Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Online Hegel Q&A and Discussion Session Later Today

We're now a good ways into the month of April, and you know what that means.  It's time for another public online Hegel Q&A and discussion session.  Everyone who has an interest in Hegel, dialectical philosophy, German Idealism, or even philosophy more generally is welcome to attend and participate!

We'll be holding the session via video-conferencing using our ReasonIO FreeConferenceCall site - which you can access here.  It runs between 5-6 PM Central Time (so you'll want to check your time zone difference).

We often veer off into tangents during the discussion, depending on who shows up and what they want to talk about.  But I do give priority to any Hegel-related questions and discussions.  So if you've been puzzled by Hegel's philosophy, want to chat about it, or even just want to listen in, you're welcome to join us!

We provide these free online sessions every month - and my time and work devoted to them are underwritten by the supporters of the Half Hour Hegel project.  If you'd like to help me continue creating videos in the Half Hour Hegel series, and offering online events like this, become a supporter on Patreon!

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Three More Videos in Enlightenment and its Struggle with Superstition

Continuing our progress through this rather long section, below you'll find video lectures seven through nine on "The Enlightenment and its Struggle With Superstition."  We're about halfway through this portion of the text at this point.

Again, we see a kind of double-critique going on in Hegel's text.  Or, you might actually say, if not triple, at least two and a half critiques.  The Enlightenment itself is - along other things - a critique of Faith.  And at the same time, the Enlightenment doesn't entirely understand Faith, or even itself - so what we are getting in Hegel's narration is another critique - one of both Faith and Enlightenment.

Hegel also allows Faith to get its own say at points, but although it does have a certain advantage in practice, it is also at a disadvantage.  Faith is right in pointing out where Enlightenment critique puts words in Faith's mouth, or misinterprets what it is about.  But, Faith is even less consistently self-conscious than the Enlightenment is.  Perhaps I'll write more about this later on.  For the time being, here are the new videos:

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

March Hegel Online Q&A and Discussion Session

It's time again for another monthly online Half Hour Hegel Q&A and Discussion session

We'll be holding it in just a few hours, later this evening - from 5-6 PM Central Time.  I hope you'll be able to join us for some discussion about Hegel's thought, German Idealism, or philosophy more generally!

This session is open to anyone who would like to participate, not just Patreon supporters of this project. 

We discuss whatever Hegel-related matters people want to bring up, often straying a good distance from Hegel himself into other topics.  We do give priority to anyone who wants to bring up or ask about something focused on Hegel's thought - so if you've got some question, or confusion, or even if the Phenomenology just isn't making sense (which still happens to me), stop in an ask away!.

If you'd like to participate, we use FreeConferenceCall as our videoconferencing platform - here's the link that you'll need to use to get into the session.

Support by my Patreon supporters makes work possible for me to engage in and continue, so if you're interested in chipping in a bit to underwrite this crowdfunded project, here's my page.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

A Major Underestimation Of Time Devoted To Hegel

This "memory" came through my Facebook feed today, and gave me my first belly-laugh of the morning.  2 years!  That's the amount of time I originally estimated working my way through Hegel's entire Phenomenology might take me. 

As of today, I'm now four years into the series.  I've produced 236 video commentaries, generally between 25-35 minutes in length - so that's about 116 hours of video.  And. . . since I'm at paragraph 567, I'm about 70% finished. 

So, at this point - having spent twice the original two years that I thought the project would require - I can now estimate that, after another two years, I should have it finished up.  And that, my readers and viewers, is simply hilarious to me!  I'm not all that good at estimating and budgeting time, but to be off by that amount. . .  well, it makes you think, doesn't it. 

I was actually very surprised to see that I had in fact lowballed the time required, and somehow come up with that figure of two years - if I didn't see it there in my Facebook "memories", and you had told me that I had originally gave that number, I wouldn't have believed you!  But there it is.

I don't begrudge the time, thought, and work that this project requires.  Why?  Because I've got the metrics to prove to myself that these Half Hour Hegel videos are having an impact and being used by thousands of people worldwide.

At this point, the videos have had over 360,000 views.  They have been watched for 3.7 million minutes.  (These numbers are a bit low, since I'm using the YouTube analytics for just the first 200 in the series). Let's say that 2/3 of those views were just clicks and bounces - the average view duration for these videos is about 10 minutes.  That would still be 120,000 full views of these commentary videos. 

There are two other really interesting - and I think highly relevant - measures.  One of them is the number of playlists these videos have been placed into, over 8,000.  I'm willing to bet that the majority of these are actually "watch later" playlists.  Let's say 90% of them are.  That woulds still be 800 real playlists these videos have found their way into.  The other one is the numbers of likes and dislikes.  YouTube is a tough place when it comes to audience.  My Half Hour Hegel videos have 51 dislikes.  They have over 8,000 likes.

So clearly, while they definitely are a niche product, the videos from this project have drawn an audience.  They are having an impact - the comments that I get, read, and respond to also bear that out - and so at this 4-years in point, I can definitely reaffirm my commitment to seeing the entire project through.

I will say one last thing in this retrospective piece, and that is about my Patreon supporters.  These videos require a lot of work in research, planning, shooting, and editing - about 4-5 hours on average for every 30 minute video - and there is no way I could afford to dedicate that time and energy if I didn't have some financial support.  It's not an academic institution, a rich patron, a government agency, or even a grant - it's instead devoted individuals pooling their pledges together to support my work - people who put their money not just where their mouths are, but where their minds are. 

So, I'd like to say thanks to all of my Patreon supporters!  And if you're someone who benefits from the videos, but isn't a supporter, you probably should say thanks to those who do effectively underwrite the series as well!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Further Into the Struggle of Enlightenment With Superstition

We're making good progress through this long and quite complex - though often enough schematic - section of the Phenomenology.  If there is one central theme running through the entire section, you might say that it is how both Faith and Pure Insight - as shapes of consciousness - are attempting to work out what they actually are.

Neither of them can really do this apart from their other, since they are what they are in relation to each other.  Even if Insight seems to have an advantage over Faith in the historical period of the Enlightenment, this isn't an absolute priority.  Faith has its own "comebacks", and Insight has a lot to learn. . . .

Here are the next three videos in this portion of the work, covering the next six paragraphs.