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Theoretical interventions as events

Scott Lash interviewed by Nicholas Gane in the Future of Social Theory pg 105. I found this thought provoking in terms of its linking of the transcendent with the book form (the slow, careful, considered attempt to get outside of the issue) and the imminent with more feral forms of […]

The downward mobility of intellectuals

This passage from Ian McEwan’s Machines Like Me (pg 108) resonated horribly with me at a time when universities are freezing their recruitment: There were a lot like me in the neighbourhood, but thirty or forty years older. I had seen them in Simon’s shop, reaching for the quality journals […]

Why do academic celebrities self-plagiarise?

I’m not searching for self-plagiarism but I increasingly spot it when reading. It’s a vague itch of “I’ve read this before” and the search facilities of digital books (Google Books, Kindle etc) makes it easier than ever to confirm. I noticed recently that a paragraph of Zizek’s recent Russia Today […]

The fragmentation of the humanities

I can’t help but relate this proliferation (in my view fragmentation) within the humanities to the discursive phenomena of turns. Much as we turn when we’re unsure where we’re going, I’m intuitively sceptical that what Rosi Braidotti describes on pg 100-102 of PostHuman Knowledge is a sign of the humanities being […]

What is an essay?

This extract from Xavier de la Porte’s The Imposter: BHL in Wonderland loc 1946 captured something important about intellectual culture in late neoliberalism: the essay sits in between specialised writing and the popular press, in spite of the tendency of essayists to elevate it above everything else: At the same time […]

What noisily calls itself philosophy

This extract from Xavier de la Porte’s The Imposter: BHL in Wonderland reproduces a conference opening given by Derrida in which he drew attention to the new generation of philosophers who were being put forward as a consequence of the ‘techno-politics of telecommunications’. From loc 1809 of their book: There lies, […]

The parallel between publishing and academia

This description of life within the publishing industry, from Anna Wiener’s Uncanny Valley loc 133, struck a chord with me: Every assistant I knew quietly relied on a secondary source of income: copyediting, bartending, waitressing, generous relatives. These cash flows were rarely disclosed to anyone but each other. It was […]

Liberating ‘digital’ from ‘technology’

found this quote from Craig Elder, a former senior Conservative comms strategist, fascinating as an account of how ‘the internet’ has ceased to be a siloed technological function and instead become something integrated into the existing communications functions of the party. It’s from Andrew Pickering’s The Hybrid Media System pg […]

Knowing when to end projects

This interesting observation from Robin Sloan (HT The Convivial Society) left me thinking about the duration of projects: For my part, re: craft and theory, I think giving a newsletter some temporal boundaries can be healthy and (weirdly?) productive. Start it up, but decide ahead of time when it will […]

Election 2019 and journalism

It’s going to be a while before I feel capable of writing something about this disaster of an election but I’m saving this thread by Guardian media editor Jim Waterson to come back to because it raises an extremely interesting point: to what extent can what many perceived as intentional […]

Online != Grassroots

I thought this was a crucial observation by Andrew Chadwick about the tendency to conflate ‘online’ with ‘grassroots’. It’s from pg 67 of this The Hybrid Media System. It lingers on in the platform imaginary in a way reinforced by the tendency to conflate the demotic and the democratic: One […]