power imbalances

March 26th, 2019

Sally Rooney on her writing:

In a 2017 interview in The Irish Times, Rooney describes wanting to use her fiction to think about “questions that I feel we haven’t necessarily got the theory to deal with yet,” such as the limitations of feminism when addressing power imbalances in our personal lives. Her novels suggest that she is thinking broadly about the disjuncture between our politics and our daily experiences. Understanding the inequity of our “precise historical moment,” much like understanding the causes of our pain, is not the same as knowing how to stop it. Indeed, it can make our experience even more distressingly acute.

via LARB

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The politics of Foodieism:

The basic principle of the food industry is the exchange of cash for edible objects, so its social architecture has been built by the people who have traditionally been the wealthiest. If cooking is a working class profession, dining is the province of the bourgeoisie and fine dining, where cooking as an art reaches its pinnacle, is the dominion of the rich.

When you take into account the way the fine dining industry overlaps with home cooking and food media, the overall effect is of a culture that skews male, white, and wealthy.

The writer and artist Sukjong Hong…sees foodie-ism as “a form of conspicuous consumption that disguises itself as cultural acumen.” When food is separated out from its practical function and cultural context and turned into a media property, foodie-ism is often “orientalist and neocolonial in its language of ‘discovery,’” Hong said, particularly in its “valuing of authenticity around foods that are not from the dominant culture.”

via New Republic

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the idiot

September 12th, 2018

There is nothing so annoying as to be fairly rich, of a fairly good family, pleasing presence, average education, to be “not stupid,” kind-hearted, and yet to have no talent at all, no originality, not a single idea of one’s own—to be, in fact, “just like everyone else”.

Of such people there are countless numbers in this world—far more even than appear. They can be divided into two classes as all men can—that is, those of limited intellect, and those who are much cleverer. The former of these classes is the happier.

from Dostoyevsky’s the Idiot

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ducking the issue…

March 5th, 2018

it has suddenly dawned on me that, every time i purchase, or am about the purchase, a new pair of shoes, an irrepressible fear of how those new shoes, however beautiful, well-made, hipster, artisanal, etc. etc., might give me blisters, might squeeze that overly-wide part of my feet behind my toes, might hurt my arches, or might scratch my ankles, would haunt me like some kind of spectre, torture my mind with imagined petty pain and trivial suffering; meanwhile, the world goes up in flames…

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dense & compact

January 22nd, 2018

Erklärung

Am Morgen lag Schnee.

Man hätte sich freuen können. Man hätte Schneehütten bauen können oder Schneemänner, man hätte sie als Wächter vor das Haus getürmt. Der Schnee is tröstlich, das ist alles, was er ist – und er halte warm, sagt man, wenn man sich in ihn eingrabe.

Aber er dringt in die Schuhe, blockiert die Autos, bringt Eisenbahnen zum Entgleisen und macht entlegene Dörfer einsam.

Peter Bichsel

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Old Woman, Old Fish

The fish that has been sitting in my stomach all afternoon was so old by the time I cooked and ate it, no wonder I am uncomfortable – an old woman digesting an old fish.

Lydia Davis

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some things i like,

January 10th, 2018

which relate to each other:

- Marcel Proust
- Jorge Luis Borges
- Georges Perec
- Sophie Calle’s Chromatic Diet
- Paul Auster’s Maria in the New York Trilogy
- Chris Ware’s Building Stories
- Word games, Languages

 

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meanwhile, i drink beer, and consume a prodigious amount of macadamia nuts.

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starving artists cookbook (blah)

October 1st, 2017

Starving Artist’s Cookbook

Love and hate! Generally I love reading anything related to food, but I have a feeling this is simply another round of fancy talk talk about the “starving” (young creative cool) artist, romanticisation of starvation, and oh come on, they aren’t really starving, most of them are (were) successful and have (had) money and/or patrons or both, or manage(d) to get by at least.

