29 Jul 14 at 4 pm

Tom Nichols (via azspot)


'Expertise' as used here almost always requires the acceptance and approval of the Powers That Be - automatically excluding anyone who has knowledge that comes from experience (look, ‘expert’ and ‘experience’ have the same root for a reason), who can’t afford/has no access to traditional institutions through which ‘expertise’ is conferred, whose expertise conflicts with the agenda of those Powers, etc., etc.

The glory of Google and Wikipedia and everything like them is their ability to democratize knowledge. Furthermore, that is precisely what teachers want: to help people learn stuff, whether they normally would or not, whether it’s taught in schools or has been thrown aside for three months of test prep, whether it’s the area someone specializes in or is simply curious about… There’s no reason whatsoever that knowledge has to come from a ‘professional’ rather than some other source; that doesn’t make the knowledge any less potent, or any less true. 

There is no division between “students and teachers, knowers and wonderers”. I am a teacher; I am also a student, always, because no matter your knowledge, you can always learn more. ‘Knowers’ v. ‘wonderers’? Really? How do you think people come to know things in the first place? I’m definitely an ‘expert’ on a number of things—an institutionally certified expert, even!—but I still wonder about all those things. Besides, who determines what is ‘knowing’? Plenty of those things I have expertise in are *not* institutionally certified, and that makes my expertise not one whit less.

For instance: I know a shitload more about recovering from traumatic brain events than my neurologist. He knows all about how these things happen in the first place, all the ins and outs and mechanisms; however, when it comes to practical advice for what’s necessary to not continue to fuck yourself up in the weeks afterward, he learns a hell of a lot from me. He’s an MD/PhD, he’s about as ‘expert’ as you can get; but that’s nothing in the face of actual experience. In fact, the main reason I knew he was an infinitely better doctor than the other neurologists I’d seen is because he acknowledged how little he knew about the experience of, say, having your life force drained from you by anti-seizure medication. Despite his honest-to-Dog genius, he does not pretend to all-encompassing expertise, or treat his fount of knowledge as the only valid source - which makes him smarter and more ‘expert’ than anyone who thinks they know it all. 

And everyone knows that the only difference between professionals and laymen is that one gets paid for their achievements and the other doesn’t. It’s such a pathetic example, really: ‘laymen’ is a word created to distinguish the people who were not endorsed by the institutional Powers That Be in religious life; the Jesus Christ of the Bible was a layman, and as such was anathema to the institution. Now, we’ve all seen how much we should blindly trust and accept what the Church/etc. tells us, right?

Finally, that bit about “achievement in an area” is utterly nonsensical. Is ‘achievement’ supposed to stand in for ‘experience’—which, as already noted, is never accepted as institutionally valid in conferring ‘expertise’? Does ‘achievement’ mean an official document a la a diploma? How many of the world’s political leaders have degrees in management, policy, diplomacy, etc.? Have they ‘achieved’ less than those who have studied those topics in a fucking ivory tower? To reverse the question, there’s that old saw about how those who can’t do, teach. Now, I think that’s bullshit, because teaching is a fucking skill, and plenty of people who have incredible achievement in an area can’t go into a classroom and convey any of that in a useful way. By the same token, when those people *are* good teachers, do we keep them out of the classroom because their ‘expertise’ comes from experience rather than academic success? Never. 

This whole thing is bullshit. All those signal words—expertise, professional, layman, student, teacher, knower, wonderer, achievement—are deliberately misused, ignorant of their actual definitions and meanings, to make a faux-profound statement that has no purpose other than to bitch about how the Powers That Be are no longer as all-important in conferring expertise as they used to be.

You can be an expert without paying for it. That really pisses this person off.

(via aka14kgold)

"I worry that in an information-driven age of technological marvels, nobody will treat me like I’m a wizard-priest anymore."

(via blue-author)

I think this is becoming a sort of under-the-table war. And I’m not really exaggerating. For example, recently various academic groups and journals have been banning their members and editors from having blogs:

Academic blogging grew from the desire to compensate for people being unable to access academic scholarship,” Saideman told the Guardian. He said academic blogging has become a part of a professor’s job and that it is part of a movement to share scholarship with broader groups of people, including translating it into other languages.

One of his many critiques of the ISA’s proposal is that it further reduces the plurality of voices in scholarship, potentially affecting the number of minorities and women heard in academic discussions. If you’re telling people that the only way to be on editorial teams is by reducing your voice elsewhere, then that’s logically going to reduce the amount of voices out there,” Saideman said.

(via postgenderfemmerobot)

(via postgenderfemmerobot)

"I fear we are witnessing the “death of expertise”: a Google-fueled, Wikipedia-based, blog-sodden collapse of any division between professionals and laymen, students and teachers, knowers and wonderers – in other words, between those of any achievement in an area and those with none at all."

29 Jul 14 at 4 pm


True happiness exists and it is a piglet eating ice cream at a mini picnic table under a mini umbrella.

