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#critical theory
Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno. Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments. (“The Culture Industry”; p. 133 in ISBN 0-8047-3633-2)
The demythologizing of language, as an element of the total process of enlightenment, reverts to magic. In magic word and content were at once different from each other and indissolubly linked. Concepts like melancholy, history, indeed, life, were apprehended in the word which both set them apart and preserved them. Its particular form constituted and reflected them at the same time. The trenchant distinction which declares the word itself fortuitous and its allocation to its object arbitrary does away with the superstitious commingling of word and thing. Anything in a given sequence of letters which goes beyond the correlation to the event designated is banished as unclear and as verbal metaphysics. As a result, the word, which henceforth is allowed only to designate something and not to mean it, becomes so fixated on the object that it hardens to a formula.
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Today on things that can’t be a coincidence:

•Vess had the tomb takers working in the ruins of Molaesmyr

•Vess is interested in Age of Arcanum artifacts

•Star Razor is from the Age of Arcanum and just happened to break in Molaesmyr where the pieces laid forever

•Star Razor is a Vestige

•Star Razor was formed by a union between acolytes of Melora and The Moonweaver

•Molly worshipped the Moonweaver

•Molly was founder of the tombtakers

•The order the Tombtakers broke off of is likely the Claret Order which is associated with the Raven Queen and blood magic.

•Clay, Stone, and Dust were originally champions of the Raven Queen who were instructed to bury a hero with commands from the Raven Queen (who already took whatever she wanted from this hero)

•Cad, descendant of Clay, who is from the Blooming Groves, found Fjord and helped Fjord find the path to Melora

•Molaesmyr is poisoning the blooming groves

•Fjord gets Star Razor and just happens to have the last name of one of the three important families of Melora (Clay, Dust, and Stone)

•Stone family is known to be made up of many different races hinting at Adoption and Fjord happens to be an Orphan with that last name

•Now Molly and Fjord just happen to be headed for the same place and Vess is coming too

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Michel Foucault, “Practicing Criticism,” or “Is it really important to think?” May 30-31, 1981. Didier Eribon interview. In Lawrence Kritzman, Foucault, Politics, Philosophy, Culture. New York and London: Routledge, 1988. p. 155.
A critique is not a matter of saying that things are not right as they are. It is a matter of pointing out on what kinds of assumptions, what kinds of familiar, unchallenged, unconsidered modes of thought the practices that we accept rest… We must free ourselves from the sacralization of the social as the only reality and stop regarding as superfluous something so essential in human life and human relations as thought.
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Barthes, S/Z 
The text, in its mass, is comparable to a sky, at once flat and smooth, deep, without edge and without landmarks; like the soothsayer drawing on it with the tip of his staff an imaginary rectangle wherein to consult, according to certain principles, the flight of birds, the commentator traces through the text certain zones of reading, in order to observe therein the migration  of meanings, the out dripping of codes, the passage of citations.
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Theodor W. Adorno, Einleitung, in: Emile Durkheim, Soziologie und Philosophie. Suhrkamp 1976, S. 22
Der Wertbegriff selbst ist eine heteronome Verdinglichung. Ihn zu bejahen oder zu verneinen partizipiert gleichermaßen am falschen Bewußtsein.
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Theodor W. Adorno, Einleitung, in: Emile Durkheim, Soziologie und Philosophie. Suhrkamp 1976, S. 14f.

“Freud hat die Genese des Numinosen primitiv-kollektiver Vorstellungen, von Tabu und Totem, entworfen; ungewiß, ob dazu seine am Individuum ausgerichtete psychologische Methode allein ausreicht. Die soziologische Durkheims aber versucht nicht einmal etwas Derartiges; die Theorie resigniert gleichsam zur Verdoppelung der von ihm so genannten kollektiven Gefühle.“ S. 16

Nicht wird Religion als gesellschaftliche Projektion entzaubert, sondern Durkheims Wissenschaft attestiert der Gesellschaft noch einmal jene Göttlichkeit, die sie ihm zufolge in der Religion nach ihrem Bilde erschuf. Gesellschaft wird, einen Terminus von Marx anzuwenden, mystifiziert; Durkheims Denken läßt sich gleichsam anstecken von dem der unterentwickelten Völker. Nachdem er der Unmöglichkeit der von ihm so genannten »organischen Solidarität« in der bürgerlichen Gesellschaft seiner Epoche innegeworden war, mochte sein zwangshafter Kollektivglaube nach rückwärts gestaut worden sein wie nachmals in manchen faschistischen Ideologien.
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“But the main objection, dating from the sixteenth century and receiving final expression from Francis Bacon, is the uselessness of philosophic speculation. The position taken by this objection is that we ought to describe detailed matters of fact, and elicit the laws with a generality strictly limited to the systematisation of these described details. General interpretation, it is held, has no bearing upon this procedure; and thus any system of general interpretation, be it true or false, remains intrinsically barren. Unfortunately for this objection, there are no brute, self-contained matters of fact, capable of being understood apart from interpretation as an element in a system. Whenever we attempt to express the matter of immediate experience, we find that its understanding leads us beyond itself, to its contemporaries, to its past, to its future, and to the universals in terms of which its definiteness is exhibited. But such universals, by their very character of universality, embody the potentiality of other facts with variant types of definiteness. Thus the understanding of the immediate brute fact requires its metaphysical interpretation as an item in a world with some systematic relation to it. When thought comes upon the scene, it finds the interpretations as matters of practice. Philosophy does not initiate interpretations. Its search for a rationalistic scheme is the search for more adequate criticism, and for more adequate justification, of the interpretations which we perforce employ. Our habitual experience is a complex of failure and success in the enterprise of interpretation. If we desire a record of uninterpreted experience, we must ask a stone to record its autobiography. Every scientific memoir in its record of the ‘facts’ is shot through and through with interpretation. The methodology of rational interpretation is the product of the fitful vagueness of consciousness. Elements which shine with immediate distinctness, in some circumstances, retire into penumbral shadow in other circumstances, and into black darkness on other occasions. And yet all occasions proclaim themselves as actualities within the flux of a solid world, demanding a unity of interpretation.”

