Why Philosophy is Hopeless Today

So, let me tell you about the absurd.

I’m at a conference on the philosophy of technology. I’m at a plenary. A big shot (who I have never heard of, but that does not say much anymore) is at the dais.

As you walk in you are handed a 8k word paper which he’s gonna read. Why read a paper aloud a paper we could read to ourselves faster? Good question. Except no–a pretty young thing reads it on the dais as he sits next to her, because his English is not so good. But no–her english is not all that good either.

And: she has a version somewhat different from ours. So you race around the page, scanning sentences, trying to keep up.

Eventually you give up. Fortunately these days you have internet at most conferences. You scan other folks, seeing them read the NYTs or writing emails….

And to top it all, note that at this conference on the philosophy of technology it is a paper on the new age of communication represented by internet technology–a point communicated using a dopey and anachronistic form of communication to talk about new communication technology.

This cant last. It wont.

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