I imagine that elsewhere, this is described as a link round-up. Or, if it were more thoughtfully and intentionally curated, it would go into a newsletter (which I don’t have the time or focus to create; remembering to blog is hard enough). One of my bad productivity habits is keeping a bunch of tabs open, thinking that I’ll blog about them individually. Naturally, I don’t. Then I feel bad about not doing so, but the moment has passed, so I feel worse, and it turns into this very Catholic shame spiral, and eventually Firefox crashes under the weight of my good intentions. So really, I’m attempting to clear my tabs in an effort to clear my head. As Chuck Palahniuk once said at a reading of his that I attended: “I like this for the same reason I like sex. It’s all about me.”

I may be paraphrasing. But only a little.

  • Keanu Achilles: John Wick and Modern Anger If I wind up with a tattoo that reads “????? ?????, ???,” it will be Adam Roberts’ fault. My favourite bit: “The appeal here is of a dangerous kind, I think. It flatters that sense we have, on whatever level, that because ????? is divine, pursuing our own anger with ?????-level implacability will in some sense make us godlike. Ours, after all, is not any old anger: no, no, it is righteous, justified and magnificent. Except that it’s actually none of those things. Except that it doesn’t work that way, I’m afraid. We will only wear ourselves down. We are not gods. You, and I, are not invulnerable as John Wick. And though I can’t speak for you, I know that I am not as beautiful as Keanu Reeves.”
  • Eternal Fascism: Fourteen Ways of Looking at a Blackshirt It is very hard to live in a world that no longer has Umberto Eco in it. This is just one reason why.
  • Notes Towards a Feminist Futurist Manifesto “The apparent downsizing of contemporary science and technology from claims to artifice (machines that can think and live) to those of ambience and augmentation are deeply disingenuous and, in as far as they extend the reach of biopower through i.e. gendered visions of the smart home, servile agents and avatars embodying female stereotypes etc, they require a gendered form of biopolitics. Even within the short life span of Ambient Intelligence, the iconic agent of servility has shifted from that of the butler to that of the nurse. Ambient intelligent nurses, designed to manage and regulate an ageing population @home rather than in the care of the state, would know when they were needed, come when they were called and cost next to nothing compared with the flesh and blood variety who are already ever more precariously employed.”
  • The Real Horror At The Heart Of “The Witch” “You can see how this created a deep and abiding pathology around objects of abjection. But in order to express that pathology, you need something more expansive and flexible than static biblical texts. Thus: the sermon, the fairy tale, the nursery rhyme, all of which coalesce into the second and equally potent form of maintaining the status quo. Call it folklore, call it storytelling, but it takes on the guise of being “just a story” while performing necessary ideological policing.”
  • Dine Out Like a Hollywood Legend at These Retro L.A. Hot Spots I’m really just making note of this for the next time I’m in LA. Which I hope is very soon. Having been born there, I occasionally crave the city.
  • Designed to Fail “So being in a dense urban location turns out to be the optimal design solution: relying as it does on the healthiest, least expensive, lowest carbon and most fully deployed transport technology in human history: walking. IDEO already knows this: that’s why they pay premium rents for their tidy, exposed-brick office space in the West Loop.”
  • Sail (Far) Away: At Sea with America’s Largest Floating Gathering of Conspiracy Theorists Umberto Eco, author of Foucault’s Pendulum, the best novel ever written about conspiracy theorists, just died. Why isn’t this being shared everywhere?
  • How the Flint River got so toxic Surprise! It took over a century, but you can do a lot in a century.
  • Burnout, creativity, and the tyranny of production schedules Bear is really brave to talk about this, and she does so with plainspoken grace. Christ knows I’ve felt this worn out before, and I don’t have half the track record she does. Bear’s also an awesome person who bought me a salad for breakfast on the morning of an early flight, during the Hieroglyph tour, after listening to me prattle on about Atkins during a walk along the National Mall. (Also her Hieroglyph story is way cooler than mine and you should read it.)

Finally, here’s this:

Like Hannibal Lecter, I also listen to the Goldberg Variations when I’m gathering my wits. I particularly like this version.

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