Is Philosophy Unfriendly?


The latest interview at What Is It Like To Be A Philosopher? is up, and it’s with Dan Haybron (Saint Louis University). There’s a lot of interesting stuff in it, so worth a read. One theme that stuck out was the idea that, though most philosophers are quite nice, there is something “unfriendly” about philosophy. Professor Haybron says of grad school in philosophy:

there was something about the whole package that added up to an environment that I didn’t want to spend a lot of time in, and by the end of it all I’d changed from a very laid-back guy to, well, not. Part of it, no doubt, was inherent to academic training in a tough job market. And part of it has to do with the climate issues that generally plague the profession. Generally, I don’t think we do a very good job of providing a supportive environment for young philosophers. It should be possible for most students to get their degree without raiding the pharmacists’ armamentarium like starved Vikings. Then add the East Coast status games, and you’re not having much fun.

And later on, in response to Clifford Sosis’s question, “Do you think philosophy is unfriendly, generally?” Haybron says:

I don’t think so; sometimes I get frustrated, but at least as often I think “what a great bunch of people.” But we could still do a lot better, and one thing that I think would help with inclusiveness on many fronts, including gender balance, is if people were more consistently nice to each other, more supportive, and if the field were characterized more by cooperative or constructive dialogue, and less by competitive discussion. And generally, if we related to each other more along the lines of “parity-seeking” rather than status or dominance-seeking—that is, trying to maintain a sense of equality or parity with our conversational partners rather than trying boost or assert our status over them. Less “dick-waving,” for instance. Put it this way: in the top 10-20 graduate programs in philosophy, how many of the students would characterize the environment as “warm, friendly and supportive”? I could be wrong, but I suspect not many.

Academics have always tended to have fragile egos, as we earn a living by getting the approval of our peers, which both means that we tend to be fairly conservative and conformist, intellectually speaking, and that it’s hard not to be concerned with status. (All the more reason we need to be nice to each other.) So academic culture naturally has strong pressures toward status-seeking behavior, and is only tolerable to the extent that we have norms, practices, institutions in place to counter those tendencies. Philosophy has those, but I think we could do better—and the need may be stronger because philosophers tend to prize raw intellectual power more, and philosophical ability is judged in a wider range of contexts than ability is judged in other fields (it seems to me)…. Philosophy strikes me as a relatively unsupportive field, yet for the most part philosophers are nice people and don’t to overtly obnoxious things. It’s more a sense you have of being comfortable in some environments and crowds, and uncomfortable, anxious, on edge in others, for reasons you can’t really articulate. Maybe you just feel more like you’re being judged in some environments. I suspect we mostly need to find ways to change the basic attitude we take up when dealing with each other—the professional gestalt, as it were.

The whole interview is here.

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JT
JT
5 years ago

“It’s more a sense you have of being comfortable in some environments and crowds, and uncomfortable, anxious, on edge in others, for reasons you can’t really articulate. Maybe you just feel more like you’re being judged in some environments. I suspect we mostly need to find ways to change the basic attitude we take up when dealing with each other—the professional gestalt, as it were.”

It’s a bit scary how true this is of my experience so far as a grad student. Thankfully, there’s not much dick-waving in my department and both faculty and other students try to be, and often are, genuinely supportive. But, nonetheless, I still find myself feeling anxious about how smart or stupid I’m coming off to others, especially in my work but also in professional social contexts. While this doesn’t stop me from participating in discussions (I can be a bit of a motormouth in the moment), I often find myself dissecting every claim and inference for obvious mistakes that threaten to reveal me to be ‘not smart’ (made worse by the fact that I’m a motormouth and lots of unreflected things come out of my mouth). I can’t remember where it first came up in the blogs (it may well have been here), but I think Haybron is right that part of the problem is that as a discipline, we place an outsized emphasis on intelligence, cleverness, insight, and whatever else is usually included under the banner of ‘philosophical ability’. Not only does it dispose us to dick-waving and status seeking, and away from parity-seeking, but it also makes it difficult for us to lend genuine support to each other. (Not to mention the harmful effects of our biases in evaluations of such traits in women and other minorities.) If philosophical success is associated with philosophical ability, then there isn’t much more can we offer to each other in support other than platitudes affirming how smart we all respectively are. Such gestures inevitably begin to sound hollow after a while, however genuinely it is offered.Report

Andrew
Andrew
Reply to  JT
5 years ago

‘Dick-waving’? Pretty fond of that phrase?Report

Skef
Skef
Reply to  Andrew
5 years ago

Haybron uses that phrase in the linked article. JT is probably using it in reference.

