Saturday, 26 December 2015

Value proposition .. from a fiction in progress

"What's the value proposition?" he demanded, and kept reiterating this phrase throughout the conversation. Of course, I couldn't hear what the interlocutor was saying but suspect it didn't matter. The cretin's mind had been taken over by business jargon and so-called 'business concepts' which are laughably removed from anything that might with dignity be called a concept. Afterwards I looked up this term, 'value proposition,' but found only more vacuous jargon. Each jargon term is glossed only by other jargon terms until we return to the first, a kind of lexical 'circle jerk', as they say. In the popular imagination, jargon is associated with academics, who are thought of as deliberate obscurantists. Well, each tribe, each profession has its terms of art, but as far as jargon goes, the world of business, or so-called business, is the worst offender. And of course business jargon is now colonising academia too, with it's 'end users' and 'learning outcomes', both of which are idiotic misnomers. Jargon is almost always an attempt to dress up some highly partisan or alternatively completely banal behaviour in the appurtenance of science and technology, where these are seen as both neutral and inevitable. Both science are technology are seen as beyond refutation and so too is the world of business, whereas the world of business is shit and its terms are shit also. I will demonstrate this later in less emotive language, so-called. But for now it's suffice to say that business jargon is shit, and the business men who trade and converse in this jargon are also shit, shitheads like this specimen here in the cafe. I'm not talking about industrialists, people who produce things, although I have no especial affinity for them either.. No, these others who convene meets and invent 'concepts' which are nothing of the sort. Such a one was this cretin in the cafe. His life was divided into business and travel, two apparently different worlds which were in fact complementary components of the same system. As I will explain later. For now, only to say that this cretin's mind had been colonised by business jargon to such an extent that he was now an ontological businessman, as I call it. What does it mean, to say that someone is ontologically a businessman? It means that in all spheres, not just the world of business, they see things in business terms and employ business categories, that they see life as a business and 'business' is the virus infecting their whole experience. This cretin, for example, I hear him on the phone. He's arranging a get together for someone's birthday. "I'll reach out to Scott," he intones, "see if he's got a window". Well he can reach out to Scott all he wants, it won't prevent him being kicked in the head.

Pure Ideas .. From a fiction in progress

People think that Ideas are abstract and intellectual, but in fact we knock against Ideas all the time in our day to day experience.  When I walk through Soho early in the morning, the summer sun making its first appearance, angling down alleys, slanting through the side windows, gently warming wooden floors; when vendors are assembling their stalls with iron poles and wooden boards in Berwick street, and shop owners disinfect their steps with steaming hot water, then I touch Beginning, the Idea of Begining in its immediate flesh, just as I sense the same Idea, but in a different key,  in early January, when the fresh snow is laid out like a blank page across the field. These moments are the naked and uncorrupted form of the concept of beginning, the actual and non-verbal adumbration of the idea of Beginning, which has no other reality than these various and several moments and things; and the Idea of beginning is constantly enlarged and revised not by lexicographers or linguists or even philosophers, but by the January snow or the Soho vendors, by the morning sun, or, differently, by the ground zero of a catastrophe. This is where we touch the Idea: in faces, gestures, things and constellations of things, which communicate directly with our senses and nerves before the catch up game of words begins, so that language is for most of us only the belated realisation, the faltering translation,of what, in our bodies and in the heart of matter is already known.