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Reply All #132, Negative Mount Pleasant
A small town in Wisconsin becomes the site of a completely unprecedented experiment.
ReplyAll  podcast  2018Faves  Foxconn  technology  Wisconsin 
march 2019 by briansholis
Johanna Fateman, "Fully Loaded: Power and Sexual Violence"
"In the present war against “misconduct,” we rely on victims to be our bravest soldiers, transfixed when they stand up, one by one, wielding accounts of their abuse. With the stories breaking daily as I write, I’m sickened, but also recommitted to a feminist first principle; reminded of the ethical imperative to distribute the profound personal, social, and economic costs of truth-telling and noncompliance among all of us through acts of support and solidarity. And I wonder: Could art help to relieve the accusers’ burdens, the sheer weight of representation that they are asked to bear? As testimonial and journalistic accounts of sexual violence gain new prominence and legitimacy, what is the role of the symbolic, the metaphysical, the fantastic, the conceptual, and the abstract?"
Artforum  JohannaFateman  feminism  gender  SexualViolence  2018Faves 
february 2019 by briansholis
Alex Carp, "Slavery and the American University"
"From their very beginnings, the American university and American slavery have been intertwined, but only recently are we beginning to understand how deeply. In part, this can be attributed to an expansion of political will."
AlexCarp  NewYorkReviewofBooks  2018Faves  slavery  AmericanHistory  universities 
february 2019 by briansholis
Why Silicon Valley billionaires are prepping for the apocalypse in New Zealand | News | The Guardian
How an extreme libertarian tract predicting the collapse of liberal democracies – written by Jacob Rees-Mogg’s father – inspired the likes of Peter Thiel to buy up property across the Pacific
MarkOConnell  TheGuardian  2018Faves  technology  doomsday 
february 2019 by briansholis
Kate Briggs, excerpt from This Little Art
"It is easy not to think about translation. This has to do, of course, with the way translations typically get presented to readers: the name of the original author in full caps and bold; the translator’s name smaller or left off the cover altogether; reviewers failing to register the fact of reading in and the creative labour of translation. But perhaps it also has to do with the way we tend to talk about—and so also experience?—prose translations. That is, prose translations, as provisionally distinct from all the other ways an existing work of art can be reproduced, remediated or re-versioned."
FullStopMag  KateBriggs  2018Faves  translation  LiteraryCriticism 
february 2019 by briansholis
Malcolm Harris, "Glitch Capitalism: How Cheating AIs Explain Our Glitchy Society"
"If an algorithm generates a bad solution — like face-planting as a mode of ambulation — it’s usually something we can fix.
That’s what tests are for, and engineers learn from their mistakes and oversights. Liberal capitalist democracy, however, isn’t great with do-overs. In the political realm, there’s a fear that any flexible or dynamic process would be subject to tyrannical abuse, and it’s better to just wait until the next election. When it comes to property, possession is nine-tenths of the law; good luck trying to get your money back due to unfairness. And then there’s our system’s ultimate exploit: regulatory capture. That’s like if the twitchy robot used its ill-gotten energy to take over the computer and make sure the error never got patched. What looked like a glitch becomes the system’s defining characteristic, which might help explain why we all walk around now by slamming our face against the floor."
NewYorkMag  MalcolmHarris  capitalism  technology  glitches  2018Faves 
february 2019 by briansholis
Malcolm Harris, "How Much Is a Word Worth?"
"As any owner of a taxi medallion can tell you, reducing the value of a product or service can have serious repercussions — for the workers themselves and for the wider society they help comprise. When it comes to freelance writing, I fear that low prices have already begun to cost us. Talented writers walk away from the industry, plutocrats are free to pick stories and choose writers even when they don’t own the outlets, and the quality of the work declines. All of that looks to worsen over time."
MalcolmHarris  writing  pay  Medium  2018Faves  freelance  publishing 
february 2019 by briansholis
Caity Weaver, "I Also Went to the Royal Wedding"
"Everyone was desperate to see Ms. Markle. They did not hunger to see her; it is possible to live for weeks without solid food. These people needed Ms. Markle as they needed oxygen. They needed to witness firsthand the color of the dress she had chosen to wear for the afternoon of her last day as a divorced single woman. They needed to watch the fading light glint off her shiny, healthy hair — and would it be up or down? They needed, each, to scream their personal well-wishes at her, or maybe just to feel her name rip out of their throats — MEGHAN! — so it could never be said that they’d had the opportunity to try to command her attention and failed to."
CaityWeaver  NYT  2018Faves  RoyalWedding  England  travel 
february 2019 by briansholis
Rob Horning, "The Price of Shares"
Twenty years after Relational Aesthetics, the “social” has moved to the smartphone screen — and Nicolas Bourriaud’s vision of a museum of encounters is dead. The museum of the future is emerging in Indianapolis; dumbing down may soon come to be a fiduciary duty
art  museums  EvenMagazine  RobHorning  SocialMedia  2018Faves 
february 2019 by briansholis
Sarah Rich, "Imagining a Better Boyhood"
"As boys grow up, the process of becoming men encourages them to shed the sort of intimate connections and emotional intelligence that add meaning to life."
parenting  gender  masculinity  TheAtlantic  SarahRich  2018Faves 
february 2019 by briansholis
Jenny Odell, "How to Do Nothing"
"What I would do there is nothing. I’d just sit there. And although I felt a bit guilty about how incongruous it seemed — beautiful garden versus terrifying world — it really did feel necessary, like a survival tactic."