Thoughts on how this response thread relates to the subject at hand are left as an exercise to the reader. Report

Grad10
Grad10
5 years ago

‘Put it this way: in the top 10-20 graduate programs in philosophy, how many of the students would characterize the environment as “warm, friendly and supportive”? I could be wrong, but I suspect not many.’

I would be interested to know this. I am in a top 10 program that I would 100% characterize as “warm, friendly and supportive”. There isn’t the slightest competitive vibe among grad students. In fact the only peer pressure comes from fellow students offering to read my work so often that I sometimes feel I need to write more so I can take them up on it. Faculty are also wonderful. Maybe I just lucked out? I’ve heard some bad things about the atmosphere at one or two top departments, but apart from that I’ve no idea how usual/unusual my experience is.Report

Yale Grad Student
Yale Grad Student
Reply to  Grad10
5 years ago

I feel the same way.Report

Witness for the Dark Side
Witness for the Dark Side
5 years ago

I am here just for the sake of balance. Since there is no voice making this point, I will be the witness for the dark side. Professor Haybron is right about some grad programs having a horrible atmosphere. His suspicions are quite justified.Report

Young Professor
Young Professor
Reply to  Witness for the Dark Side
5 years ago

I entirely agree with Witness for the Dark Side. After finishing my own Ph.D. in (what I took to be) a reasonably supportive department, I spent a fair bit of time around two highly ranked departments where there was a more competitive and status-vigilant atmosphere. In talking to the graduate students in these departments, I noticed a trend. Some students had established themselves as “high-status” quite early on and/or had confidence bordering on narcissism. These students thought their departments were just lovely and super-supportive. Others, who were “lower-status,” and/or who did not receive as much attention from the faculty, and/or who were somewhat introverted, had more the experience that Prof. Haybron describes. I am now inclined to think that whether one notices the bad atmosphere has a lot to do with one’s personality and relative position.Report

Diogenes of Sinope
5 years ago

Regardless of climate friendliness, one day whether you will get a job or not will depend on whether some bigwig thinks you’re smart, and whether they can be persuaded to express that thought in letters or in the quiet suggestion they’ll slip to a top journal editor.Report

Polvi
Polvi
Reply to  Diogenes of Sinope
5 years ago

Regardless of climate friendliness, one day you will get a job iff you manage to finish grad school and earn a PhD… and that may depend by the friendliness of the department you will be in for four, or five, or six years. Then, you may aspire to get a job if some bigwig thinks you’re smart, but the fact that there is the risk that many bigwigs may interpret humility and politeness as stupidity or assholery as intelligence, I think that this is indeed part of the problem, a big part of the problem.Report

postdoc
postdoc
5 years ago

My grad school was a very supportive environment. Where I am doing a post doc not so much. As the only woman (and a fairly introverted, unconfident one at that) I feel constantly under pressure in an aggressive environment. It makes me miss my more gender balanced PhD days when we would constructively discuss papers and help each other out rather than trying to show why we are so much smarter than each other. Report

P
P
5 years ago

I think that environments can be less than friendly even if the people who populate them are themselves friendly. This has to do with the norms we use to regulate discussions. For example, the norm is not ‘smart=person who provides the best set of suggestions for improving a paper and shows that there is great potential to the argument’. Instead, in many contexts, even where many of the people are nice, the norm is ‘smart=finding a fatal flaw in the presenter’s argument or come up with incredibly sophisticated ways of putting pressure on the presenter’. The same goes for peer-review reports: the vast majority of them finds problems, not ‘solutions’ to improve an argument.
The question I would like to ask is, though, can we devise an alternative set of professional norms that is both efficient at selecting people in a very competitive environment (and do so according to relevant criteria) and is more supportive and inclusive? I think that the two desiderata have to be kept together. My sense is that the current set of norms helps us in selecting people, yet not always for the right or best reasons, and is also not very supportive towards young scholars. How can we improve these norms? Report

