Rough Theory

Theory In The Rough

Monthly Archives: December 2006

Dialectic and Dialogue

While I’m stealing thoughts from other blogs, I just wanted to draw attention to this lovely characterisation of philosophy, from Sinthome at Larval Subjects:

Philosophy has been the ongoing dialectic between the philosopher and the sophist, where the sophist demonstrates the manner in which the confident philosopher nonetheless falls prey to undemonstrated claims and assumptions, and the philosopher responds to the sophist, taking these assumptions into account and showing how truth is possible within their scope. For instance, today we find ourselves embroiled in how a pure beginning is possible, given that thought, knowledge, and subjectivity is thoroughly pervaded by culture which cannot itself be grounded. That’s the sophists position, advanced by thinkers such as Lyotard, Derrida, Foucault, Levi-Strauss, Quine, Davidson, Rorty, sometimes Heidegger, and others. The philosopher that would respond to this has not yet arisen, though there are promising glimmers in Deleuze and Badiou.

The context for this comment, in a “writ large” sense, is a sprawling blog brawl over the political significance of religious fundamentalism, into which I’ve occasionally been tossing somewhat irrelevant and over-abstract theoretical points… ;-P In the post that contains the quoted passage, Sinthome reworks one of my theoretical interventions in a much more coherent and precise way than I originally formulated it, and then moves far beyond my gestural starting point, putting forward a vision – a proposal? – for a philosophical and political culture in which “one’s grounds be grounds that the other too can discover for themselves” – a vision I wholeheartedly embrace.

I need more time to work out what I think about where Sinthome has taken this at a more detailed level (and, for that matter, how committed I want to be to my own original comment, as I was writing it, in a sense, to ease myself into thinking through the religious implications of the theoretical framework we’ve been roadtesting for the past several weeks…). I thought, though, that there was something very beautiful in Sinthome’s formulation – even if I later decide I want to qualify this image of the history of philosophy (at present, I find myself drawn to the formulation, even though my historicist impulses are straining mightily to kick in)… ;-P For the moment, I’ll rest with just pointing to the discussion, for those interested…

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We Hold These Truths to Be Historical…

The always wonderful Language Log has a post up today that might be of interest to readers who have been tracking the reading group foray into the debate between Chomsky, Hauser & Fitch and Pinker & Jackendoff. Marc Hauser has written a recent work on the relationship between morality and the linguistic faculty, titled Moral Minds: How Nature Designed Our Universal Sense of Right and Wrong. Language Log quotes Hauser from a recent interview:

I argue that we are endowed with a moral faculty that delivers judgments of right and wrong based on unconsciously operative and inaccessible principles of action. The theory posits a universal moral grammar, built into the brains of all humans. The grammar is a set of principles that operate on the basis of the causes and consequences of action. Thus, in the same way that we are endowed with a language faculty that consists of a universal toolkit for building possible languages, we are also endowed with a moral faculty that consists of a universal toolkit for building possible moral systems.

By grammar I simply mean a set of principles or computations for generating judgments of right and wrong. These principles are unconscious and inaccessible. What I mean by unconscious is different from the Freudian unconscious. It is not only that we make moral judgments intuitively, and without consciously reflecting upon the principles, but that even if we tried to uncover those principles we wouldn’t be able to, as they are tucked away in the mind’s library of knowledge. Access comes from deep, scholarly investigation.

The full Language Log post places Hauser’s work in a broader intellectual and historical context – well worth a read.

On a personal level, I’m always interested in how tempting it clearly is for people to try to ground specific political and ethical ideals this way. In this week’s reading group discussion, for those who were there, this is the kind of thing I was referring to when I mentioned “making the jump to nature” as a common strategy for trying to ground a standpoint of critique – arguing that your ideals derive from some ahistorical source like language, human physiology, experience of the natural environment, etc. This is a surprisingly common strategy – surprising in the sense that the object of analysis – the specific political/ethical ideals theorists claim to derive from this approach – are often demonstrably historically specific.

