Christina Agapakis teaches us about “Wolbachia,” the most misandrist of all bacteria. …
Wolbachia primarily act on insects and other shelled creatures, but they might also be able to have an effect on human societies — not by infecting our reproductive organs and eliminating males from the population, but through a kind of conceptual endosymbiosis.
On 25 March 1771, Juan López appeared before Inquisitors in Mexico City to clear his conscience. Apparently, while gossiping about the various parties that had recently occurred throughout the capital, Don Gabriel Bordazu told a story so scandalous that López felt compelled to report it….
If you turn to the vision of the world in the Middle Ages, you find the classical Aristotelian concept of spherology, according to which the earth is included as one of seven layers of cosmic, ethereal substances that carry the planet. The outermost boundary consists of what they call the Empyrean, the crystal heaven — or, according to Dante, the dwelling place of God and the source of light and creation. There is no real beyond.
This creates ample trouble for positioning God, saints, elected human beings, angels, and all those created in the middle, because they had to be located somewhere, in that vision of the world. The horror of a vacuum was so strong that they could not tolerate the idea of emptiness. Consequently, in this vision of the world everything is full. To be a human being means to live on the surface of the lowest sphere. Yet inside the earth, there are still more layers, down to where Satan has his residence. That’s what you learn by reading Dante — a Satan-centric view of the world.
The medieval vision of the world is Satanocentric. You cannot combine the geological and theological visions of the world; there is a profound contradiction between these two construction principles that compete throughout the Middle Ages.
One of my favorite bits from an interview with German philosopher Sloterdijk in which I participated last year, out now in the LA Review of Books.
Henry Rollins remains, in an inexplicable way that has nothing directly to do with his current obsession with Nordic noise music (but isn’t exactly unrelated) my north star.
In this slightly ancient interview, he talks punk, of course. Which I love. He also says some things about going and seeing, about labor, and about obsession that resonate with me as a scholar, a worker, and a person who is irrevocably and, for the most part, unapologetically obsessed with the academic scene and her own research.
He’s slept on a lot of couches. That resonates, too.
Kieran Long: This year The Telegraph newspaper ran some stories about working conditions in Tesco distribution warehouses. One of the things that they were talking about were the WT4000 wearable devices manufactured by Motorola that people in their distribution warehouses would wear. Basically they measure how many times you put something in a box on a production line.
Whenever I show this product, people are shocked that we think of wearable technology as the lovely things that you publish on Dezeen like Nike Fuel bands. Actually wearable technology is a reality for thousands of working people in this country. It’s a kind of neo-Fordist, time and motion study-type device that means people can get fired if they don’t put enough things in a box. A brilliant piece of industrial design but also a very frightening one.