About me (Sean Sturm) and my blog

Sean Sturm headshot


I live in Auckland (Tāmaki Makaurau), Aotearoa/New Zealand with my partner Jacqui and two children, Freya and Sasha. I teach in the School of Critical Studies in Education at the University of Auckland (my profile).

My Blog

I post from time to time on writing, music, writing music, thinking, teaching and learning, teaching and learning thinking, teaching and learning writing . . .


46 thoughts on “About me (Sean Sturm) and my blog

  1. Im sure many of you are like me and one of the first things you do in the morning is head here and check out the new post. Along with seeing the new posts, I’m also always checking out the blog roll rss feed and watching them grow, or shrink sometimes. In one of my past …but all in all excellent site. Keep it up!

  2. Just wanted to drop you a line to say, I enjoy reading your site. I thought about starting a blog myself but don’t have the time.
    Oh well maybe one day…. 🙂

  3. Hi Sean

    I googled ‘Chamier’, ended up here and – an hour later – realise I am actually supposed to be doing something else : )



    ps – appreciate your comments on working through the PhD process

  4. Ae, @George. It’s a no-brainer. Out of mind. (Ipu Pakore is literally “broken calabash,” but I suddenly thought “broken vessel,” after Psalm 61: “I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel” – not that I’m religiose).

  5. Can’t believe I stumbled upon your blog accidentally, while searching for images of brains in vats – just my usual weekend web surfing. A very serendipitous stumble! I will certainly be a regular visitor – keep up the wonderful work!

    Mark Ehrman
    Iowa City, Iowa USA

  6. hey Sean, I love your NIxons era song ‘Century of wait’, is there already or perhaps you could/should put a version on soundcloud for my download pleasure? And/or could you please perhaps send me or post the lyrics?

    • Century of Wait
      Sean Sturm and the Nixons, Basement Static (Auckland: Pagan, 1995)

      (On the occasion of a total eclipse at Machu Picchu, Peru on 3 November 1994. The eclipse lasted 2:58. “Nothing comes from nothing [ex nihilo nihil fit]” is from Parmenides — echoed in King Lear 1:1.)

      Verse 1
      The sky’s gone out
      and the animals are silent:
      I can only see the whites of your eyes.
      Too scared to breathe
      this air thick and ashen:
      it feels like the end of a dream.

      2:58 is a century of wait
      when you’re watching for something
      to celebrate,
      when you’re counting on something
      to celebrate
      it feels like
      2:58 is a century of wait.

      Verse 2
      The sky’s gone out
      except for Jupiter and Venus
      hanging like vultures up above us.
      The donkeys and the roosters
      and the flashing of your cameras
      feel like the stuff of a dream.


      Nothing comes of nothing
      comes to nothing in the end.

      Chorus + Bridge

  7. With thanks for the constellations: Sloterdijk, Flusser, Serres, Benjamin, Derrida and Latour & al., along with fine incisive commentary. Appreciate your point of view and a generous resource.

    Best to you,

  8. Hi Sean, my name is Hine-Ata-Kura Sturm.We must be related some where along the line.All Im trying to make connection to the Sturm whanau in Nuhaka hopefully you can help me out?

    • Hi Hine-Ata-Kura,
      I don’t have any contact with the Nuhaka Sturms, unfortunately, as my line of the family mover to Auckland in the late 1920s. Have you been in touch with the hapu (Ngati Rakaipaaka)? There’s a website that lists contact details for the hapu/marae of Ngati Kahungunu (http://www.kahungunu.iwi.nz/sections/our_people/). Which of the marriages of FWC Sturm do you descend from: Ani Hinetai (Elizabeth/Peti) or Pakapaka Tiarere (Charles, Frederick [my forbear], Mary)?

