I thought you might be interested in this new podcast series I’ve started. It’s the audio diary of a social theorist during the pandemic, with self-consciously rough thoughts, speculations which haven’t quite reached the status of work in progress. Mostly short thoughts from me but I’ll have conversations with other people as well. It will involve meta-reflections […]

In this fireside chat from the Australian National University’s Get #SoMe course, Mark Carrigan and Inger Mewburn discuss social media for academics, the challenges of digital scholarship and their significance when daily life is being transformed by Covid-19.  

With the imminent demise of cinema, it seems like a good time to share this list of the films I’ve seen since July 2018: Hotel Artemis Generation Wealth Annihilation Under the Tree Ant Man and the Wasp The Escape The Heiresses Mad to be Normal Moneyball BlackKklansman Apostasy Cold War Searching American Animals A Simple […]

I turned off comments almost a year ago when I deleted my Twitter account, in pursuit of a less overwhelming digital existence. However I realised recently this has obliterated the sense I had of people actually reading this blog, as opposed to stumbling across it via the google footprint which has accrued over ten years […]

In his recent book of essays, Will Davies draws a comparison between securitisation and digital platforms. From pg 15-16 of This Is Not Normal: These are just some of the ways in which the credit derivative and the platform have transformed our political world in the twenty-first century. But there is more to it than […]

This extract from Danielle Allen’s superb Why Plato Wrote brought to life an issue which I’ve found myself returning to endlessly over the years. On pg 26 she talks about the Socratic disdain for writing and the capacity for teaching seen to inhere within them. When Socrates says that a written text can be no […]

From pg 136 of this new biography from Izabela Wagner: One of his most important tasks, which he performed frequently, was writing political texts with the objective of communist indoctrination. Producing such literature required good historical knowledge and a background in the Marxist literature, with mastery of ‘classics’ such as Lenin’s work. Long office hours […]

I thought this was a great account of Zygmunt Bauman’s style by David Beer in his newsletter. It’s the same quality which can be found in the trilogy of books by Giddens in the early 1990s which, along with Bauman’s oeuvre, facilitated my transition from philosophy to sociology. These works excited me because they provided […]

God! I will pack, and take a train, And get me to England once again! For England’s the one land, I know, Where men with Splendid Hearts may go; And Cambridgeshire, of all England, The shire for Men who Understand; And of THAT district I prefer The lovely hamlet Grantchester. For Cambridge people rarely smile, […]

From this disturbing piece by Richard Seymour: A glance at the crowd shows it to be younger and more heteroclite than one would expect. The heavily armed protests in the US mostly resembled outings of a Duck Dynasty fan club. Granted, in these English displays, there is the inevitable quorate of Nazis, QAnon supporters, flag […]

When time pulls lives apartHold your own When everything is fluid, and when nothing can be known with any certaintyHold your own Hold it ’til you feel it thereAs dark, and dense, and wet as earthAs vast, and bright, and sweet as airWhen all there isIs knowing that you feel what you are feelingHold your […]

If the bad times are coming, let ’em comeLet the death drum break the slumpBefore the once young braves succumbThe fickle flicker of desire expiresIf the bad times are coming let ’em come, let ’em come 😷 #Covid19 😷

From 25 Years of Ed Tech by Martin Weller pg 169: There is in much of ed tech a growing divide, particularly in evidence at conferences. One camp is largely uncritical, seeing ed tech as a sort of Silicon Valley-inspired, technological utopia that will cure all of education’s problems. This is often a reflection-free zone, […]

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the temporality of the Covid crisis. There was a suspension of time during lockdown, in which a national unit attempts to stop to the greatest extent possible without self-destructing, constituting a pretty unique act of (partial) demobilisaiton. However this was just the first act, leading to a much more liminal […]

When time pulls lives apart Hold your own When everything is fluid, and when nothing can be known with any certainty Hold your own Hold it ’til you feel it there As dark, and dense, and wet as earth As vast, and bright, and sweet as air When all there is Is knowing that you […]

From today’s Protocol newsletter: There’s a clear trend here. I’ve talked to a lot of folks recently about the return of blogging, the rise of Substack, and what it means that people are branching out on their own again. Medium clearly understands the underlying goal behind that trend, which is that creators want a place […]