Critical theorists like Habermas (who also tries to ground democratic values in language – although via the speech act tradition, rather than the Chomskyan one) at least recognise that this poses a theoretical problem, and therefore explicitly try to address how ideals that derive from something historically invariant, should nevertheless come to be expressed explicitly only very recently in historical time. Many theorists, however, don’t seem to recognise that this kind of jump to nature implies the need for any kind of supplemental historical theory, and therefore leave hanging the question of why no one became aware of specific ideals at some earlier point in time. (Personally, I prefer to avoid the whole problem by providing an historically specific explanation for historically specific ideals, but that’s another matter…)

I haven’t read Hauser’s work, of course, and he may well focus only on ideals or values that have a more transhistorical resonance. On this blog, I concentrate on understanding the rise and perpetuation of historically-specific political and ethical ideals because I am specifically trying to understand what is distinctive about recent history. Occasionally – probably because I don’t always contextualise the motives for my work clearly enough – my project gets interpreted more broadly, as though I’m making a strong ontological claim about the relative importance of, say, socialisation versus natural endowment – as though I’m intervening in a direct way into a kind of nature-nurture debate. I should perhaps take this opportunity to clarify that I see nature-nurture style debates as beside the point for my work: I have no difficulty being open to the concept that our forms of perception and thought might also be determined – perhaps even predominantly determined – by factors that are not historically or socially specific.

My difficulty arises only when someone tries to explain phenomena that are demonstrably socially and historically specific, with reference to purported causal factors that themselves are not… I have no specific knowledge of whether Hauser does this – although, given that the Language Log describes his work as “a Chomskyean interpretation of (some aspects of) John Rawls’ 1971 A Theory of Justice“, I suspect there is at least a risk that he does… Perhaps the reading group will take a look at some future point…

At Least I’m Consistent…

My day might have had a serene beginning, but it went rapidly downhill from there… ;-P Trying to regain focus this evening, I stumbled across some rather old notes I had taken, and was struck (again, evidently…) by a quotation from William Morris’ A Dream of John Ball:

I pondered all these things… how men fight and lose the battle, and the thing that they fought for comes about in spite of their defeat, and when it comes turns out not to be what they meant, and other men have to fight for what they meant under another name…

In my notes I glossed this quotation: Within a social context that shapes political struggle into this form, the goal of critical theory is to make possible a different kind of politics – one in which progressive social movements understand their own context well enough to orient political practice to genuinely emancipatory goals. In a dynamic social context, only an analysis of dynamic structures can help social movements learn to fight for what they mean – instead of discovering, after the fact, that they were the unwitting agents of domination in this dynamic form.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotted Mind

So I was in my favourite coffee shop this morning – not writing this time, but trying to puzzle my way through a somewhat intricate theoretical argument. Reading complex texts, for me, involves something like a miniature version of the process I go through when I write: I step back from the text frequently to rotate concepts around in my mind, trying to get a better feel for their contours and for how they fit together with other concepts, whether from the text I’m reading, or from other theoretical approaches. I keep doing this until I get a solid grasp for something like the generative principles of an approach. The ideal (which I rarely reach) is to get the sort of inside-out view of a theoretical approach that allows me to inhabit it sufficiently to understand how the approach would address particular questions – whether the text, in practice, addresses those questions or not.

While I’m rotating concepts around in this way, I’m very disconnected from what is happening around me. Part of me is aware of my surroundings on some level – if needed, I can sort of replay what’s been happening while I was thinking about something else, but this takes a bit of time to do, and has the shadowy quality of a half-recalled memory. Normally, this doesn’t particularly matter, because I don’t generally read complex texts in settings where I would need to be aware of anything else.

Today, though, I was gazing into nowhere in this coffee shop and, as I resolved the concept I had been working on and slowly woke back up to my environment, I realised that someone I knew was watching me. I started fumbling for memories of how long this might have been going on, and wasn’t reassured by what I could dimly recall… ;-P Embarrassed, I began mumbling something about having been in another world, when they interrupted with: “You look very serene and meditative – I wish I could be like that…” I find this interpretation for some reason incredibly funny… Maybe it’s the implied extrapolation from transient action to persistent being? At any rate… back to reading – in a more… private setting…

Positive Reinforcement

I’ve been amused recently, watching the various things we do refracted into our son’s interactions and play. One conclusion I’ve drawn is that we’ve perhaps overdone the chorus of praise that tends to follow pretty much any action more ambitious than walking… When my son plays independently, he punctuates his own play with a steady chant of things like “well done!” and “great!” – I think he believes they’re sort of an all-purpose conjunction… And in the evenings, when I finish whatever work I’ve brought home, he has taken to wandering over, patting me on the shoulder and saying, “Good job!”

