“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Nubian Sundance

By Weather Report. There is a moment about 3:25–4:00 that is the sound of liberation.

Theologian, I Mean Economist, against Capitalism

Well this takes some courage. I'm keen to hear it.

Ph.D. Quals Passed

By Mary Ellen Williams. She has very interesting ideas about Percy Shelley, cosmology, scientific instruments and speculative realism. Congrats!

Philosophies of Art and Beauty

...from Plato to Heidegger. Still my favorite textbook after all these years. Edited by Albert Hofstadter. Real, sizable chunks. Chicago Press. Just got my box fresh desk copy.

Queer Ecologies on Student Debt

Such a powerful post, all it needs is this link.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Blimey things are ragged at the end of this quarter. There's a lot to do and the police brutality totally threw me off. May I keep a clear head long enough to see me through this next week.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Ken Russell RIP

He died today. His rather gauche movies sometimes hit the spot. I kind of hated Gothic for making Shelley be such a nutter. But Tommy was pretty intense. Unbelievably my father was music director for Lisztomania (1975), which meant that he had to teach Roger Daltrey how to mime playing the harp. Predictably Daltrey made a rather desultory comment about reading music (namely his inability to do so), which did not impress him.

Occupy UC Davis Dome

Now festooned with prayer flags. I taught in the blue geodesic dome. Skylike interior.

Occupy UC Davis Meditation and OOO

That was a very good way to start the day, I feel. The passion people brought to Occupy was palpable and it made sitting extremely easy. All one has to do in circumstances like that is bring one's passion and then let it be, coexistent with others. A truly creative time. People were awake, heartfelt and extremely intelligent.

I'm going to paste here something I wrote for the nonviolence conference on meditation, because it may ring some bells with people. The line of thinking is based on my argument that OOO objects (everything) are fundamentally inconsistent, because of a rift between essence and appearance. This has political implications:

[H]ow does meditation look on the ground, in practice, “where the rubber meets the road” to use the awful bureaucratic phrase? One is allowing one's thoughts to exist, without trying to delete them. Thus one is allowing oneself to be inconsistent: the mind is making some effort towards mindfulness, yet there are also thoughts occurring that distract the mind. In higher forms of meditation, the practice has less effort. One is simply allowing whatever happens to happen, no matter what the thought is. Some kind of commitment is required, a commitment not to adjust what is happening. This non-adjusting allows beings to resound in all their contradictory plenitude. Since all phenomena radiate from the nature of mind or from Atman (and so forth, depending on which school of thought one is following), all is purified in advance within the larger space of freedom. Purified here means left in its natural state, which is open and vivid. There thus arises what in Mahamudra and Dzogchen is called non-meditation. This non-meditation is different from not meditating, and also different from meditating. It is simply coexisting with what is. Meditation simply is nonviolence, which means allowing the rift between essence and appearance to persist.

In meditation then, one is both p and not-p at the same time. One is a living contradiction, the contradiction that defines living as such. One coexists in the simplest possible way, namely with oneself. Narcissism thus means self-relating, which means other-relating. Since being myself means never directly being myself, my existence is coexistence, even when hypothetically I am totally on my own. Meditation is thus nonviolent, not simply because it means you are trying to make yourself be gentle, but because you are allowing yourself to exist in your inconsistency. In a group of meditators, this nonviolent coexistence becomes vivid. The person on your left might be plotting to take over the Universe. But what on Earth is he going to do about it in that moment? He is meditating!

Meditation means allowing at least one thing to be inconsistent. Allowing the rift between essence and appearance to persist without causing it to close and thus for essence to evaporate. Nonviolence. Humans must get used to the depth of nonviolence in their being. The Greek term for this getting-used-to is mathēsis, which is fully thought not simply as calculation, but as acclimatization, as growing accustomed to the truth of things. The Tibetan for this getting-used-to is gom, which is the term for meditation. In Buddhism there are three stages of learning: hearing, contemplating, and meditating. Hearing is thorough attunement to the dharma. Contemplating is more deeply digesting it into one's being. Meditating is enacting it, living it, embodying it. This embodiment just is nonviolence, a nonviolence that attunes the layers of a human being—cultural forms, attitudes, psychological states, biological equilibriums, physical being, mind, heart, flesh, bone—to the fundamental inconsistency of reality.

Occupy Meditation Class

That went beyond well. Full account soon.

Urban Land Project

By Tim Simmons. Very interesting idea. Huge billboards with photos of textures of nonhuman spaces. I wonder how much they are a cry of the heart in a heartless world—haunting reminders of the yonder of Nature within artifice. Maybe I'm reading them wrong. And I've only just started to see them. HT Sam Scott (@bigsagacity).

Sunday, November 27, 2011

UC Davis General Strike Event Schedule 11.28


Time: 8 a.m.
Event: Yoga
By: Amanda Hodson, Ph.D., Postdoctoral
Researcher in the Department of Land,
Air and Water Resources
Place: Sacred Space: (Blue Dome on the Quad)

Time: 9 a.m.
Event: Occupy Sanity: Creating Enlightened
Society one Breath at a Time
By: Professor Timothy Morton, Professor of
Literature and the Environment in the
Department of English
Place: Sacred Space: (Blue Dome on the Quad)

Time: 9 a.m.
Event: Land Grant Universities
By: Mark Von Horn , Student Farm Director
Place: ARC - grassy lawn next to Segundo DC

Time: 10 a.m.
Event: Reflecting on the Now: Where is
Occupy in the Future of Protest
By: Professor Robyn Waxman, Professor of
Design, Sacramento City College &
Founder of Future Action Reclamation
Mob (FARM)
Place: ARC - grassy lawn next to Segundo DC

Time: 10 a.m.
Event: The 15 Movement in Barcelona,
Acampada BCN: From outrage to
By: Carolina Novella, Ph.D. Student in
Performance Studies
Place: ARC - grassy lawn next to Segundo DC

Time: 10 a.m.
Event: Anarchist Anthropology: Cultural
Anthropologists on Anarchist Politics
By: Laura Meek & Whitney Larratt-Smith,
Anthropology Department
Place: ARC - grassy lawn next to Segundo DC

Time: 11 a.m.
Event: Dangers of Corporations Getting the
Full Right of People…and Its Threat to
our Democracy
By: Gary Fitzgerald, Regional Coordinator
for “Move to Amend”
Place: ARC - grassy lawn next to Segundo DC

Time: 11 a.m.
Event: Cops Off Campus: Toward A Safer
By: Joshua Clover, Eleanor Liu, Mohamed
Shehk, & Francis Jarvis, Anthropology
& English Departments and STS
Place: Sacred Space: (Blue Dome on the Quad)

Time: 12 p.m.
Event: Budget Blues: UC Financial Structure
and Privatization
By: Suad Joseph, Caroline Mckusick &
Kevin Smith, Anthropology Department
Place: Sacred Space: (Blue Dome on the Quad)

Time: 1 p.m.
Event: Part 1: Three Theories of Power, Three
Forms of Struggle: Marx, Fanon,
Foucault (Parts 2 & 3 will be held on
Tues & Wed)
By: Professor Nathan Brown, Assistant
Professor in the Department of English
Place: Sacred Space: (Blue Dome on the Quad)

Time: 2 p.m.
Event: Active AND Privileged: Examining
Unintentional and Unconscious
Dominance Within the Protest
By: Dr. Laurie Lippin, Lecturer in the
Department of Human and Community
Place: Sacred Space: (Blue Dome on the Quad)

Time: 3:15 p.m.
Event: The Physicality of Political Action:
Getting over Hierarchical Structures of
By: Nita Little, Ph.D. Candidate in
Performance Studies
Place: East Quad Workshop Space

Time: 3:30 p.m.
Event: American Dissent Series 1: Abolitionism
By: Professor Ari Kelman, Associate
Professor in the Department of History
Place: Sacred Space: (Blue Dome on the Quad)

