About

I write about technology, psychoanalysis, philosophy, design, ideology & Slavoj Žižek.

Appreciation

July 11, 2011

The Reflection Without The Vampire

An excerpt from Žižek’s essay From objet a to Subtraction:

Is objet a, insofar as it lacks its mirror image, the vampiric object (vampires, as we know, do not generate their image in a mirror)? It may seem so: are vampires not versions of undead partial objects? However, perhaps, the exact opposite is more appropriate as an image of objet a: when we look at a thing directly, in reality, we don’t see “it”-this “it” only appears when we look at the thing’s mirror image, as if there is, in the mirror image, something more than in reality, as if only the mirror image can bring out the mysterious ingredient for which we search in vain in the object’s reality. Or, to put it in Deleuzian terms: the mirror image desubstantializes a thing, depriving it of its density and depth, reducing it to a flat surface, and it is only through this reduction that the purely non-substantial objet a becomes perceptible.

Colloqium

Related Posts

May 15, 2013

Critique of User Interface Illusions

Alexis Madrigal spent some time with Facebook's UX designers and content strategists and [wrote a profile and a critique][7] of what he takes to be the company's design philosophy. There's a lot to like about this essay in terms of its focus and the questions it raises, but one flaw is

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January 6, 2014

The Agile Labor Union

In 2001, seventeen American, British and Canadian software engineers and IT managers met at a ski resort in Snowbird, Utah, to start a movement to remake the way software is built. Over the previous decade, the attendees had independently created similar processes for organizing and managing software engineering projects that broke

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June 2, 2013

Racism, Stalinism & Politeness

Caution: 3,337 words ahead The premise of this post has some immediate, flagrant problems, so it would probably be better to just start off with that. Here's the premise: anti-racism is becoming like Stalinism. The obvious (and wrong) interpretation would be that I'm saying that the efforts of anti-racist activists have

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Recent Popular Posts

February 13, 2014

Left Activism Goes Corporate: A Detour Through the Raw Food Underground

One of the most tedious features of the Silicon Valley Hype Machine is its endless repetition of progressive sounding marketing slogans about democracy and freedom, all while promoting a pro-business agenda. But it's too easy to read this as a sinister corporate ploy to co-opt the language of activists and twisting

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December 20, 2013

Civility: A Distance That Brings Us Together

Just in time for the holidays, Apple's marketing department released *[Misunderstood][1]*, an ad about a surly teenager absorbed in his iPhone in the midst of scenes of his family's idyllic Christmas togetherness. But he surprises everyone when he reveals that the whole time he was making a touching video for everyone

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January 26, 2014

Ten Parenting Lessons I Learned from Franz Kafka

Here's an adage which I think is true: every theory of parenting is implicitly a theory of society. It follows that even if you aren't a parent now, nor ever intend to be one, if you're interested in society and culture, you ought to be interested in the topic because the

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