Of course, artists cook, but they are not the only ones who come up with the so-called “creative” recipes, have interesting ideas with regards to culinary practice, or have something to say through the act of cooking. What about all the housewives mothers fathers cab drivers toilet cleaners? Rainwater soup is not so Flux if you live without running water, a Soup des Jours which lasts many days is all that some people could afford to cook (their names are not John Cage), a “recipe for fried spaghetti, containing spaghetti, garlic, oil, and any herbs on hand” is a classic recipe and seriously, that was what all my then fellow students were sustaining themselves with (the “affluent” ones substitute oil with butter, and top it off with cheese, although not necessarily aged parmigiano or pecorino).

Anyway, where are Tony Conrad’s pickles?

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das individuum

August 29th, 2017

Rule of Thumb – the Instagrammability of things:

Aspiring artists should judge their work by one criterion and one criterion only: Do people want to take selfies in front of this thing? If the answer is no, then it’s back to the drawing board, friend. You’d do well to make something immersive, something participatory, something that’s such an experience that it acts as a magnet on the surrounding population, much as a Six Flags or a new Shake Shack might. To make anything quieter or less immediately spectacular is to risk irrelevance.

sounds like i’m doomed to be a failure with my obsession for the un-instagrammable!
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Wie kam es eigentlich zu diesem grossen Missverständnis? Wann entstand die aberwitzige Idee des Individuums, ein Individuum zu sein? Mit allen dazugehörigen absurden Individuumsansprüchen. Glücklich sein zu wollen, nur mal als eines genannt? Wann begann dieses Ahnen des Einzelnen, mehr zu sein als andere? War in der Steinzeit alles noch in Ordnung, oder ging es da schon los? Der Rudelälteste, die Urform des neuzeitlichen Egowahns? Keine Ahnung, das wissen Soziologen bestimmt besser. Die meisten wissen alles besser. Auch so eine Unsitte. Eine eigene Meinung haben. Fing das in den 60ern an? Zusammen mit dem Therapiewahn? Ich muss meine Bedürfnisse erkennen, formulieren, und es verletzt mich total, wenn du much ignorierst? Aufmerksamkeit will jeder für seine ungemein interessante Persönlichkeit. Seien Sie ehrlich – denken Sie, einzigartig zu sein? Mehr zu wissen als die meisten anderen? Besser auszusehen, ein spannenderes Leben zu haben/verdient zu haben? Un jedem steckt ein ungesunder Grössenwahn. Vielleicht kann man den mit Evolution erklären und damit, dass der Mensch leider dieses Gehirn hat, mit drei Windungen mehr, und es nicht ertragen kann zu erkennen, dass er sich in seiner Zusammensetzung, seinem Intellekt, seinem Äusseren und seinen mittelmässigen Ideen nicht ein Prozent von Millionen anderer Leute unterscheidet. Wär ihm das klar, DEM INDIVIDUUM, dann stürzte es in eine Krise. Aber wie der Grössenwahn das so mit sich bringt, eine richtig gesunde Sache ist es halt nicht, oder wie wäre es sonst zu erklären, dass trotz der vermeintlichen eigenen Überlegenheit Millionen widerspruchslos einzelne Kameraden als unbedingt überlegen akzeptieren? Ein paar alte Männer verkleiden sich mit roten Umhängen, und Millionen jubeln ihnen auf dem Petersplatz zu. 600 Bedienstete arbeiten für die Royal Family, sie warten bei unbeabsichtigten Begegnungen, bis sie von der Queen angesprochen werden, senken das Haupt, fallen in einen Hofknicks, weil das Tradition is und das ja so einen Halt gibt? Millionen weinen, wenn Lady Di, eine durchschnittlich aussehende Dame mit durchschnittlicher Intelligenz und unterdurchschnittlichen Leistungen zur Steigerung des Gemeinwohls verendet. Als wüssten wir um unsere Nichtigkeit, sind wir bereit, Macht- und Wissensdarsteller unhinterfragt zu akzeptieren. Als lauerte das Wissen um unsere Belanglosigkeit tief unten, versteckt unter einem Laubhaufen aufgehäufter Überheblichkeit. Die zunehmende Einsamkeit des Menschen der Jetztzeit beruht zu grossem Masse in der individuellen Überschätzung des eigenen Marktwertes. Des Sozialstatus und des Aussehens. Die vermeintliche Überlegenheit, geboren aus übermässigem Medienkonsum, Therapiesitzungen und dem Umstand, dass es scheinbar nicht mehr viel bedarf, um zu einem Star zu werden, führt zu einer Stagnation der eigenen Entwicklung. Dummheit ist die Akzeptanz des Status quo, das vermeintliche Wissen um die eigene Perfektion. Das hilft niemandem. Der Gemeinschaft nicht, dem Einzelnen schon gar nicht. Er wird aufwachen, der Grössenwahnsinnige, in einer mässig attraktiven Wohnung, mit einem mässig interessanten Beruf und einem uninteressanten Leben, erwachen, alt sein und sich betrogen fühlend sterben. Und dieser Punkt kommt immer. Egal of Genie oder eingebildete Ausnahmeerscheinung, die meisten von uns werden nur noch 20 bis 30 Sommer erleben. Wow, ist das knapp, und das Leben hat nicht gehalten, was die meisten sich vom ihm versprochen haben. Was für eine Ungerechtigkeit. Der Mensch is mehr, als er zu wissen glaubt, könnte jedoch meinen: Der Mensch is ein austauschbares Teil einer grossen Masse. Der ausserordentlich dilettantische Wahrspruch der 70er Jahre: Kein Mensch is wie der andere, ein fataler Irrtum. Es ist eher ernüchternd zu sehen, wie wir alle einander gleichen, in unseren kleinen Träumen und Sehnsüchten, in unseren Ideen und dem Aussehen, wenn wir das akzeptierten, uns als Teilchen eines grossen Ganzen begriffen, mit einer sehr begrenzten Haltbarkeitsdauer, könnten wir erleichtert aufatmen, dankbar sein, irgendeinen Menschen zum Teilen der Nichtigkeit zu finden, ein Dach, eine Decke, ein Buch, wir könnten us gestatten, uns nicht zu wichtig zu nehmen, und die Welt wäre ein erfreulicherer Ort.