Time: 4 p.m.
Event: Happiness, Wealth and Community
By: Emily Baranco, Graduate
Student in Philosophy Department
Place: East Quad Workshop Space

Time: 4:30 p.m.
Event: Tips on Argumentation
By: Colin Murphy, Graduate Student in the
Institute of Transportation Studies
Place: Sacred Space: (Blue Dome on the Quad)

Time: 5 p.m.
Event: Students Co-Government and the
Concept of University
By: Dr. Paulina L. González-Gómez,
Department of Neurobiology,
Physiology and Behavior
Place: Sacred Space: (Blue Dome on the Quad)

Time: 6 p.m.
Event: American Dissent Series 2:
Revolutionary War and Free Speech
By: Professor Alan Taylor, Professor in
the Department of Economics
Place: Sacred Space: (Blue Dome on the Quad)

Time: 6 p.m.
Event: What happened to the economy to
create the lack of funding at UC? And
what do we need to do?
By: Brian Hanley, Ph.D. Butterfly Science
Place: East Quad Workshop Space

Time: 7 p.m.
Event: Foundations of Shambhala
By: Rumana Rahman, Davis Shambhala
Meditation Center
Place: Sacred Space: (Blue Dome on the Quad)

Time: 7:30 p.m.
Event: American Dissent Series 3: Prisoner's
Rights movements in American History
By: Holly Cooper, Lecturer, Immigration
Law Clinic: King Hall Immigration
Detention Project
Place: East Quad Workshop Space

Time: 8:30 -10 p.m.
Event: Hate Crime Action Planning Meeting
By: Townhall III
Place: Sacred Space: (Blue Dome on the Quad)

LUCA: On the Discovery of a Gigantic Lifeform from which All Subsequent Lifeforms Descend

Tree of Life with LUCA at the center (download for magnification)

While I was sleeping off Thanksgiving, the New Scientist wrote this piece about my new fascination: LUCA (the Last Universal Common Ancestor). HT (and then some) Jordan Miller.

What do we know about LUCA?

It existed about 2.9 billion years ago. It was gigantic, filling the planet's oceans. (Haha, we were just talking about Solaris).

It split into three: bacteria, archaea and more complex eukaryotes that gave rise to animals and plants. (In your face underminers! This is a huge entity that split, not smaller objects that assembled!)

5–11% of proteins are common to all lifeforms. Therefore they are in LUCA. These proteins are living fossils of LUCA, which preexist the machinery that now makes them. We have proteins first made by the coding apparatus of LUCA. This is like saying that there are words that preexist all the people who used them. If that isn't spooky I don't know what is. “Language speaks” (Heidegger).

"Structure is known to be conserved when sequences aren't," agrees Anthony Poole of the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand, though he cautions that two very similar structures could conceivably have evolved independently after LUCA. (New Scientist)

LUCA had leaky isoprenoid membranes and was multicellular, in order to cope with the rather haphazard way its metabolism worked.  It could digest nitrates and carbon. It probably shared DNA and enzymes between cells (the leakiness was exploited).

All lifeforms have in their cells organelles called acidocalcisomes. LUCA contained acidocalcisomes.

LUCA may not have used DNA. It used RNA instead because RNA can store information and control chemical reactions.

When each individual cell could produce all it needed, LUCA was not required. LUCA became extinct, broke apart into three branches. The ability to process what you need within a bounded container is called death drive. I suggest that the split of LUCA into the three branches of life (see the diagram above) had to do with this increased inner consistency. LUCA died out because beings became more efficient.

What a masterpiece of speculative biology. I'm going to think about this. 

Ben Woodard's Black Metal Talk

Here is the text, and here are some videos from P.E.S.T. I like Ben's talk and I like Zachary Price's. This doesn't mean I don't like the others—I simply haven't heard them yet. The opening still from Ben's talk is suitably gruesome!

Karl Steel Solaris

Karl makes some very good point about Solaris on Twitter.

My wife wonders whether it's really Kris or a planet simulacrum at end. Could be that the ocean doesn't want to give Kris up & so recreates him in his longing. If end-Kris is real in sense that neutrino-Hari is, then we shift from psychological readings of Kris's end and towards the ocean's desires. The inhuman, the split Big O, what have you in an oop sense, the universe's desires, altered by its contact w/ us, but also itself, going on w/out us.” (Twitter forces one to abbreviate, which can be good.)

My pennyworth was my favorite Lacan quotation: “What constitutes pretense is that, in the end, you don't know whether it's pretense or not.” The disturbing ambiguity of the end is precisely that way. We are inside the ocean-being's fantasies. As the camera pans back, we see a little world of human meaning in a gigantic ocean of non-humanness, as the synthesizer dissonance absorbs Bach into its wider sonic spectrum. Love it.

Here's my essay “Ecologocentrism,” which is my contribution to Solaris studies.

Harman and I Finishing Same Homework Same Night

As fate would have it, we're both finishing our essays for New Literary History tonight...Graham's is synoptic, mine is a probe. That's just how it happened. They complement each other excellently. Thanks Rita Felski for asking us to do this. My one is called “An Object-Oriented Defense of Poetry.” I'll let Graham tell you what his is. It made me smile.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Broken Tools

I find this interesting, and it makes me smile, especially my inner OOOer. From a description of the black bloc activities in Seattle on November 30, 1999:

When we smash a window, we aim to destroy the thin veneer of legitimacy that surrounds private property rights. At the same time, we exorcize that set of violent and destructive social relationships which has been imbued in almost everything around us. By "destroying" private property, we convert its limited exchange value into an expanded use value.

A storefront window becomes a vent to let some fresh air into the oppressive atmosphere of a retail outlet (at least until the police decide to tear-gas a nearby road blockade). A newspaper box becomes a tool for creating such vents or a small blockade for the reclamation of public space or an object to improve one's vantage point by standing on it. A dumpster becomes an obstruction to a phalanx of rioting cops and a source of heat and light. A building facade becomes a message board to record brainstorm ideas for a better world.

After N30, many people will never see a shop window or a hammer the same way again. The potential uses of an entire cityscape have increased a thousand-fold.

Litter Lasts This Long

Fact sheet from my daughter's primary school:

Aluminum cans 200–500 years
Plastic six-pack holders 450 years
Plastic film containers 20–30 years
Plastic bags 10–20 years
Paper bag 1 month
Plastic coated paper 5 years
Cigarette butts 1–5 years
Rubber boot/shoe sole 50–80 years

I would like to see some corroboration for these. I'm not going to post their times for plastic or polystyrene because I reckon they're off.   Obviously it depends what happens to these objects, how they are processed or not, and so on.     

In Memoriam Lynn Margulis: Speculative Realist

It's been too long since Margulis's death for me to write this without some kind of sense of guilt. The Occupy happenings have been preoccupying me.

I remember when I first heard about Margulis, it must have been in the early 80s when I was making my first discoveries about molecular biology and evolution. The term symbiosis is a very very evocative one.

An essay version of Margulis's work on bacteria was perhaps the first piece of speculative realism I ever read, in a collection of essays on Gaia, coming out of the Lindisfarne conferences. I was stunned by the clear logic of her argument. Here was someone thinking a world unimaginably ancient, a world in which things we take for granted—oxygen, in the main—didn't exist as they do now.

The fact that animal cells contain mitochondria, which have their own DNA, because they are hiding from a cataclysm their ancestors brought about, called oxygen: this was and is profound, wild stuff.

Lynn Margulis was the first to convince me that there are already aliens, some of them inside me.

Here is a class I taught about her published as part of a digital book.

My Meditation Class at Occupy

The first one will be at 9am on the East Quad in a second dome—those dome builders are busy!

Occupy Sanity: Creating Enlightened Society one Breath at a Time 

It will be non-denominational, i.e. a form of meditation that anyone could do, atheist, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, Hindu, etc.

