Category Archives: Oh Not Again He’s Going to Tell Us It’s a Complex System

The Trouble With Sustainability I: The Clock of the Short Now

More than a week later, I continue to really think about our recent “sustainability charrette” at Swarthmore College led by folks like David Orr, Hunter Lovins, John Fullerton and Nikki Silvestri. At least one of the things I keep thinking … Continue reading

Posted in Oh Not Again He's Going to Tell Us It's a Complex System, Politics | 9 Comments

Feeling For You

Just about every day, my social media feeds surge at some point with anger at judgmental comments, sometimes specific comments by a public figure, sometimes collections or assemblies of common forms of implied or ‘polite’ judgmental remarks directed at entire … Continue reading

Posted in Miscellany, Oh Not Again He's Going to Tell Us It's a Complex System, Popular Culture | 4 Comments

Frame(d)

High Anxiety In modernity, dread only takes a holiday once in a while. Right now Mr. Dread is hard at work all around the world, and he’s not just sticking to the big geopolitical dramas or some single-issue fear. He’s … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Generalist's Work, Oh Not Again He's Going to Tell Us It's a Complex System, Politics, Swarthmore | 8 Comments

Unplanned Obsolescence

Solidarity and sympathy in online culture and social media are fleeting things: you are only as good as your last response rather than a lifetime of responses, and only as welcome as you are permitted to be within a particular … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Oh Not Again He's Going to Tell Us It's a Complex System, Politics | 10 Comments

Smarter Than You: The Ideology of the Incentive (Parking Lot Edition)

I’ve already made my feelings about most uses of “incentives” by technocratic planners fairly plain, and besides, I’m just really at best a handmaiden on this point for my colleagues Ken Sharpe and Barry Schwartz, who make the argument more … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Oh Not Again He's Going to Tell Us It's a Complex System, Politics, Swarthmore | 15 Comments

Denial Is a River In Egypt

While I’m broadly in agreement with Adam Frank’s op-ed about the grave political and social costs of the current state of scientific literacy in America, there is something about the way that he comes at the issue that feels like … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Oh Not Again He's Going to Tell Us It's a Complex System, Politics, Popular Culture, Swarthmore | 7 Comments

The Slow Poison of the Covert Imagination

Terms like “rape culture” and “gun culture” are useful when they remind us that the harm of a thing is bigger, subtler and more pervasive than the thing itself. When we talk about guns, we’re missing an important point if … Continue reading

Posted in Information Technology and Information Literacy, Oh Not Again He's Going to Tell Us It's a Complex System, Politics | 7 Comments

The Humane Digital

As a way of tackling both the question “whither the humanities” and the thorny issue of defining “digital humanities” in relationship to that question, I’ll offer this: maybe one strategy is to talk about what can make intellectual work humane. … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Defining "Liberal Arts", Digital Humanities, Oh Not Again He's Going to Tell Us It's a Complex System | 3 Comments

Particularism as a Big Idea

One of the interesting points about Jared Diamond’s books that has come up recently at Savage Minds is that cultural anthropologists don’t write “big books” much any longer, that the disciplinary vision of cultural and social anthropology is now so … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Books, Generalist's Work, Oh Not Again He's Going to Tell Us It's a Complex System | 10 Comments

Guns as Witchcraft

Over the holidays, after the shootings in Newtown, I was in a conversation on Facebook in which I reiterated my point from earlier in the year that in the United States, gun ownership and gun practices are culture, and as … Continue reading

Posted in Oh Not Again He's Going to Tell Us It's a Complex System, Politics | 6 Comments