Good Point, Brian Massumi

by scholastress

There is a certain hubris to the notion that a mere academic writer is actually inventing. But the hubris is more than tempered by the self-evident modesty of the returns. So why not hang up the academic hat of critical self-seriousness, set aside the intemperate arrogance of debunking- and enjoy? If you don’t enjoy concepts and writing and don’t feel that when you write you are adding something to the world, if only the enjoyment itself, and that by adding that ounce of positive experience to the world you are affirming it, celebrating its potential, tending its growth, in however small a way, however really abstractly- well, just hang it up. It is not that critique is wrong. As usual, it is not a question of right and wrong- nothing important ever is. Rather is its a question of dosage. It is simply that when you are busy critiquing you are less busy augmenting. You are that much less less fostering. There are times when debunking is necessary. But, if applied in a blanket manner, adopted as a general operating principle, it is counterproductive. Foster or debunk. It is a strategic question. Like all strategic questions, it is basically a question of timing and proportion. Nothing to do with morals or moralizing. Just pragmatic.

– Brian Massumi, Parables of the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation, p. 13.

Advertisements