EconoFiction, PhiloFiction

Élie Ayache’s The Medium of Contingency – A Review

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6 Sep , 2016  

Conclusion

To understand the statement “Time is money”, who should we ask: a taxi driver, who has lived and breathed its truth every day, or some greasy graduate student who has read lots and lots of Deleuze? Like it or not, Ayache is our taxi driver, and the difference between him and the legions of humanities professors pontificating about capitalism is that Ayache actually has something to say. An unreadable book by Ayache is worth ten thousand ‘scholarly’ humanities papers.

If this book was a third or even half its size, stripped down to its fundamentals, it would be a classic. Instead, Ayache writes as if he is coming up with his ideas as he writes, rather than communicating results so that others can understand.[18] In five or six years, Ayache will no doubt write an even thicker book that presumes the reader has gone through both The Blank Swan and The Medium of Contingency. Let’s just say, I think I’ll hold out for the audiobook version.

Griping aside, Ayache is an excellent speaker, and those hoping for more insight into Ayache’s ideas are encouraged to listen to his online lectures. For those foolish enough to read this book: it is not a book to be read with pleasure, but rather a quintessential subway book—to be read in small increments in time otherwise lost. This review having taken care of the arguments, the casual reader is free to focus on the philosophical bits. Lastly, the reader need not pay full price, as they should have little trouble finding a (very lightly) used copy.

 

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Foto: Bernhard Weber

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