I just read this over at TAC. (Yes, I read TAC. Sue me. I read left rags, right rags, center rags, and just plain rags.)
“[W]hen he writes in The Scent of Time that ‘The decay of time goes hand in hand with the rise of mass society and increasing uniformity,’ he’s not arguing that things are speeding up or accelerating in the modern world, but that time itself—a medium in which to pause, tarry, contemplate, and differentiate one thing from another—is being exchanged for instantaneousness.”
Like, OMG. I just, just wrote this the other day, right here, in different words. And it’s important. This is not some stray thought. And apparently this thinker thinks it’s important, too. A kindred spirit. How do I not know of and/or how have I never heard of Byung-Chul Han?
Is this what happens when you leave academics behind? You miss out on important things that happen after you left? Or has he been around forever and I just never knew because no academics know much of anything outside of a very narrow vertical any longer? Must find out. Must get his books and find out. I’m excited.
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Meanwhile, I have finally caved to friendly pressure from all sides and will begin studying taekwondo on Monday.
This goes very much against the grain. I am already quaking in my boots. But dammit it is time I start doing things that go against my grain voluntarily once again. Because the biggest thing I’ve learned in 42 years of living is this:
You can either do things that go against your grain voluntarily, and benefit, or you can refuse and wait until the world forces you to go against your grain as a kind of penalty. Either way, you will do things that are outside your comfort zone. But if you do them yourself, things get better. If you wait until the world provides you with things that are outside your comfort zone, it is almost always because things have gotten worse.
So your best bet is to continually push yourself into new areas, which opens new opportunities, rather than waiting until the world pushes you into new areas as consequences of your inaction.
I know better than the way that I’ve been living. I know better but it’s been too long anyway. Call this a step of which only I know the significance.