In my experience activists often get burnout and meditation is one way to solve this—at the very least. It's also an extremely radical form of occupation, if you think about it.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Žižek, Anarchism, Buddhism

It's a sign of the times, perhaps, the Occupy times, that Žižek can come this close to my favorite combination of flavors: Buddhism, anarchism and Taoism. Check it out:

Our task is thus to remain faithful to this eternal Idea of communism: to the egalitarian spirit kept alive over thousands of years in revolts and utopian dreams, in radical movements from Spartacus to Thomas Müntzer, including within the great religions (Buddhism versus Hinduism, Daoism or Legalism versus Confucianism, etc.).

As John Clark points out to me (HT to him), it should without doubt be Daoism versus Legalism or Confucianism—but never mind. Then Žižek goes and slightly spoils it:

The problem is how to avoid the choice between radical social uprisings which end in defeat, unable to stabilize themselves in a new order, and the retreat into an ideal displaced to a domain outside social reality (for Buddhism we are all equal—in nirvana). It is here that the originality of Western thought becomes clear...

Right? I mean, no, we're not all equal “only” in nirvana, within Buddhist praxis. For a kickoff, we all have unconditioned karma: we're not totally stuck in our caste or class. (This was the whole point of the social origin of Buddhism.) And nirvana and samsara aren't separate. I see no inherent obstacle in Buddhism to adhering to the egalitarian spirit in this world.

Never mind. Žižek comes along quite far here.

Talk at Harvard

It looks like I'll be talking at Harvard on February 6, on ecology, aesthetics and politics. I'll keep you posted about what and where.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Class at Occupy UC Davis

I'm going to teach this class, maybe a few times, while we do this general strike next week:

Occupy Sanity: Creating Enlightened Society one Breath at a Time

It's going to be meditation instruction and some talk. I think that dome space is a pretty awesome space in which to do it.

Stay tuned for details.

The UC Situation and the Student Loan Crisis

Reagan died in 2008 when Lehmann tanked. But his zombies lurch on, and we must stop them. My colleague Mike Ziser writes the following very eloquent contextualization of the kairos that the pepper spray incident has opened up:

As various studies have revealed, the rise of poor quality for-profit colleges and technical schools that encourage students to finance their rising tuition through publicly subsidized loans has led to a large transfer of public funds to politically connected private "entrepreducational" corporations.  One can think of it as a giant money-laundering scheme--one in which citizens desperate for a route to improved economic conditions are compelled to launder funds pilfered from the public treasury.  

There is no serious attempt to address the 40% default rate on government loans to students at for-profit colleges because, from the perspective of the elites making the loans and receiving the funds, it doesn't matter whether the cost is borne by a low-wage graduate or is socialized to the 99% as a whole. As Nathan noted, this model of university education as a "profit-center" is now well entrenched in ostensibly "public" schools.  The education bubble and its inevitable collapse will be a disaster of historic proportions for the entire educational system, but even medium-term consequences are of course of no concern to those who will already have fed on this public system and moved on to the next target.

Al Jazeera Piece on UC Davis

By Paul Rosenberg. This is very well put together.

Homeopathic Pepper Spray Remedy

By my dad, a trained homeopath and friend of Banksy, and his friend Suzanne Fiteni who lives in SF.


Combine these in the 200c potency and make into a tincture in a dropper bottle, which is easier to administer.

Mad Suspensions

Patrick Gowers, Toccata and Fugue. I can't help it! Suspensions control me!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ikkyu Haiku

HT Mikael Brockman.

nature's a killer I won't sing to it
I hold my breath and listen to the dead singing under the grass

Davis Simpson on the UC Davis Events

A characteristically beautiful piece of controlled rage, by my friend David.

The Politics of Mic Check

What a genius invention! Is any one person responsible for this phrase? It's used in Occupy to gather people's hearing.

It's phatic: that is it's a communication that draws attention to its physical dimension. Not to a content. Or to an addressee. Or to the addresser. Or a metalanguage. Or to itself. In other words it's part of ecological poetics (I go through that in Ecology without Nature).

It also sums up the object-oriented politics of Occupy. It's not "about" something, it directly IS that something. Here, there is, givenness, Es gibt, il y a, coexistence. Hale, holy, hello, hi.

"Hi" is a word originally used to summon hunting dogs. "Hello" was exapted from hunting to be the word we say to one another on phones. It has to do with the history of phones.

"Mic check" is playing with this technological history but in a subversive way, directly. I like that it isn't "hey" or "hi" or some other hailing of a subordinate animal in a hunt. Or for that matter a Heil to a great leader.

It's a check, a test. Without a subject addressing an object. Far more purely phatic. Without aggression. Fucking genius.

Poetics and Politics of Boycotts (essay)

Since it's come up recently, here's an essay I wrote a while ago about the history of boycotting, which has its origins in the proto-feminist anti-slavery movements of the 1780s in England.

Latour London Talk (mp3)

“Waiting for Gaia: Composing the Common World through Arts and Politics.”

At the French Institute in the UK, London, November 21, 2011.

"The Exposure of the Police State"

Vince Carducci wrote me again this morning about that fantastic "Garden of the Gods" near Detroit. (See my previous.)

He summed up the last few days: the coming out of the 99% and the subsequent "exposure of the police state."

Yes. For something to happen it has to happen twice, right? Riot cops and SWAT teams met the striking students in Mrak hall (the admin building) in 2009. It was pretty shocking. And again Friday, and of course in Berkeley.

These guys are bankrolled by the so-called War on Terror. They are fragments of a nightmare from which it is necessary to struggle awake.

Vince Carducci on Detroit

My friend Vince Carducci with a great piece on art in Detroit these days.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Object-Oriented Politics

This from Alex Galloway's “Black Box, Black Bloc,” which I enjoyed very much:

From the student occupations at the New School, to the political tracts circulating through the University of California, to Tiqqun and the Invisible Committee and other groups, there is a new political posture today, a new political bloc with an acute black-box profile.

The new mantra is: we have no demands. We don’t want political representation. We don’t want collective bargaining. We don’t want a seat at the table. We want to leave be, to leave being. We have no demands.

The power behind the ‘no demands’ posture is precisely that it makes no claim about power at all. Instead it seeks to upend the power circuit entirely via political nonparticipation. It would be wrong to cast this aside using the typical epithets of cynicism or nihilism, or even to explain it away using the language of state power versus terrorism, which we should remember is the language of Lenin just as much as it is the language of Bush, Obama, Sarkozy, and all the rest, for the key to this new political stance is in its subtractivism vis-à-vis the dimensions of being.

Precisely. I've been saying this for a while in a slightly different key. Earlier in the essay Galloway elaborates a differences between black boxes and functional entities: the closed and open laptop is his more-than-analogy. This is the difference between what I've been calling constructivist and object-oriented approaches in art. We could use a lot more of the latter in ecological politics.

Galloway's understanding of this is a little intuitive and working with the (I would argue) somewhat broken tools of constructivism, to try to understand these black boxes. But. I was arguing at the nonviolence conference last week in Florida that merely existing (not bare life) was the aim of the Occupy movements. Galloway ends:

To end, we shall not say that there is a new blackness. We shall not ratify the rise of the obscure and the fall of the transparent. But do not decry the reverse either. Simply withdraw from the decision to ask the question. Instead ask: what is this eternity? What is this black box – this black bloc – that fills the world with husks and hulls and camouflage and crime? Is it our enemy, or are we on the side of it? Is this just a new kind of nihilism? Not at all, it is the purest form of love.

Nice one.

Nebraskans For Oleoresin Capsicum

One of my Ph.D. students is now living in Nebraska, and he reports from there (while finishing his excellent dissertation on the perils of agriculture) that many are siding with the police and the admin at UC Davis. Their logic goes something like “They deserved it, they were breaking the law.”

This is the same defense that rapists use: “She was asking for it.”

UC Davis Physics Joins Call for Resignation

Another "theory" department marginal to the mission of Big Ag but with many students. I always thought physicists were cool. Somehow they've supported the humanities more than we have, recently.


At UC Davis. That's a nice piece of radical architecture. It's open, robust, made of interlocking triangles. An mathematical.