from Die Fahrt, Sibylle Berg. KiWi Verlag.

Is there still hope for a better Europe?

June 30th, 2016

Blah!

The EU is fucked up. But is leaving the cure? I still think cooperation and solidarity (non-existent at the moment for the most part, especially the powerful part) are better than fragmentation and division (current state of things). A fundamental problem with the Brexit Leave campaign is that it promoted Brexit from an utterly wrong basis which is racist, xenophobic, anti-social, far right populist hate-promoting… and all this in the name of “sovereignty” and “freedom” (please define), while being unable to provide any concrete solution to make the lives of those in the UK better (e.g. against inequality and austerity), or even address the underlying problems with the EU (its undemocratic, neoliberal leadership, its implicit imperialism) which are making life hell for the growing masses of economically and socially marginalised people (are you still marginalised when the majority is “marginalised”?), not only in Europe but also in the “post-colonies” of the East and the South. In or out of the EU, the UK seems likely to be stay on the neoliberal path.

Am I dreaming of a romantic leftist socialist utopia? EU or not EU, what’s lacking is international cooperation and solidarity across state borders, we have enough division and discrimination and xenophobia and borders and militarisation thereof and and and.

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EURexit:

The European Union is remote, racist, imperialist, anti-worker and anti-democratic: It is run by, of, and for the super-rich and their corporations…

Corporate bureaucrats in Brussels working as agents of the big banks and transnationals’ now exert control over every aspect of our lives. Neoliberal policies and practices (austerity, flexible labour markets, low pay, privatisation of public services, eradication of welfare states) dominate the European Commission, European Parliament, European Central Bank, European Court of Justice and a compliant media legitimises the whole conquest.