No Comment

Just a quick note that I’ve temporarily switched on a slightly stronger spam protection measure, as I’m getting somewhat tired of checking into the site, and discovering ads for products (and, in some cases, practices…) that seem somewhat anatomically pointless, from my perspective…

I’ll rig up something less intrusive when I have a bit more time but, for the moment, you may find your first comment gets trapped in the moderation queue until I approve it. In theory, this should affect only the first comment you make – once that comment is approved, all other comments should go through as normal. You all know, of course, what I think about the relationship between theory and practice… ;-P

Apologies in advance for any annoyance…

Hegel on the Beach

Lovely reading group meeting today – except that I talked too much – enough that my throat is now actually sore… The discussion revolved mainly around the issue of standpoints of critique – why the notion of a standpoint is particularly important for secular critical theories, why certain theoretical approaches still rely on tacit concepts of nature or on metaphyical concepts to ground their critical standpoints, and how much, specifically, a critical standpoint should (or can) attempt to explain… We spilled well and truly beyond our brief (which was only to discuss the remainder of Derrida’s Limited Inc) – which is one of the reasons I talked so much, as I was the proxy voice in this discussion for a sweeping tradition of German critical theory (we’ll see whether this comes back to haunt me when the group actually reads some of this material themselves). LMagee will introduce the formal online discussion at some point in the near future.

For those wondering whether the reading group would now go into hiatus with the summer holidays approaching, the answer is no: we will be meeting next week for one final gesture at cognitive science before people scatter for the holidays. As mentioned previously, we’ll look at Lakoff’s Metaphors We Live By, and then at the recent debate between Pinker and Lakoff. LMagee intends to toss my gestural comments on Lakoff’s political writings into the mix, as well (perhaps to see how I presently compare with this past iteration of myself… ;-P).

LMagee and I will then be left to our own devices in Melbourne’s January heat, and have decided that a bit of Hegel on the beach might be nice. We’ll be working our way through Phenomenology of Spirit, on some random and eratic schedule to be determined, no doubt, by how successfully we resist a range of summer temptations…

Things I Shouldn’t Read While Grading II

A good toss down the stairwell sets the grading curve.I finished most of my marking for this term weeks ago, but a stack of late essays is still staring balefully at me, while insistent student emails keep peppering my inbox: when, they all want to know, will I mark the essays that came in after the end of the term? It is in this mood that I contemplate the marking recommendations provided by Concurring Opinions (via Organizations and Markets). While designed with exams in mind, I believe I can see some potential to modify this technique for essays…

Further nuances of this marking system, including the management of those difficult essays that span two steps, and the treatment of outlier essays that fall far from the main pack, are discussed in full detail in the Concurring Opinions article.

[Note: image @2006 Daniel J. Solove, Concurring Opinions.]

Vertigo

Okay, in the last round of the conversation between this blog and Larval Subjects, we discussed (and, I think, agreed?) that the rejection of subject-object dualism carries some very specific logical implications for philosophical argument. As is usually the case, Sinthome expressed my argument far better than I had done:

It seems to me that what N.Pepperell is groping for is the expression “performative contradiction”. That is, in suggesting that there is a conflict between the content of my post and the form of my post, the suggestion seems to be that at the level of content, the ontological claims being advanced say one thing, while the form in which these claims are advanced say quite another. It would be here that all the issues of self-reflexivity emerge, for if my claims about individuation hit the mark, then 1) an onto-epistemological theory of individuation must account for how it itself came to be individuated. To put this point a bit differently, my meditations on these issues perhaps suffer the old joke of a man alone in a room asked by a passing traveller whether anyone is there and responding “no”, thereby missing the obvious fact that he is there. I am “counting myself out” of the very thing I am talking about, and thus suggesting a transcendence that the content of my post forbids. 2) The nature of critique with regard to other epistemologies and ontologies is significantly transformed as one can no longer say that they are simply mistaken– which would simply be another variant of the subject/object divide, i.e., the thesis that the world has been erroneously represented –but must instead tell some sort of story as to how these onto-epistemologies came to be individuated.

