Book Review: Standing Firm: Resisting The Self Improvement Craze by Svend Brinkmann

‘Standing Firm’ in the sense of this book means to counter the incessant drive towards more, more, more of everything. It’s a call to action to resist and stand firm against ‘improvement culture’, not just self-improvement and personal development, but also the constant acceleration and growth in our economic systems, and the overuse and destructionContinue reading “Book Review: Standing Firm: Resisting The Self Improvement Craze by Svend Brinkmann”

Comforting Thought: Life is too short for anger

Life is far too short for anger. You must learn to repress emotions that disturb your peace of mind and prevent you from standing firm. If you want to stand firm, it is a precondition that you aren’t easily knocked off your stride. We are constantly bombarded with appeals to our emotions – on television,Continue reading “Comforting Thought: Life is too short for anger”

Comforting Thought: Doubt is a virtue, certainty is blinkered tunnel vision

If I know, then I don’t need to listen “In our risky society, you have to be sure about things to be heard. You need to issue out confident proclamations: ‘Research shows that serotonin deficiency in the brain is the cause of depression’; ‘We now finally have a diagnostic system that deals with mental illness.Continue reading “Comforting Thought: Doubt is a virtue, certainty is blinkered tunnel vision”

Comforting Thought: The pursuit of our ‘true feelings’ infantilises us

Or to put it more bluntly and less delicately – Fuck your feelings! At least that’s the general idea that I extracted from this quote by Danish philosopher and psychologist Svend Brinkmann. “There is nothing about feelings in themselves that means we must trust them – let alone express them. In an ever-changing cultural situation,Continue reading “Comforting Thought: The pursuit of our ‘true feelings’ infantilises us”

Comforting Thought: ‘Being yourself’ has no intrinsic value whatsoever

It is without a doubt better to be an inauthentic Mother Theresa than to be an authentic Anders Breivik. Indeed, being yourself has no intrinsic value whatsoever. “On the other hand, what does have intrinsic value is fulfilling your obligations to the people around you, with whom you are connected (i.e. doing your duty). WhetherContinue reading “Comforting Thought: ‘Being yourself’ has no intrinsic value whatsoever”

Comforting Thought: Disruptive Creators Versus Custodians & Curators

“If we were all disruptive artists all the time – nothing in society would be coherent. No one would be obliged to do anything other than follow whatever short term whims took their fancy. Fortunately- many people are instead curators. Those who set up permanent exhibitions based on unifying themes and help to rein inContinue reading “Comforting Thought: Disruptive Creators Versus Custodians & Curators”

Comforting Thought: If we want to do something well, we cannot do it all

Opt out of the relentless pursuit of personal optimisation of our lives. Opt-out of picking and choosing a new partner when we get bored of the person we have been with for many years simply because we are bored. Opt out of trying to become a social media influencer with a million friends on InstagramContinue reading “Comforting Thought: If we want to do something well, we cannot do it all”

The Cult of Endless Growth and Late Stage Capitalism

I have paired some of quotes by philosopher bell hooks and psychologist Svend Brinkmann with some darkly funny photos from the Inhumans of Late Stage Capitalism page on Facebook. This has formed a disturbingly compelling and strange mashup! “Only robots always say yes.” ~ Svend Brinkmann “Confronting the endless desire that is at the heartContinue reading “The Cult of Endless Growth and Late Stage Capitalism”

Comforting Thought: Don’t be afraid of repetition and obligation in our lives

“Without cyclical repetition, our lives dissolve into empty noise devoid of content. Without repetition, there is no obligation. Repetition is getting up every morning and making pack lunches for the kids. It’s visiting old friends, even though they may be depressed and not that fun to be around. “It is absurd to be eternally mobile,Continue reading “Comforting Thought: Don’t be afraid of repetition and obligation in our lives”

Barry Schwartz and the Paradox of Choice

“We laud our almost boundless freedom of choice as if it were a good thing per se, irrespective of what the choice is between. This is of course absurd because any rational person would prefer to choose between two good things rather than between a thousand bad ones. But, under these circumstances, how do weContinue reading “Barry Schwartz and the Paradox of Choice”