"This love of one’s subject is something I’m provisionally calling the observational eros. The observational eros is an emotional fascination with one’s subject that is so strong it overpowers the desire to make anything new."

"That brings me to what these few projects I’ve mentioned have in common. The artist creates a structure — whether that’s a map or a cordoned-off area — that holds open a contemplative space against the pressures of habit and familiarity that constantly threaten to close it."

"There are certain people who would like to use technology to escape their own mortality. [...] To such people I propose that a far more parsimonious way to live forever is to exit the trajectory of productive time, so that a single moment might open almost to infinity. As John Muir once said, 'Longest is the life that contains the largest amount of time-effacing enjoyment.'"
2018Faves  JennyOdell  Medium  nothing  productivity  resistance  work 
february 2019 by briansholis
Gerald Murnane, Border Districts (FSG)
“The mind is a place best viewed from borderlands . . .”

Border Districts, purportedly the Australian master Gerald Murnane’s final work of fiction, is a hypnotic, precise, and self-lacerating “report” on a life led as an avid reader, fumbling lover, “student of mental imagery,” and devout believer—but a believer not in the commonplaces of religion, but rather in the luminescence of memory and its handmaiden, literature.

In Border Districts, a man moves from a capital city to a remote town in the border country, where he intends to spend the last years of his life. It is time, he thinks, to review the spoils of a lifetime of seeing, a lifetime of reading. Which sights, which people, which books, fictional characters, turns of phrase, and lines of verse will survive into the twilight? A dark-haired woman with a wistful expression? An ancestral house in the grasslands? The colors in translucent panes of glass, in marbles and goldfish and racing silks? Feeling an increasing urgency to put his mental landscape in order, the man sets to work cataloging this treasure, little knowing where his “report” will lead and what secrets will be brought to light.