And:

If I am understanding N.P. correctly, then s/he is referring to the habit of thought that continues to evaluate things other than itself in terms of the subject/object divide, while nonetheless having purported to reject this representational conception of the world. Thus, for instance, Deleuze argues that we must shift from a theory of knowledge to a theory of learning throughout Difference and Repetition, and must examine things in terms of how they come to be individuated or produced rather than how they are to be truly represented, and then proceeds to denounce Hegel, Kant, Plato, and others as getting it wrong without applying these very principles to their thought.

If we can agree, at least provisionally, on the positions outlined above, now it’s time to move on to the difficult questions…

I’ll say at the outset that, because I’ve generally struggled to achieve a shared recognition of the points above, I don’t believe I’ve ever actually managed to get to a point in a discussion where I move into what I’m about to discuss: it’s only once you acknowledge the logical implications for philosophical argument of rejecting subject-object dualism that the following questions then open up more clearly for analysis. Where I at least had some practice failing to communicate what we’ve been discussing over the past few days, I lack even that kind of thwarted experience for discussing the following issues. This means I will now be introducing ideas that have not been tested in any meaningful way – the chances of my overlooking something quite basic are therefore very high. The best suggestion I can make is that readers focus more on the strategy of the positions I sketch below, than on my nascent argument – the important thing is the questions I’m trying to answer – questions that should not themselves be undermined by the inadequacies of my gestures toward an answer.

Two reactions expressed during our last discussion point the way, I think, to where we must next move.

The first was Sinthome’s (in my experience quite normal) reaction to recoil from the perceived implications of this theoretical approach. Sinthome has discussed this reaction previously, and expressed it particularly eloquently in one of the earliest posts on the blog:

The concept of immanence is ultimately very simple, yet it proves very difficult to accept in its implications. To affirm immanence is to affirm that the world is sufficient unto itself, that we need not refer to anything outside of the world to explain the world such as forms, essences, or God, that the world contains its own principles of genesis. As Laplace responded to Napoleon when asked about the role of God in the new physics, “Je n’ai pas besoin de cette hypoth├Ęse”. “I have no need of this hypothesis.” What could be more beautiful and affirmative than this simple quip? To affirm immanence is to affirm the world as it gives itself and to deny any transcendent terms that might shackle the world to what a putrifying and decaying subject believes the world ought to be. Those who affirm immanence affirm the existent and its potentialities.

The immediate corollary of immanence is the consequence that “the whole is not” or that there is no whole. This is an ontological rather than epistemological thesis. Suppose we claim that the whole is. What are the conditions under which the whole would be possible? In order that there be a whole, it would be necessary that there be some point outside the whole through which the whole could be surveyed like an astronaut might survey the planet earth. But such a point of survey would be transcendent to the whole or world. Yet we have already affirmed that the world is immanent. Therefore such a point of transcendence does not exist.

Such is the rejoinder to Descartes’ proof for the existence of God….

Despite the joyous and affirmative nature of the concept of immanence (both as a thesis about the world and about situations) there is nonetheless a horror of immanence that even the greatest champions of immanence experience. If immanence is horrifying, then this is because it undermines our ability to refer to a transcendent standard or order that would tell us how to be, how to think, how to desire, and so on. That is, the affirmation of immanence is also the affirmation that “the Other does not exist” (that there is no transcendent rule or standard), or that “there is no Other of the Other” (that there is no point of view from the outside), or that “there is no metalanguage”….

My question, then, is not simply that of how we might assert immanence, but rather how we might affirm all of the anxiety provoking consequences that follow from our assertion of immanence, or the manner in which we come to be cast adrift in the ocean of immanence, without any ultimate compass. Or yet again, how we can endure affirming difference, divergence, and incompossibility so as to find a little order in the world and no longer look to authority, the father, or God as the guarantee of our being.

Sinthome’s concern is that the collapse of subject-object dualism – the surrender of the ability to anchor our being and our ideals in a timeless objectivity – sets us adrift. How do we understand the possibility of ethics, of morality, of meaning when the world is viewed in such a way? If timeless objectivity doesn’t exist, do we need to invent it, in fantastical form?

Nick then raises the further question of whether and how we might be able to relate this altered concept of validity to more conventional understandings of truth claims.