HighFG
HighFG
5 years ago

I don’t think the rank has a ton to do with it. I’ve seen some great communities at the top, some dick-gamey communities farther down, and vice versa. But I can say that my own program has done a complete 180 in this respect. It used to suck, and but now it’s great. It’s always going to be a competitive environment. But if you treat it like a team sport, and think of your department (your WHOLE department- whether you like EVERYONE or not) like your team, it’s a lot more pleasant, and you and everyone around you will do much better.Report

Commentator
Commentator
5 years ago

I find at conferences or when my department has invited speakers, in the question and answer sessions following a presentation it is basically the norm that the speaker will be challenged in a way that seems a concerted attempt to publicly tear that person down. As someone who has spoken at many interdisciplinary conferences, I find that of all the fields I have now had substantial interactions with, this practice of tearing into speakers seems to be characteristic of philosophy alone. This is probably in part because the ideas we present are more personal to the very fabric of the way we see the world than in other fields, and so a challenge to the audience may be a challenge to very personal points of views, but it likely doesn’t fully account for the hostile atmosphere. Report

Furry Boots
Furry Boots
5 years ago

Unfriendliness is bad not only because it is unpleasant and because it can lead to humble and polite people being at a disadvantage on the job market. It also encourages certain kinds of philosophy and philosophical positions, and discourages others. Philosophy as combat is not a recipe for nuance. Report

Clifford Sosis
5 years ago

http://www.whatisitliketobeaphilosopher.com/brian-leiter/

For what it’s worth, here’s an interesting, related, bit from my Brian Leiter interview (link above), where he suggests that there is something enjoyable and/or desirable about a combative philosophical environment, but also suggests that rigor doesn’t *require* being unprofessional and/or unpleasant:

“I attended Michigan in the “bad ‘ole days” as it were, it was a ferocious and combative philosophical environment, though one I found very enjoyable. Paul Boghossian and David Velleman, junior faculty then, were slaughtering visiting speakers and sometimes students. Larry Sklar, in disgust at at job candidate’s answer during a job talk in the library, turned around and pulled a book off the shelf behind him and started reading it. Allan Gibbard and Peter Railton, who were the two clear intellectual giants, were generally much more gentle, though equally direct. In retrospect, it was a great intellectual environment, at least for me. All these scholars represented the wissenschaftlich ideal that made so-called “analytic” philosophy unique in the humanities. That ideal is now dying, a real tragedy…There were grad students who burst into tears in seminars under withering questioning—that’s how extreme Michigan was at times! Boghossian once got a visiting speaker to write on the board a series of propositions based on his talk that the speaker endorsed, all of which forced him to refute his own paper! I remember there was a lot of hesitation among the faculty about inviting Charles Taylor as a “Nelson” visitor—a distinguished philosopher who came for a week or so. The hesitation was that most faculty thought he was not a very good or careful philosopher, certainly not by Michigan standards. I don’t disagree with that assessment, but he was an enjoyable Nelson visitor. Michigan was a severe place! Peter Railton, who was my primary advisor, was intellectually severe in a good way, but always professional and pleasant.”Report

JT
JT
Reply to  Clifford Sosis
5 years ago

I’m not surprised one bit that Leiter nostalgically retells the fact that “there were grad students who burst into tears in seminars under withering questioning.” Nor that in the interview, he also says, “I do think what’s happened in the last few years is that people who aren’t very good at philosophy and/or feel otherwise marginalized in the profession have taken to the Internet, and under various high-minded sounding moralized banners—equality, fairness, inclusiveness and so on—have launched an attack on the idea of philosophical excellence and smarts.”Report

Dr R P Forsberg
Dr R P Forsberg
5 years ago

Here we are in 2016. Friendly is somehow important??!! Go back and review philosophically important exchanges: Hobbes and Bramhall, Wittgenstein and Russell, and so forth. Friendly is unimportant, sorry. getting it right and truth over rule friendly. I don’t mean to overstate that and seem like controversy and hostility are the thing for philosophers, only that being a friendly discipline is a false issue. Philosophy is not a caring discipline like social service, and so forth. Those disciplines are up to something philosophy is not up to.Report

