the track of getting a PhD — and it has, in quite a remarkable way — by getting me hooked on writing, and keeping me interested in the art of sharing ideas through writing. I have to admit that, although I had been writing a lot (since it’s how I had survived all these years in academia without an advanced research degree like a PhD). Writing this blog has gotten me interested in reading style guides and writing manuals, which were the kind of books that I never had, even the slightest, interest in reading! Writing this blog has also re-linked me to my almost-forgotten interest in philosophy. Writing is, in a way, the art of transmitting one’s thoughts and ideas across and through space and time, for those who will be leaving long after me. I have enjoyed writing this blog, and although I won’t get to Day 100 before my PhD is commenced, I will continue to write this blog. PhD is my academic project; writing this blog is a life long project.
Here’re some aphorisms I have been writing lately.