On the origin of sapience: Yoda’s advice to the clones

In Season 1, Episode 1, of The Clone Wars, directed by Dave Filoni based on the original films by George Lucas, the famous character Yoda gives some advice to his clone troopers. Based on a rogue bounty hunter, the clones are nonetheless stereotyped as being identical, a stereotype they internalise on the eve of battle. … Continue reading On the origin of sapience: Yoda’s advice to the clones

Why Sherlock is a good show

There are a number of criticisms that have been levelled against the TV series Sherlock, whose thrilling pace and theatrical poetry earned it commercial and critical acclaim any other show would envy. Indeed, I wonder if this is one reason for the criticisms — the green-eyed monster; what David Hume termed ‘jealousy of trade’. How … Continue reading Why Sherlock is a good show

The banality of sociality

Hannah Arendt’s seminal Eichmann in Jerusalem famously describes Nazism, personified in the Holocaust administrator Adolf Eichmann on trial in Jerusalem, as ‘the banality of evil’. In The Origins of Totalitarianism, Arendt considers the alliance between ‘elite’ and ‘mob’ underpinning totalitarian politics. If the totalitarian elite is characterised by a sinister banality, a strange coupling of … Continue reading The banality of sociality

Spielberg’s West Side Story: A musical masterpiece

There is something entrancing about the idea of revival. Yet it is also deceiving, especially when what is being revived is itself a revival. Such is the case with Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, a revival of the original musical based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. In addition to classical composer Leonard Bernstein’s spellbinding score, … Continue reading Spielberg’s West Side Story: A musical masterpiece

The last gasp of individualism

Individualism, the philosophy of the modern world, has long been under strain in the context of a deeply collective world system, where everything and everyone depends on everything and everyone else. The structural relation of entities in a whole is entangled with their contradictions with one another, as states find themselves separated from one another. … Continue reading The last gasp of individualism

The realist school: An emerging paradigm

Sometimes, intellectual thought undergoes a rupture that cannot be stopped. It does not matter how much you resist the conceptual tsunami, or how far you run. It will tear down what you know, and force any remaining ideas to cluster around the victorious Noah’s ark of the God-given intellectual inundation. ‘Après moi, le deluge’, said … Continue reading The realist school: An emerging paradigm

Why Kanye West is a unique musical genius

The name Kanye West has wide-ranging associations, depending on who you ask. But what's for certain is Kanye West is a name, a noun — not a description, or an adjective. Because Kanye West is singular, perhaps the most singular artist in existence, or the history of existence. Let me explain. Kanye began by breathing … Continue reading Why Kanye West is a unique musical genius

A Darwinian moment? Ideas of evolution in historical sociology

Two figures loom large over historical sociology in the English language at the end of the last century: Charles Darwin and Karl Marx. Charles Darwin, whose shadow looms large over historical sociology. This speaks to a tension at the heart of the discipline – between the grand systems of Marxism, which harken to an Aristotelian … Continue reading A Darwinian moment? Ideas of evolution in historical sociology

The moral mystery of Kendrick Lamar

The name Kendrick Lamar goes hand-in-hand with some of the most prominent names in hip hop: Eminem, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Tupac Shakur, Nas. But we know who most of these people are, right? Kanye West is an eclectic genius, pioneer of hip hop production, and all-round mastermind of modern music, with his fair share of … Continue reading The moral mystery of Kendrick Lamar

The market of music

Music is a peculiar fusion of emotion and technicality. The coldest of cold sciences, mechanics, is integrated with the warmest of warm poetries, music, to produce something lukewarm: the market of music, a unity of technicality and artistry. But the market itself threatens the balance on which it rests. As value is transformed into prices, … Continue reading The market of music