Paul Prescott
Paul Prescott
Reply to  Dr R P Forsberg
5 years ago

I agree with Dr Forsberg that getting it right and truth are more important to the philosophical enterprise than being friendly. And it’s certainly that case that, historically speaking, some philosophical debates have been unfriendly. But it has always seemed to me that the value of being friendly is entirely orthogonal to the task of getting it right. That is, one can get it right in a friendly manner, or one can get it right in an unfriendly manner. Hence, I find myself with an honest (if perhaps naive) question: Why not the former rather than the latter? That is, what exactly does hostility add that truth does not accomplish? Report

Doc F Emeritus
Doc F Emeritus
Reply to  Paul Prescott
5 years ago

I agree, being hostile or unfriendly is uncalled, for sure. My only point was that being friendly ought not be the priority for philosophers.Report

P
P
Reply to  Dr R P Forsberg
5 years ago

Echoing Paul Prescott: truth seems like a destination. Is being combative the only way? One thought why it might be unproductive as a means to the right place: it partly selects people for their ability to be combative or feel comfortable with confrontational environments. Are these relevant criteria? I am not entirely persuaded. Furthermore, while there is a case to be made for professional norms to be very permissively interpreted, I see no clear reason for adopting a default that is ‘unfriendly’. Report

Doc F Emeritus
Doc F Emeritus
Reply to  P
5 years ago

Again, agree entirely. Just that being friendly ought not be #1 on the list of how to philosophically address students. I liked my students and would never have treated them other than as friendly.

Doc Forsberg Emeritus

One must stillhave chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.
FriedrichNietzscheReport

H.F.Gost
H.F.Gost
Reply to  Dr R P Forsberg
5 years ago

Issues don’t have truth values. In sentences, they occupy the subject role. You have to say something about them before you can say they’re false.

Friendliness doesn’t matter? Fine. Getting it right does? Okay. Fine. Get it right then.

*winky face*Report

Doc F Emeritus
Doc F Emeritus
Reply to  H.F.Gost
5 years ago

Who said anything about truth values? I said truth itself, by which I meant stating the facts. if you want to play the old word games about sentences and so forth, we can split hairs. I never even hinted at issues having truth values — issues are issues and are therefore unsettled, or they wouldn’t be issue, right? Winky face.Report

HighFive
HighFive
Reply to  Doc F Emeritus
5 years ago

Sorry. You’re fine DF. I get mad when it seems like people are trying to pass the buck. And I can imagine someone saying what you said in a buck-passing way. Report

Professor X*
Professor X*
5 years ago

I was told early in my career that taking issue with a persons argument was paying them a compliment. That even though it may appear combative the philosophy seminar was a safe place because we were all in it together, so to speak, on the same side, seeking the truth. Objections are resources for you to help make your paper better. The worse thing was to be met with silence or be ignored. I feel disappointed if I don’t get any objections. I want people to try to tear strips off my argument. I don’t take it personally. I gave a paper at Sheffield a few years ago and the post-talk Q & A went for about 90minutes! I was completely drained and punch drunk by the end but it was one of the best things I’ve done in the job.Report

Future Grad Student
Future Grad Student
5 years ago

This is all very worrying from my perspective as a soon-to-be graduate student (starting this fall). I’m a laid-back guy who has never been one for cutthroat competition or combat sports. I don’t see any need at all for philosophy to be done in that way, and I’m terrified of the prospect of becoming ‘institutionalized’ in this weird, dick-measuring ethos (I believe this gendered formulation of the problem tracks pretty well with reality…). I don’t want to go into grad school as a likeable guy and emerge an asshole just for the sake of a job. What should I make of all of this? I just simply don’t feel a compulsive need to prove myself by testing others apart. If someone’s argue for a position is deficient in some way, I just ask them politely and at least semi-privately if they are aware and I try to suggest improvements if I can. What’s wrong with that?Report

Future Grad Student
Future Grad Student
Reply to  Future Grad Student
5 years ago

tearing* others apart.Report

Doc F Emeritus
Doc F Emeritus
Reply to  Future Grad Student
5 years ago

Future grad student,

Indeed one does not need to be unfriendly when dealing face to face with students, colleagues, etc… It’s just that friendly is not the primary thing to be concerned about. Concentrate on delivering the history of philosophy, the nature of critical thinking and logic, and so forth. Doing it in a way that makes students comfortable and willing to hear what you are saying is the key. teachers who denigrate and trash students’ views are a thing of the past. But teachers who transmit what is important and do it well is where it’s at. But, one qualification, do not let being friendly and a pal to students outweigh your task to teach good reasoning, critical thinking and taking a stand, even if unpopular.