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There might still be hope, if we demand a democratic refoundation of Europe

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and, Let us be honest about our past and our present if we truly seek to dismantle white supremacy!

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les associations phonétiques multilingues

June 9th, 2016

“Nothing makes you more aware of your own language, its structure and strategies, than the differences of a new one.”

from NYRB, How Italy Improved My English by Tim Parks.

more awareness of languages i already speak, yes, definitely; as for improvement, i suppose it takes some serious dedication.
despite my great interest (passion!) in languages, i am still struggling to excel in the usage of (just) one single language. jumbling vocabulary, untranslatable colloquialism, faux amis (love the funny ones, though), migrating word order and grammar rules between languages…sometimes my brain feels like a pot of smashed potatoes topped with sriracha sauce.

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rise, rice!
          lice lies, lies 拉。

lazy
laisse
利是?
                                     拉屎!!!!!
ey, ay, hei!

hi, hi;   はい、はい!

閪!  high.
…heiss.

hide, hide!  Eil…?

                     ail!

    Eye? Ei?
                挨,唉。

my 呔? 賣tie?

ไทย!

猜? 

ใช่!

街 guy 派 pie, why?

vai! buy, buy. bye bye!

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re: gibbérische

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re: something i did some years back

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last:

can anyone please teach me how to pronounce vierzig and pfirsich correctly? i fuck up all the time.

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jobs, words, tv

May 15th, 2016

<3 Maria Eichhorn <3

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“I guess it’s a bit misleading if you say you’ve never had a proper job because they might think you’re just lazy. Or you’re a recovering smack-head. But I guess it’s not just for artists—there are a lot of people who never have proper jobs. One tends to forget—it’s interesting that most of the world has to have a proper job. That’s not to say I never had to work for a living—I’ve done lots of odd jobs, living in semi-poverty and living hand-to-mouth.”

Thus spoke David Shrigley

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CLICK HERE FOR SOME NERD FUN.
what to do when the recipe calls for some freshly ground black people? (with fish, i prefer sichuan people).

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Slow TV on NRK: COMING SOON: A Day in the Life of a Snail

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needs

April 28th, 2016

Regarding the blizzards back in January:

Capitalism is not a system based on meeting human need or fulfilling human desires, but on mediating them though and subordinating them to the priorities of profit. Whether a product or service fulfills the deepest needs or satiates burning desires is irrelevant if it does not do so profitably. The only question that matters in our society is: “Can we make money selling it?”

Generation Rent from two days ago:

The housing crisis was not driven by greed. Like all housing booms and busts, it was the natural product of a financialized housing market, in which homes become assets and a socially necessary good is transformed into a freewheeling commodity.

Support Jacobin!

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Minimum Wage?
we will always be poor, disrespected, sneered at, tired, ill, etc.,
because we’re lazy, bad, stupid, ugly, not white, etc.

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Mind is blown after watching Z.
Sad that the world is still like that. Or worse.

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underwear

February 2nd, 2016

been seeing lots of men’s underwear sticking out of their trousers. underwear bearing names of other men. like, in 120 point type. David, Calvin, Tommy, Leo, … or maybe it’s their name? perhaps i can start a crowd funding thingy making men’s underwear with elastic bands saying “hello, my name is…”? (please insert emoji here)

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last night on tv:

October 21st, 2015

The investigation of Auchan’s role in Rana Plaza by French human rights lawyer at Sherpa (and ten million other things which are embroiled in that),

and a visit to Hazari Bag, the outskirts of Dakar, where leather production is the main source of income (read: exploitation-pollution-poverty-etc.), which you absolutely do not want to see, but you’d better.

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Mama, do clothes grow on trees? And shoes, too? Are they harvested and sent to us by flying robots? Just like the iPhone?

