Who is your favourite thinker?
Douglas Murray is one of my favourite thinkers.
As Cofty said, Murray's a very clear thinker. His comments on the danger of Islamism and the Left's (mis)handling of this threat deserve special consideration.
We need clear thinkers like Murray in these tumultuous times.
The following is Murray trying to explain neoconservatism to Yasmin Alibhai-Brown. It's interesting that the YAB Monster can't see the difference between Britain having nuclear weapons and Iran having nuclear weapons. Murray lives in the real world, not in some Leftist utopia. He correctly points out that Britain uses nuclear weapons as a deterrent, whereas Iran would no doubt use any nuclear weapons if it developed them.
- Given the screen name, I thought you might have chosen Camus.
I am a big fan of Jean Baudrillard (1929-2007), French cultural, sociological and political theorist. Baudrillard's work centers around technology and how it impacts our culture. Where I take exception to his work (and Foucault's) is in their understanding and assumptions about primitivism and essentialism.
Roland Barthes, Susan Sontag, Germaine Greer, Mikhail Bahktin...a few more that I like...but...Baudrillard is still on top of the heap for me. I pull one of his books off the shelf whenever the world seems just too crazy to handle anymore. His words give me clarity and help me to make a bit of sense of all the madness. Baudrillard grounds me.
I used to say that the number one thing on my bucket list was to get an opportunity to sit in the same room with Baudrillard. Not even speak to him or have him speak - no words between us...just let my mind share the same space with his for a little bit. But, now he is dead. Damn. Cross that one off my bucket list.
Wasn't he the guy who said the Gulf War war only hyper real or something? Some people thought he was trolling.
I really liked Mythologies by Roland Barthes. I once tried to describe a JW meeting in the "mythologies" style for a writing exercise.
SlimFatBoy, yes, Baudrillard did propose that theory - he often wrote about the power of the media and propaganda. I would have to re-read his Gulf War analysis to make any sort of intelligent response to it.
I became interested in Baudrillard when I was studying the politics of representation and how that is played out in the media through the use of propaganda. This was at the time that the WWW was being born and theoretical discussions about how it would impact culture and the political world was common. Speculation about how cyberspace was 'the new frontier' and about how terrorism would be fought in cyberspace for the control of information and power fit well into Baudrillardian theories.
I find Baudrillard's writings to be dense and difficult to untangle - which could be a language barrier problem - but, I keep reading his work. Every once in while, I get an eureka moment from re-reading things that didn't make sense previously. Especially when I read things from years back that now have real application. I call Baudrillard 'the prophet' of the technological age.
Using Barthes to analyze JW meetings sounds like a fun exercise. My interest in Barthes is photographically based. "Camera Lucida - Reflections on Photography" is seminal reading for photographic enthusiasts. But, I also like the way that he writes about myth and how it is constructed and maintained in popular culture. Good stuff.
As I suspected a long list of great thinkers .
Now my observation is that most of the great thinkers mentiond are considerd correct in their thinking. So my question is do you think to be a great thnker it is necessary to be correct in ones thinking?
- The opening to Baudrillard's simulations - "The simulacrum is never that which conceals the truth - it is the truth which conceals that there is none. The simulacrum is true." He attributes it to Ecclesiastes, but its nowhere to be found :)