Is the world’s population living better than ever before?

The World Economic Forum in Davos in January, more than usual, prompted a spirited round of elite-bashing, which has now become the trendy political posture on both the right and left. On one side, US President Trump and Fox News hosts slam the out-of-touch establishment that, according to them, has run things into the ground. […]

Is the world’s population living better than ever before?

The invisible people

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Human history mentioned invisible people without mentioning them. The mass, the vast majority, the anonymous are mainly forgotten in all walks of life.

In Plato’s “Allegory of the cave”, the invisible people are left to their destiny, choosing between comfort and manipulation or the arduous journey of freedom made by Socrates, the only visible one.

The invisible slaves changed history with Spartacus, the visible slave.

Mandela, The King, Gandhi are still vividly visible men of salvation and justice.

The invisible people are the people we choose not to look at. Beggars and homeless are faceless and nameless people of the modern world.

History, ethics, philosophy taught us that ideals of justice and equality are to fight for. However, society is still based on hierarchy, on visibility and invisibility.

The real force lies in the invisible world!

Weight loss misconception

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Weight loss is always trendy. Experts speak about fat loss (and not weight loss).

Fat is a stored energy. The increase of the body fat percentage is a symptom or an indicator of an underlying cause.

The underlying cause is simply the non utilisation of energy which ended up being stored.

In other words, the real underlying cause is a weak muscle.

Therefore, instead of preaching weight loss (or fat loss) which is everywhere on social media, the focus should be on muscle strengthening.

Pump that muscle and let it take care of body fat.

Muscles are the anti ageing (or ageing gracefully) weapon!

Protests, violence and mimesis.

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Ever wondered how come The  Global Wave Protests in 2019 (and still on in 2020) were born? Going back few years ago how was it possible for the Arab Spring to occur amongst brutal dictatorships? And on a smaller scale, why would a peaceful protest turn to violent riots?

On my previous post (https://maylynno.wordpress.com/2020/07/04/), I pointed out a link between desire, desire of recognition and mimesis. Humans are driven by desire and by competition which is an underlying desire of recognition, leading to envy, to jealousy and to imitation. These social dynamic concepts are intensified by the infinite mirror of the word that is social media. Social media is the production (one can use the word industry) of mimesis. It takes one massively broadcasted happening protest on social media to trigger many other protests around the world. Also, it takes one individual violent act during a strike to turn a peaceful march into a war zone.

I have spent half of my life protesting down the streets for all kind of rights. I know for a fact that once in a crowd, the energy level of each participant is intensified. There is a crowd bath that makes all people function like one body. Fear of being attacked becomes a rage of attacking. The boiling energy, as any energy, will eventually burst out, especially when awaited solutions are delayed. The more they are delayed, the bigger will be the possibility of violent acts. The rage of one person will trigger mimesis or the rage of every marching participant. This happened in Black Lives Matter movement (The US riots: a mirror of the world), with the Gilets Jaunes, in Hong Kong, in Lebanon Protests (Revolution and emotional wreck), in the Arab Spring, in Ukraine, in Sudan and elsewhere too throughout history until now.

However, this mimic violent act, mostly caused by rage and energy of protesters, is the desire of the government. Violence is responded by violence. And who has based its power on the “legitimate violence” (Eric Weil)? The State has. “The legitimate violence” is incarnated by the State’s armed forces. Forces of order will mimic violent protesters and sometimes it is vice versa, depending on the situation. Everybody imitates everybody. It explains why Mahatma Gandhi was so powerful in both his silence and his stillness down the streets along millions of his Indian followers.

The question remains on the importance or not of violence for a protest’s success. There is no one size fits all type of answer. Sometimes violence works and sometimes it turns against protesters. What is a common ground to any violence act in the world, whether in protesting or in wars, is mimesis and the desire of recognition.

