I have had a great couple days listening to the boundary 2 conference. And after a productive and interesting week teaching Dear Esther (2012), Gone Home (2013), and Jennifer Egan‘s Look at Me (2001), I’m going to take the day to deeply immerse myself in football. So, I have a bit of time for some links.
Science and Environment
Rob Nixon reviews Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything.
Margalit Fox, “Jonathan Schell, 70, Author on War in Vietnam and Nuclear Age, Dies.”
Mark Landler, “US and China Reach Climate Accord After Months of Talks.”
Geoff Brumfiel, “New Clock May End Time as We Know It.”
Annalee Newitz, “It’s Looking More and More Likely That We Live in a Multiverse.”
Don Koenig, “Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Caused by a Nuclear Explosion High Over the United States – Imminent danger to the U.S. # 1.”
As predicted, I have been quite busy indeed and have not had a chance to post anything over the past couple of weeks. A bunch of fascinating stuff has been happening, a bunch of interesting books are coming out, etc., so I’m sad that I’ve been remiss in my duties. Hopefully this large batch of links will make up for that.
Apocalypse and After
George Dvorsky, “Have Humans Already Conquered the Threat of Extinction?”
Or not. Graham Turner and Cathy Alexander, “Limits to Growth Was Right: New Research Shows We’re Nearing Collapse.”
One of the first reviews of Naomi Klein’s new book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate.
Jessica Corbett and Ethan Corey, “5 Crucial Lessons for the Left from Naomi Klein’s New Book.”
Eric Holthaus, “New Study Links Polar Vortex to Climate Change.”
Eugene Thacker on Radiolab.
And who knows where to put this one: Alison Flood, “Margaret Atwood’s New Work Will Remain Unseen for a Century.”
It’s been a busy end of the semester and I haven’t been able to post anything for a bit. So, now that I have a bit of time before the semester wraps up, here’s a bunch of stuff that has been happening the last few weeks. My apologies if I’m a bit late on some of these things.
Nuclear and Disaster
Laura Miller reviews Craig Nelson’s The Age of Radiance: The Epic Rise and the Dramatic Fall of the Atomic Age.
John Metcalfe, “What Famous Old Paintings Can Tell Us About Climate Change.”
Only .02% of published research rejects global warming.
Adam Weinstein, “Arrest Climate Change Deniers.”
The first evidence for cosmic inflation–i.e., the Big Bang–was discovered this week.
Megan Garber at The Atlantic, “What It’s Like to be Right About the Big Bang?”
The search for Flight MH370 is revealing one thing: the ocean is filled with garbage.
Kim Stanley Robinson alert: Paul Rosenfeld, “Would You Take a One-Way Ticket to Mars?”
And as part of his forthcoming 3 million page novel, Breeze Avenue (2015), Richard Grossman has buried a crystal ball deep inside of Princeton Mountain in Colorado. The ball, “made of synthetic sapphire, which is almost as indestructible as diamond,” has the Ten Commandments inscribed on it in Hebrew, and in “20 million years, as a result of natural forces carefully calculated by the geologists, the Torah Ball will emerge from its eroded resting place and bear the Ten Commandments down the mountain.” Hyperarchivalists of the deep future rejoice!
Richard Grossman, The Torah Ball (Synthetic Sapphire, Princeton Mountain, 20 Million Years of Erosion, 2011).
With the incursion of Russia into the Ukraine, a lot of stuff is going on.
Peter Baker in The New York Times, “Pressure Rising as Obama Works to Rein in Russia.”
“Ukraine, Putin, and the West” at n+1.
Peter Beinart for The Atlantic: “The Ukraine: Is This How the War on Terror Ends?”
Dominic Tierney for The Atlantic: “Putin’s Improv Act.”
David Rhode for The Atlantic: “Crimea: The Greatest Challenge to Geopolitics Since the Cold War.”
“Kerry Condemns Russia’s ‘Incredible Act of Aggression’ in the Ukraine.”
And a critique of The New York Times‘ coverage of Kerry.
“Aim Points in the US Nuclear Arsenal.”
Hans M. Kristensen, Director of the Nuclear Information Project, has authored an article for the Federation of American Scientists, “Obama and the Nuclear War Plan.”
Noam Chomsky, “America’s Apocalyptic Imperial Strategy.”
Noam Chomsky, “The Death of American Universities.”
On Fredric Jameson.
boundary 2‘s latest entry into its Great American Author Series, “A Political Companion to Walt Whitman” by Kerry Larson.
Ezra Klein, “The Real Reason Nobody Reads Academics.”
And Ian Bogost on Flappy Bird.
David Hancock Turner has an interesting reflection on Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam trilogy for Jacobin, titled “After the Flood.” He writes:
Atwood seems to intuit this and her emphasis on prefigurative forms of resistance only seems like a natural response to an overweening corporate dystopia. When the dream of revolutionary transformations seems so distant, why not at least have a taste of utopia in this world rather than toil amidst a rotten society and its artificial politics? Or does the workplace nevertheless remain the fundamental space of struggle, although now too removed or amorphous for us to recognize and rejuvenate its logic?
And what does it mean if Atwood transforms revolutionary praxis from labor activism into sabotage from the elite workers coupled with a strategy of refusal by an eclectic grouping of transients — two tactics we have recently witnessed in our own American society? The apocalypse that inhabits so much of our contemporary imagination is a signifier that the revolution and its classical preconditions are perhaps too difficult to dream.
And here’s an older review by Ursula K. Le Guin of The Year of the Flood (2009) in The Guardian.
My good friend, sculptor Taylor Baldwin, has a great write-up in Beautiful Decay, “Taylor Baldwin’s Assembled Madness.” A sample of his work, a couple of my favorite pieces.
Taylor Baldwin, The Interpreter (2010).
Taylor Baldwin, US Infantry Camel Corps (Feat. Emma Lazarus) (2007)
The Atlantic reports that “LOL and/or Lol! The Internet Has Style Guide Now: Sort Of.” Here’s the style guide at BuzzFeed.
Recent reports on the mega-text: “What You Learn About Tech from Watching all 456 Law and Order Episodes,” by Rebecca J. Rosen for The Atlantic.
And my friend Carolyn Kellogg reports that “Younger Book Dealers are Diving into the Antiquarian Trade” for The Los Angeles Times.
Richard Schiffman reported in The Atlantic today that “time is running out to put the brakes on the planet’s warming, says arguably the most exhaustively researched scientific paper in history,” in “What Leading Scientists Say You Should Know About Today’s Frightening Climate Report.” Thanks to my sister-in-law for drawing my attention to this. And also to my brother for being instrumental building the satellite that brings us this image.