3QD: Living in Bubbles

A crisis, by definition, has dramatic effects. It changes how we behave, where wealth goes, what policies we enact, and what we hope. But it also can bring into higher relief features of our lives that have not changed, but turn out to be more important than we realized.

Soap bubbles, by Jean Siméon Chardin (1733-4)

Like the fact that human life takes place in bubbles. This just means that humans like to form groups: somewhat closed networks of interactive relationships among a small number of relatives or friends whose principal job it is to care for one another. “Semi-permeable palliative social matrices” one could call them, but “bubbles” will work just fine. A bubble is an enclosed space, protected from the outside by a fragile boundary; all its points are equidistant from a center; it is almost invisible, but offers a hopeful shine when the light hits it right. All the same can be said of a circle of good friends. And all of human history has been built upon such bubbles.

More here…

About Huenemann

Curious about the ways humans use their minds and hearts to distract themselves from the meaninglessness of life.
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2 Responses to 3QD: Living in Bubbles

  1. Orla Schantz says:

    As you rightly point out Sloterdijk is especially relevant in conceptualizing this time of the plague. It would also be interesting for you – I think – to explore his ideas about asceticism from his “You Must Change Your Life” (by the way a quote from Rilke) which in its Greek form means “exercise”, “practise” “training” in the sense that Olympian athletes did every day to become good enough to compete. This is indeed what many states now require (demand) from their citizens: practise, train and master the new techniques of corona-living. Many have found it quite refreshing to not having to perform, compete and one-up the others in the work-place. It is also a form of religion in Sloterdijk’s sense of “systems of training”. Anyway, I just wanted you to know how much I enjoy your small essays and our shared admiration for Sloterdijk’s incredible learning and output. I have ben trying to find out whether he has written anything about the corona-virus. I haven’t seen anything in German yet. It would be a favorite topic for him to explore, I would think.


  2. Huenemann says:

    Thanks so much for your comment. I did explore “You Must Change Your Life” a little in the following post, but of course there remains much more to be said! https://huenemanniac.com/2018/06/05/the-challenge-of-being-vertical/


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