Doc Forsberg Emeritus

One must stillhave chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.
FriedrichNietzscheReport

Paul Prescott
Paul Prescott
Reply to  Future Grad Student
5 years ago

“What should I make of all this?”

Dear Future Grad Student — Here are a few thoughts from one perspective. Naturally, I speak only for myself.

First, the “weird dick-measuring ethos” you’re concerned about is real, and pervasive in many (but not all) corners of academic philosophy. In my experience, some people find that ethos attractive (and, I suspect, seek out philosophy because it provides a permissive environment). Others leave the discipline in search of a different ethos … or never enter to begin with. And still others accept dealing with that ethos as a price to be paid to work in a field that they love.

So, one need not become ‘institutionalized’ into such an ethos in order to succeed in philosophy. For example, there are many people in the discipline who refuse to tear others apart, and some of these people are successful (or in some cases, very successful – e.g. John Rawls, to cite one well-known exemplar).

But that said, your worry strikes me as reasonable. One can expect to encounter pressure to conform to the prevailing norms of the profession – especially in grad school. Perhaps you’ll be lucky. Departments vary. But the chances are good that you’ll need to develop some strategies in response to the pressures you encounter.

Hope that helps!Report

Katherine
Katherine
Reply to  Future Grad Student
5 years ago

I’m a current graduate student, and wanted to add some thoughts for Future Grad Student. I agree with Paul Prescott that you’re likely to feel pressure to act in accordance with the current professional norms — though I will say that, having had significant exposure to a few different graduate programs, the norms can vary a surprising amount from department to department. That being said, I wanted to say a bit about a few strategies that have worked for me:

1. Find people, both in and outside your own department, who make you glad you’re in the profession, and make sure that they’re a big part of your experience of the profession. This has happened for me (partly by good luck and partly by conscious effort), and I now know a number of other philosophers who I can talk to, exchange work with, etc. in a way that is enormously intellectually productive, kind and respectful. I spend a lot of my time within my own department with people like this, and have met a lot of people like this at other departments who I am then excited to get to see and talk to when I go to conferences. I feel hopeful and grateful at the thought of going through my professional life with these people (and, I hope, many others I have yet to meet!). I also absolutely have encountered the kind of culture you’re worried about, but surrounding myself with people who establish a different culture has proven to be completely possible and really wonderful.
(As far as advice for how to do this: this is to some extent where luck comes into it, but the general advice I’d have would be to try to meet lots of people and try to make those who you click with a real part of your philosophical life. Offer to read and comment on their work, have in-person or Skype reading or discussion groups, get together when you’re both at the same conference, etc.)

2. Think about ways to engage in professional activities that feel right to you and do those things. I’ve found that some small adjustments to what I perceive as the norm have made significant differences for me. For example, I personally came to realize that it’s not asking challenging questions of a speaker that bothers me, nor is it asking those questions publicly. (I as a speaker appreciate getting challenging questions, and as an audience member appreciate it when someone else asks a challenging question that I hadn’t thought of.) It’s a particular way of asking such questions that never felt right to me. For a long time I watched other people ask questions and asked advice from those who I thought did so well, and I’ve now settled on a strategy. I’ll begin by saying concisely what I took the view to be, and if it’s relevant saying how far I accept the view or the argument; then I’ll say what problem I see or why I’m worried; and sometimes I say something at the end that indicates several different strategies I imagine the speaker might have available, if I think that would be helpful. So the question might end up looking like “If I understood you correctly, you were arguing for p and q. I found your argument for p persuasive, but I’m worried about the argument for q because…. Something like x would fill in the gap in that argument: do you accept x, or do you have a different way of responding?” This is a way of engaging with a speaker that I experience as an expression of respect and curiosity and that I find to be intellectually productive. This is just one example — there are ways of giving comments at talks, engaging with the secondary literature in what you write, etc. that I’ve found feel right to me, too. So, the general bit of advice here is just: spend time searching for ways to engage in professional activities that feel right to you and do them. (And for what it’s worth, I know people who primarily engage with speakers by talking to them privately, and who have found the longer one-on-one conversations that this sparks really rewarding!)

