36 Matching Annotations
  1. May 2016
    1. a new map of writing that privileges hierarchy, mastery, and closure over openness, excess, and interruption.

      In what way does it do this? I suppose this might be explained.

    2. pharmakon

      Pharmakon, in philosophy and critical theory, is a composite of three meanings: remedy, poison, and scapegoat.

    1. A Moon Shaped Pool is a “grower,” because all music is a grower. Here, there is perhaps a wider opportunity for the music to grow due to there being an audible release of sign and substance as a ghostly after-image of the band’s event-based trauma. Bookish and serene in its presentation, the album recalls lazy afternoons — perhaps a nod toward needed cultural relaxation — a cold spa or flotation tank that gently uses slowly pulsing hot-tub jets to massage legs sore with built-up lactic acid — stored eternally from attempts at catharsis. The attempts at transcendence in Radiohead’s past make this album full with potential for retroactive catharsis due to its normality and lack, a sort of vernacular normcore presentation that delivers strands of Radiohead’s past in a utilitarian and casual manner.

      This is exactly what I'm talking about. Good, insightful, and provocative writing, once he stops talking about the actual sounds themselves.

    2. And then there are the songs: “Burn The Witch” features a nice upbeat violin technique to drive the track. “Daydreaming” is retrospective and paired with a mysterious video directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. “Decks Dark” represents every instrument well, leading up to a funky breakdown. “Desert Island Disk” is an acoustic ditty with a serene, meandering feel. “Ful Stop” is a motorik jam that encapsulates Radiohead’s obvious relationship to Krautrock, giving itself wholly to the band’s foreboding, groove-based strengths. “Glass Eyes” is a fragmented and beautiful pool of watery tones and affectual production techniques. “Identikit” snaps sharp percussion over jaunty palm-muted guitars, opening up into a funny guitar solo. “The Numbers” hits all the black keys on the piano while guitars strum a Nick Drake vibe, Yorke’s voice deadpanning stoically. “Present Tense” is a bossa nova track that oddly doesn’t feel out of place due to its contemporary, hookah lounge atmosphere, plush with pillows colored like a rainbow-ed laserdisc. “Tinker Tailor Soldier Sailor Rich Man Poor Man Beggar Thief” is exactly a Radiohead song. And “True Love Waits” is a decades-old fan favorite that has “finally found its home.”

      Though I love SCVSCV's reviews, this paragraph might be the first time I've read them actually writing about capital S Songs in this way. It seems that he's great at writing about what music is, but not so great at writing about what music does.

    1. And then there’s this tweet from Colin Greenwood, which reads to me like the words of a man who isn’t sure his band will ever make an album again

      This is definitely reaching.

  2. Feb 2016
    1. This is the critical point in control society: we know about Snowden, we know about what Google does with its data, yet our protests will be feeble. In the end, we will do nothing. Instead, little by little, we give up more and more of our information to scrutiny.

      Well. Alright then.

    2. Archizoom’s 1969 No-Stop City

      No-Stop City is an unbuilt project, one that is, however, well documented in drawings, photographs and a 2006 monograph. The drawings show an infinitely extending grid, subdivided by partial lines symbolizing walls, and interrupted only by natural features such as mountains. The photographs portray an endless and rather featureless space in which humans live as campers. Spaces are filled with rocks and branches, small pieces of nature brought inside the artificial world. Tents, appliances, and motorcycles show that basic needs are met, while other drawings show endless grids of bedrooms, perhaps containing the Dream Bed or Safari Chair.

      No-Stop City 1

      No-Stop City 2

      The No-stop City is an instrument of emancipation. Branzi explains: “The idea of an inexpressive, catatonic architecture, outcome of the expansive forms of logic of the system and its class antagonists, was the only form of modern architecture of interest to us… A society freed from its own alienation, emancipated from the rhetorical forms of humanitarian socialism and rhetorical progressivism: an architecture which took a fearless look at the logic of grey, atheistic and de-dramatized industrialism, where mass production produced infinite urban decors.” The City frees us with its blankness, its featurelessness, allowing us to be anyone anywhere.

