Sunday, August 23, 2009

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Andrew Keen is one confused man

Listen to Paul Duguid eviscerate Andrew Keen's arguments in this podcast. I almost fell sorry for him - he seemed so out of his league.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

From the annals of incomprehensible academic writing

Via Culture Matters:

Transforming Cultures is pleased to announce that this year the TfC Annual Lecture will be presented by:

Professor Kathleen Stewart (Dept. of Anthropology, University of Texas, Austin).

Atmospheric Atunements

Thursday 20th August 2009, 6:00-8:00 pm
University of Technology in Sydney Gallery Function Centre, Level 6, UTS Tower Building.

Something throws itself together. Or sags, shifts tone, or fails. Invisible airs quicken around nascent forms, rinding up like the skin of an orange. Circulating forces waver and pulse, visceralizing the sheer sense of something happening. The ordinary hums with the background noise of all that takes place in moments, scenes, objects, resonances, rhythms. The atmospheric attunes to the sentience of things passing in and out of existence, to the expressivity of what Giorgio Agamben calls ‘whatever being’. This sensing out that attends is itself a labor of worlding, an effort to inhabit a flighty ground.

This writing asks what it takes to live out the worlding of forces rinding up and dissipating. But it also wonders about the significance of accretion itself. The way that an atmosphere accretes for senses in sync with it (or sort it) and the worlding that accrues partially or fully, quickly or slowly, for a time, with habit or shock, in practices or daydreams. A worlding – an attunement – that can be sloughed off, realized, imagined, brought to bear or just born.

Yeaaaaahhhhhh. It's writing like this that gives postmodernism a bad name.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Duncan Watts and Harrison White

I've been reading Duncan Watts' Six Degrees and it's a very engaging book but this sentence stopped me stone cold:
Harrison is famous not only for his irascible manner and impenetrable writing but also for his profound generosity, astounding breadth of interest, and occasionally startling insight.
Occasionally startling insight? Only "occasionally"? Is this supposed to be a compliment? A backhanded compliment? An outright insult? Hmmmmm.