Emmanuel-Juste Duits, born in 1965
I grew up in a bohemian milieu (my father, Charles Duits, was a writer, a surrealist, friend of André Breton during the exile in New York of many European artists fleeing Nazism); my education was chaotic, especially in modern, experimental schools. I quit school as a teenager. My parents left me much liberty, and I hung around mostly with adults. My father was passionate about eastern religions; he experimented in peyote in the 50s and 60s, and was known in the counter-culture. My mother suffered from a long-term illness. This period was one of roving about Paris, discovering New Age scenes, “sects”, communities, new-age medicines, personal development, and so on. I found myself in circles sensitive to ecology.
I went back to school in 1982 and obtained the Baccalaureate in 1985. During this time, I meet several students already advanced in IT technology and in Biology, who would later become researchers at the scientific center in Toulouse. I was interested in Jung, Adler and especially Paul Watzlawick’s work at Mental Research Institute in Palo Alto (his theories of communication would influence the idea of a Network of Possibilities).
I soon left home, interrupting my studies of psychology in order to provide for myself. I rented a room and took up many odd jobs: from 1985 and 1987, I was a night watchman, a secretary in a driving school, a waiter in a fast-food and vegetarian restaurant, an assistant on a film set, among other things. Finally I managed to found a longer contract in telematics (from 1987-1992) as the night moderator of a Minitel chat messaging service (the Minitel, a terminal linking phone users to a database, was a precursor in France of the internet).
With Paul F—., who would become an appreciated actor of spoken-word poetry performance, I created the association “The Network of Possibilities”, which lasted from 1987 to 1992, and whose goal was to experiment with open-mindedness. Lacking the means to travel, I took advantage of Paris, which I saw as a microcosm of the world, where one could meet civilizations of all the colors of the world. In the Network, there were anarchists and reactionaries, feminists and chauvinists, nihilists and visionaries, all collected together. Each member would use the Network as a tool to attain his or her proper goals: to have new experiences, to exchange information about what goes on in little known milieus (marginal political parties, squats, goths…)… There were around 200 people who passed through the Network meetings, 60 too 80 people who received the Bulletin announcing Network activities, and 20 to 40 people who participated regularly. We eventually closed the association, for lack of a real locale to meet in, and because no one wanted to type regularly the Bulletin (it was too constraining, we were not disciplined enough and did not have the means to pay someone for the work).
In 1993, I take up studies in philosophy—at Paris VIII, with the professors D. Bensaïd, J. Rancière, A. Badiou, etc. Thanks in part to these inspiring professors, I developed—without, however, sharing their views—a new interest in political philosophy. In 1995, I met the dynamic founders of an academic group who would give me the chance to work with them (I gave private lessons and intensive courses, and for two years I ran small classes of students). I have continued to develop this path of teaching, which leaves me with much free time to write.
In 2005, I participated in the creation of two associations: Hyperdébat, the goal of which is to promote methodical debate, and AQIT, an association for the improvement of the quality of information, see www.aqit.org, which organizes conferences and exchanges with the media. In 2006 we launched the Bistrots de l’info, which is held once a month and where a public interested in the media can meet personalities as diverse as Philippe Lefait, Elizabeth Lévy, Eric Brunet, Daniel Schneidermann, Jean-Pierre Tailleur… and discuss freely with them. From the dialogues with these individuals, we are preparing a collective work to define the problems with the diffusion of information and set forth ways to solve them.
Currently, I am putting the finishing touches on my philosophy courses (from which I have made book, as yet unpublished, called Philosophy by Exercise) and correcting an essay on the great metaphysical systems, which was written several years ago. I hope that these texts will also find their way to publication. I also have a rather unclassifiable “initiatory novel” among my papers, that is inspired in large part by my experiences of hypnosis and my travels through esoteric milieus.
In 2007, I finished an unpublished essay on the freedom of expression which develops the article “Must Freedom of Expression Be Killed?” and which lays out several preliminary theories of active tolerance.
In 1999, L’Homme réseau, penser et agir dans la complexité (Chroniques sociale, Lyon, EVO, Bruxelles). Lien
In 2000, L’Autre désir (La Musardine, coll. d’essais L’attrappe-corps). Succès d’estime. Lien
In 2002, I collaborated upon a book with Eric Raulet (creator of the Festival of Antibes and other events pertaining to the relation between science and society, see www.sapience.org): Paranormal, entre mythes et réalités. Some fifteen academics participated in the work, which issues from a conference that we organized in November of 2000. We had the honor of receiving there Jacques Vallée, the great researcher known for his work in computer technology and his passionate approach to UFOs.
I have contributed articles to various French journals: Supérieur Inconnu, Question De; and in Le Philosophoire (a journal of philosophy for Ph.D students): “Faut-il tuer la liberté d’expression?”(n. 16); “Devoir de mémoire : le retournement dialectique de l’Histoire” (n.19); “La philosophie contre le respect” (n. 20); an editorial contributed to Libération, one of the major newspapers in France, in 2004.