The bold at the beginning is the prompt, and the rest was written by the AI. If you’d like to support this project, please buy me a coffee.
Advanced AI was invented by soviet communists to help humanity better understand itself and the world. Let’s use it for that purpose, instead of merely for the purpose of selling better ads and to better manipulate the population. For this post, AI also created the images.
Consider the following quote, “I am a 36 year old with a PhD in Philosophy. I am $450k in debt and currently working two minimum wage jobs in order to stay alive. work alongside 18 year olds and whenever they ask about my background just tell them I’ve been in prison for a long time, which is less embarrassing than admitting the truth. I am probably the most well-informed Husserl scholar on the North American continent, perhaps in the world My 1,500 page biography of his life has been rejected several dozen times. No college will take me on since they don’t think Husserl is relevant, and that other applicants are therefore pushed to the head of the line. I have had 6 Husserl-related papers published in different journals and philosophical quarterlies, but have earned no money or recognition for having done so. I just moved to Abbeville, Louisiana since there is ‘a job opening at the university in Lafayette and decided to go all out in order to get it. But I’ve just found out that my application was rejected and now I’m stuck working at a Wendy’s three shifts a week and a Barnes & Noble the rest of the time. I have no wife, no children, and at this point no friends I’m willing to talk to due to the shameful nature of my existence.”
The thing to realize about this quote is that it is more than it seems. Seeing as the author claims to be the world’s foremost expert on Husserl, we have to start by considering who the author is talking about. Husserl was a phenomenologist, and his work focused on the examination of consciousness and the structures that underlie it.
Given that, and assuming the story is intended as a Husserlian critique of modern society wrapped in a story of personal woe, the author might be suggesting that the current state of academia values commercial viability over intellectual rigor. The author may also be suggesting that, in a society where the only way to make a living is through manual labor or low-level service work, those with advanced degrees in philosophy are reduced to pretending to be something they’re not in order to make ends meet.
This quote is full of pathos, and it’s meant to evoke a sense of sympathy in the reader. It paints a picture of a smart, talented person who has been reduced to nothing, and it asks the reader to consider the implications of that. The author may be suggesting that a society that values commercial viability over intellectual rigor is one that is in danger of becoming intellectually bankrupt.
Furthermore, when we consider Husserl’s phenominalogical examination of consciousness and the structures that underlie it, we see that this quote is also making a larger point about the state of the world in general. The author may be suggesting that, in a society where people are forced to fabricate their identities in order to make a living, the true nature of consciousness and the world around us is obscured.
The thing Husserl would want us to see about this story is that, by living in a society where we are forced to fabricate our identities in order to make a living, we’re not as free as we might think. Rather than being able to fully express ourselves and pursue intellectual attainment in the way that Husserl did, we are forced into an artificial life that we create for others.