I like to think about identity. Not so much in the “Ship of Theseus” sense — but about how we relate to our own identity. How we go about getting others to see us the way we want to be seen. How we choose to behave such that we experience our deeds as an accurate exhibition of our self-understanding. All that sort of stuff.

I’ve been fixated on identity more than usual lately. That could be because quarantine has given me more time than I’ve ever needed to navel gaze. It could be because I recently rewatched Adam Curtis’ “The…

Out looking for the rare aesthetics. Because. Aesthetics!

There’s goblincore or crowcore (collections of weird shiny trinkets), meadowcore (pretty pictures of meadows), fairycore (meadowcore but with mushrooms and magic), and Light Academia (Dark Academia, but girlier and in the summer). These cute little slideshows aren’t just an escape from the Bad Internet, they’re a reminder that another kind of life is possible. TikTok is (rightfully) in the news for its political importance right now, but whenever a post from aesthetic TikTok pops up on my feed, I’ll always stop and watch.


I’m not a young guy anymore, but I like to use the internet as if…

This is the first post in what I intend to be a recurring series about social media events that are driving conversation on Twitter and elsewhere. I intend to cover the kinds of events that strike me as indicative of something important about American culture — maybe global culture — in the present, but which are likely to get missed by those who aren’t extremely online.

Today we are talking about witches, TikTok, and the moon.

If you are a heavy Twitter user — a necessity if you’re going to be extremely online, otherwise you’ll never keep up with the…

This is the cottage in cottagecore

Since Tumblr ceased to be the home of a certain type of internet discourse, many of the conversations that used to stay siloed on that platform have made their way onto Twitter. As this has happened, I’ll occasionally run into Twitter exchanges that are a bit baffling to me, regardless of how extremely online I may be. Here’s a recent example that I’d like to discuss.

Tweet 1: twitter leftists aren’t at all prepared for the coming wave of cottage core moodboard making tiktok ecofascist racist e-girls but that’s not a conversation anyone wants to have.

Tweet 2 (reply): it…

The ‘every man for himself’ individualism that not-so-subtly defines America is why most people can only understand & evaluate social distancing in terms of bravery vs. fear.

We are conditioned to think in terms of isolated, solitary choices and consequences that exist in a vacuum. That’s our ‘freedom.’ I make choices. I suffer consequences. Everyone else is a non-player character in the IRL video game in which I’m the protagonist. For all of our love of comic books, that whole ‘with great freedom comes great responsibility’ was somehow missed completely. …

“But if there is no cosmic Plan? What a mockery, to live in exile when no one sent you there. Exile from a place, moreover, that does not exist.”

- Umberto Eco, Foucault’s Pendulum

It was August 2008 when I started my first professorship. The world was starting to look a little brighter after eight years under the post-9/11 haze of the Bush-Cheney war machine. Obama’s election was just over the horizon. Hope and change were coming. People had found various ways to ignore our involvement in foreign wars. …

Adam Arola

| Brand Strategy Director | Philosophy Ph.D | BJJ Black Belt | Kettlebell Instructor | DJ | Friendly Pessimist |

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