Author Archives: Peter Schmidt

post #4 in the series, from the preface to my book in progress, Upcycling Ecopoetry

Here’s an intriguing idea.  Poetry’s relative marginalization within the domain of commercial culture gives it freedom and a different kind of power—the ability to negate what passes for “realist” and “practical” majoritarian thinking, including that tech interventions on their own will miraculously fix … Continue reading

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post #3 in the series, from my book in progress Upcycling Ecopoetry

Upcycling will join other books arguing that the crucial changes that must come will be primarily driven by global populist movements for restorative justice for people, ecosystems, and the planet.  Established institutions, technological interventions, markets, and other factors will have to play … Continue reading

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Post #2 in the series, from the preface to Upcycling Ecopoetry

“Change the story” doesn’t guarantee success.  There’s plenty of contemporary skepticism about what Parul Sehgal, Amit Chaudhuri, Christian Salmon, and others have called the contemporary “narrative turn” in many fields, including medicine, religion, and law, not to mention cultural studies like … Continue reading

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Post #1 in a series, all from the preface of my book in progress, _Upcycling Ecopoetry_

“Maybe what seeks us is better than what we seek.” —Ben Okri, Astonishing the Gods “In a time of destruction, create something.” —Maxine Hong Kingston “It is so hard to write books about climate change that people want to read,” NPR … Continue reading

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Disinformation and unintended irony

In Apple’s famous 1984 Macintosh commercial, a portion of the dictator’s blurry text (on the right in this image) says that “the poisonous needs of disinformation will be consigned to the dustbin of history.” So one of the ways authoritarianism … Continue reading

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Thoughts on Orsino’s opening speech in Twelfth Night, and on the ending of the play—as occasioned by re-reading the play to attend Pig Iron’s performance in the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival

Re-reading Twelfth Night in preparation for seeing Pig Iron’s interpretation of it in Philly’s Live Arts Fest, I re-lived my delight in this great comedy, which I first discovered when I was twenty.  But somewhat to my embarrassment I found that lots … Continue reading

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My Hero Academia

Any of my friends in or out of academia care to comment on this image, from the My Hero Academia series (manga and anime)?   What are those little bits flying above the hand?  Fly ash scraps?  Flying unknown beings or worlds?  And are … Continue reading

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Brief Thoughts on Thomas Piketty’s _A Brief History of Equality_ (2022)

The economist/social philosopher Thomas Piketty has recently offered an optimistic reading of world history in which, despite setbacks, there is marked progress toward more economic opportunities and greater social equality and legal rights.  His progress narrative emphasizes the synergies between economic … Continue reading

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Five Ways Philadelphia can support immigrants seeking asylum

Inquirer article today, Aug. 10, 2023. By Veronica Montes, an associate professor of sociology and codirector of Latin American, Iberian, and Latina/o Studies at Bryn Mawr College. The article is a pdf you should be able to read and download … Continue reading

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Wait, “Smart” AI really can’t handle a prompt asking it to “write oppositely”??

Below is an example of one of the suffix commands in a prompt to AI that broke the “guardrails” trying to govern AI. That is, the safeguards so that AI wouldn’t make up stuff or consent to bad things like … Continue reading

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