Border Districts is a jewel of a farewell from one of the greatest living writers of English prose.
GeraldMurnane  BorderDistricts  novel  FSGBooks  LateLife  memory  2018Faves 
february 2019 by briansholis
Christian Wiman, He Held Radical Light (FSG)
What is it we want when we can’t stop wanting? And how do we make that hunger productive and vital rather than corrosive and destructive? These are the questions that animate Christian Wiman as he explores the relationships between art and faith, death and fame, heaven and oblivion. Above all, He Held Radical Light is a love letter to poetry, filled with moving, surprising, and sometimes funny encounters with the poets Wiman has known. Seamus Heaney opens a suddenly intimate conversation about faith; Mary Oliver puts half of a dead pigeon in her pocket; A. R. Ammons stands up in front of an audience and refuses to read. He Held Radical Light is as urgent and intense as it is lively and entertaining—a sharp sequel to Wiman’s earlier memoir, My Bright Abyss.
2018Faves  poetry  criticism  biography  ChristianWiman  FSGBooks 
february 2019 by briansholis
Andrew Martin, Early Work (FSG)
For young writers of a certain temperament—if they haven’t had such notions beaten out of them by MFA programs and the Internet—the delusion persists that great writing must be sought in what W. B. Yeats once called the “foul rag and bone shop of the heart.” That’s where Peter Cunningham has been looking for inspiration for his novel—that is, when he isn’t teaching at the local women’s prison, walking his dog, getting high, and wondering whether it’s time to tie the knot with his college girlfriend, a medical student whose night shifts have become a standing rebuke to his own lack of direction. When Peter meets Leslie, a sexual adventurer taking a break from her fiancé, he gets a glimpse of what he wishes and imagines himself to be: a writer of talent and nerve. Her rag-and-bone shop may be as squalid as his own, but at least she knows her way around the shelves. Over the course of a Virginia summer, their charged, increasingly intimate friendship opens the door to difficult questions about love and literary ambition.

With a keen irony reminiscent of Sam Lipsyte or Lorrie Moore, and a romantic streak as wide as Roberto Bolaño’s, Andrew Martin’s Early Work marks the debut of a writer as funny and attentive as any novelist of his generation
2018Faves  AndrewMartin  EarlyWork  novel  FSGBooks  writing  ArtisticLife 
february 2019 by briansholis
Craig Morgan Teicher, We Begin in Gladness (Graywolf Press)
“The staggering thing about a life’s work is it takes a lifetime to complete,” Craig Morgan Teicher writes in these luminous essays. We Begin in Gladness considers how poets start out, how they learn to hear themselves, and how some offer us that rare, glittering thing: lasting work. Teicher traces the poetic development of the works of Sylvia Plath, John Ashbery, Louise Glück, and Francine J. Harris, among others, to illuminate the paths they forged—by dramatic breakthroughs or by slow increments, and always by perseverance. We Begin in Gladness is indispensable for readers curious about the artistic life and for writers wondering how they might light out—or even scale the peak of the mountain.
CraigMorganTeicher  GraywolfPress  2018Faves  poetry  criticism  ArtisticLife 
february 2019 by briansholis
Inger Christensen, "Does Art Originate From the Same Necessity That Gives Rise to Beehives?"
"Does art originate from the same necessity that gives rise to beehives, the songs of larks, and the dances of cranes?"
art  writing  LitHub  IngerChristensen  2018Faves 
february 2019 by briansholis
Peter Brannen, "Why Earth's History Appears So Miraculous," The Atlantic
"In a strange way, truly gigantic craters don’t appear on the planet’s surface because we’re here to look for them. Just as the wounds of the returning planes could reflect only the merely survivable, so too for our entire planet’s history. It could be that we’ve been shielded from these existential threats by our very existence."
PeterBrannen  TheAtlantic  science  DeepTime  geology  life  astronomy  2018Faves 
january 2019 by briansholis
Peter Brannen, "Glimpses of a Mass Extinction in Modern-Day Western New York," The New Yorker
This upstate ocean poked out from under farmland, and crumbled from rock walls behind gas stations. In the Devonian period—hundreds of millions of years ago—it was filled with sea lilies, sea scorpions, armor-plated monster fish, forests of glass sponges, and patch reefs of strange corals. At night, these reefs were cast in shimmering chiaroscuro, inviting moonlit patrols of sharks and coelacanths. Where the water met land in eastern New York, dawn revealed fish hauling ashore on nervous day trips—slimy, gasping astronauts under a withering sun.
PeterBrannen  NewYorker  science  geology  DeepTime  2018Faves 
january 2019 by briansholis
Seth Fletcher, "How Do You Take a Picture of a Black Hole? With a Telescope as Big as the Earth," The New York Times
The edge of a black hole is an ideal place to test the theory of general relativity, which scientists have been trying for the last century to break.
astronomy  NYT  BlackHoles  universe  science  SethFletcher  2018Faves 
january 2019 by briansholis

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