3. Push back on norms you don’t like. I know someone who was tired of feeling pressure to know everything and just decided to ask about everything that he didn’t know that came up in philosophical conversation. You might similarly just start giving suggestions in circumstances where people normally only give objections. This gets easier the more comfortable you are and the more you feel that others won’t start respecting you less if you engage in these types of behaviors. But it’s very satisfying to do (and you’d be surprised how many people you find who will thank you for it or come up to say that they’re on the same page as you if you start doing it).

In sum: I do think you’re likely to want to cultivate a way of being in the profession that suits your understanding of what’s valuable about philosophy and being in a philosophical community with others. But at least in my (albeit limited) experience, there are lots of other people who want the same things you do from a philosophical community, and so it’s very possible, and very rewarding, to do so. Report

Doc F Emeritus
Doc F Emeritus
Reply to  Katherine
5 years ago

Katherine,

Excellent on all counts. A key is to find a mentor in the department who can both educate and guide you through the morass of grad school. Sort a bit beyond your #1, but you have it all good.Report

Future Grad Student
Future Grad Student
Reply to  Katherine
5 years ago

Thank you so much for this! I’l definitely keep that advice in mind as I start visiting programs next week, and when I finally decide which one I will attend and officially become a grad student.Report

anakatabasis
anakatabasis
5 years ago

I loved studying philosophy but our program used to have a very unpleasant atmosphere. Before I have started my major I thought they called it ‘humanities’ for a reason. Boy was I wrong. Being light and slightly superficial for the sake of loosening the forcefully heavy academic mood was greatly frowned upon. You were not seen as a person unless you were always dry and unnecessarily complicated, using all the tongue-twisting expressions, borrowed strictly from a lesser-known Kantian text. No mistakes were forgiven, no discussions were welcome about the show you saw on a Friday night. It’s either you talk philosophy 24/7 or you’re trash. Too bad life is a little bit more complex than that. We are all humans and as such we have many different aspects. People in my department seemed to be unable to grasp, that being arrogant and acting superior is not going to make them wiser than others. The ability to understand Husserl won’t make you a better person. Unfortunately it seems to be true; philosophers in general are distant, self-absorbed and indifferent to politeness which in fact makes them unfriendly and unpleasant to be around. Maybe they don’t need to be, but at the same time it’s not going to make them or philosophy education attractive. Now you can say, it’s not necessary for many people to appreciate philosophy but I happen to disagree. Philosophy is about understanding our existence and if it doesn’t have a pedagogical aspect, then what is the use of it? Then is just a tiny layer of society babbling to each other and feeling almighty while excluding themselves from the rest of society and not making an actual impact when it comes to real issues. Report

Doc F Emeritus
Doc F Emeritus
Reply to  anakatabasis
5 years ago

I won’t ask where you were for this, but I apologize for us philosophers that you had such a negative experience. There is a history of such negative treatment of students in philosophy, but also many other disciplines. There is no excuse, but the usual one is smart people not tolerating those who they see as not as smart. My opinion on that has always been, the “smart” people are not so smart as they think and their intolerance is proof of it. Psychologically this is an indication of their own insecurity and inferiority complex. The truly brilliant and secure do not treat others as such. Was Socrates ever a jerk? His questions were always pointed, but not denigrating to those he questioned.

Again, I apologize that you had to go through this, it is what gives academics in general (not just philosophy) a bad name. I had many students tell me, “You don’t seem like a guy with a PhD in philosophy.” To which I laughingly said, is that a compliment or are you saying I don’t seem that bright?” Their answer always was, “No, you are a regular guy and don’t treat us as if we were stupid…or words to that effect.” I have never seen the need that others have to denigrate students – and even if the students needed to be told they lacked the ability, there are many kind and gentle ways of saying it. Kind and friendly aren’t the same, but both can be part of a philosophy education — even tough love is love.

I was fortunate in having teachers at two schools for my MA and PhD who were never denigrating or unfriendly, but tough and called me out for what I needed to be called out for – and did it as those who were trying to make me better, rather than critics who were trashing me. To give credit: Roosevelt University and Loyola University in Chicago – both great schools with great profs; and I say this after 35 years of teaching and 6 years into retirement from phil teaching, myself. Too much info, sorry.

Doc Forsberg Emeritus

One must stillhave chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.
FriedrichNietzscheReport