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NEW POST AT THOUGHT CATALOG: A brain-pummeling 3,000-word (!) essay on the insistence, in socially networked Web culture, that we Favorite This! and Like that.

READ IT HERE:

Hate is All Around: The Politics of Enthusiasm (and its Discontents)

In this one, I’m thinking about whether we’re defined by what we Like and what we Favorite or by what we dislike, and whether we can escape that confining binary (love it or loathe it) for a more anarchic politics of enthusiasm. Along the way, I contemplate the etymology of the word “hater,” the hater meme, the postmodern ironic fondness that is really an affectionate loathing (not liking things, but “liking” things, in the way that Throbbing Gristle “liked” Abba), 18th century essayist William Hazlitt’s riff on “The Pleasures of Hating,” and the exquisitely acidulous “Hateful Things” from Sei Shonagon’s Pillow Book (the diary of a 10-century Japanese courtesan who makes Gawker‘s most feline swipes feel declawed). Oh, and the cyberpunk transrealist sci-fi novelist Rudy Rucker’s concept of the Lifebox, which I suggest might offer a way out of this philosophical impasse.

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