Aerial View of the Rally

An excellent idea. I wondered what the white balloon was for...

Academic Theft

At New APPS: they want to hear from you.

UCD English at Rally Video

Seeta Chaganti. She is a good speaker.


Graham Priest that is. God bless his little cotton socks!

It is a quite general feature of theories that try to characterize the limits of our cognitive abilities to think, describe, grasp, that they end up implying that they themselves cannot be thought, described, or grasped. Yet it would appear that they can be thought, described, and grasped. Otherwise, what on earth is the theory doing?


The contradictions at the limits of thought have a general and bipartite structure. The first part is an argument to the effect that a certain view, usually about the nature of the limit in question, transcends that limit (cannot be conceived, described, etc.). This is Transcendence. The other is an argument to the effect that the view is within the limit—Closure. Often, this argument is a practical one, based on the fact that Closure is demonstrated in the very act of theorizing about the limits. At any rate, together, the pair describe a structure that can conveniently be called an inclosure: a totality, Ω and an object, o, such that o both is and is not in Ω.

On closer analysis, inclosures can be found to have a more detailed structure. At its simplest, the structure is as follows. The inclosure comes with an operator, δ, which, when applied to any suitable subset of Ω, gives another object that is in Ω (that is, one that is not in the subset in question, but is in Ω). Thus, for example, if we are talking about sets of ordinals, δ might apply to give us the least ordinal not in the set. If we are talking about a set of entities that have been thought about, δ might give us an entity of which we have not yet thought. The contradiction at the limit arises when δ is applied to the totality Ω itself. For then the application of δ gives an object that is both within and without Ω: the least ordinal greater than all ordinals, or the unthought object.

OR, in OOO-ese: objects appear, and thus they are within Ω, but they also withdraw, and so they are not. The appearance of a (withdrawn) object is precisely Priest's δ.

Inclosure is now my favorite withdrawal substitute. Along with secret.

Michael Moore and UC Davis Student MSNBC

Kase Wheatley spoke at the rally earlier today.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Joshua Clover on UC Davis Today

My office mate—he works opposite me. Nice one:

The police are hysterics for sure, period.

And way to pimp the Communist Manifesto in the first sentence!


Oh, this is quite good.

My Peeps

The English Dept. of UC Davis at the rally today. I was in the crowd with my smalls, as I was looking after them.

Jairus Grove on the Silence

This was such a powerful comment by Jairus (editor of The Contemporary Condition and human extraordinaire) on the video of the Chancellor walking surrounded by silent Occupiers, that I thought I'd put it here:

It reminded me of the final scene from the Birds where Tippy Hedron is walked in a daze to the car while as a viewer you can't help but scrutinize every bird looking for the one that will start the frenzy. Of course the frenzy never comes. I think this was a political event Hitchcock would have been proud of. Depriving the Chancellor of her fantasy of the violent activists was the truly horrifying act.

That UCD Crowd Again

This is the view from behind the trees. HT Tom Francis (for the image) and Ian Bogost (for the tip). Click to download.

The UCD Crowd

Big, yes? The trees you see in the background are half-way across the quad. The thing was double the size of what you see. Should download if you click. Thanks Jonathan Eisen who took this.

The Silence

My friend Jeremy Braddock (Cornell) and I were talking about how effective and genuinely disturbing the silence is in this video.

"Impact" This

This report by utilitarian nihilists the Center for College Affordability and Productivity inspired me to give to you this piece that will soon appear in a UK journal.

Tim Morton

Like its predecessors, excellence, interdisciplinarity, and sustainability, impact is now a word of which administrators are overly fond. Like these other words, impact appears to be a transparent gel of indeterminate chemistry. The gel sits on my bathroom shelf and every time I need to impress someone, I tousle my hair with impact. The gel may also be used as a poor substitute for coarse cut marmalade though. There's nothing quite like reading the morning news on my iPad with my teeth coated with a sticky layer of impact. Moving further back in my mouth, I recall how my wisdom teeth did it to my jawbone.

In short, the bureaucratic use of impact is just another way to say: “We have no idea what you're doing, and you must keep doing it, only better. To wit, you are hereby required to use impact at least three times in your grant proposal.”

Excellence was postmodern styling mousse, sharply perfumed yet curiously flavorless and disconcertingly soft when placed between meringues. Excellence was individualistic and iridescent. Pimp my excellence. Interdisciplinarity was far more collective, like a brown paper parcel that consisted of smaller brown paper parcels ad infinitum. Interdisciplinarity was Californian: it had something to do with groups of people coming together to do something or other. At a stretch it could mean turning 180 degrees and reading a book on the shelf opposite the one you normally look at, or in those far off days, surfing the “internet.”

Sustainability was where things got a little bit ecological. You are smoking a cigarette, but is that sustainable? You are staring horrified into the mirror, seeing only a tattered clown who never truly loved, but how do you sustain this vision? Sustainability was, if I recall, where the rubber met the road. “Where the rubber meets the road” was itself where the rubber made significant contact with the road, or should we now say impact.

Yes we should. Impact is what a football does when it really hurts you. Impact is that fist coming down on the table in the unforgettable Government ad of the 1980s: “Think BIKE!” Impact doesn't care about sustainability, or excellence. Interdisciplinarity is for wimps. Knowledge should be like Doctor Johnson's boot the moment it made contact with the stone, refuting Berkeley with a loud click. Impact is the first punk bureaucratic term and we should cherish its arrival. I don't think.

I Would Prefer Not To

The disturbing sheer existence of Bartleby the Scrivener as a model for the Occupy Movement. By Lauren Klein. Brilliant.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

More Carbon Doom

“With further calculations, the group found that the average rate at which carbon dioxide entered the atmosphere during the end-Permian extinction was slightly below today’s rate of carbon dioxide release into the atmosphere due to fossil fuel emissions.”

Breaking: Reaganzombie Batteries Set to Expire in February 2012

Told you so!

Bob Ostertag Nails It

Neat essay on the UC thuggery. And he's a great sound artist too.


We made their front page.

Extinction Repetition

HT Cliff Gerrish. Take home point:

an MIT-led team of researchers has now established that the end-Permian extinction was extremely rapid, triggering massive die-outs both in the oceans and on land in less than 20,000 years — the blink of an eye in geologic time. The researchers also found that this time period coincides with a massive buildup of atmospheric carbon dioxide...

Philosophy versus Thugs

Here's a neat thing. HT John Protevi.

Please email Matthew Smith at Yale's Philosophy Department if you wish to co-sign this excellent letter. He is looking for a publication venue. His email: matthew.noah.smith@yale.edu. A link to the letter is here. You may wish to email the link to the letter to your university adminstrators.
Key points:
  • We therefore call on chancellors and presidents of universities and colleges throughout the United States to declare publicly that their campuses are Safe Protest Zones, where nonviolent, public political dissent and protest will be protected by university police and will never be attacked by the university police.
  • We call on these chancellors and presidents to commit publicly to making their campuses safe locations for peaceful public assembly.
  • We call on these chancellors and presidents to institute immediately policies that reflect these commitments, and to instruct their police and security forces that they must abide by these policies.
The text of the letter follows:
Open Letter to Chancellors and Presidents of American Universities and Colleges
From Your Faculty
We have witnessed, over the past two months, police departments using significant amounts of force against individuals peacefully participating in the Occupy movement.  But during the week of November 13 – November 19, there was an astonishing escalation of the violence used by municipal police departments against non-violent protesters.
We hoped that even as politicians and municipal police violently responded to the Occupy movement, college and university campuses would remain safe locations for non-violent political dissent.  But that has not been the case.  In fact, universities and colleges appear to be using the same tactics in their interactions with unarmed, non-violent members of the university community as we have seen municipal police use against the broader Occupy movement.
In particular, we are concerned with the actions by police associated with two University of California campuses.  At UC Berkeley, police beat faculty and students who were peacefully attempting to establish an Occupy camp on Sproul Plaza.  At UC Davis, police casually pepper sprayed protesting students who were peacefully sitting with their arms linked. The message sent by university officials is clear: if you engage in non-violent political protest on the university campus, you run the risk of being assaulted by university police.
  • We condemn this and any deployment of violence by university officials against members of the university community who are non-violently expressing their political views.
  • We condemn university officials using violence or the threat of violence in order to limit political dissent to the narrow confines of print and university-sanctioned events.
  • We condemn university officials using violence and the threat of violence to prevent members of the university community from peacefully assembling.
For more than three generations, American university and college campuses have been crucial locations in which inspiring and important political activity has occurred.  From the founding of SNCC at Shaw University and the Free Speech Movement at Berkeley in the 1960’s, to the divestment movements across American college campuses in the 1980s, to the establishment of student labor alliances in the 1990’s, American college campuses have pulsed with hopeful and positive forms of dissent and visions of alternatives.  This amazing tradition is being threatened by the use of violence by university officials against their own students and faculty who are acting within this tradition.
  • We therefore call on chancellors and presidents of universities and colleges throughout the United States to declare publicly that their campuses are Safe Protest Zones, where nonviolent, public political dissent and protest will be protected by university police and will never be attacked by the university police.
  • We call on these chancellors and presidents to commit publicly to making their campuses safe locations for peaceful public assembly.
  • We call on these chancellors and presidents to institute immediately policies that reflect these commitments, and to instruct their police and security forces that they must abide by these policies.
We believe that this action is necessary for the protection of one of the principal virtues of our higher education system, namely that it is an environment that cultivates an active and engaged political imagination.  We call on the leaders of America’s universities and colleges to stand with us.

