One of the series we are attentive to is force | power | politics, and the mechanisms through which excessive and deficient situations are kept going. How is evasion kept going, for instance and through what mechanisms? One possible response to evasion is to attempt to exercise power in order for the evader to engage, call on a relevant authority, or attempt direct engagement. The evader has an available strategy: minimization of the accusation or reproach.


Evasion and delay are relatives. They should be distinguished from procrastination that is perhaps more personal.
Evasion and delay in response to requests that one knows one should respond to is a minor vice.
It produces a range of affect: irritation, frustration. discouragement, bitterness.

As long as evasion is at play, collaboration is blocked.

Minor and Micro

In response to NIls Gilman query about the use of "minor" and a discussion this morning with Gaymon;
We are attempting to make visible and narratable the micro-practices of ethics that are essential to the (mal)function of associations and disciplines. That being said, the response to identifying and highlighting these micro-practices is frequently dismissive: the invoke the "minor" as trivial. This move naturally contributes to the anchoring of the micro-practices.

Gabriele Taylor's Deadly VIces

Linked to this post is a short excerpt from Gabriele Taylor’s Deadly Vices – from a chapter on envy and covetousness – a book which resonates with our reflections on the minor vices. A virtue of this book for our project is the way in which Taylor attends to the multiplicity of subject positions that are actually inhabited within the relational fields entailed within the purview of a broad term like avarice. There seem to be two deficiencies for our purposes.

Withering of Critique: Facts, anyone?

On September 16, 2014 Almudena Marí Sáez, Ann Kelly and Hannah Brown published a report on Somatosphere, “Notes from Case Zero: Anthropology in the time of Ebola.” I read it early in the morning and wanted to know more about a core but unsubstantiated claim, so I “commented” on the piece with a question:

narcissism: double-binds

A colleague tells another colleague that the older colleague is better off retired. The rest of the older faculty should retire as well.
The colleague to whom this is addressed (let's call her N) is very upset and tells the other senior faculty about the incident.
The younger colleague first denies she said it and then admits she did.
N having raised the issue as one of "ageism" then switches grounds and says we should not be angry with the younger colleague as she did not know that ageism is illegal (and insulting).

Strife-Withering of Critique

Strife: Withering of Critique

The “drame bourgeois” as lesson in minor virtue (compassion).

In the unfortunate person we often feel sorry for ourselves.” Gottlob Benjamin Pfeil, On the Domestic Tragedy, 1755

Bourgeois tragedy (General characteristics)

1. Affect without purging feeling (Aristotle’s catharsis).

2. The affect that matters is compassion

3. Affect of compassion is achieved through identification

4. All social ranks may appear as long as they appear as private individuals

5. Focus on domestic life

Diderot’s Drame domestique

Withering of Critique: Vulnerable Victims

The most recent and most comprehensive study of suicide by right to die associations in Switzerland was conducted by a team of statisticians and epidemiologists based at the Institute of Social and Preventative Medicine in Bern. The team linked suicides facilitated by three organizations (EXIT Deutsche Schweiz; EXIT ADMD; DIGNITAS) in the period 2003-2008 to a census based longitudinal study of the Swiss population. 1301assisted suicides were analyzed in relation to census data for 5 million Swiss residents.

They showed that:


The topic of loyalty is a complicated one.
It has an excess, a deficit and a mean.
As a starting point, loyalty would appear to be a virtue. However, if one is loyal to everyone then the term has no meaning, Further if one is loyal to everyone because one does not want to offend or if one wants to perpetuate and/or extend one's network then it is an excess. Under those circumstances, the term loses its meaning.