Reza Negarastani dasein on the scene without me

There’s a new interview with Reza Negarastani on Nero Editions. I never knew about the guy until I read this conversation (nor about this website), but apparently he has been a bit of an It-Boy of the non-acadmic philosophy scene for a while.

The conversation covers all sorts of ground. I had no idea that it would be as long as it turned out to be until I tried to sit down and read it quickly on Sunday, but the part that will probably grab any denizen of the philosophically inclined internet will be the part on auto-didacticism. The two interlocutors sort of obtusely talk about the fact that in the aughts there was this whole period of thinkers hanging out online, writing up blogs, commenting on each others blogs, maybe getting into the odd flame war.

I don’t know. I wasn’t there.

Mostly Negarastani and his interlocutor talk about that this that once was and a time that has passed. Yet they also continue to discuss the shortcomings of what they call the “paraacademy.” They never really define it, but it seems to mean educated people who are behaving somewhat like the philosophical establishment but are not in fact a part of it.

But what’s clear though is that these guys are still part of whatever is left. They don’t say where whatever is left of the paraacademy persists, how to find it or the secret knock to make on the door if you do. It’s just like: Yeah there is still a scene but you kinda aren’t invited. Sorry bro. I know our whole vibe was about how the institution is bullshit, but… we are cool kids now and we just can’t.

But you know what it’s fine. Honestly, I don’t blame them. Any group of people who manage to get a good thing going that’s intellectual and creative needs to just protect it.

If they can do it, others can do it, too.

I bet one way to do it is to put a blog out on a website that makes no effort at SEO, has no comments, no listed email and doesn’t engage on social media. That should work… well.