While I want to keep Nick’s question clearly in view, I won’t attempt to address it below. I can say briefly that I suspect there is a way to position a more conventional notion of truth – of scientific truth, for example – within the sort of theoretical approach we all seem to be attempting to develop, by positioning this conventional notion as a kind of socially plausible Newtonian approximation – as a socially-generated ideal sufficient for a very wide array of practical purposes within our shared social context, but which nevertheless falls down when we try to reflect on specific kinds of problems that don’t often arise in everyday experience. In other words, I suspect it is possible to embed conventional understandings of truth within a more overarching theoretical framework. Since I haven’t walked this talk, though, this statement can at best be taken as a sort of tenuous theoretical promissory note…

Sinthome’s question I can at least attempt to address in a very preliminary and schematic way. I fear that my response will be too mundane and too basic… I should note also that my intention is obviously not to “answer” the question, but to suggest a few lines of enquiry that might make it possible for us to work toward a better framework for thinking about these issues.

My impulse is to say that much of the sensation of vertigo experienced when thinking about immanence derives from the common practice of (as discussed in the last round of this exchange) asserting the non-existence of timeless objectivity, without self-reflexively explaining the historical factors that have made this a plausible conclusion – from, in other words, making rather abstract claims about our embeddedness in “context”, without unfolding a determinate analysis of the particular context in which we happen to find ourselves embedded. It is for this reason, as well as for sheer logical coherence, that I think it is so important not to fall into the kind of performative contradiction that is, unfortunately, rampant when these issues are discussed.

My own approach to thinking about our context has been to try to think very carefully (almost certainly not carefully enough, and I would benefit greatly from the kind of critical scrutiny these sorts of conversations can provide) about the historical distinctiveness of “modernity” – an investigation that has led me to focus on how we understand capitalism as an element of our global social context in the modern period. If anyone has read back through the older entries in this blog, they will have seen me make at least gestural rejections of common ways of understanding capitalism – I tend not to be very happy, for example, with attempts to define capitalism in terms of class domination, in terms of the market or in terms of core and periphery. While these are to some degree empirical matters, the reason I engage in these skirmishes is because I understand them to have philosophical stakes: capitalism is, I suspect, our closest candidate for an unconscious global social relation (unconscious in the sense that it has arisen and, in spite of a great deal of conjunctural planning carried out en route, is still largely sustained via social practices that are not consciously seeking to bring the overarching system into being). I further suspect that the unconscious – the alienated – nature of this social relation may be particularly important in understanding certain aspects of the forms of perception and thought associated with capitalist history, but this point is far too complex for me to cover even gesturally here…

Very, very gesturally, I would suggest that it seems potentially useful – particularly for understanding the historical emergence and spread of particular kinds of political ideals and perceptions of the natural world – to reflect on what is historically distinctive about capitalism. And I do not regard attempts to understand capitalism in terms of class relations, distributional institutions such as the market, or core-periphery relations, as the best ways into what is historically distinct about this global social relation. Perversely, I also tend not to think of capitalism primarily as a form of economy – in the conventional sense where an “economy” is understood as a system for producing and distributing material goods. Capitalism is also a system of production and distribution, but if we restrict our analysis to this dimension of our social lives, my sense is that we risk naturalising some things that could productively be problematised. I don’t want to dig myself too deeply into the trenches here – and, in any event, am probably not ready to do so. But I have found it most productive to try to think of capitalism in terms of a global logic of practice, as a non-linear historical trajectory that is only very, very loosely coupled to the specific array of institutions that reproduce that trajectory at any given moment in time. Like the Lacanian notion of desire, or the Hegelian notion of essence (this is, of course, how I would seek to historicise and embed these concepts – and is also why I asked Sinthome, some weeks back, how Sinthome understands the parallels between Marx’s description of “value” and Lacan’s description of “desire”), my understanding of capitalism is as a social relation – an unconscious human creation, a logic of practice – that never resides separately from a concrete network of institutions and practices, but is capable over time of discarding any particular network of institutions and practices and moving restlessly on to a new concrete configuration, which can nevertheless still meaningfully be characterised as “capitalist” because the underlying historical trajectory continues to be reproduced.