Understanding the Media in a Time of “Fake News”

The media is not neutral or unbiased. It never has been. The formation of mass newspapers around the world were tied to political parties to promote respective agendas. As such, the media can be distinctively broken down into a three-tiers. The first, faute de mieux, is the mainstream media. The mainstream media is the basest […]

Understanding the Media in a Time of “Fake News”

Gilles Deleuze on the world and space dilemma

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Cited as the most spatial philosophers, Gilles Deleuze emphasized on the concept of space throughout his writings by mixing philosophers’ concepts of space, such as Kant and Bergson, with artistic concepts of space, Francis Bacon and Paul Klee just to name a few. Architect and architectural theorists took somehow into consideration Deleuze’s view on space. However the plethora of the concepts of space that Deleuze crafted are more to be understood not only as vital but also as socio-political ways and ideas. Therefore, it is crucial to define space.

A space is the dimensions of height, depth, and width within which all things exist and move. It is as well the distance between one item and another. It is the frame or the contour of any deployed action. In other words, space and action are related. This is the reason why space in general is a wide concept, from vital space to infinite space, from quantum space to geographical barriers, from musical silence to perspectives in painting and so on; these are action related spaces, each depending on a specific field of studies. To Gilles Deleuze, all these spaces are folding and overlapping each other’s; they all exist together at the same time. Without delving into each concept, the focus here will be on the vital and the socio-political concepts of space.

How do they coexist nowadays? Is there a dilemma between them? What can Deleuze tell us more about the world today: should humanity fear an absence of space?

To answer these questions and to understand the real battle of the world, please read the full version of this post by clicking the link below:

https://www.academia.edu/43374126/Gilles_Deleuze_on_the_dilemma_of_space_and_the_world20200618_97724_pob6sn

Gilles Deleuze and his views on people

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For some, he was a complicated; for others he was an outstanding philosopher for his intertwined rich writings and his beliefs on people as individuals, capable of achieving the impossible. While other leftists prefers the social group over the individual (mostly communists do), Gilles Deleuze prevailed the importance of the individual in a world that is a web with no frontiers with endless domino and butterfly effects (Covid19 anyone?). The concept of the deleuzian space will be presented in a future post.

Consciousness is made of impressions and experiences. It is an ongoing process; one can’t achieve a set consciousness that doesn’t change. So, we go through lives affecting and being affected by the outside world and our strength is to be creators of new possibilities.

Here are some of his quotes that sum up his views on people.

A concept is a brick; it can be used to build a courthouse of reason. Or it can be thrown through the window.

Philosophy, art and science are not the mental objects of an objectified brain but the three aspects under which the brain becomes subject.

A creator is someone who creates their own impossibilities and thereby creates possibilities.

There’s no need to fear or hope, but only to look for new weapons.

The self is only a threshold, a door, a becoming between two possibilities.

Drunkenness as a triumphant of the plant in us.

To affirm is not to bear, carry or harness oneself to that which exists, but on the contrary to unburden, unharness and set free which lives.

To those who say escaping is not courageous, we answer: what is not escape and social investment at the same time? (With Felix Guattari).

 

 

The Idiot: Deleuze’s political concept to crack the system’s wall

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Gilles Deleuze’s analysis on politics is very accurate today. The reference of all actions and thoughts occurring in the daily reality are a product of desire. How does he define desire so that desire is responsible to fold and unfold reality?

Desire is not a void seeking satisfaction and pleasure. It is, according to Gilles Deleuze (who took it after Spinoza), energy, existing in all beings. As energy it can’t be contained and it will express itself in thoughts, ideas and actions.

In What is Philosophy? Deleuze and Guattari define philosophy and talk about the conceptual personage which has humanistic traits and produces concepts and philosophical systems. The conceptual personage is the Idiot. The word Idiot here is to be understood upon the Greek etymology, Idiotes, meaning the singular, the peculiar and the unique. Idiot doesn’t mean stupid. Therefore, every personage, every system is unique: The Cogito of Descartes, the Nietzsche’s Zarathustra, Dostoevsky’s Idiot etc., are all unique moments in life, events that pushed philosophy into becomings. Without them, philosophy would have remained the same.