(mis)quoting

October 20th, 2015

à propos de what happened to helvetica:

…traditionally social-democratic working-class voters are unable to identify with a social-democratic party that seems absorbed by academic technocracy and completely detached from the worries of ordinary blue-collar voters. With the dominant parties advocating the same sort of economic policy, these voters instead turn to the issue of immigration when deciding their political allegiance.

As social protection decreases, some people come to misconstrue two effects of globalization and capital restructuring — mass immigration and deteriorating welfare services — as being causally related.

on Scandinavian “exceptionalism”, Jacobin

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recent reads:

October 19th, 2015

If you’re not paranoid, you’re crazy
how to live in the world of surveillance?
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feminism as an utopian project for universal justice: an interview with nancy fraser

“The mainstream feminism of our time has adopted an approach that cannot achieve justice even for women, let alone for anyone else. The trouble is, this feminism is focused on encouraging educated middle-class women to “lean in” and “crack the glass ceiling” – in other words, to climb the corporate ladder. By definition, then, its beneficiaries can only be women of the professional-managerial class. And absent structural changes in capitalist society, those women can only benefit by leaning on others — by offloading their own care work and housework onto low-waged, precarious workers, typically racialized and/or immigrant women. So this is not, and cannot be, a feminism for all women! ”
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Funny Money: When the law is lawless.
a wonderful guide to the strange world of counterfeits in china. from fake money to fake universities, fake banks, even a fake government.
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Hipsters on food stamps? Stop exploiting yourselves. Working your asses off in 5 different temp jobs in order to live means the society is unfair.

“The rage directed at the figure of “a hipster on food stamps” is only intelligible in terms of the rotted ideological foundation that supports it: an ideology that simultaneously glorifies the suffering of the exploited and vilifies those among the dispossessed who are deemed to be insufficiently hardworking or self-reliant.”

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sunday funday

September 13th, 2015

Hi, my name is Pipi de Faux-pas-Bidet. Enchantée!

I thought I had met people with funny names. A handful of Thais, whose birth names are too long to be rememberable, have short nicknames, and somehow, they favour single-syllable names not exactly far away from the English alphabets: I have worked with an A, a F, and I met once an E, who introduced me to an O. My good friend told me she once had a co-worker named Spaghetti, and my mother had a student named Cucumber. Once I encountered a person named Water at a bar somewhere in a city, while each of us sipped our single malts (with water on the side) in front of glass paned windows. And a few year’s back, when I picked up the phone at work, a certain Frau Morgenbesser wanted to talk to my boss (thus for a while I called myself Frau Heuteschlecht). I have studied with Miss Special, and shared a studio with Miss Good.

But. How do you top a Madame Ovary? or Mr. Cigar Stubbs? Maybe a Mr. Baretits? This, is pure bliss! “How to name your baby” from the Paris Review, Summer 1976

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Does the inner voice exist? The inner voice doesn’t exist. Yes it does. No it doesn’t.

For me it does. It takes on several personas, it’s able to speak in different languages, in various accents of  some languages, its voice is always different, sometimes a squeaky baby, other times a solemn baritone.

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Ultimately, reading is an egoistic act, a wasted attempt to escape reality. Procrastination in disguise: look, she’s always got a book in her hand; she’s going to grow up to be an intelligent lady! No doubt, reading means going onto fantastical journeys into the wild, experiencing heart-wrenching sadness with an imaginary best friend, tasting chocolates and candies which never existed and will never exist, getting to know about what is going on in the world, learning about the differences between plant species, the poverty of the world, the importance and origins of hair on the body, etc., but at the end of the day (in which all you do is read) all you want to do is to avoid having to do what is to be done, be it taking a shower, cooking dinner, changing the bedsheets, calling your mom, or what not, while your conscience would be soothed by the fact that you read, that you read all day! – it’s an intelligent, respectable endeavour, and despite the fact that you actually have not done anything but read, you are ultimately a good, responsible, and especially intellectually capable person.