Zachary Price on Buddhism and Black Metal

I'm only two minutes in and I love it already.

Knowledge Ecology on My Talk at CCA

Incredibly nice blog aesthetic, I feel. And a very touching post.

The Bigger Picture: Race Issues and Thuggery

The UCD Campus Police have failed to investigate all kinds of race based violence, and have sometimes aided in it. 
We received the following in our inboxes from the Chancellor recently: 
“On Sunday, November 13, during the UC system-wide Student of Color Conference, an unknown individual vandalized one of the Veterans Day yellow ribbons tied around a tree on the quad, writing on it, "USE ME AS A NOOSE." “

At the exact same time the police were pepper-spraying non-black student protesters, just across the quad in the MU concerned members of the black UC Davis community and allies were in a meeting with administrators, staff, and student media about the hostile reporting practices of the California Aggie paper toward the black community at UC Davis. Two specific concerns were:

1)   the “Jungle Fever” column published by an Asian student about her newfound attraction to black men and love of hip hop music 

2)   the Aggies’ failure to report  specific incidents of antiblack hate crimes this year, which include (but are not limited to) the display of a napkin fashioned to replicate a Klu Klux Klan hood in the African American themed floor in Campbell Hall.

Just the night before (Thursday) an even larger group of students, staff, faculty, and administrators met to raise concerns not just about these specific attempts to intimidate black students, but also the fact that the UC Davis police has both failed to investigate antiblack hate crimes committed on campus in the past 7 years and/or actively disappeared whatever police reports had been filed on these incidents.

Additional issues between UCD police and black students:
1)   UCD police summoned by white staff to haul away a black graduate student trying to enter a building during business hours because the staff member did not believe this person was actually a student
2)   Guns drawn by UCD police on a separate black student also trying to enter a building. The UCD student paper was directed by staff to not report this issue. The incident escalated into a lawsuit and an out-of-court settlement
The way incidents of antiblack uncivility are treated at UCD is glaringly unbalanced in comparison to the tokenizing fervor raised over the vandalism of the LGBT Resource Center, swastikas scrawled on the doors of Jewish students, and now this pepper-spray incident of uncivility.

A Faculty Member Among the Thugs

"I went to the MU yesterday in order to meet a colleague for coffee. As I arrived, I saw what was occurring and walked up from behind. Cops were surrounding the sitting protestors, arms linked, around the tents. I walked up to an isolated cop on the outskirts of the crowd and asked her to explain what was happening: a tear gas or pepper spray gun (whatever) was pointed at my body and she refused to speak to me. Immediately, I was part of the illegal protest (in a virtual, unclear state of violence) by merely walking on to the quad in the proximity of a cop behind everyone. If I wanted to know where I had a right to stand, she would not have told me. Moments later, the cops broke through the circle of protestors--some were in our graduate program, I might add, and fortunately were unharmed--and destroyed the tents."

An Administrator on Administration

This is a fab post. It's about Occupy of course.

Occupation, Grass, Violence

A disturbing wonderful song by Robert Wyatt and Ivor Cutler. It seems very appropriate for a week during which the police have acted the way they acted towards our students, and towards my friends Bob Hass and Celeste Langan. For sitting on the grass. Lawns have ever been a strange place of republican dreams and nightmares.

Go and sit upon the grass
and I shall come and sit beside you.
Go and sit upon the grass
and I shall come and sit beside you.

And we shall talk.
And while we talk I’ll hit your head with a nail to make you understand me.
While we talk I’ll hit your head with a nail to make you understand me.

Go and sit upon the grass
and I shall come and sit beside you.
Go and sit upon the grass
and I shall come and sit beside you.

And do not mind if I thump you when I’m talking to you.
Do not mind if I thump you when I’m talking to you.
I’ve something important to say.

Go and sit upon the grass
and I shall come and sit beside you.
Go and sit upon the grass
and I shall come and sit beside you.

And when I’m gone you can feel the lumps upon your head.
And think about what I said.
And think about what I said.

Go and sit upon the grass
and feel your lumps.

The Richness of "Occupy"

From the Oxford English Dictionary (I used to work for these guys, I figure it's cool). 

The semantic richness is quite astounding, really. Possess, seize, have sex with, invest, fill, be busy with...

Etymology:  Irregularly < Anglo-Norman and Old French, Middle French occuper to take possession of, seize (1306), to fill a certain space (1314), to employ (c1360), to hold possession of (late 14th cent.), to inhabit (1530), to exercise (an employment) (1530), to fill time (1530), also reflexive, to busy oneself with (c1330) < classical Latin occupāre to seize (by force), take possession of, get hold of, to take up, fill, occupy (time or space), to employ, invest (money) < ob- ob- prefix + the same stem as capere to take, seize (see capture n.). Compare Italian occupare (a1294), Catalan ocupar (13th cent.), Portuguese ocupar (14th cent.), Spanish ocupar (1438).The ending of the English word has not been satisfactorily explained; compare Anglo-Norman occupier (late 14th cent. or earlier), which may however show the influence of the English word. Compare occupier n., which occurs earliest at the same date; it is unlikely that the -i- in the verb and the noun originates from the suffix -ier suffix.
Older Scots β. forms may show independent borrowing from or remodelling after French or Latin, or may arise by analogy with syncopated inflected forms such as (3rd singular present indicative) occupis , occupys , (past tense and past participle) occupit , occupyt , occupyd ; inflected forms indicating syncopation such as (3rd singular present indicative) ocupys , (past tense or past participle) occupyd , ocupid , occuped , occupede occur also in Middle English, alongside (much commoner) forms in -ie- or -ye- . Unambiguous examples of β. forms are very rare; compare:
1567    in J. Cranstoun Satirical Poems Reformation (1891) I. ii. 2   It is not aneuch ye pure King is deid, Bot ye mischant murtheraris occupand his steid.
1586    Burgh Court Perth 1 Nov.,   To flit & remoiff‥furth and fra [the] ȝeardis‥safar as they occupe thairof.
a1595    W. Cullen Chron. Aberdeen in J. Stuart Misc. Spalding Club (1842) II. 54   The craiftis men‥thinkand to ocupe marchandrise.
With sense 4 compare classical Latin occupāre pecūniam . With sense 8 compare classical Latin occupāre amplexū (Ovid Fasti 3. 509).
Throughout the 17th and most of the 18th cent., there seems to have been a general tendency to avoid this word, probably as a result of use of the word in sense 8. N.E.D. (1902    ) notes s.v.: ‘the disuse of this verb in the 17th and most of the 18th c. is notable. Against 194 quots. for 16th c., we have for 17th only 8, outside the Bible of 1611 (where it occurs 10 times), and for 18th c. only 10, all of its last 33 years. The verb occurs only twice (equivocally) in Shakes., is entirely absent from the Concordances to Milton and Pope, is not used by Gray; all Johnson's quots., except 2, are from the Bible of 1611. It was again freely used by Cowper (13 instances in Concordance). This avoidance appears to have been due to its vulgar employment in sense 8’; and compares the following two instances:
1600    Shakespeare Henry IV, Pt. 2 ii. iv. 142   A captaine? Gods light these villaines wil make the word as odious as the word occupy, which was an excellent good worde before it was il sorted.
a1637    B. Jonson De Stylo in Discov. (1640) 112   Many, out of their owne obscene Apprehensions, refuse proper and fit words; as occupie, nature, and the like.
I. To employ, make use of.