—extract from Process and Reality by Alfred North Whitehead.

Image: Fan Ho. Afternoon Chat, 1959.

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Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno. Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments. (116 in ISBN 0-8047-3633-2)
The shamelessness of the rhetorical question ‘What do people want?’ lies in the fact that it appeals to the very people as thinking subjects whose subjectivity it specifically seeks to annul.
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“In the pages of the New York Times, David Brooks has announced a data revolution. His words are as prophetic as Chris Anderson’s famous article ‘The End of Theory’. ‘Dataism’ is the name of the new faith:

‘If you asked me to describe the rising philosophy of the day, I’d say it is data-ism. We now have the ability to gather huge amounts of data. This ability seems to carry with it certain cultural assumptions – that everything that can be measured should be measured; that data is a transparent and reliable lens that allows us to filter out emotionalism and ideology; that data will help us do remarkable things – like foretell the future … The data revolution is giving us wonderful ways to understand the present and the past.’

Dataism has taken the stage with the fervour of a second Enlightenment. During the first Enlightenment, statistics was thought to possess the capacity to liberate human knowledge from the clutches of mythology. Accordingly, euphoric celebration occurred. In light of such developments, Voltaire even voiced the wish for a new historiography, freed from past superstition. Statistics, as he put it, offers ‘an object of curiosity for anyone who would like to read history as a citizen and as a philosopher’. Revised by statistics, history would become truly philosophical. […] Now, transparency is the buzzword of the second Enlightenment. Data are supposed to be a pellucid medium. As Brooks describes them, data afford a ‘transparent and reliable lens’. The imperative of the second Enlightenment declares: everything must become data and information. The soul of the second Enlightenment is data totalitarianism, or data fetishism. Although it announces that it is taking leave of all ideology, dataism itself is an ideology. It is leading to digital totalitarianism. Therefore, a third Enlightenment is called for – in order to shine a light on how digital enlightenment has transformed into a new kind of servitude.

Big Data is supposed to be freeing knowledge from subjective arbitrariness. By this logic, intuition does not represent a higher form of knowing; instead, it represents something merely subjective – a stopgap compensating for the shortage of objective data. In complex situations, the argument goes, intuition is blind. The mistrust even extends to theory, which is suspected of being an ideology: if enough data are available, it should prove superfluous as well. The second Enlightenment is the age of purely data-driven knowledge. Anderson’s visionary rhetoric goes: ‘Out with every theory of human behavior, from linguistics to sociology. Forget taxonomy, ontology, and psychology. Who knows why people do what they do? The point is they do it, and we can track and measure it with unprecedented fidelity. With enough data, the numbers speak for themselves.’

The medium of the first Enlightenment was reason. However, imagination, corporeality and desire were repressed in its name. By a fatal dialectic, the first Enlightenment switched over into barbarism. Now, in the second Enlightenment – which appeals to information, data and transparency – the same dialectic threatens to do the same. The second Enlightenment is summoning forth a new kind of violence. The Dialectic of Enlightenment holds that the process of illumination that set out to destroy mythology became entangled, with every stride it made, in a mythology of its own: ‘False clarity is only another name for myth.’ Adorno would say that the ‘transparency’ of today is another name for myth too – that dataism likewise heralds false clarity. The dialectic of old is also making the second Enlightenment, which seeks to counter ideology, into an ideology in its own right – more still, it is leading to the barbarism of data.”

Psychopolitics: Neoliberalism and the New Technologies of Power– Byung Chul Han

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Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno. Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments. (Preface; p. xvii in ISBN 0-8047-3633-2)
It is in the nature of the calamitous situation existing today that even the most honorable reformer who recommends renewal in threadbare language reinforces the existing order he seeks to break by taking over its worn-out categorial apparatus and the pernicious power-philosophy lying behind it. False clarity is only another name for myth. Myth was always obscure and luminous at once. It has always been distinguished by its familiarity and its exemption from the work of concepts.
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Existen pesimistas que, en vista del empalidecimiento y la desaparición de tantas cosas a las que estaban acostumbrados, que eran comodas para ellos, que les aportaban ventajas y a las que les tenían un gran apego, se paralizan, horrorizados y atónitos, en medio de las ruinas que produce el proceso de transformación. En ellas no ven solamente las ruinas de su mundo, sino del mundo en general. Lo que ellos están viendo les parece la muerte, no de algo que había surgido por una condicionalidad histórica, que se ha desarrollado, ha madurado, y ahora, por ello mismo, tiene que perecer, sino que ven el desastre en sí mismo […]

Carl Grünberg - Discurso inaugural (Frankfurt, 1924)

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“all men are intellectuals, one could therefore say: but not all men have in society the function of intellectuals… . this means that, although one can speak of intellectuals, one cannot speak of non-intellectuals, because non-intellectuals do not exist.”

— antonio gramsci, the intellectuals

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