This is such a useful summary from Trisha Greenhalgh’s excellent Boston Review essay: In relation to face coverings, for example, there was basic scientific evidence on how the virus behaves. There were service-level data from hospital and general practitioner records. There were detailed comparative data on the health system and […]
“Like an acid eating away the flesh, COVID-19 has allowed us to see the bones of the social structure, to unveil the inequalities that mean some have to travel to work in care homes and fruit-picking fields, while others self-isolate and edit books. Nice work, if you can get it.”
I just went through my old wordpress.com sites and found a fascinating range of projects I’d forgotten about. In some cases, these were barely started or even immediately abandoned, reminding me of fleeting enthusiasms which soon dissipated. In other cases, they were projects that lived out their natural life course, only to eventually be forgotten in the graveyard of wordpress.com.
Social media has gone from fringe to mainstream in higher education within the last decade. A culture has developed around it which shapes how it is used by academics and how that use is evaluated. However a range of problems are emerging which that culture is proving unable to address. I explore these problems and suggest how we could reorientate social media culture within universities and why this is necessary.
Following my post a couple of months ago about objections to the anti-lockdown case, I thought I would share/save this formulation of the case against lockdown from epidemiologist John Ioannidis published in May last year as part of a superb exchange in the Boston Review.
“At a time when full political information, necessarily worldwide ins cope, is available only to the professional, and when statesmen have found no other clue to world politics than the blind alley of imperialism, it is almost a matter of course for the others, who vaguely sense our worldwide interdependence but are unable to penetrate into the actual working of this universal relationship, to turn to the dramatically simple hypothesis of a global conspiracy and a secret worldwide organization.”
It distresses me how easily this can be explained in the terms of 00s cyberutopianism. Does Zoom somehow encourage racist attacks? Or does it simply lower the transaction costs sufficiently that scores of racists not quite motivated enough to attack physical events are now willing to do so.
This is a typically astute piece from Richard Seymour on the intersection between social failure and environmental change generating the current crisis in Texas. He offers a disturbing analysis of the (attempted) creation of “mobilised political constituency that is ready, even morally energised, for quite a lot of death”
Behold him now, in utter solitude,
Welcomed by naught save fearful, deathlike silence,—
A silence which the echo of his steps
Alone disturbs, as through the vaults he paces.
It was clear that Songbird was a dreadful film, with atrocious script and terrible politics. However it was impossible to resist as a cultural expression of the ideas about society and the pandemic circulating in these febrile times. The story unfolds four years into a lockdown in America, as COVID-23 devastates the planet with a much higher fatality rate than the familiar virus from which it mutated:
What’s it like to move from organising face-to-face events to organising online events? This is a short reflection on my experience after two Post-Pandemic University conferences.
“That is what I have always understood to be the essence of anarchism: the conviction that the burden of proof has to be placed on authority, and that it should be dismantled if that burden cannot be met.”
I wrote this on my old blog in 2007 a month after moving into a Sociology department to complete a second masters degree rather than starting my planned Philosophy PhD. It’s strange to realise that my intellectual sensibility was fully formed almost 15 years ago and the progress I’ve made since then has largely been about working out the practical consequences of it for what I do with my life.
How are individuals coping with these conditions? What are the “small rituals, formulas, quirks” which they are relying upon? How are they making decisions about the future? What about the quarter of people who say their life hasn’t changed very much?
If I understand correctly Twitter’s Project Bluesky investigates the possibility of building a decentralised social media in which protocols (rules facilitating communication) and access (the process of communicating) are separated in order to open up social platforms in a radical way