Tag: crisis

I found this passage from Amitav Ghosh’s The Great Derangement pg 147 deeply unsettling to read in the context of the current crisis. The comparative aspect applies slightly less to Covid than it does in the current crisis but the fragility of affluence seems obviously correct: It is not impossible, for instance, that in dealing […]

From Zizek’s Pandemic! loc 439: What this contrast tells us is that panic is not a proper way to confront a real threat. When we react in panic, we do not take the threat seriously—we, on the contrary, trivialize it. Just think how ridiculous is the notion that having enough toilet paper would matter in […]

Anthropological shocks occur when many populations feel they have been subjected to horrendous events that leave indelible marks on their consciousness, will mark their memories forever, and will change their future in fundamental and irrevocable ways. Anthropological shocks provide a new way of being in the world, seeing the world and doing politics. — The […]

I thought this extract from Ulrich Beck’s final book Metamorphosis shed light on our current situation. The role of expert systems in rendering the crisis legible is familiar, with “the means to make the invisible threat to their life visible” lying in the mediation of events. The obvious different though is how intensively mediated Covid-19 […]

From Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything pg 105: The word “apocalypse” derives from the Greek apokalypsis, which means “something uncovered” or revealed. Besides the need for a dramatically better health care system, there was much else uncovered and revealed when the floodwaters retreated in New York that October. The disaster revealed how dangerous it is […]

Bleak but plausible predictions from Nick Srniceck and Alex Williams in their Inventing the Future. From loc 2020-2035: 1. The precarity of the developed economies’ working class will intensify due to the surplus global labour supply (resulting from both globalisation and automation).  2. Jobless recoveries will continue to deepen and lengthen, predominantly affecting those whose […]

In the Hard Thing About Hard Things, Ben Horowitz recounts his experiences of his company Loudcloud coming close to failure. At a climatic moment, he makes a speech to his staff declaring the commitment they will have to show over the coming months. From pg 48: “I have some bad news. We are getting our […]

How do we envisage our future? To ask this question usually invites reflections upon personal biography. More rarely does it address ‘our’ in a civilizational sense – I use the term loosely here to refer to the totality of organised human social life which, in contemporary circumstances I would take to be unitary (in the sense of […]

Crisis and Social Change: Towards Alternative Horizons. Call for Papers. Deadline Monday July 21st. Organized by the Department of Sociology, Cambridge University Date: Sep 26-27, 2014 Venue: Faculty of Human, Social, and Political Sciences, Free School Lane, Cambridge, CB2 3RQ This conference moves beyond crisis as a category of diagnosis and critique to explore alternative […]

I actually liked the ‘punk’ bit of this book less than I expected to. I’m a big fan of Nick Crossley’s work – though I disagree with him on a lot of things, engaging with it was really important for developing the theoretical perspective in my PhD. I’ve read a lot of what he’s done and the punk research […]