Emile Durkheim

“…Man is double. There are two beings in him: an individual being which has its foundation in the organism and the circle of whose activities is therefore strictly limited, and a social being which represents the highest reality in the intellectual and moral order that we can know by observation—I mean society. This duality of our nature has as its consequence in the practical order, the irreducibility of a moral ideal to a utilitarian motive, and in the order of thought, the irreducibility of reason to individual experience. In so far as he belongs to society, the individual transcends himself, both when he thinks and when he acts.”

From The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life

RSA Animate – First as Tragedy, Then as Farce

Zlavoj Zizek highlights the hypocrisy of embedding charitable acts into consumer behaviour (exemplified through Starbucks’ ‘monetization’ of fair trade and Tom’s 1 for 1 shoe donation campaign). His most illustrative metaphor, for me, is near the end of the video – “he’s repairing with his right hand what he’s ruined with the left”. Clearly buying your way out of capitalism-produced problems is not sustainable, even if it’s marketed as such.

Symbolic

Korean sculptor and installation artist Do Ho Suh created this awesome installation, entitled Floor, that might not look like much until you get good and close to it. Glass plates rest on thousands of multicolored miniature plastic figures who are crowded together with their heads and arms turned skyward. Together, they support the weight of the individual visitor who steps onto the floor.