  9. a sean … nga mih mahana ki a koe [ warm greetings ] …

    … i stumbled on this blog, whilst searching for an essay by sloterdijk …

    … in which he extends the title ascribed to nietsche ‘the will to power’, to read … the will to power via technology …

    … i live in wellington … my wife designed aucklands wynyard quarter … and my daughter has just started high school …

    … beyond sloterdijk … i like bertrand russell, niklas luhmann, gilbert simondon and stafford beer … and within those still alive dirk baecker (DE), david hawk (USA), roger harnden (UK) …

    … i’m currently working through the issues of enabling 10,000 concurrent learners per second …

    for which, i’m drawing heavily from the work of:
    – sloterdijk [ foam ]
    – luhmann [ reality of mass media | communication model ]
    – beer [ beyond dispute – team syntegrity]

    ko paul ransfield, ngati tu, ngati raukawa, te ati hau-a-paparangi
    BE Chemical+Process, MBA, ITILv3 OSA, Big Data (MIT MOOC 2014), TechEntrepeneurship (Standford MOOC 2-13)

    • found the quote … from ‘The Space of Global Capitalism and its Imaginary Imperialism: An Interview with Peter Sloterdijk, Liesbeth Noordegraaf-Eelens & Willem Schinkel’, In media res, Peter Sloterdijk’s Spherological Poetics of Being, p192, 2011

      Q And how would you characterise this movement?
      PS Well in Heidegger this movement is conceived in a Nietzschean way, namely as will to power through technology.

      Q And do you concur in thus conceptualizing power, as will to power through technology?
      PS No, I see this movement differently. I describe the history of technology and of civilization as a relief (Entlastung), that is, as an attempt to restore the primary richness. Modern society is in fact an experiment in the archetype of the rich life.

      • Interesting! Tena koe, Paul. Heidegger was a techno-pessimist at heart: although he often talks about us needing to adopt the right attitude to technology, he thought that what we take technology to be, i.e. machines, not techne, was an element of modern machination, i.e. metaphysical in his sense (see Contributions to Philosophy and Mindfulness), which led to totalitarianism, i.e total mobilisation à la Junger. Sloterdijk is reading Heidegger in a Heideggerian way (by focussing on the late Nietzsche as Heidegger and other Germans of his era did), but more importantly, he looks at the issue of technology anthropologically rather than ontologically, which makes him seem like a techno-optimist, when all he’s really doing is describing technology using new metaphors, or recycled ones taken from philosophical anthropologists like Arnold Gehlen. (That doesn’t mean it’s not interesting!)

  10. Hi Sean,
    I am currently writing an essay on my teaching philosophy as I am completing my training as a trainer (3rd or 4th career : ). I had that saying playing in my head for weeks: We can only learn what we already know. Wanting to use it as an introduction, I did seem to remember that Plato was the originator of this but could not find a secure enough source to confirm this. Until tonight when I came across your blog. What a gift it is! Thank you for your thoughts and lucid writing. Particularly the weaving in of Heidegger’s thoughts, which seem particularly useful to my field: that of Psychotherapy where we can really only learn what we can allow ourselves to know (about ourselves and others). Therefore the self-giving to the process of self-exploration (learning) has to happen in order to allow us “to know” what we have always known, but were perhaps not allowed to know. (Perhaps this is where Nietzsche and his “Philosophie des Verbotenen Wissens” comes in?) So students will say: This theory is very confusing. But the theory is in itself not confusing. Nor is the teacher poor in explaining it (at least not from my observation). It is more likely the defence mechanism that confuses the incoming knowledge, so that the psyche is protected from too much insight, too soon. I wonder in what light one will read the student evaluations from this perspective.

  11. I’ve been reading the andrew robinson’s piece on barthes; one of the few texts on barthes that doesn’t lose itself in pretentious derivations. I’m also quite fond of your site’s design/theme – is it one of the pre-available options or did you customize it yourself?

    thank you and keep up the good work. greetings from portugal

  12. Hi Sean, I wish you had let me know more about you when we met. You should be the one writing Frederick’s life story, not me. I think you would have found it a lot easier to do. I have started and have given myself a time October 2017. My aim is to finish the book, have a book launch and a big family reunion and a printed copy of the family tree. I would love you to get in touch with me again. Looking forward to a reply. With love from your cousin Lyn Sturm

    • Hi Lyn,
      I hope you’re well. It’s not something I have time to do at the moment because I’m super busy, so I’m very happy for you to proceed. I hope it’s going well!

  13. I discovered your blog while searching for Cage’s _Lecture on Nothing_ and am now obsessed with your posts. Really helped me to remind myself what I love about reading, writing, thinking and learning… Just wanted to thank you! ☼✌︎

  14. Kia ora Sean – found your blog on Francis Edward Jew while researching unsolved murders in NZ, and it inspired a poem. Happy to send you a copy if you send your email address

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