On the other hand, the same deleuzian idiotic element is to be found in politics. According to Deleuze and Guattari, the world does not have much to offer to us since all its macro political systems failed to make humankind happy, safe and prosperous. Therefore, what is required now is to be Idiots, as in to be sensitive to all the movements of the desire, to be able to read the virtual (or the desire, again) about to actualize itself in a new event, creating some becomings in the political scene. Brexit is an idiot in a deleuzian sense (regardless the consequences of this decision); so is the Black lives matter. Revolutions, the emerging of new political parties and others are all changing phenomenons pushing politics into a new scene.

What’s left for us to do in a world that is being progressively more hostile?

The answer is the desire, to be the Idiot, the peculiar individual who cracks the big political and ideological system with desire’s line of flights.

The US riots: a mirror of the world

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What’s currently happening in the US happened in other big cities in the world in 2019. From Beirut to Tehran, to Paris and Alger,  to Catalonia and Latin America and so on, protesters screamed the same words:

All lives matter and dignity to people!

Better known as the Global Protest Wave of 2019 that continued through 2020, the US riots are a mirror of the world: same claims, same suffering, same hunger, same poverty, same injustice. Above all, governments are not trustworthy anymore. Most of world leaders are the 20th century product and mentality and we are in the 21st century, with different struggles and problems. The change needs to take place.

Economical injustice, poverty, weaken medical system (shown since the outbreak Covid19), climate change, corruption, cybernetics and the endless politicization of races and religions. Don’t expect the same leaders and traditional political parties to bring solutions. They are the ones responsible of the state of the world today.

Systems don’t last forever. Even the biggest empires in history ended up dismantled. Riots are, as the french philosopher Gilles Deleuze call it, “lines of flight” cracking the system’s wall from the inside. The reason behind it is that energy can’t be contained for too long. It will turn to anger and violence. Instead of facing the problems, most leaders are in denial, explaining these movements with interpretations and conspiracy theories showing their paranoid personality.

Despite unfortunate events in 2020 and thousands of deaths, maybe 2020 is the year to wake up and act. Maybe it is the year where we must know that we are all in this and that we need to back each others up. Maybe it is the year where we must see racial, gender and cultural differences as party outfits and deep inside we are all the same, humans. Maybe it is the year we must consider humanism and respect as the biggest values.

Fear leads to racism and fanaticism.

Fanaticism and racism lead to violence.

Violence leads to tragedy.

Maybe 2020 is the year to break this hateful cycle.

 

Going backward in 2020

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First, there is the pandemic, then the collective hysteria of shutting down borders and staying home, or not. Then came economical crisis. Then the world is trying to cope up with a harsh new reality. Then, here comes… Segregation!

I am not sure if there is a link between the peculiar pause of the world and racism. However I can’t help wondering how racism, fanaticism and culturalism still exist. People of my generation (I was born in the 20th century) thought we would have flying cars by now and a world with more justice. We really thought Hitler was dead to never be born again,. We also dreamed of having more of Martin Luther King and Gandhi. How romantic and stupid we were! How violent are the protests down the streets!

Racism, or any sort of dogmatism, is a question of identity. It is understandable that we fear for our identity. But we actually fear for the exterior aspect of it. Identity is more complex than the colour of a skin or any religious system.

Let’s dig deeper and I will talk about me: I am Lebanese, born during the civil war. I speak Arabic and I am also french educated. I learned Spanish in college and randomly Russian. I traveled and I have friends from different nationalities, religions, colours and cultural backgrounds. All these events and encounters added layers to my identity. So I am more what one can see of me and more complex than what is written on my identity card. I don’t fear for my identity because it goes beyond from any label. I am not one aspect and no the other. I am my experiences. And we are all very complex.  Can we stop human stupidity please?

I feel that 2020 is a long science-fiction movie!