Monthly Archives: February 2006

Race to the Bottom

There are so many profoundly stupid, self-defeating or slickly corrupt initiatives out there at the moment in the area of intellectual property and digital rights management. The collective impression I get is of a slow form of economic and cultural … Continue reading

Posted in Intellectual Property | 5 Comments

Octavia Butler

I just found out that Octavia Butler died on Saturday. I enjoyed almost all of her work but her Xenogenesis series was an especially remarkable achivement. It’s no secret that a lot of science fiction is built on top of … Continue reading

Posted in Books | Comments Off on Octavia Butler

On the Radio

I’ll be on Open Source in Boston tonight, 7-8pm, with Andrew Hacker, Dorothy Zinberg and Harry Lewis, discussing university governance, Larry Summers, etc.

Posted in Academia | 1 Comment

Playing With Matches

One of my consistent criticisms of the Bush Administration on its post-9/11 responses to the world has been that they were seeking momentary domestic political advantage with potentially explosive and self-defeating rhetorical, symbolic and institutional moves. Adopting messianic postures on … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 7 Comments

More on Email

Well, first off, my apologies to Meg Worley, who appears to have a justifiable complaint that she was misquoted by the Times. Two interesting and to my mind legitimate issues have come up in the wake of the discussion of … Continue reading

Posted in Academia | 13 Comments

Summers Vacation

A few disconnected thoughts on the resignation of Larry Summers. 1) At the time of the original explosion about Summers’ remarks on gender, it seemed to me that the debate about him outside of Harvard led away from more important … Continue reading

Posted in Academia | 13 Comments

Thank You, Professor Powerful

Professors in popular culture long have been represented as otherworldly social isolates. Everytime you think that’s just a stereotype, unfortunately some academics step up to the plate to give the image some new life. There’s a piece in this morning’s … Continue reading

Posted in Academia | 15 Comments

Habitus for Humanity

I get a bit wearily annoyed when I turn on NPR, hear a story about the ongoing reaction to cartoon representations of Muhammed, and hear a kind of obligatory explanatory closure to the news story that “Muslims oppose iconic or … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 24 Comments

Interpretation is the Antibody

Just caught an entry at BoingBoing about an accusation that the graphics card manufacture nVidia has been seeding online forums with people paid to endorse or recommend their products. The prospect of such marketing alarms many people. I have no … Continue reading

Posted in Consumerism, Advertising, Commodities | 6 Comments