Nature is not natural and can never be naturalized — Graham Harman

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Eco Conference in Glasgow Today and Tomorrow

“The End of Place as We Know It.” Here's what is happening. It will be so good to meet Edward Casey whose The Fate of Place is just an awesome book that inspired me a huge lot in the 90s.

Scots, China Doesn't Want a Yes Vote Because...

It might encourage the Tibetans...

I am not making this up.

Yet another good reason to etc etc.

The Right Book to Read on the Train to Glasgow Today



It's absolutely brilliant. Totally disarming.

Comic timing is how you actually write good sentences, and the sentences in this are very very good indeed.

Comic timing is interlocked with thought I have found.

Happily I am already writing about The Best Party in Dark Ecology. (The sound of sinister reverberant laughter.)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Thank You Jon Stewart

This is absolutely accurate. Rice has the best ever sexual violence and harassment policy. Ever. It's run by actual trained social workers and actual trained lawyers. Not by some group of faculty trying to cover their asses.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Scotland, Pounds, Fear

If you are a sovereign nation you can create your own money.

[End of debate]

Subatomic Sound

They have made a thing sounds like a thing of atomic size that allows you to hear the sound of an atom if you had ears that could tune to twenty octaves higher than the top note on a piano.

Yet--this is perhaps even more amazing. Actually I think it really is. It's about your actual physical ear. My friend Douglas Kahn convinced me after sending me a really dope acoustics book.

Your eardrum, when hearing the quietest sound it can hear, vibrates with an amplitude shorter than many many times smaller than the diameter of a hydrogen atom.

Think about it. This is a quantum scale dimensionality.

Monday, September 15, 2014

"It'll Be Bad for Business! Uncertainty!"

This is the bit that is really really unacceptable. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about, Scotland.

Since when did corporations get to vote? (Don't remind me that they are "people" over here, yuck.)

It's like when Sodexo warned us "if you put up the minimum wage U of C, we will have to put up our prices."

In a certain sense: so the **** what?

I'm sure the English said the same in 1775. The Republicans said the same in the 2010 election here.

But...

America split from England and there was no problem.
Ireland split from England and there was no problem.
Iceland split from Denmark and there was far from a problem.
Latin American countries split from Spain and there was no problem.
Australia. New Zealand.
And on and on and on...

England got all its practice for world domination on the Irish and the Scots.

Give it a whirl Scotland. My Scots ancestors are obviously into it. As is anyone with a pulse, really. As far as the "head" versus "heart" thing goes, I think it's pretty much a no brainer. Literally.

And the whole "there is no going back" thing. What? Since when was that ever true? Just look at your own medieval history England.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Haim Is Where the Heart Is

His picture for me got on my lobby wall finally. It's got these tiny very high resolution pictures of his exhibition at the Menil.





Saturday, September 13, 2014

I SURRENDER...

...to the phenomenal world...





This Is Happening in Grasmere

Next Sunday, at 10:30am. At the Wordsworth Museum.


In an era of ecological emergency, why do we need art?

Humans have had a long history of inaccurate and destructive relations with non-humans, a 10,000-year disaster in the making that has culminated in global warming and mass extinction.
Timothy Morton, ecological critic and Professor at Rice University, Texas, and author of the groundbreaking Ecology without Nature, will explore how art recognises this but can also help, in a direct experiential way, to reawaken the caring bond between humans and non-humans. 

OOO Meditation

When you meditate you experience your mind as an object. Entity. Being. Whatever feels like the right word. Quantum. Just there.

People think meditating is mental but it's very physical, like performance art or something.

It can go a bit like this (below). Erotic, gentle, mysterious. The use of whispering and sequenced fourths in that endlessly rising illusion pattern...you can't quite grasp...but it's there...Wow the chords in the last couple of minutes...

Exactly as in Björk's “Undo” you shouldn't delete the passion you see. Aggression delete.


Friday, September 12, 2014

This Will Happen at Northwestern

...on Tuesday November 4:

Hypocrites
Tim Morton

The point of ecological criticism, whether it's in the media and in scholarship, often seems to be about rooting out hypocrisy. You are a vegetarian but you wear leather shoes. You drive a Prius but you won't save Earth that way. You argue about global warming by flying thousands of miles.

To be in an age of ecological crisis is, in a sense, to be under it, and in that sense, we are all hypocrites.

But in a much more basic sense, ecological awareness “reduces” us to ethical hypocrisy. This is precisely because of the interdependence of lifeforms and non-life, as I'll argue.

In turn, this shows us something deep about the structure of reality. To be a thing at all is to be a hypocrite, in the sense that things are never what they seem, but could not appear otherwise.

Moreover, the age of cynicism, in which sniffing out hypocrisy is lauded as cleverness, in philosophy, art, culture and the media, is not only dead in the ecological age. It is impossible.

This Will Happen, Far North

...in Kirkenes, Norway, Thursday October 9:

My friend Douglas Kahn recently invented the phrase Earth magnitude. When we scale up to Earth magnitude, very interesting things happen to thinking. Far from making supposed universalistic generalizations, as many still assume ecological statements to be, thought at Earth magnitude is highly accurate and specific. Yet it is also deeply entwined with paradox in such a way that it reveals something basic to the structure of thought: a loop form, which I take to be the structure of being anything at all: a logical system, a solar ray, an electromagnetic shield, an aurora, an oil refinery.

Moreover, Earth magnitude is the correct scale on which to think something seemingly near to us, yet in fact more distant than Sagittarius A: human being as such.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Morton vs. The Texas Board of Education

“Authority.”

My daughter was on the computer at school defining this word and hearing an example of a sentence that contains it. The example:

CHILDREN SHOULD NOT QUESTION THE AUTHORITY OF ADULTS

So, for instance, a fake police car shows up outside school. A fake police officer shouts at some small child that he has been very naughty and has to get into the car. He gets into the car, because he has just learned that children should not question the authority of adults.

Tim Morton's fixed version, reiterated at length to his kids yesterday:

CHILDREN SHOULD ALWAYS QUESTION THE AUTHORITY OF ADULTS. THEY SHOULD DO SO OUT LOUD AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE, WHEN IT IS SAFE TO DO SO.

Anyway. This is all happening in a fortnight where 10 year olds have to define and illustrate words that explain what (Texan) school kids should be. For instance:

COMMUNICATOR: a person who is very effective at communicating.

Tim Morton's example: Ronald Reagan was known as the great communicator. So, by extension, communicator must mean Reagan-like.

You have to come up with synonyms for this freshly defined word. Can you think of any one-word synonyms? I'm stumped. Because communicator doesn't mean that.

Then you have to come up with one-word antonyms. Even harder. The closest I could come was inarticulate person. The irony of which, etc. etc.

For future pondering: what is this doing to Texan minds, and to the Texan economy?

Stay tuned for a discussion of the use of collective punishment.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Now That's What I Call Speculative Realism

Well this is one of my favorite stories.

So Padmasambhava was hanging out with his girlfriend Yeshe Tsogyal. And he is being quite impressive on various topics.

So Yeshe Tsogyal goes, "There are some things you don't know yet."

So Padmasambhava is like "Yeah whatever surprise me." Or something.

And this is where she takes this razor thin knife and slits open her stomach, right there in the living room.

She pulls open the flesh. And inside are stars and galaxies and space. Not symbols of them but the actual ones.