Leapdragon 2016 - Aron Hsiao Was Here

In the center of a compressing hour  §

If liberation is imagined not just to be freedom-to but also freedom-from, one of the complications of life in a disciplinary society is the way in which it problematizes liberation by pitting these two against each other not just at the external, coercive level of sanctions but internally at the level of phenomenology.

Increasing discipline correlates precisely with increasing responsibility; the more free one is to move about and act, the more one is forced to take on the unhappy role of the overseer and executioner of dear ideas and heartfelt impulses.

Non-imprisonment becomes something of a threat. The less one is shackled, the less one is cognitively comfortable. Only in a concrete cell can one think clearly. Of course, being able to do so doesn’t provide any advantage, since there are few ways to act physically or socially while inside said cell.

I suppose it’s a truism by now that “freedom” makes for unproductive idiots. It certainly doesn’t make for “happiness” any more than imprisonment does, if one takes the giant yet often implicit rhetorical leap of drawing a line between it and “liberation,” whose positive connotation saves us the trouble of having to conjure with denotative entanglements at this point.

Yeah, it’s all nonsense.

I’ll just be a sociologist and count how many people use blue sheets vs. how many people use red sheets via a survey, and then muse about the implications of these numbers for workers in the blue and red dye industries and whether or not this will affect their selection of cantaloupes, between big cantaloupes on the one hand, and small cantaloupes on the other…