(Source: michelle-bee, via thefistofartemis)

29 Jul 14 at 4 pm

Luce Irigaray, Elemental Passions (via akadaniel)

"You grant me space, you grant me my space. But in so doing you have always already taken me away from my expanding place. What you intend for me is the place which is appropriate for the need you have of me."

29 Jul 14 at 4 pm

Elizabeth Grosz, Bodies-Cities (1992)

(Source: notquitenative)

"The form, structure and norms of the city seep into and affect all the other elements that go into the constitution of coproreality and/as subjectivity. It affects the way the subject see others (domestic architecture and the division of the home into the conjugal bedroom, separated off from other living and sleeping spaces, and the specialization of rooms are as significant in this regard as smaller family size), as well as the subject’s understanding of alignment with, and positioning in space. Different forms of lived spatiality (the verticality of the city, as opposed to the horizontality of the landscape — at least in the ‘West’) affect the ways in which we live space, and thus our comportment and corporeal orientations and the subject’s form of corporeal exertion — the kind of terrain it must negotiate day by day, the effect this has on its muscular structure, its nutritional context, providing the most elementary forms of material support and sustenance for the body. Moreover, the city is, of course, also the site for the body’s cultural saturation, its takeover and transformation by images, representational systems, the mass media, and the arts — the place where the body is representationally re-explored, transformed, contested, reinscribed. In turn, the body (as cultural product) transforms, reinscribes the urban landscape according to its changing (demographic, economic and psychological) needs, extending the limits of the city, of the sub-urban, ever towards the countryside which borders it."

29 Jul 14 at 4 pm

Elizabeth Grosz, Volatile Bodies: Toward a Corporeal Feminism (via fluidstaccato)

"The ego is split between two extremes: a psychical interior, which requires continual stabilization, and a corporeal exterior, which remains labile, open to many meanings. Lacan suggests that this desire for a solid, stable identity may help explain our fascination with images of the human form."

29 Jul 14 at 4 pm

Irigaray, “When Our Lips Speak” (via publicatiosui)


If I say again and again: not, nor, without…, it’s to remind you, to remind us, that we can touch each other only when naked. And that to find ourselves and each other, we have a great deal to take off. So many images and appearances separate us, one from another. They decked us out according to their desires for so long, and we adorned ourselves so often to please them, that we forgot the feel of our skin. Removed from our own skin, we remain distant. You and I, divided.

You? I? That’s still saying too much. It cuts too sharply between us: “all.”


"“Most of the recent heavy bombings in Gaza lack an acceptable military justification and, instead, appear to be designed to terrorize the civilian population,” says the statement, signed by more than 140 international and criminal law scholars, human rights defenders, legal and other experts."

"All Lives Are NOT Equal. #Palestine #USTaxDollarsAtWork
The European Union and the United States are going to impose tough sanctions on Russia this week… Meanwhile over one thousand (1000) Palestinians (HUMAN BEINGS) have been murdered by the Israeli government. They don’t have any where to run because Gaza is an open air prison. And yet, there isn’t a whisper much less a peep from the European Union and the United States about imposing tough sanctions on Israel. How many Palestinians children, women, and men civilians must die before it becomes an international atrocity? What is the number?"

"Women are considered fragile but I’ve never seen anything as easily wounded as a man’s ego"

29 Jul 14 at 1 pm




these photos were taken earlier this year when I attended school in Tennessee (my 4th year to be exact)

I don’t know if you can tell but I was very sad at the time…

Sad is actually an understatement… I had actually never thought about suicide before going to a religious school… But it’s just something about being surrounded by people who care about everyone else but the ones they are supposed to care about.. I never would have guessed I would be sleeping in my car and in hotels all while trying to get my education at a place that literally hated me… Or the idea of what I represented.

This piece, “Overhead” was one done in response to being told “create a work about how you are feeling”

At the time I felt so empty and lonely that it physically hurt…

"Overhead" represents the idea of a dark cloud overtaking a persons’ life… How the feelings of sadness can have a physical weight of it’s own… A presence if you will…

I spent 5 days/nights (even after the piece was due) to finish this room sized installation. It consisted of over 500 fishing lines attached to a 15 x 20 ft grid and pounds of scrap bubble wrap …
I did not finish the piece on time even when I asked for an extension… I just wanted to do my best..in my mind, it would all pay off…

It didn’t. My professor: a racist homophobic sexist conservative man took it as his opportunity to put me in my place… To break me… At the end of the year he failed me….an advanced sculpture student who had always made A’s and who had received scholarships for my work…

Fast forward to now… I wish I could have told the person I was a couple months ago that everything was going to be ok…

I’m now in NYC. Things are not perfect but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Tennessee broke me… and even thinking about “Overhead” brings back terrible feelings and resentment… But I’m so thankful it did. I was meant to be pushed away from that place.

I’m free.

funny that’s exactly how i feel about Tennessee…….