the enemy is cynicist apathy




this is tragedy

In Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit, “The key issue of the entire section on the spiritual work of art is representation. It is precisely the (gradual) abolition of representation that puts the three genres of epic, tragedy, and comedy in a succession that is not simply historical, but also dialectical.”

(Alenka Zupancic, The Odd One In, 2008)

is this a depression? is this a decline?
is this a revolution? is this a coup?
how does it make sense?

this is tragedy:


– retreating makes us into epic collectors of “coup”ons
– traversing makes us into comical dispensers of (non)sense
– mixture of the two makes us into a mixture of the two



Chomsky on “minimal structural distance” in language:

Take this sentence:

Eagles that fly swim.

Ok. And put an adverb in front of it:

Instinctively, eagles that fly swim.

“Instinctively” goes with a verb. Which verb? With “swim”? With “fly”? So, it’s “instinctively they swim” not “instinctively they fly.” Well, “fly” is the word that’s closest to “instinctively,” but you never use linear order, you never use closeness, to determine how things are understood. Or suppose you put “can” in front of it:

Can eagles that fly swim?

You’re asking a question about swimming, not flying, even though “swim” is farther away. And in fact there is a minimal-distance relation between “instinctively” or “can” and “swim,” but it’s a structural relation, and that requires looking into the nature of structure. Then you find that, yes, it’s a minimal distance, but a minimal structural distance, not a minimal linear distance.

Now, calculating linear distances is far simpler than calculating structural distances. If you look at the computational properties, calculating order is trivial. Calculating structure is quite difficult. Nevertheless, you just automatically, reflexively calculate structure.


Zizek on “minimal difference” in science/politics/love/art:

“In each truth-domain, anxiety signals the encounter with a minimal difference which hinders the absolute reduction or purification, that is, which is simultaneously the condition of possibility and the condition of impossibility (the immanent limit) of the domain in question: in science, ontological difference, which prevents the scientistic reduction of the object of knowledge to a positive entity (as in cognitivist brain sciences); in politics, class difference, which prevents the political project from fulfilling itself in a new non-antagonistic ‘harmonious society’; in love, sexual difference, which stands for the impossibility of the sexual relationship; and, in art, the minimal gap between art and daily life which condemns to failure all modernist attempts to unite the two. Each time the difference persists; however, each time, the point is not to ‘respect the limit’ but to push through to the end in order to encounter the minimal difference: to push through the cognitivist reduction of man to a brain machine to discover the “negativity” of the death drive; to push through the modernist unification of art and life to discover the ‘minimal difference’ between the two dimensions (Malevich, Duchamp); to push through love to confront the limit of sexual difference; likewise, one must push through a revolutionary process to the end in order to confront the insurmountable antagonism.” (Slavoj Zizek, Less Than Nothing, 2012)

social denial

a photo that shows social denial in action:

policeman stands in ignorance as the symbolic mandate,
while remnants of an unwanted memorial of police crime
are being removed by the collective activity of workers,
instrumentalized through the municipal “public” institution;
and all are coordinated by a shoulder-angel with shades

(today from gezi park, istanbul)


herkese benden çay, chomsky’ye yok

a reenactment of a scene from a turkish film: çiçek abbas.

the film is from pre-1980-coup era. these films are called “yeşilçam”, and they represent people’s belief in human values, which were mostly lost after the 1980 coup to be replaced by neoliberal capitalism, consumerism and of course the kurdish war.

in the film, there are two rival minibus drivers: çiçek abbas and şakir. şakir is a cynical trickster and çiçek abbas is an honest naive guy repeatedly tricked by şakir.

in the local teahouse, çiçek abbas says “i order tea for everyone!… except şakir!”.

“çiçek” means flower, and “zizek” is a word from the same root.

and the photo says “tea to everyone! except chomsky!”


i had made another montage last year:

when zizek came turkey last year, “çiçek abbas” had appeared as a dismissive pun, since people were so proud of their respective political positions.

but now i guess it has become more ambigous.



The crowds had turned out in Cairo and other Egyptian cities in response to a call by the defense minister, Gen. Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi, for mass demonstrations he said would give him a “mandate” to fight terrorism, a phrase widely understood to mean crackdowns on the Brotherhood.

Terrorist doesn’t exist.

ramble on

led zeppelin expressing that “woman doesn’t exist” + “truth has the structure of fiction” + “speech is a parasite, a mapping” ?

