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

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

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

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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2018 recommendations

October 10, 2018: Keeping It Real

Like, I think, most of us, I’ve found the news from the last several weeks…troubling. I thought writing about some things I’ve enjoyed recently might lighten my mood a bit. I don’t have a real theme this time around; there’s no particular connection among these things, so this is more like the recommendations posts as …

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2018 recommendations

May 26, 2018: Plastic Fantastic Ekphrastic

In “We Made Plastic. Now We’re Drowning in It”, Laura Parker’s recent cover story for National Geographic, the fundamental point— we make and throw away a lot of plastic, and this very bad— is not surprising; what she (and the photos, by Randy Olson) does most effectively is convey the scale. Because plastic wasn’t invented …

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2017 recommendations

September 24, 2017: What is Lost

I’ve recently begun playing the game Nier Automata, which takes place (as so many things do) on a far-future earth where machines have taken control, exiling humanity to the moon, from which they stage attacks on the machines below. Describing that setup by itself doesn’t do the game justice; it’s beautiful to look at, the …

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2017

September 8, 2017: You Gotta Represent

Note: I actually mostly wrote this a couple of months ago, before getting derailed by…life, I guess. So, some of the links are a little dated, but looking back over it I decided I was sufficiently satisfied with it to finish it up and post it anyway. I’m doing a lot of reading lately, mostly …

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