I was introduced to flâneur or the rational flâneur in Nicholas Nassim Taleb’s books, namely the black swan and Antifragile. As “Someone who, unlike a tourist, makes a decision opportunistically at every step to revise his schedule, so he can imbibe things based on new information”. I related instantly to Taleb’s words as an individual who travels without a meticulous itinerary with every minute painstaking planned.
For me travel was always more spontaneous then planed. While never been concerned with the touristy mask that cities wear. What cities try to cover up is always more existing. Therefore, “to not be the prisoner of a plan” made scene, “a professional mediator” was a worthwhile cause I identified with.
The rational flâneur is also an ideal for professional life and business. “to be unglued to desks, organizations and structures”, is the basic idea. Reading Nicholas Nassim Taleb’s books is the only way to appreciate rational flâneurie to the utmost. I do not have enough experiences from professional life to write about nor give antidotes. This is good I won’t over identify with any career as it is only an addition. However, there are defiantly flâneur like tendencies that have come through in my very modest professorial life.
The most important thing to note about the rational flâneur. is that the while it may be a good ideal to follow for personal life, business, and definitely travel. There are times when the flâneur mindset is inadequate. For different people, this will be related to different domains in life. For me, it is with my Academic education in engineering, or maybe I have yet to find a way to integrate rational flâneurie (I’m working on it).
Finally, flâneur is a philosophical way of thinking and living. That I will integrate into my life. There are certain aspects of this philosophy or art that I already do and have been unknowingly for some time. Thus, I proceed to round out my rough flâneur edges, and maybe coin my own version of flâneur.
The crowd is his element, as the air is that of birds and water of fishes. His passion and his profession are to become one flesh with the crowd. For the perfect flâneur, for the passionate spectator, it is an immense joy to set up house in the heart of the multitude, amid the ebb and flow of movement, in the midst of the fugitive and the infinite. To be away from home and yet to feel oneself everywhere at home; to see the world, to be at the centre of the world, and yet to remain hidden from the world—impartial natures which the tongue can but clumsily define. The spectator is a prince who everywhere rejoices in his incognito. The lover of life makes the whole world his family, just like the lover of the fair sex who builds up his family from all the beautiful women that he has ever found, or that are or are not—to be found; or the lover of pictures who lives in a magical society of dreams painted on canvas. Thus the lover of universal life enters into the crowd as though it were an immense reservoir of electrical energy. Or we might liken him to a mirror as vast as the crowd itself; or to a kaleidoscope gifted with consciousness, responding to each one of its movements and reproducing the multiplicity of life and the flickering grace of all the elements of life.