And More Words

adding to the conversation

Category: Essay

Digital Psychogeography

Prelude

Some friends and I have built my most advanced Minecraft world yet. Lots of train tracks (there are little cars you can ride in), enchanted stuff, trading with the villagers...I won't bore you endlessly, but it's been really good fun to have a quasi-social thing to do. It's actually really fun—lots of little puzzles, creative freedom, the anarchic democracy of a collaborative effort.

Plus it's let me learn about server running, setting up ssh and other processes. Which is the basis for a lot of "screensharing" applications. You can throw video output through the ssh (secure shell) prot...

The Plague Journal: Rebellion

Lines of Capital

The year opened with titters and tweets of WWIII, and while we did enter into a period of global struggle, it was not initially against a human enemy. The first global pandemic in living memory has by now been a staple of everyday existence for almost four months (slightly longer for the internationally aware, the specialist, or über-hypochondriac).

The novel coronavirus Covid-19 spread globally from Wuhan, carried abroad by lines of trade and capital flow. The Chinese journal Chuang 闯 ("rush," "to temper oneself through difficulties") wrote «Social Contagion» back in February...

Queerness = Whiteness..?

Queerness as Whiteness
by Michelle Yuan

A Critique

An old problem: Is pride in an identity not wholly one's own (i.e. one derived from historical domination) misplaced?

Personally, I feel like the rejection of labels, including "queer" is almost the penultimate "queer" move. Worries about one's passing, performance, purveyance are universals to identity. Identity, like beauty, is a process of the subject, not a quality of the object.

I felt myself reduced to a woman, an Asian, a queer person, or a queer Asian woman — a series of labels instead of simply a person. In claiming these labels for...

Thinking In Turn

Nihilism as Freedom, Never as Truth

Shulamith Firestone on the investigations and eradications of biological sex
Taking Marxist analysis "deeper" into the root divisions of [re]production.

It's amazing to see this written in 1970, discussing the future "genderless and genderfluidity" that, here now 50 years later, we are finally seeing reach mainstream. Corporate media is so far behind darling, well over half a century!

And people think these "alternate" gender/sexualities are "new." Ha! That novelty is, I think, the apposite side of Giorgio Agamben's State of Exception: where capital(ism) wou...

Future Capture Vol.I: The Present Precedent

«The Value of Everything» Mariana Mazzucato


World Bank. 2019. International Debt Statistics 2020. Washington, DC: World Bank. doi:10.1596/978-1-4648-1461-7. License: Creative Commons Attribution CC BY 3.0 IGO. pp 161.

Re-Introduction

I admit it has been...more than a few months since I finished reading Mazzucato's masterful 2018 work The Value of Everything,1 and even longer since I announced the start of this project here on this blog. That was back when I was young and full of verve. In terms of the global structure of, well, everything, we can say that not much has changed since the book w...

Being Good

I suspect that, for all the philosophizing and thinking in circles, we actually know what it means to be good. Even if all axioms must fall to some long-tail case or another, if all rules are broken by one of the trillions of possibilities in existence. That we actually do know, we just have a hard time saying what it is that we know.


The Perils of Perfection

The first hurdle, of course, is finding something to write about. Casting a mental net wide over the lake of experience, and seeing what writhing wretched things are pulled in.

Then, even before I begin writing, the second thing I must ...

Population and Prosperity

Normalization of Relations: China and the United States

In December of 1969, the U.S. ambassador in Warsaw was asked to allude to his Chinese colleague President Nixon's interest in opening “concrete discussions” with China1; three short years later the relationship had progressed more quickly than anyone a few years ago would have thought possible. The symbolic culmination of this development came in January of 1972, when the President of the United States of America, Richard Nixon, visited Beijing for a largely ceremonial meeting with the Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party, Mao Zedong. ...

Technostalgia

"One of technologies' most interesting byproducts is nostalgia." --Louis Chude-Sokei, Enter Afrofuturism [Video] | What does it mean for our present, that we miss a future that never came to be?

Merged Paths: All Words Lead to Sustainability

(A review on a Yale MOOC (massively open, online course) for Global Literature. We can instantly recognize the writing as rather poorly executed, but what can the style tell us about the content? I would be willing to bet our author is a fan of recent Canadian pseudo-intellectuals whose name rhymes with "Lordan Cleterson.")

...

I was reading through a friend’s copy of The New Yorker this past evening, several of the stories focused on the various ways we have become “beholden to our screens,” that the tentacles of technology have absorbed (derailed? subsumed? replicated in vitro?) our public ...

May 24, 2019 in Essay 191

"Respect" In Both Senses of the Word

THE PROVERBIAL INTERNET QUOTE OF WISDOM:

"Sometimes people use 'respect' to mean 'treating someone like a person' and sometimes they use 'respect' to mean 'treating someone like an authority' and sometimes people who are used to being treated like an authority say 'if you won't respect me I won't respect you' and they mean 'if you won't treat me like an authority I won't treat you like a person' and they think they're being fair but they aren't, and it's not okay" [sic]

The language of human rights would fit easily in here--but who gets to count as human? Is it "humanitarian" interest that lea...