1. We are a community of readers. Join us!

    Readup is a social reading platform. No ads. No distractions. No liking or upvotes. We help you pay attention to what matters: reading.

    Aeon | Dan Nixon | 12/7/20 | 20 min
    6 reads9 comments
    10
    Aeon
    6 reads
    10
    You must read the article before you can post or reply.
    • bill
      Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
      1 month ago

      Amazing. If anybody wants a deep dive (every time I use that expression I think about @deephdave lol) I suggest David Abram’s book Spell of the Sensuous which has several wonderful chapters teasing apart the differences between Merleau-Ponty and Husserl’s perspectives on phenomenology with a focus on ecology and environmental conservation. This article, awesomely, ties everything to screen use and the attention economy. Brilliant.

      My house doesn’t have heat and so I need to spend at least an hour a day gathering and organizing wood in order to stay alive in freezing temperatures. I don’t think that I’m exaggerating when I say that it’s about more than just comfort. It’s survival. Anyway, it’s a wonderful way to break from the screen and reconnect with my body. I love the feel of the wood in my hands, the way it looks, the way it smells. No two pieces are the same. And there are so many things a piece of wood can be - strangely shaped, dry or not dry, aged, diseased, home for critters, it’s just totally endless. And I have spent so much time in the last few years thinking about trees that I keep thinking I will exhaust my fascination with the topic, but, no, not even close - it just keeps getting deeper and deeper. I think it’s because it’s not my brain responding to the wood, it’s my body. Way way way inside me is a clear, unmissable message: you and this wood are actually the same thing.

      1. Update (12/11/2020):

        Clarification: I have two wood stoves! So it’s wrong to say “my house doesn’t have heat.” I love my heat lol

      • Karenz
        Scribe
        1 month ago

        Bill, this was my favorite part of this article, “...letting go of cognitive or biological hierarchies in favor of a system of lateral relations between us and other life forms...” Wow, does that open up our connectedness. Riding horses really taught me that because I had to form a relationship with the horse for her to accept me as a rider not just a passenger. Trees are such a powerful presence. Their energy is palpable. What a great article!!

        • bill
          Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
          1 month ago

          a system of lateral relations between us and other life forms

          👍👍

    • deephdave
      Top reader this weekReading streakScout
      1 month ago

      Awareness, Awareness, Awareness! The breath becomes the anchor to the present moment.

      Perhaps even more striking for me, though, has been the realisation that I’m often simply unaware of my body altogether. It’s as though, when I enter into a digital ‘space’, my body as good as disappears. This perhaps explains why I’ve always found the narrative of online platforms competing to maximise and monetise ‘eyeballs on screens’ to be vaguely unsettling. The problem is not just that this paints a totally mechanistic picture of the human organism: it’s also that this disembodied picture aligns all too well with how it actually feels to be totally absorbed in some ‘content’ on my phone for 30 minutes at a stretch.

      • Pegeen
        Reading streak
        1 month ago

        Great find! So much meat on this bone! I feel full!

        • bill
          Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
          1 month ago

          So much meat on this bone!

          I so agree!! 👏

    • Plum1 month ago

      “It means staying alive to the depth and quality of our interactions with others, noticing how intimacy depends upon our participation in a shared perceptual world in which our lived bodies ‘show up’. We must interrogate for ourselves which technologies genuinely support this kind of connection and help us inhabit a shared world, rather than one in which we each see vastly different realities.” Someday....

    • jeff
      Scribe
      1 month ago

      Excellent article! Love the in-depth background on the philosophy and how it applies to issues with technology and political polarization. We can't fix anything unless we're grounded! The author ties it all together very nicely.

    • Pegeen
      Reading streak
      1 month ago

      An absolute 10, a must read! I made so many notes as to be overwhelmed in how to share the brilliance of Merleau-Ponty, a philosopher I never heard of! I agree 100% with the concept of embodied living, makes SO much sense to me. Really loved this piece.