Notes on Youssef Rakha’s “The Crocodiles”

Instead of page numbers, “The Crocodiles,” a novel by the Egyptian writer Youssef Rakha, is marked by 405 numbered, block paragraphs, the whole symmetrically framed by references to Allen Ginsberg, the US Beat poet, to his “The Lion for Real,” signed “Paris, March, 1958.” Opening Rakha’s book, one finds a hand drawn map labeled “The…

Is Privacy the New Plastic?

In February, I posted on the film “Examined Life.” One of the featured philosophers in the film, Peter Singer, has an interesting article on ethics, privacy, and social networking and technology in this month’s (August) Harpers: “Visible man: Ethics in a world without secrets.” Is privacy the new plastic? (Use library if no Harper’s subscription.)

“Examined Life”: Socrates on Ice; or, Engaged Life: Riding the Clutch with Today’s Philosophers

In Astra Taylor’s film “Examined Life” (2008, DVD 2011), the camera captures contemporary thinkers walking through everyday environments that reflect and frame their dialogue. But there’s not much dialogue, more monologue, which is what I assume is Martha Nussbaum’s complaint in her upset and defecting review in The Point Magazine, “Inheriting Socrates” (Winter, 2010). I can…