 1. trans. To keep busy, engage, employ (a person, or the mind, attention, etc.). Freq. in pass. Also refl.

a1325    Statutes of Realm in MS Rawl. B.520 f. 80,   For þe procrastinacion of þe askinde, he ne sal noȝt for iugen him þat is occupied.
a1382    Bible (Wycliffite, E.V.) (Bodl. 959) 2 Paralip. xxxv. 14   In þe offrynge of brent sacrifises & talewes vn to þe nyȝt þe preestis weryn occupied.
1429    in Norfolk Archaeol. (1904) 15 147   Ye tuisday we ocupyid us in ledyng of fyrris to ye ospital aforn.
a1464    J. Capgrave Abbreuiacion of Cron. (Cambr. G. IV. 12) (1983) 130   Many scoleres went away; þei þat abode were euel occupied.
1490    Caxton tr. Foure Sonnes of Aymon (1885) xxviii. 578   Many stones‥ynoughe for to ocupye at ones all the masons that were there.
a1500  (1413)    Pilgrimage of Soul (Egerton) i. xxi. f. 16v,   He hath‥occupied so my wittes with othir thinges.
1555    R. Eden tr. Peter Martyr of Angleria Decades of Newe Worlde iii. ix. f. 136v,   They occupyed them selues in the searchinge of particular tractes and coastes.
1568    Haddington Corr. 270   Traitouris, quhais lwnatick branes ar continewalie occupeit with this thair poysoun.
1604    E. Grimeston tr. J. de Acosta Nat. & Morall Hist. Indies iii. i. 117   Then shall he truly occupie himselfe in the studie of Philosophie.
1633    W. Prynne Histrio-mastix i. 628   That the minde‥might be‥occupied in the service of God, in recognizing his benefits.
1739    D. Hume Treat. Human Nature I. ii. 68   A man in a sound sleep, or strongly occupy'd with one thought, is insensible of time.
1782    W. Cowper Conversation in Poems 215   Whatever subject occupy discourse.
1860    J. Tyndall Glaciers of Alps i. xvi. 105,   I occupied myself with my instruments.
1875    B. Jowett tr. Plato Dialogues (ed. 2) I. 80   Every one who is occupied with public affairs.
1928    H. T. Lane Talks to Parents & Teachers 189   The citizens are occupied chiefly with earning a living.
1956    H. L. Mencken Minority Rep. 4   Some of them tried to occupy themselves by making various trivial gimcracks, but the majority simply sat with folded hands, staring into space.
1988    P. Grosskurth Melanie Klein ii. ii. 127   He seemed uninterested in what she was telling him, and gave her the impression that his mind was occupied elsewhere.



 a. trans. To employ oneself in, engage in, practise, perform; to follow or ply as one's business or occupation. Now arch. and rare.

?c1400    in Hist. & Antiq. Masonry 28   Hit is called Effraym, and there was sciens of Gemetry and masonri fyrst occupied.
1465    Paston Lett. (1904) II. 182   Leve wylfullnesse whyche men sey ye occupye to excessifly.
1498    in J. Stuart Extracts Council Reg. Aberdeen (1844) I. 67   That nane of thame [sc. craftsmen] occupy merchandice and thar craft togidder sa that, gif thai occupy the merchandice, that thai leif thar craft.
1535    Bible (Coverdale) Psalms cvi[i.] 23   They that go downe to the see in shippes, & occupie their busynesse in greate waters.
1578    J. Rolland Seuin Seages (1932) 5533   All his ingine and wit he did apply To leir phisick and the same occupy.
1581    W. Stafford Compend. Exam. Complaints (1876) ii. 48   Therefore men wil the gladder occupy husbandry.
1641    in W. Chambers Charters Burgh Peebles (1872) 105   That na‥persounes‥wha ar not burgessis [etc.]‥preswme to vsurpe exerce and occupie‥mercatis or vse of merchandice.
1660    in Rec. Early Hist. Boston (1877) II. 156   No person shall‥occupy any manufacture or science, till hee hath compleated 21 years of age.
1819    J. Burness Play 310   Gif he his trade would occupy, He might himself by that supply.
1909    Westm. Gaz. 9 July 4/2   The flycatchers and the warblers of several kinds, occupying their business by the water's edge.

b. intr. To be busy or employed (in some capacity); to exercise one's craft or function; to practise; to do business, to work. Obs.

1417    in M. Sellers York Memorandum Bk. (1912) I. I.182   If any man come fra other cites or tounes, and will occupy here in this cite in girdelercrafte als a maister, he sall pay at his first settyng up of his shoppe x s.
?1435    in C. L. Kingsford Chrons. London (1905) 56   Moneday was the Octaues off Seint Edward‥the which day the kyng wolde nat ocupye.
c1500  (1475)    Assembly of Gods (1896) 450   Ye seelyd my patent, Yeuyng me full power soo to occupy.
1576    in F. J. Furnivall Gild of St. Mary, Lichfield (1920) 27   Admytted‥to occupie as a master, Iourney-man, or servaunte within the said Cittie.
1618    N. Field Amends for Ladies i. i. sig. B3v,   I doe entertaine you, how doe you occupie?, what can you vse?
1653    T. Urquhart tr. Rabelais 1st Bk. Wks. vii,   The Seamsters (when the point of their needles was broken) began to work and occupie with the tail.
1847    J. P. Lawson Bk. Perth 171   Permitting their servants to occupy on the Sabbath-day, as well as on the rest of the week.



 a. trans. To make use of, use (a thing). Obs.

1423    in Archaeologia Cantiana (1880) 13 562   Payde to pyrs Sowthehowsyd for‥lyme that Joh. mabbe, tyler, occupijd.
1449    J. Metham Amoryus & Cleopes 1333   A sponfful off this confeccion he myght ocupy, Yt schuld porge him.
1483    Caxton tr. Caton B iij b,   In makyng and ocupyeng false dyse.
?1523    J. Fitzherbert Bk. Husbandrie §1   Than is the ploughe the moste necessaryest instrumente than an husbande can occupy.
1581    J. Marbeck Bk. of Notes 34   When the night is past‥why should we occupie anie longer a candle.
1597    in J. H. Macadam Baxter Bks. St. Andrews (1903) 34   That na‥owner of the saids backhousses suffer the samin to be occupyit vpon the said saboth day heerafter.
1774    C. Keith Farmer's Ha' in Har'st Rig (1801) 50   Lasses, occupy your wheel.

 b. intr. To make use of a thing. Obs. rare.

1558    W. Warde tr. ‘Alessio’ Secretes (1580) 52 b,   Occupie alwaies of this Sope, when you will washe your heade.
1558    W. Warde tr. ‘Alessio’ Secretes (1568) 94 b,   At every time that you wyll occupye of it, styrre it well.


 a. trans. To employ (money or capital) in trading; to lay out, invest, trade with; to deal in. Obs.