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關心天下大事頂個屁用啊!

August 27th, 2015

讀報讀網絡新聞關心天下大事頂個屁用啊讀小說而已

我的小學老師中學老師害我不淺吶他們把我訓練成一個旁觀者

一棵旁觀的桃樹或李樹連開花也不必了

西川 – 醒在南京

reading the paper reading online news worrying about everything under heaven it doesn’t do shit read short stories instead

my grammar-school teachers my high school teachers they ruined me for life they trained me to be an observer

and observing peach or plum tree doesn’t even need to blossom

excerpt from “Awake in Nanjing” by Xi Chuan, trans. Lucas Klein

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it’s inequality, stupid.

July 27th, 2015

the failure of neoliberalism and the global migrant crisis

“Much of the migration…results from unsustainable livelihoods, the disruption of traditional forms of agriculture, production, and government services that for decades provided adequate — in many cases, barely so — incomes in the developing world. The triumph of neoliberalism has changed all that.

This neoliberal experiment has produced solid growth rates in some places, but the benefits tend to accrue to elites and are not widely distributed, leading to growing inequality. Simultaneous cutbacks in education, health care, clean water availability, and the like, make life even harder for the marginalised.”

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meanwhile, let them tell you how to get your table friday night at that new-hip-cool-chic-in-hot it and of course very expensive restaurant downtown. it’s almost funny.

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On speed and acceleration (aka. the lack of time):

“the sign of the postmodern condition: we are no longer running towards a bright horizon in the future, we are running away from the dark abyss behind our backs…If it is true that social acceleration is a deep-rooted structural and institutional feature of our world, then we cannot solve it by just changing our individual attitudes.

…We can only make our world more resonant and less alienating when we change our own attitudes, but also the structures of our social and economic world. Economic democracy, a basic income, and the idea of resonance might be essential components for such a change.”

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be happy

May 13th, 2015

*”Capitalism addresses the unhappiness of its workers by leading them to think that the source of their unhappiness is ‘inside themselves’ (as corporate mindfulness advocates would put it) and not outside in the material context in which they work.”
To hell with all those meditation therapies, motivational team-building BS: the real problem is that we live in a money regime where happiness is measured by money.

Review of The Happiness Industry by William Davis, on Tricycle

By the way, sadness is so underrated! (Idleness too!)

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Let Them Eat Privilege: the 99% vs 1% is not a myth. They just want you to stay content with the current inequalities, dear bourgeois.

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Another sign of cultural retromania: SmartBoy, converting your iPhone into your childhood favourite GameBoy.

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Who is Eleni Haifa?

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notes

March 23rd, 2015

“[The Silicon Valley]…excels in the manufacture of the immaterial and the incorporeal. It creates ideas to fill Thought Leader columns, TED talks, and conference circuits. It creates stock market flotations based on shareholder belief, and networked companies whose profits lie in disseminating other peoples’ work. Even the silicon in its name is now often manufactured overseas. So good is the Valley at nothing, in fact, that it’s spun it into a kind of cult—the myth of the “frictionless” world.”

and…oh-là-là

“A single Google search (among the billions executed every day) releases half the carbon of a boiling kettle; the company as a whole produces as much CO2 as Laos.”

The Cult of Nothing, from the Baffler

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Welcome to the world, Darling.

“The smartphone facilitates contingent employment models and self-exploitation by linking workers to capitalists without the fixed costs and emotional investment of more traditional employment relations.”

Smartphone Society, from the Jacobin

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Bidding farewell to Microsoft, Apple, and even Google? It’s not too late, yet.

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Big Brother is watching you! Un oeil sur vous – Citoyens sous surveillance. Alexandre Valenti, 2015.

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télé

December 19th, 2014

*Do smartphones grow on trees, Mommy? See for yourself, en français. (Of course, Sweetheart. Apples grow on Apple Trees!)