Ramble On

Leaves are falling all around, It’s time I was on my way.
Thanks to you, I’m much obliged for such a pleasant stay.
But now it’s time for me to go. The autumn moon lights my way.
For now I smell the rain, and with it pain, and it’s headed my way.
Sometimes I grow so tired, but I know I’ve got one thing I got to do…

Ramble On, And now’s the time, the time is now, to sing my song.
I’m goin’ ’round the world, I got to find my girl, on my way.
I’ve been this way ten years to the day, Ramble On,
Gotta find the queen of all my dreams.

Got no time to for spreadin’ roots, The time has come to be gone.
And to’ our health we drank a thousand times, it’s time to Ramble On.

Mine’s a tale that can’t be told, my freedom I hold dear.
How years ago in days of old, when magic filled the air.
T’was in the darkest depths of Mordor, I met a girl so fair.
But Gollum, and the evil one crept up and slipped away with her, her, her….yeah.

Gonna ramble on, sing my song. Gotta keep-a-searchin’ for my baby…
Gonna work my way, round the world. I can’t stop this feelin’ in my heart
Gotta keep searchin’ for my baby. I can’t find my bluebird!

science for gezi

international declaration by scientists against tayyip erdogan’s state violence against citizens of turkey during the public resistance for public gezi park



Science 19 July 2013:
Vol. 341 no. 6143 p. 236
DOI: 10.1126/science.341.6143.236-a


Turkey Must End Violent Response to Protests

The Turkish Medical Association (TTB) reported that 8121 people were officially admitted to hospitals resulting from police violence between 31 May and 26 June (1). This number includes 5 deaths, 61 life-threatening injuries, 104 head traumas, and 11 ophthalmic injuries, one of which led to loss of an eye due to shots of tear gas canisters from short range (1). Turkish police have used excessive amounts of tear gas (lachrymatory agents) in public (2) and confined spaces such as hospitals or infirmaries, according to international media reports and the TTB (1–4). Such use of asphyxiating gases in confined spaces is not only extremely dangerous for public health (5–8), but also strictly limited by international agreements, such as the Geneva Protocol (9), to which Turkey is a signatory. Security forces have used 130,000 tear-gas cartridges in 20 days, and Turkey is planning to buy 100,000 new cartridges (10). Doctors and nurses treating patients affected by tear gas and other police brutality, as well as the Istanbul Medical Chamber General Secretary, have been apprehended by police (11, 12), a clear violation of customary international and human rights law (13). More than 4000 academics around the world have already signed a petition to protest the police brutality (14). We call upon the Turkish government to obey international law in the treatment of protesters and those providing medical treatment to them, and to start a good-faith dialogue with the protest movement.

Emrah Altindis1,*,
M. Ali Alpar2,
Emre Aksay3,
Jonathan Beckwith1,
Christian Bökel4,
Robert F. Curl5,
Robert B. Darnell6,
Stephen J. Elledge7,
Burak Erman8,
Jens Frahm9,
Stephen P. Goff10,
Paul Greengard6,
Roald Hoffmann11,
Bayazit Ilhan12,
Jan Kaslin13,
Steven M. Lipkin3,
Cornelia Poulopoulou14,
Erez Raz15,
Mark A. Rubin3,
Mehmet Salturk16,
Richard R. Schrock17,
Alain Trautmann18,
Derya Unutmaz19,
Harel Weinstein3,
Caghan Kizil4,*

1Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
2The Science Academy (Bilim Akademisi), Istanbul, Turkey.
3Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University, New York, NY 10065, USA.
4Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden, Technische Universität, 01307, Dresden, Germany.
5Rice University, Houston, TX 77251, USA.
6The Rockefeller University and The New York Genome Center, New York, NY 10065, USA.
7Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
8Koç University, Istanbul, Turkey.
9Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, 37077, Göttingen, Germany.
10Columbia University, NY 10027, USA.
11Cornell University, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Ithaca, NY, 14853, USA.
12Turkish Medical Association (TTB), Ankara, Turkey.
13Monash University, Victoria, 3800, Australia.
14University of Athens, Athens, 10679, Greece.
15University of Münster, 48149, Münster, Germany.
16University of Cologne, Cologne, 50923, Germany.
17Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.
18Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), 75794, Paris, France.
19New York University, New York, NY 10012, USA.

↵*Corresponding authors. E-mail: (E.A.); (C.K.)


open letter to tayyip erdoğan by david lynch et al