      (from here)

    3. Operated by a skeleton crew of technicians

      Interesting word choice...

  3. Oct 2015
    1. Everything happens for a reason, and that reason is yourself most of the time.

      I'm surprised at the direction you took entanglement in. Posthumanism, for me, gets me questioning my own agency. I started assuming that consciousness is something that moreso has the sensation of agency, as opposed to actually being a generator of choice and possibility. This study certainly didn't help! Posthumanism and the classical humanist/dualist/whatever idea of free agency don't seem to mesh well, to me anyway. I typically don't think about a situation's odds as a method of control as much as a predictor of the entanglement's intertiatic direction.

    1. A final instance where you can see the love in Saga is through the actions of Barr, Marko’s father.

      You make a good case that Saga is a love story, and I doubt any of us would disagree with you. What I'm wondering is why you find that important, especially important enough to argue for it.

      I think Saga's take on love is especially awesome given the ways that they fuck with the concept. Like that part in Volume three where we found out that Heist's opposite of war is "fucking". I guess I'm just wondering why Saga is different than any other love story. I think it is, at least, but I want to know why you think it is.

    2. In some aspects it’s a cliche love story: girl falls in love with boy and vice versa but their families or ethnicities prevent them from ever being together.

      Right. This gets back to our idea that Saga has some parallels with Romeo and Juliet.

    1. This quote is one of the foundations of Quantum Physics. If you thought quantum physics isn’t important in your life, you might want to have a look at Quantum Entanglement.

      I'm pretty jealous of this right now. Awesome blog post. I love it when something like physics works so well in conjunction with a lot of the theoretical blah-blah that I spend a lot of time thinking about and talking through. But who doesn't love it when science agrees with them. Anyway, I think you do a wonderful job here. You do a great job at not only describing the story, but also by making a connection that kind of asserts the relevance of this story for you. I think we all could learn a lot from this post.

    2. In essence, we are all cogs in a sophisticated, unpredictable machine.

      mmmhmm. preach.

    3. The first person to be born is Tate Marah

      I dig your emphasis on birth here. This Tate Marah is simply not the same as the old Tate Marah; the entanglements are different. This reminds me a lot of the birth in Saga as well. Understanding birth as the beginning of being a person - you're not really born until you're entangled. To be reborn could be understood as to be re-entangled, to engage in new entanglements. This is definitely occurring here.

    1. Just like in the Mad Max video we watched in class

      What are your readers who aren't SLU students gonna do when they don't get this?

    2. Another point he makes is that, “Having meaningful relationships is essential for happiness and self-fulfillment” (Winch).

      Part of me wonders how he's proving this. The other part of me knows that he's right anyway.

    3. The lack of relationships, a familiar environment, and any form of Human contact has driven many of the Humans in the novel to suicide.

      I like the way you phrase this. Especially considering loneliness; instead of thinking of it as "I want to be close to people because, right now, I feel lonely" it could be framed as "My loneliness is driving me to be closer to people." I'd rather think of feelings like that, or conditions such as those you describe here, as forces in themselves, instead of simple ideological constructions that exist in me because I'm thinking about them. We could think of loneliness as a separate force, like gravity or erosion. I, personally, have felt guilt and embarrassment for feeling lonely. "Am I the only person feeling like this?" and et cetera. Thinking through things like this helps me to be more proactive about this kind of shit. Sorry for the oversharing.

  4. jacksoncritic.tumblr.com jacksoncritic.tumblr.com
    1. The second half of the series will surely become more intertwined as the characters move closer to their final destination.

      Yeah, I would agree with that. I guess my only question to that would be, could things be any more entwined? Considering a sort of predetermination, we'd have to remove the presumption that things begin in a state of disconnection. one thing is connected to another, which is connected to another, to infinity. If we stop thinking of things as being discrete, single things, or as nodes (this is a hard concept for me to describe) that are being connected to other nodes, then everything is just sort of everything. It's all just a big fucking blog. That's what I like about Saga is that it just seems to have that feel. It's not necessarily something I want to argue, as much as to say as it gives off this general vibe. I love that about it. This doesn't freak me out like it used to either, the idea that I'm not a discrete thing, that is. Saga helps get across why it doesn't scare me anymore: the love is very palpable, shit still gets done, things are still very interesting, etc. The people are awesome. I don't know. I'm using Saga and your post to kind of think through my own understanding of things right now. Don't mind me.