*KAPITALISMUS: a brief history. Auf Deutsch oder en français.

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fight the umbrella fight. demand the infinite.

October 23rd, 2014

Regarding my Heimat:

The case of Hong Kong: From Occupy Wall Street to Occupy Central *Hong Kong* at LARB

Badlands Unlimited’s Reading List regarding the democracy movement in HK.

Round-up from Libcom.org

China’s choice from Project Syndicate. The delirium from “losing face”.

Guernica’s report on the first 2 weeks of demonstrations.

Salute for the “Ba-Si-Da”‘s of HKGolden on the New Republic.

The amazing language called Cantonese. And its subversive potential.

In other New Yorker news:

Looking forward to Laura Poitra’s Citizenfour

Copyright the back of your head, or not.

The Essay on the Essay’s story

 

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when will androids dream of electric sheep?

September 22nd, 2014

Why aren’t we having holidays on Mars yet? What about clothes which wash themselves? Or a robot butler which is way much smarter than the slow and stupid Roomba? Of flying cars and the declining rate of profitbureaucratic corporate capitalism, the illusion of post-work society, marketing, privatisation of everything there is, and all those awful things which characterise our societies. From The Baffler, by David Graeber.

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“How do politicians who are unresponsive to the interests of the vast majority of their constituents get elected and, more important, re-elected, while doing the bidding mostly of the wealthiest individuals?

A politician who represents the interests primarily of economic elites has to find other means of appealing to the masses. Such an alternative is provided by the politics of nationalism, sectarianism, and identity – a politics based on cultural values and symbolism rather than bread-and-butter interests.”

On How the Rich Rule, from Project Syndicate

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Bubble vocabulary: The lazy and pretentious literary show-off in all of us.

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Addictive French fries, seductive and sexy Fondant au chocolat. A linguist talks about restaurant reviews à la Américain on the New Republic.

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couch potato

July 30th, 2014

recent consumptions:

*Vol Spécial, by Fernand Melgar, 2011. Highly recommended by G., documentary on the Swiss illegal immigrant detention centre in Geneva

*Zeitbombe Steuerflucht, by Xavier Harel, 2012. Humourous report on the nasty dealings in tax avoidance of the financial world, in which the skyline of HongKong opens the scene

*And here, from the Guardian today, The rich want us to believe that their wealth is good for us all. Of course it could be, but it definitely is not with the present state of affairs, when the same rich elite own everything that controls everything else.

*How fair is Fair Trade? A journey with Donatien Lemaître, Le business du commerce équitable
And the response from FairTrade, a defence for Banelino against the filmmaker.

in other news…
one night i dreamt that i went *back* to chambana to do a PhD. google confirmed that caffé paradiso still exists, so it might still be an option (ha!). and lo, look at the kids at maker space urbana: the wonderful Electric Waste Orchestra!

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teenage kicks (ha-ha)

July 23rd, 2014

“Like a lot of people I thought that the music business was this incredibly money-grabbing, soulless kind of place and it took ten years working at other kinds of things to realise that all industries are like that. That’s just the world of work.”

Interview with Mat Osman, bassist of my darling Suede

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Fact is, the first time I listened to Bloodsports I was not immediately impressed. I guess I was afraid of the sentimental high-school reunion style nostalgia, of course it’s great because it’s Suede, therefore I was perhaps listening to it with guarded ears. Then I listened to the thing a second time, then a third, then again, and again, weeks in between, and then a year later it has become so good!!!

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Or it’s just the teenager kicking in!

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weekend discoveries:

July 21st, 2014

*O.M.G!. AWESOMENESS!!!!! punch a punched card! or punch a perforated tape! <3 NERDS4EVA <3

*the history of holes, plus lots of other incredible stuff from the blog of a specialty book store.

*3D-print your own Duchamp chess set!

