re: Macri, the Brexit, Le Pen, Donald Trump

Trump occupies demagogically an empty place: the place of a people who can not represent himself. And why pretend return to Middle America, as does Marine Le Pen evoking the deep France, when what they really are doing is producing top a kind of imaginary identification. We must not forget that the subject of politics is symbolic.

Jacques Rancière (75) who was recently awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Valparaiso via Philosopher/Professor Federico Galende

He goes on to discuss posthistory, neoliberalism and the (new) extreme right.

Recent readings; as of 10/29/2016

It feels like it had been a long while (more than a year) since I had really read my way through some books. Partly, a result of among other things; a move across country, a new job, a new home. Also, much of my “reading time” is lately, generally spent trying to get through my backlog of Sunday NYTs.

That being said, following the first home purchase, we had boxes of unpacked books lying around and in process of unpacking, I made my way through a few. Was a nice change of pace and really enjoyed all three.

Unusually for me (at least in historical terms) I read most of these books in bed. Only ever works for me, when I have 3 or more pillows to prop myself up. Which is mostly C’s territory.

  • ‘Winter in the Blood’ by James Welch

Had Amazoned this a few years ago. Though it had just been moved around since. Sometimes the timing just needs to be right. Also, I think I was able to commit to reading it, because it could be a novella. It is barely 138 pages.

Feels very grounded in place. Indigenous but not “Indian”. Or rather not primitive or tribal. A sort of prarie-land magical realism. Was interested to learn that it had been made into a film released in 2013. Based on the trailer seems promising.

  • ‘The Man Who Lost His Shadow’ by Fathy Ghanem

The first work of Egyptian fiction, I have read (as far as I can recall). Of the three the longest book, though not more than double the number of pages, perhaps.

Three almost auto-biographical stories, presented in toto. Of two women and their relation, a man. Modern, simple and noteworthy.

  • ‘The Big Sleep’ by Raymond Chandler

Always been a fan of noir. Was good to finally read one of the originals. Picked up used at a vintage store. One thing that I learned and was surprised by; the word “gat” is used more than once to refer to a handgun. For some reason I thought this had a more recent vintage.

re: innovation and civic values

“offers a model for urban living that yokes everyday conversation and discovery – social life writ large – to the dictates of market innovation…At its root, civic innovation is based on an inclusive, if narrowly defined, notion of participation. As long as individuals follow the rules, they are welcome to play.

So much good. Read more here via John Elrick and Will Payne

Regarding “Slow Journalism”

Over at Nieman Reports, Michael Blanding argues for it’s Value…in the Age of Instant Information.

Referencing Paul Salopek’s Out of Eden Walk project, Mr. Blanding explains “Though many of the principles of slow journalism aren’t new, the idea has taken on fresh urgency. It shares characteristics with narrative journalism, especially the emphasis on immersive reporting.

Other aspects include; the use of “engaged time“/”attention” metrics, transparency of process and non-traditional funding models (philanthropy, subscriptions, memberships etc.).

Regarding: Neuromancer, postmodernism and cyberpunk

Fredric Jameson (of Postmodernism; or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism fame) looks “closely at the notion of cyberspace in Gibson, in order to see what it involves” and argues The new postmodern abstraction is the abstraction of information as such: the way in which the seemingly concrete visual image is already abstract by virtue of its transmission in advertising; it is a visual cliché and no longer merely a conceptual or verbal one. And it is precisely this new kind of abstraction which it was the unique vocation of cyberpunk to convey in literary form.

Further; “Gibson’s cyber-space is an abstraction to the second power. The initial metaphor of a city for an information network is a first-level abstraction; then the representation of that city by the abstractions of the architects raises it to a second power. In cyberpunk this second-level abstraction is to be read by being navigated, and the camera eye of the novel moves through them, as we have seen, following their openings and canyons, skirting their barriers, moving ever deeper into the nonexistent space of these new systems

Read the rest of the essay at Public Books

Regarding the accelerationist geopolitical brief

Benjamin Bratton inventoried “certain trace-effects that might be read as constitutive indicators of some cleavage between the Anthropocene and the post-Anthropocene“.

They include; Epidermal Biopolitics and NanoskinCloud PolisMachinic Images and Mereotopological Geopolitical Architectonics.