Tuesday, March 27, 2007

I'm not feeling terribly productive today. I got off to a good start - at uni circa 12:30pm, with some speedy note typing-up while on the computers in the library that you need to book to use. It must be the sense of urgency and limited time that led me to work solely on the task at hand. For now that I have a laptop all to to myself, I have spent the afternoon in extended time-frittering.

Some of it was spent looking at the webpages of word processing programs that I might consider using instead of Word while writing my thesis.* I was imagining how nice it would be to do work with those interfaces. Similarly, I spoke with a friend over coffee about the virtues of reading philosophy quickly. 'Imagining the pleasures of work instead of working': pretty standard procrastinatory fare.

Oh and look, now it's 5pm - time to leave the library.

* Alas, this one is only for Macs.

Difference and Repetition page count: 76 down, 228 to go.

Friday, March 23, 2007

So, I'm now a few weeks to Honours, and not nearly as far into Difference and Repetition as I should be. Current page count: 46 down, (=304-46) to go.

Furthermore, I hadn't realised that actually what I needed to have under my belt before reading this text was an inhumanly firm grasp on the entire history of philosophy in all its nuances. Thus, my 'things to look up' list now includes:

- philosophical discussions of genus and species;
- differential calculus;
- Aristotle on difference, genus, Being etc. --> (Metaphysics);
- Duns Scotus' philosophy;
- Leibniz's philosophy.

Furthermore, it seems that it has been an oversight that I have not yet learned Latin and Ancient Greek.

Back to work, I suppose.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Progress report

So, on Sunday the final footnote was inserted and the last moral high horse climbed in what I believe I termed twenty years ago 'a teeny tiny essay'. This leaves me, for the first time since June or July 2005, with no outstanding work. I haven't noticed any amazing changes in my life so far. I haven't noticed the spectre of lingering guilt fleeing out the window. But I'm glad it's done with.

What I now do have is clear space to make a run at my honours thesis. So I've been sitting around reading Deleuze's Difference and Repetition. It's - well, I considered saying 'unexpectedly tough', but I think I knew it'd be rather ... difficult. All the same, it is pleasant to not need to be constantly elsewhere. This project will be big, but I'm happy it's mine for the next 7 months or so.

In other developments, I've been trying to teach myself things. The language of cats; how to buy laundry powder; the secrets of planning and keeping busy.

I'm not too sure as to what music I'd like to be listening to, either. I have some notion - from reading Deleuze I admit - that I'd like something filled with different intersecting levels of intensity, cool lines criss-crossing, with not so much sentiment and solid, foursquare stature as my usual pop diet. Something inhuman. With lots of difference and - er - repetition. Right now Ricardo Villalobos' "Fizheuer Zieheuer" is fitting the bill.

Because even though I can't listen to music that I know while studying and reading, sometimes a background of semi-regular noise can provide a nice cushion for thought to take place. Nothing that commands one to join in: I was doing well in the cafe in which I was studying today, for instance, right up until they started playing David Bowie - that is, music that I recognised. From that point on there was more absent-minded guitar strumming in mid-air and clicking than note-taking.

Alright, to read - Walter Benjamin on violence, for a lecture I'm "auditing" (is this the term that one uses to describe 'sitting in on a subject you're not doing'?) tomorrow at uni. Bis bald!