1465    J. Paston in Paston Lett. & Papers (2004) I. 137   Enquere what mony he hath reseyvid of the seid maner in my tyme, wherof the ferme is vj li. yerly, whech I suffird hym to occupie to his owne vse.
1526    W. Bonde Pylgrimage of Perfection ii. sig. Hviiiv,   This ryches he hath gyuen to vs as a stocke to occupy.
1560    J. Daus tr. J. Sleidane Commentaries f. cxviij,   He commaunded that the talentes receiued should be occupied that they might be made gainfull.
1581    J. Marbeck Bk. of Notes 1075   Wee be commaunded to occupie our Lords money, and not to hide it.
1602    W. Fulbecke Parallele or Conf. Law i. 29   If two Merchantes occupie their goods and merchandise in common to their common profite, the one of them may haue a writ of accompt against his companion.
1611    Bible (A.V.) Ezek. xxvii. 9   The ancients of Gebal, and the wise men thereof were in thee thy calkers, all the ships of the sea with their mariners were in thee, to occupie thy merchandise.
1773    Johnson Let. 17 May (1992) II. 32   Upon ten thousand pounds diligently occupied they may live in great plenty.


 b. intr. To trade, deal. Obs.

1525    Ld. Berners tr. J. Froissart Chron. II. cxi. [cvii.] 318   Berthaulte of Malygnes‥occupyeth to Damas, to Cayre, and to Alexandre.
1574    in T. S. Willan Stud. Elizabethan Foreign Trade (1959) 161   Merchantes to occupie and trafique into Barbarye.
1581    J. Marbeck Bk. of Notes 653   [He] gained much by occupieng with the Iewes and Christians.
1650    T. Fuller Pisgah-sight of Palestine ii. v. 129   Such as occupied in her Fairs with all precious stones.

 II. To be in, to take possession of.


 a. trans. To hold possession of; to have in one's possession or power; to hold (a position, office, or privilege). Also fig.In some contexts difficult to distinguish from sense 5b.

c1375    Chaucer Monk's Tale 3427   This kyng was slawe And Darius occupieth his degree.
c1400    J. Trevisa tr. R. Higden Polychron. (Tiber.) VII. 259   He huld and ocupyede þe archebyschopryche of Canturbury.
c1440  (1400)    Morte Arthure 98   Myne ancestres ware emperours.‥ They ocupyede þe empyre aughte score wynnttyrs.
?c1450  (1400)    Wyclif Eng. Wks. (1880) 384   As þe baron‥occupieþ & gouerneþ his baronrye.
a1500  (1425)    Metrical Life St. Robert of Knaresborough 1183   Graunt me grace‥to reul this place And sway to gouernn to my degre Þat I, all yff I simple be, Occupyes als presidentt By grace þat God here has me sentt.
1546    Stirling Archæol. Soc. (1905–6) 57   Elspet Tailȝor, the relict of Alexander Tailȝor, to occupy the fredome of that craft.
1560    J. Daus tr. J. Sleidane Commentaries f. ccclxxx,   You who occupie the chiefest places amongest the states of the Empire.
1602    W. Warner Epitome Hist. Eng. in Albions Eng. (rev. ed.) 355   The Pictes‥then occupying those parts which we now call the middle Marches, betwixt the English & Scots.
1755    B. Franklin Observ. conc. Increase Mankind 2 in W. Clarke Observ. French,   In countries full settled‥all Lands being occupied and improved to the Heighth; those who cannot get Land, must Labour for others that have it.
1785    W. Cowper Tirocinium in Task 414   Least qualified‥To occupy a sacred, awful post.
1845    M. Pattison in Christian Remembrancer Jan. 75   Gregory‥occupied the see of Tours twenty-three years.
1845    M. Pattison in Christian Remembrancer Jan. 78   The‥inferior Franks‥posted themselves, fully armed,‥under the portico, occupying all the entrances.
1883    Law Times 20 Oct. 410/2   A married woman is now to occupy the same position as her Saxon ancestress.
1910    Encycl. Brit. I. 1192   Allies was appointed secretary to the Catholic poor school committee in 1853, a position which he occupied till 1890.
1988    M. Blinkhorn Democracy & Civil War Spain 1931–9 (BNC) 10   Indalecio Prieto occupied the Finance ministry in the Provisional Government and later the Ministry of Public Works.

 b. trans. To live in and use (a place) as its tenant or regular inhabitant; to inhabit; to stay or lodge in.

a1387    J. Trevisa tr. R. Higden Polychron. (St. John's Cambr.) (1869) II. 155   Bretayne was somtyme occupied [L. Occupata] wiþ Saxons.
1449    in R. W. Chambers & M. Daunt Bk. London Eng. (1931) 124   Noon othir Brothirhodes nor Feleshepes to ocupye owre Halle nor noo part of owre place.
1489    Act 4 Hen. VII c. 19   If any such owner or owners‥take kepe & occupy any such house or houses & lands in his or their own hands.
1554    in J. D. Marwick Extracts Rec. Burgh Edinb. (1871) II. 193   Male‥of the hous now occupiit be the prouest.
1632    Cullen Town Council Minute Bk. 6 June,   Ane croft of land callit Sinclars croft occupeit be Alexander Reid.
1641    Termes de la Ley 107b,   Demaines‥be all the parts of any Manor which be not in the hands of freeholders of estate or inheritance, though they be occupied by Copiholders, Lessees for yeeres or for life, as well as tenant at will.
1742    H. Fielding Joseph Andrews I. ii. xiv. 267   He occupied a small piece of Land of his own, besides which he rented a considerable deal more.
1767    W. Blackstone Comm. Laws Eng. II. i. 7   By constantly occupying the same individual spot, the fruits of the earth were consumed.
1854    J. H. Newman Lect. Hist. Turks i. i. 2   This tract‥is at present occupied by civilized communities.
1881    J. Russell Haigs of Bemersyde 5   Bemersyde House‥has been occupied by the Haigs for more than seven centuries.
1926    D. H. Lawrence Plumed Serpent xvii. 281   The Bishop no longer occupied the great episcopal palace.
1960    C. Day Lewis Buried Day i. 16,   A photograph that after my mother's untimely death used to hang in dark corners or passages of the houses we occupied.
1988    A. Storr School of Genius iv. 44   Today, cells are designed for one prisoner have to be occupied by three.


c. intr. To hold possession or office; to dwell, reside; to stay, abide. Obs.

1413    in Sections Assembly Bk. A Shrewsbury Guild Hall 87   The stuwardes‥schall‥yef true and good accompts‥of all maner receyts‥bi theym reseyved‥duringe the tyme they have occupyed.
1413–19    in R. W. Chambers & M. Daunt Bk. London Eng. (1931) 225   These ben the Wronges, Iniuries‥which that Sir Richard [and others]‥that occupien for hym there han do to the kynges tenantz.
1483    Caxton tr. J. de Voragine Golden Legende 337/1   He‥ordeyned an holy man to occupye in his place.
1503–4    in J. B. Paul Accts. Treasurer Scotl. (1900) II. 418   For mail quhair the King occupiit in his innys‥lvj s.
1523    J. Fitzherbert Bk. Surueyeng Prol. sig. B2v,   The names of the lordes and tenauntes that occupy.
1535    Bible (Coverdale) Matt. xvii. 21   Whyle they occupied in Galile Iesus sayde vnto them [etc.].
1642    tr. J. Perkins Profitable Bk. (new ed.) i. §100. 44   An assignee is‥such a person who doth occupie in his own right; and a deputie such a person who doth occupie in the right of another.


a. trans. To take possession of, take for one's own use, seize. Also fig. Obs.