    2. aliens suddenly become very human

      My instinct here is that you're speaking about their behavior, but I know you could also be speaking genetically. Maybe humans and Oankali were pretty similar to begin with?

  5. itsmargeethings.tumblr.com itsmargeethings.tumblr.com
    1. Piggy is seen as different becaue he does not possess good eyesight, has asthma, and is overweight

      That's awesome you're tracing that connection back to genetics and physiology - definitely some parallels here. It's easy to understand why Lilith's genetic and physiological differences are so contentious; for Lilith (and especially for the other humans), these physical differences are innately political. Taking this obvious observation about Lilith back to Piggy in LOTF is interesting. To think of our DNA and our physiologies as having political implications might seem obvious when considering race and sex. Still, when considering Dawn's way of understanding politics as being woven into the fabric of our physiologies is huge for me. There's so much to take from there and apply to other stories. Instead of understanding the boys in LOTF as having interpreted Piggy's physiology in one way or another (while of course there is a degree of that), misses the idea that there is no non-political physiology. These things are parts of one other - they're codependent.

    1. Essentially, this situation seems to be a fulfilling of Albert Einstein’s prophecy of, “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.“

      To me, Dawn complicates Einstein's prediction. Genetic modification at that point. Once aliens get involved, all the previous plans are kind of screwed. I think. Bringing in that quote is huge here. It gets me considering Dawn in the "big picture" of human history. It's interesting to frame all human history as leading up to this. I'd be kind of down for that. Honestly. With all of the recent NASA-related stuff in the news, suspension of disbelief has been pretty important for me with Dawn.

    1. But how can you call a test subject successful when he has sociopathic problems?

      I think that it depends on your definition of success. if our sense of ethics is projected onto your idea of success, which I would argue that it is, then obviously the monkeys don't meet your idea of success. The idea here is that the monkeys have their own idea of success, hence the ending, where we reap our consequences and they reap theirs. This might get you thinking "does my idea of success hold up? Does it work for me?" or "How do I rectify this story with my ethics and their consequences for my idea of 'success'?". We have the power to mold these things based on how they will actually function. Reading a text like this can get us thinking about such ideas that are so foundational to how we operate, such as "success", as well as how our ethics can play into it. The story probably isn't meant to play out like a morally sound fairytale. If the story is thought-provoking, if it gets us to consider different aspects of ourselves and our lives that we normally wouldn't, then maybe its done its job.

    1. as humans try to escape their own abilities

      It's interesting to me that humans seem to have this impulse. It's in our nature to fight our nature. Strange paradox. Looking at my own experience, I've often felt a neurotic impulse to "move forward", to change, or as I like to think of it, "improve". Using Kenneth Burke's ideas about the nature of the human here, I wonder if this impulse is encouraged by my sense of hierarchy and my own place in it. I think this is something I'm often deeply aware of, especially in my relationships. I'm kind of rambling here, but I think the efforts of both Chimera and Humonics are driven by this idea, both on the top (CEOs) and bottom levels (the buyers) of the company.

  6. Sep 2015
  7. itsmargeethings.tumblr.com itsmargeethings.tumblr.com
    1. Tying this in with Blindsight, Siri and his fellow shipmates are also interconnected as if they are one body.

      I like this. I specifically like taking this idea of multiple humans comprising a body and applying it to the different "bodies" that I might be apart of. The idea of connection is huge for me... so using Posthumanism to explore the seemingly infinite connections that I'm a part of has been a cool experience for me. I'm tangled up in all sorts of shit. I like the idea that I'm a part of a greater function thing, whatever that thing is. I reject the "gear in the machine" metaphor though. It's too rigid. "Body" serves as a better metaphor.

