2021 recommendations

September 2021

Once again, a little bit of a random assortment this month: Video: “When Stuff Gets on the Camera Lens,” by Mike Rugnetta Mike Rugnetta used to be the host of Idea Channel, from PBS Digital Studios. That show used media theory and philosophy to think about pop culture, and somehow managed to walk an extremely …

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2021 recommendations

August 2021

August 2021 A bit late this month, because we were traveling (!), but here are a few recommendations: First, you should watch Summer of Soul if you haven’t yet. I don’t think I have anything particularly new or interesting to say about it, but it is, indeed, extraordinary and absurd that the Harlem Cultural Festival …

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2021 recommendations

July 2021

I’ve got kind of a miscellaneous set of things to read for this month, without much of a theme, so I will just get right to it: 1) “The Rotting Internet is a Collective Hallucination”, by Jonathan Zittrain Once a year, I teach a class on technology and democracy. One of the ideas that I …

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2021 recommendations

June 2021

I’ve been reading a lot lately about climate change, and the environment more generally, starting with Ben Ehrenreich’s Desert Notebooks. It’s a bit of a hard book to categorize; it’s partly a memoir about a couple of years in his life when he lived first on the outskirts of Joshua Tree National park, in the Mojave …

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2021 recommendations

May 2021

I’ll start off this month with some music, beginning with this playlist by Jace Clayton, for ArtForum. Jace Clayton is also DJ/Rupture, and he’s probably best known for finding and promoting interesting new music from parts of the world that aren’t the United States or Europe. (I quoted from his book Uproot, about the way that digital culture is changing …

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2019 recommendations

It’s Only Natural

As I’ve written about here before, I am often deeply skeptical of the way we use the word “natural.” I’m thinking in particular of the way it is appended to all kinds of products (food, beauty and cleaning products, and so on) as a kind of code for safe, wholesome, and generally morally superior as …

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2019 recommendations

Models We Live By

First, some shameless self-promotion: I made an album, and you can listen to it (and buy it!) here: Moving on… There’s a well known Borges story called“On Exactitude in Science”, in which the desire for a perfectly accurate map eventually results in “a Map of the Empire whose size was that of the Empire, and …

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2019 recommendations

Boundary Work: Year’s End

Running through my head all day today is the phrase “start as you mean to go on.” I don’t really believe that the first day of the year will somehow determine the shape of the rest, but, even if the specific point at which we designate the end of one year and the start of …

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2018 recommendations

November 11, 2018: Seen and Unseen

I’m going to acknowledge up front that my theme this time may be a little bit tenuous. I’m talking broadly about awareness as much as literal sight, but a number of the things I’ve been thinking about do have to do directly with the visual realm. “On the Nose”, by Chris Ip, describes the work …

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