Sunday, August 24, 2014

John Clute kaffeeklatsch

At the 10 a.m. Monday (18 August) small-group kaffeekatsch with LonCon3 Guest of Honor John Clute one of the convention members collapsed. From the floor he said that he was in distress. A LonCon3 representative was summoned, who in turn summoned a paramedic, who arrived in just a few minutes. After some private conversation with the paramedic, the distressed convention member was able to leave under his own power, escorted by the paramedic. While LonCon3 was in many ways a surprisingly successful, fun, and interesting convention, I mention this incident to illustrate that real life does not take a holiday.

John Clute at the Guest of Honor Interview, LonCon3.
John Clute recognized the potential seriousness of the incident above, kept an eye on the situation throughout, and delegated one of our small group to get help. He nevertheless was able to continue with aplomb to weave together a discussion that incorporated many threads of topics he raised at his Guest of Honor Interview Friday (15 August) and other appearances at the convention. Some points that were touched on:

  • Herbert Marcuse, a philosopher whose work, according to Clute, is underrated and should be reconsidered and appreciated.
  • Marcuse's notion of "Repressive Tolerance" (1965), where he describes how capitalist democracies have totalitarian tendencies, using techniques so subtle that the majority embrace their servitude. Clute holds that this analysis is even more valuable and true now than when it was written.
  • Clute offered a rigorous definition of "fungibility" and its relationship to critical thought.
  • A discussion of prehistoric thaumatropes, used both as flip-disks made of images etched on bone or ivory, and the light of flickering flames on France's Chauvet Cave drawings.

Related link:
How prehistoric artists make their paintings move (Daily Mail)

Related links on this blog:
2014 Hugo Award winners
Loncon 3 panel photos
More Loncon 3 panel photos
Still more Loncon 3 photos
Yes, more Loncon 3 photos
Loncon 3 notes and quotes

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