Thursday, February 20, 2020

Is Socrates’ politics theological? Or is a Blackwing pencil created by the gods?

I decided to present to my readers a photo of my note-taking gear used for reading and doing research.

So, it's kinda a thing with me. Never read without a pencil. It's always been like that. And it shall always be so in the future. However the thing with me is that basically all of the world's pencils today suck. They break, they cannot erase or destroy your paper if they can, the graphite is weak or strained and smudges easily or disappears. Just, today's pencils are horrible. Gosh, any yellow pencil I have ever used wasn't proper for writing down anything.

But then I discovered two pencils in particular, and now knowing them and using them, they are essentials.

One is the Ticonderoga pencil that you can get from the Dollar Store for, yes, somewhere around a dollar. Crisp and clean graphite lays down nicely and evenly, fine enough wood, fine enough eraser but using a separate eraser is advised.

The Blackwing 602 however, *changed my world*. Yes, we are talking about a pencil. If you read the reviews, the rumors are true. I myself had my doubts. But no, it is indeed the single most greatest pencil on earth. Throw the Staedtler pencil sharpener for a superb writable point into the mix, and to the side have handy your Artgum eraser (with these two items you will have the cleanest, razor-fine point ever and an eraser that absolutely will not nor ever smudge picking up perfectly any and all graphite - and the eraser's gumminess is so addictive to squeeze in your hand as you read), and you have the ultimate note-taking armory.

The Blackwing writes so smoothly, it glides with "half the pressure twice the speed" putting down to paper buttery and smooth graphite cleanly and evenly. I will spare you the full review (I am not sponsored by these products) but the Blackwing Palamino 602 is not just an ordinary pencil. It is not just any pencil that could be manufactured by anyone. No.

It is a pencil created by the gods.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

An amazing paper on Schelling: Sean McGrath - "The Ecstatic Realism of the Late Schelling"

Saw this in my academia feed and after a quick initial read (a more careful second read is pending, time permitting) I must say that this is probably one of the best papers I've seen concerning Schelling within the past decade, if not ever. Absolutely amazing. Check it out, HERE.

Sean McGrath - "The Ecstatic Realism of the Late Schelling" 

Wow. Definitely read it.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Call for Papers: Tenth International Congress on Ecstatic Naturalism (the last conference!)

The Tenth International Congress on Ecstatic Naturalism will be held on the Drew University campus on April 18 and 19, 2020. As this will be the last Congress, the topic is open, although papers on the topic of climate change will be especially welcome. All that is required is that your paper mention however minimally some aspect of ecstatic naturalism.

Please send an abstract of your proposed paper with a title to Please indicate if you are interested in competing for the Emerson Prize ($500) for the best paper by a junior scholar. If you wish to be considered for the prize, we will, of course, need the full paper (by March 25th). The criteria for the Emerson Prize are: 1) you must be either a student or have received your degree no more than five years earlier, 2) you have not won the prize before, and 3) your paper must be on ecstatic naturalism.

For more information please see Robert Corrington's blog at

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

“The Lure of the Maine Coast and the Ticking Clock”

Corrington has put up a nice little post ruminating about the Maine coast's aesthetic virtues. For those not aware, Robert retired end of the fall 2019 semester - where afterward he and his wife relocated to the Maine coast. Maine always was (and still is) a special place for me (and Na) as well: its beauty unparalleled in mystery and majesty. I remember I wrote a large section of my first book there, and subsequently a few articles while overlooking our favorite place to go, Moosehead Lake. Naturphilosophie.