The Human Rights Act, the varieties of exploitation, and the myth of a purely private economy

Even in our enlightened society, we have a peculiarly narrow view of what torture is. Sometimes we refer to the broader view as noted by the Equality and Human Rights Commission: Article 3 of the HRA protects you from mental or physical torture, and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, including the risk of facing such … Continue reading The Human Rights Act, the varieties of exploitation, and the myth of a purely private economy

Trying my patience: The distinction between philosophy and sophistry

I have recently been confronted with the idea of sophistry, and the weaponisation of this term to attack philosophy. But I do not think this is philosophical. Indeed, to use sophistry to attack philosophy is itself sophistical. Let me explain how sophistry and philosophy differ, by contrasting two ancient Greek individuals: Isocrates, and Socrates. Ludwig … Continue reading Trying my patience: The distinction between philosophy and sophistry

Freedom for all: Why the media’s use of the term ‘modern slavery’ is oddly dehumanising, and downright sinister

I have previously commented on how universities can distract from ongoing workplace exploitation by contrasting our situation with those of our ancestors bound in chattel slavery, from Ancient Greece and Rome (contexts which remain strangely ignored by reports into slavery’s long legacy) to the trans-Saharan (again, an oddly ignored context, seeing as it served as … Continue reading Freedom for all: Why the media’s use of the term ‘modern slavery’ is oddly dehumanising, and downright sinister

Kant do charisma: Why Anthony Fantano is wrong about Kanye West

I have for more times than I can recall drawn a distinction between two pillars of modern music: 1. Technique, and 2. Art. Technique relates to instrumental skill and general musical nous. Think musical theory but also the practical application of this theory. What space, then, does this leave for art? Art relates to a … Continue reading Kant do charisma: Why Anthony Fantano is wrong about Kanye West

Survival, community, and freedom: An accelerationist manifesto for conservative civic socialism

The left and its project of equality can seem to have two enemies: the centrist project of liberty and the right-wing project of community. All these moral positions also seem to miss the realist emphasis on survival. But I think there is a way of having our cake and eating it — building a left-wing … Continue reading Survival, community, and freedom: An accelerationist manifesto for conservative civic socialism

Hiding in plain sight: The resurrection of grand theory through intellectual history

It is often said that grand theory is dead, while intellectual history lives. At the 'end of history' following the Cold War, anticipated by several 'ends' of history since the philosopher Hegel proclaimed Napoleon and himself the ends of political and philosophical history in the early nineteenth century, it became intellectually illegitimate to construct a … Continue reading Hiding in plain sight: The resurrection of grand theory through intellectual history

‘Dice’ by NMIXX Music Review: Jazz-infused pop fusion — Worldwide Wambop comes of age

The ‘Korean wave’ is easily confused by westerners with the better-known phrase ‘Mexican wave’. But despite its dance focus, the Korean wave has an abstract connotation: the globalisation of Korean ‘culture’, especially the revolution that is K-Pop, popularised in the West by PSY’s Gangnam Style, inaugurating the YouTube age of pop music. Now with the … Continue reading ‘Dice’ by NMIXX Music Review: Jazz-infused pop fusion — Worldwide Wambop comes of age

‘Shut Down’ Music Review: Blackpink embraces classical/pop fusion, Lisa soars above the pack

Sampling Paganini’s ‘La Campanella’ is surely not a move expected by Blackpink producer Teddy Park, whose production has in the past been accused of being formulaic (in my view unjustly — Blackpink’s repertoire boasts a remarkable range of production styles, and Shut Down casts Teddy as one of the most experimental producers in the game.) … Continue reading ‘Shut Down’ Music Review: Blackpink embraces classical/pop fusion, Lisa soars above the pack

Peace for all time: The enduring insights of Thomas Hobbes

Seventeenth-century political theorist Thomas Hobbes has a paradoxical attitude to power. On the one hand, he thinks that 'the pursuit of power, after power' is the root and stem of 'Warre', of 'every man, against every man', leaving the 'life of man, solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short'. But he also thinks that power can … Continue reading Peace for all time: The enduring insights of Thomas Hobbes

Billie Eilish ‘The 30th’ Music Review: The Queen of Alternative Pop Presses Reset

To be as successful as Billie Eilish is a quality our frantic, phone-addled society seems to desire like no other. On ‘everything i wanted’, in between Billie’s first two full-length LPs, Billie Eilish reflects on the way that fame changes everything and nothing at the same time. ‘I had a dream / I got everything … Continue reading Billie Eilish ‘The 30th’ Music Review: The Queen of Alternative Pop Presses Reset