Information Diet 008

Adam Neely released a pretty interesting video going through the expenses of a band going on tour – not a new genre, but as always I find Neely insightful and interesting.
Dustin Illingworth reviews Murnane’s latest final book in the NYT – Illingworth is always reading, but especially so on Murnane.
This conversation between Terry Eagleton and Jessica Swoboda in the Point Mag. Here’s a comment that immediately stood out to me from Eagleton, on finding his voice:

“When I started out, my writing was what I call “YMI,” meaning Young Male Intellectual. All very high-minded. And then for various reasons, I found my own voice. That took a long time, but I began to relax more and experiment more and found my own element. But I had to unlearn a lot of the styles, habits and forms of academic address while remaining within the limits of academia.”

I’m a little late to the piece, but Scorcese remembering Federico Fellini in Harper’s Magazine is some of the best writing on cinema you’re likely to find.
John Coulhart has a nice write up of some of Jean Cocteau’s drawings inspired by HP Lovecraft on his blog.

It feels like a slow week for new stuff. Like every one else, I’ve been watching the horror show that is the news coming out of the US, out of the Australian election, out of Ukraine, out of everywhere it seems.

I’m still between Negri and Shaw’s books on Cartesian politics. My project idea is taking a bit of a turn because of them, so I’m going a bit more slowly than I’d normally like for academic reading.

I’ve been listening to the new Rammstein album a lot, and revisiting much of their back catalogue. The new one is good, (I mean, it’s a Rammstein album, how bad could it be?), but the thing that I’m really into is their videos. This is a band that’s always been theatrically minded, with high ambitions for their entire production. It’s so great seeing what they’re doing now that they have the resources to do whatever they like. Even still, this album doesn’t have anything as good as Deutschland or the associated video.

New Paper Published

I’m aware of the irony of writing about rejection just last night. And it’s true – I got two rejections yesterday. But I also was notified that a new paper of mine is finally out in the world via Intellectual History Review.

Walter Charleton, Wellbeing and the Cartesian Passions


Walter Charleton is an often-overlooked figure in the history of seventeenth-century philosophy, frequently thought of as a mere conduit for the ideas of others, rather than a significant thinker in his own right. As a self-described “eclectic,” Charleton saw himself as avoiding dogmatism by selecting the best ideas from his sources and fitting them together into a new, coherent system. Here I argue his method allowed him to innovate on his sources, and led to attempts at overcoming the limitations of the systems he drew on. My focus is Charleton’s Natural History of the Passions (1674) and what it takes from René Descartes’s Passions of the Soul (1650). There are two benefits to this analysis. First, it will help contextualise Charleton’s work and defend him against the accusation of lacking originality. Second, it will further our understanding of a hitherto understudied facet of Descartes’s influence in early modern England.

Available online.