      Also, this:

    1. I think it’s possible that Theseus was making the crew just believe they were fine, but really, it was an illusion.

      Why do you think Theseus would do this? Was there some kind of goal that it had in mind, or was it as simple as growing by whatever means necessary? I ask because I had trouble tracing Theseus' motivations as I read the book. I'm interested in what you think about that.

    1. "Are we Human, or are we Dancer?"

      damn... i forgot about the killers

    2. "Are we Human, or are we Dancer?"

      damn... i forgot about the killers

    3. There is a huge part of communication lacking with other humans when a machine is placed in front of us. When technology begins to take the place of the human, our world changes and gives a taste of what the posthuman world is shifting towards.

      I get that you think technologies can impede on human relationships. They definitely step on our toes in some ways. I appreciate that you add the distinction of technology "tak[ing] the place of the human" as the point when it's gone too far.

      At the same time, I think technology can enhance human relationships. There are a lot of obvious examples of this. Telephones, for instance. That's one piece of technology that's allowed many relationships to exist that never would have without it. When it comes to the internet, this is a cool article about a guy who quit the internet for a year to experience life without it. Unsurprisingly, he finds that abstaining from the internet alienates him.

    1. What if they decide to go all Terminator on us? Pretty much, what happens when machines become a little too human, if we let it progress to such a point?

      It's interesting to consider that not only do we want to establish the human/non-human boundary, but also that we want to enforce it. Not only do we fear machines becoming a little too human, but we also hate it when humans become a little too machine, hence Chelsea's breakup with Siri.

      This trope is classic, too. I saw it recently in American Sniper, after the protagonist mirrors some of Siri's overly-analytical behaviors in the midst of PTSD. This idea of people being too robotic. I've accused people of it myself! There is definitely an urge to hold onto that ineffable thing that makes and keeps us human. I posted earlier in a comment a link to the Wikipedia's ego death article. This yearning to define ourselves by our difference seems to relate to a search for identity and importance. If humanity is a construction, and I am not really different, then what am I? That, I assume, is the scary question for a lot of people. It's the scary question for me.

    2. Humans like to think that we’re special and different from others

      Hey! No I don't! That's everybody else!

    1. The fact that a machine can only interpret emotions to form responses does not change the build of the human and its processes.

      First, I want to say that I loved reading this post. Secondly, I want to ask if what we are doing is anything more than interpreting emotion. I'm trying to figure out what I do that gives my emotional processing any depth. Emotions in themselves are just a different type of processing or interpretation. What I "feel" when I'm sad may be deducible to a set of chemical mechanisms in my brain - my own sort of processing. So it isn't that we interpret emotions, as much as we process them in way that is more abstract. They can still be coded, albeit chemical coding seems different to us. I wonder now if we will ever create a machine that interprets via chemical processes.

    1. Upon learning more about ex-journalist, Spider Jerusalem, I immediately related him to the childhood Christmas character, “The Grinch who Stole Christmas”.

      I love this connection. Spider Jerusalem is one of countless reclusive characters that we love. The grinch is one example. Holden Caulfield is another. Bruce Wayne, who also retreats to a mountain-based home, also counts. Even Yoda could sort of count. All of these characters have a strange relationship to the city, yet they always seem to return to it. I wonder why we, as cultural consumers, flock to these characters. I guess we relate? We all love to criticize the places we live, yet we don't leave. It's the now-memed trope of living in the wrong generation.

      Image Description

    1. What will we become, not only as individuals, but also as a society?

      This is the exciting question, I guess. I think Transmetropolitan succeeds in portraying a possible scenario of a self-medicating society. Still, I'd assert that we're already halfway there; every morning I take Vit C, fish oil, zyrtec, and men's daily. We're all self-medicating, at least a little bit. Nootropics are expanding as an interest (join us) (just kidding) (kind of). Flinstones Vitamins man. Caffeine! Our methods of self-medication are definitely becoming more entrenched - we're entangled with this shit.

    2. I like how you personify the Maker as a he... I'm not sure if it was intentional but it makes a salient point about Transmetropolitan's blurring of lines between human and machine.

  8. Aug 2015