*color problems: a practical manual for the lay student of color

*traité des couleurs servant à la peinture à l’eau

and, finally,

Language does not shape our thoughts as much as they’d like you to think!
Against the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, from the Pacific Standard

…why does this bad idea, apparently without evidence, keep getting re-discovered and confidently touted? It is, after all, not the sort of thing one would expect people to want to believe. It implies that we are prisoners of our dictionaries, and that our words distort our worlds in ways we cannot escape. The belief in a strong version of Sapir-Whorf means that other people are in a sense unknowable, and that some have virtues and skills (skepticism, color perception) that are unattainable to us. Call it a belief in the inevitable inequality of language speakers.

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Ever wondered why they say sex, drugs, and rock’n'roll?

July 6th, 2014

After an extremely brief reflection regarding “music gets people high”, and two Luigi Nono concerts which gave me chills down the spine and shivers in my bones (in the positive sense, as the so-called New Music and experimental sounds tend to do to me), I found that:

Anatomically distinct dopamine release during anticipation and experience of peak emotion to music.

Abstract:

“Music, an abstract stimulus, can arouse feelings of euphoria and craving, similar to tangible rewards that involve the striatal dopaminergic system. Using the neurochemical specificity of [11C]raclopride positron emission tomography scanning, combined with psychophysiological measures of autonomic nervous system activity, we found endogenous dopamine release in the striatum at peak emotional arousal during music listening. To examine the time course of dopamine release, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging with the same stimuli and listeners, and found a functional dissociation: the caudate was more involved during the anticipation and the nucleus accumbens was more involved during the experience of peak emotional responses to music. These results indicate that intense pleasure in response to music can lead to dopamine release in the striatal system. Notably, the anticipation of an abstract reward can result in dopamine release in an anatomical pathway distinct from that associated with the peak pleasure itself. Our results help to explain why music is of such high value across all human societies.”

Here are more info + stuff they used in the study.

And that:
Intensely pleasurable responses to music correlate with activity in brain regions implicated in reward and emotion.

And that:
The Rewarding Aspects of Music Listening Are Related to Degree of Emotional Arousal.
“In this study, using methods of high temporal sensitivity we investigated whether there is a systematic relationship between dynamic increases in pleasure states and physiological indicators of emotional arousal.”
Which more or less means that, those parts of the brains which are active in response to “high-inducing” stimuli like food, sex, and drugs are also active in response to music. i.e. music does get you high (under certain circumstances).
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1/511

July 4th, 2014

“班犯呢? 眼訓果d 就好安心咁訓覺, 唔眼訓果d 就好hyper 咁係度吹水. 犯法犯得咁開心仲要個個話下次一定要再黎, 呢班友真係傻的嗎. 而警察呢? 一係玩手機一係就訓覺. 有時社會就係咁荒謬.”

511 分之1

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when the world gets absurd, humour is the best way of resistance.

man, woman, language

July 2nd, 2014

Monde-Meisterschaft: Germany versus France, which will be on stage the day after, has already been *H.I.L.A.R.O.U.S.L.Y.* (ha ha!) made into a match of philosophy on, why, where else of course, ICI/HIER.

Totally Offside: Being the most-hated football star and a human being, a loving family guy and a cannibal, all at the same time. Regarding Luis Suarez. By the way, this was written and published before the most recent bite.

The Albertine Workout – going on a journey with Proust’s heart again for the next vacance en France.

How do people all over the world speak English? The Speech Accent Archive, the next big thing on my list of Ways to Procrastinate.

Meanwhile, 香港。
Commitment and resistance.

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“Flay him! Flay him! Flay him!”

June 29th, 2014

The Crocodile, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Crocodile on exhibition swallows man alive. Man resides happily inside the belly of Crocodile (!). And since “the Principles of Economics” are paramount, they come before everything. Crocodile is private property (investment!), and therefore Principles of Economics apply in this situation. We must not flay Crocodile to release Man! We need development! We must create capital!

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