This is of course much too condensed, and also may not be “true”… ;-P Even in this primitive form, though, perhaps certain implications of this definition might be visible? Such an approach provides, I think, a way for us to begin to understand how… non-revolutionary so many revolutionary movements have been: revolutionary practice has generally been targeted at some specific constellation of concrete social institutions (or people…), misrecognising that it is quite possible to destroy any number of concrete institutions while retaining “capitalism”, as long as the underlying logic of practice remains untouched. At the same time, it might provide a way to begin to understand that the potential for change within our social context is actually quite vast – capitalism is compatible with many concrete social arrangements, some much more humane than others…

But I’m becoming too painfully aware of how ridiculous this likely sounds, outlined in this kind of sketchy and ungrounded way here…

To get back to the question of subject-object dualism and relativism: from my perspective of at least trying to think about the implications of a global social relation, many approaches that attempt to embed subjectivity in context, express a vision of context that is too parochial – too local – too concrete. Parochial, local and concrete contexts of course do exist – in attempting to understand capitalism as a global social relation, I am not siding with theoretical approaches that posit the obliteration of the local or the concrete (among other things, if you view the underlying logic of practice as always necessarily inseparable from some concrete institutional expression, it makes no sense to talk about the obliteration of the local – although it can and does make sense to analyse the ways in which local contexts come to be shaped by their dual role, as both locally relevant in specific ways, and as modes of expression of a more global social relation).

But approaches that see context only as a constellation of concrete institutional structures and particular practices, and miss the ways in which these institutional structures and practices might also contribute to replicating a more global logic of practice, often fall prey (as, for example, Rorty does) to fractionalising human communities into mutually incomprehensible social groups with incommensurable values. My response would be that, whatever unique and incommensurable experiences we might have, one of the strange, unintentional historical results of the emergence and perpetuation of capitalism is to provide a (very, very abstract) level of social experience that we all also share. From the point of view of individual experience, this shared level of socialisation is arguably no more or less important than the unique experiences that also shape each of us. However, from a philosophical and historical point of view, the existence of even a very thin slice of shared socialisation might have dramatic implications – among other things, for understanding the historical plausibility of the rise of particular values and ways of perceiving and orienting ourselves toward the social and natural worlds – for grasping the rise, for example, of the scientific project of seeking out what seems “universal” in human or physical nature, or for making sense of the historical emergence of particular kinds of political ideals (without, for example, resorting to the faux historicism of a Habermasian approach, that operates essentially as a claim about the historical realisation of a natural potential) etc. I realise all of this is terribly undercooked – I am just trying here to gesture at what might be the “cash value” of some of the otherwise odd elements of my theoretical approach…

I suspect, as I mentioned above, that we might be able to get from this approach at least to the point where we can defend the claim that we might share a sufficient reservoir of common social experience that we do not need to fear the kind of relativism that would arise if we understood ourselves to be embedded in contexts that have no connection with one another. We can, I suspect, at least get this approach to the point that we could defend the Habermasian-style claim that we are socialised into the ability to understand appeals to particular ideals of truth, goodness and authenticity.

This is not a small thing, I think, but understanding an appeal to a particular ideal, and agreeing with the substance of that appeal, are different things. We might be able to explain the rise of particular kinds of social movements – and perhaps also the receptiveness to the ideals those movements express – via such an approach. The question remains whether we might be able to go beyond this a bit – to point, for example, to any consequences that might arise for movements that deny the potential to realise specific forms of freedom, when those movements are nevertheless socialised into an environment that constantly whispers that such potentials exist. This is one of the problems I’m trying to work on now, in working through Adorno’s quite critical appropriation of Freud. Adorno argues, in effect, that there is a psychological cost to asserting unnecessary domination, in a context where it is no longer plausible to regard a particular form of domination as doxic – a cost that manifests itself in a brittle psychological rigidity and in collective expressions of rage…

But this is far, far too much for this kind of post… I’ve likely succeeded only in making my current stab at this issue look a bit ridiculous… And I may still have left it unclear why I believe – leaving aside all my various specifics about the context in which we reside, all of which may simply be a false start – that an approach that begins with an analysis of a specific context, rather than with claims about context as such, should reduce the sensation of vertigo – if only by perhaps reassuring us that we might well have some common points of reference, even if those reference points cannot be understood as timeless and universal. My position would be that, for most practical purposes, our own immanence does not leave us as unmoored as it seems, when we approach this problem from too abstract a direction…

Email Downtime

Just a quick note that I’ve just received a notice that the university email will be down from 5 p.m. today, and throughout the weekend. Anyone who needs to reach me over the weekend should instead use my personal address, linked off my name above.