Facing the Planetary?

William E. Connolly’s Facing the Planetary: Entangled Humanism and the Politics of Swarming gathers important insights into the contemporary ecological politics of belonging, although their implications are not fully assessed.

This book builds on Connolly’s large body of previous works. In it, Connolly assesses the Continue reading “Facing the Planetary?”


Can Mr. Zuckerberg’s Global Community Be Built?

 ‘If you build it, they will come’, is a phrase I remember from pop culture, Wayne’s World, not its original Field of Dreams. Like all sayings, it is not wholly true, even false, but contains the scent of truth.

Yesterday, Mark Zuckerberg posted on Facebook, what is being called a “manifesto” titled, ‘Building Global Community’. In it, he outlines his vision of Facebook reformed for a new era of turmoil, as the social media scaffolding of a global community. Asking the question, ‘are we building the world we want?’, his answer, Continue reading “Can Mr. Zuckerberg’s Global Community Be Built?”

Myopic Global Futures Past at Davos

The question of belonging has emerged as a central concern of our times, but it entails the question of global as well as national belonging. The question of belonging somewhere in the world necessarily raises the question of belonging as a part of the world, not apart from it. The 2017 World Economic Forum fumbled this question. Although it was asked, it went wildly unanswered.

The forum, on the whole, was a wash, adding nothing new, but neither conceding globalist pretences. Over the past few days, Continue reading “Myopic Global Futures Past at Davos”

Encounter II & III: Kwame Anthony Appiah

Professor Appiah’s masterful Reith Lectures are amounting to a question, one the late Jacques Derrida put best: what is the meaning of “living together well”? Like his first lecture on religion, Appiah’s second and third lectures on the nation and race raise this question, but in a preliminary way, leaving the question itself untouched. In each lecture he argues these ideas are incoherent and he suggests we might find more open and less prejudicial ways of living together, without saying much about what that entails, beyond the vague notion that, as he puts it at one point, we can work it out.

Continue reading “Encounter II & III: Kwame Anthony Appiah”

The Beyond Babel Project: Opening Statement

The Beyond Babel Project aims to publish and curate thought concerning the idea of a global society in an era of global disorder. It will mostly host my own thought, as I work on a larger project on this topic, but I will also be inviting a number of guest contributions, be accepting content, and will gather content on this topic posted elsewhere, as it emerges. In this opening statement, I want to set out the goals and justifications for this project.

The project has two major goals. 1, to gather the disparate currents of thought concerning the idea of a global society. If there is a big question behind this project, it is: what does it mean to form a community of all humankind? What does it mean for humankind to be together, as ‘one’, and not apart? Does that mean going beyond cultural incomprehensions, or beyond a diversity of goals and ideals, or does it mean cosmopolitan solidarity? The vision of human unity and division is conceived in diverse ways that are scattered across theory and practice. Continue reading “The Beyond Babel Project: Opening Statement”