a1382    Bible (Wycliffite, E.V.) (Bodl. 959) 2 Kings xv. 14   Heeȝeþ to gon out lest par auenture, comynge, he ocupie vs & fulfille vp on vs fallynge.
?1387    T. Wimbledon Serm. (Corpus Cambr.) (1967) 92   Fre men he makeþ bonde, and bryngeþ forþ fals wittenesse, and occupieþ dede mennys þyngis, as þey shulde neuere dye.
1463    in S. Tymms Wills & Inventories Bury St. Edmunds (1850) 36,   I beqwethe to Thomas Heighaum the yonger my tablys of ivory.‥ And if he wil not ocupye hem I bequethe the seid tablees to‥his wyf.
1472–3    in J. Raine Testamenta Eboracensia (1865) III. 205   Thay occupy the mony to their awn use.
a1500  (1340)    R. Rolle Psalter (Univ. Oxf. 64) (1884) xvii. 6   Preoccupauerunt me laquei mortis‥bifore occupid has me the snares of ded.
1548    Hall's Vnion: Henry VII f. lx,   Also dyed‥the kynges chiefe chamberleyn, whose office Charles‥occupied and enioyed.
1553    J. Brende tr. Q. Curtius Rufus Hist. ix. f. 181,   Some occupied dartes, some speares, and other axes, and‥leaped to and fro their cartes.
1596    J. Dalrymple tr. J. Leslie Hist. Scotl. (1895) II. 462   Quhen the Catholickis war in sik penuritie‥the nobilitie occupieng thair gudes.
1614    W. Raleigh Hist. World i. v. i. §2. 317   Which done, they occupied the Citie, Lands, Goods, and Wiues, of those, whom they had murdered.


 b. trans. spec. To take possession of (a place), esp. by force; to take possession and hold of (a building).

a1382    Bible (Wycliffite, E.V.) (Bodl. 959) Judges vii. 24   Comeþ down in to aȝen-metyng of Madyan & occupieþ [a1425 L.V. ocupie ȝe; L. occupate] þe wateris vn to Bethhara & Jordan.
a1398    J. Trevisa tr. Bartholomaeus Anglicus De Proprietatibus Rerum (BL Add.) f. 190,   Sardus‥come oute of libea wiþ grete multitude and ocupied Sardinia and ȝaf þere to his owne name.
?a1425  (1350)    T. Castleford Chron. (1940) 19730   Þar famen þe north occupede.
1489  (1380)    J. Barbour Bruce i. 98   Throw his mycht till occupy Landis, þat war till him marcheand.
1516    R. Fabyan New Chron. Eng. (1811) v. xciv. 69   A Saxon named Ella‥slewe many Brytons,‥and after occupyed that Countre.
1548    Hall's Vnion: Henry VII f. xxvv,   That he would inuade or occupie the territory of hys enemies.
1596    J. Dalrymple tr. J. Leslie Hist. Scotl. (1895) II. 151   The Bischop sa iniuret, in a furie cumis til Edr, occupies the toune.
1609    J. Skene tr. Regiam Majestatem i. 8   To compeir, and answere‥vpon the principall pleie‥touching the lands vnjustlie occupied be him.
1788    Gibbon Decline & Fall I. v. 241   The heights had been occupied by the archers and slingers of the confederates.
1849    T. B. Macaulay Hist. Eng. II. x. 582   The Dutch had occupied Chelsea and Kensington.
1855    T. B. Macaulay Hist. Eng. IV. xviii. 205   Glencoe was to be occupied by troops.
1910    Encycl. Brit. I. 448/2   Aix‥was occupied by the Saracens in 731.
1961    H. MacLennan Seven Rivers Canada 28   The Canadian west would surely have been occupied by them‥had not the ancient rights of prior exploration‥bound the land to Canada.
1988    R. Christiansen Romantic Affirmities iv. 156   When Napoleon occupied Warsaw, Hoffman refused to take an oath of loyalty.


c. intr. To take possession. Obs.

c1475  (1445)    R. Pecock Donet 68   Ech man which haþ superflue goodis more þan is nede to occupie.
c1540  (1400)    Gest Historiale Destr. Troy 5329   My fos were so fell‥Þat þai occupiet ouer all, euyn as hom list.
1862    C. E. S. Norton Lady of La Garaye Prol.,   Creatures that dwell alone Occupy boldly.


 d. trans. To gain access to and remain in (a building, etc.) or on (a piece of land), without authority, as a form of protest.

1920    Times 2 Sept. 9/2   The men have occupied the works in those cases where the masters have declined to run the works at a loss.
1968    Newsweek 6 May 43/1   The university's Hamilton Hall was the first successful target of the revolutionaries, and it was seized and occupied Tuesday.
1996    China Post (Taipei, Taiwan) 1 May 1/5   About 400 protestors from the Yami aboriginal tribe occupied a loading pier over the weekend.


 7. trans. To take up, use up, fill (space, time, etc.); to be situated, stationed, or seated at or in, to be at or in (a place, position, etc.).

c1384    Bible (Wycliffite, E.V.) (Douce 369(2)) (1850) Luke xiii. 7   Kitt it doun, wherto occupieth it the erthe [L. terram occupat]?
c1395    Chaucer Squire's Tale 64   Thanne wolde it occupie a someres day.
?a1425    Gast of Guy (Rawl. Poet. 175) (1898) l. 578   Þe saule es gastly, and forþi It occupyes na stede bodily.
c1450  (1400)    Three Kings Cologne (Cambr. Ee.4.32) 26   Alle placys were ocupied with pilgrymes and oþir men.
1548    Hall's Vnion: Henry VII f. xiv,   Lyke a cypher in algorisme that is ioyned to no figure but onely occupieth a place.
?1566    J. Alday tr. P. Boaistuau Theatrum Mundi sig. S vij b,   If we should rehearse and declare all the singularities‥I should occupy a large volume.
1591  (1425)    Chester Plays (Huntington) 114   Marye‥harbour‥gett wee ne maye, for great lordes of stowte araye occupye this cyttye.
a1600  (1535)    W. Stewart tr. Boece Bk. Cron. Scotl. (1858) II. 719   My pen wald tyre‥To occupie so lang ane tyme and space.
1610    J. Guillim Display of Heraldrie ii. vii. 73   In the Crosse fimbriated the edges thereof doe occupie the least portion thereof.
1651    T. Hobbes Leviathan iii. xxxiv. 207   The Word Body‥signifieth that which‥occupyeth some certain room.
1749    H. Fielding Tom Jones IV. x. iv. 30   She placed her chair in such a posture, as almost to occupy the whole fire.
1761    D. Hume Hist. Eng. II. xxxvii. 308   The fencing against the pains and infirmities under which he laboured occupied a great part of his time.
1839    G. Bird Elements Nat. Philos. 369   The black cross disappearing, and leaving white spaces in the place it previously occupied.
1865    R. W. Dale Jewish Temple xvi. 173,   I shall not occupy your time with any description of the form of the sanctuary.
1875    B. Jowett tr. Plato Dialogues I. 399   The voyage‥has occupied thirty days.
1898    G. B. Shaw You never can Tell i. 208   Two persons just now occupying the room.
1954    I. Murdoch Under Net vii. 100   Hugo's flat occupied a corner position, and was skirted on the outside by a high parapet.
1964    F. Tuohy Ice Saints (1965) vii. 42   Every table at the café was occupied.
1988    A. N. Wilson Tolstoy Forewd. 1   The modern Soviet Union, like the Empire of Catherine the Great, occupies roughly one sixth of the world's surface.


 a. trans. To have sexual intercourse or relations with. Obs.

?a1475  (1425)    tr. R. Higden Polychron. (Harl.) (1871) III. 47   Men of Lacedemonia‥wery thro the compleyntes of theire wifes beenge at home, made a decre‥that thei scholde occupye [a1387(Trevisa), take; L. uti] mony men.
?1530    Dialogue Comen Secretary & Ielowsy xxii,   Suerly Her owne tayle she shulde occupy Somtyme for nede.
1546    J. Bale Actes Eng. Votaryes (1550) i. 56 b,   As king Edwine‥occupyed Alfgiua his concubine.
1598    J. Florio Worlde of Wordes,   Trentuno,‥a punishment inflicted by ruffianly fellowes uppon raskalie whores in Italy, who‥cause them to be occupide one and thirtie times by one and thirtie seuerall base raskalie companions.
1648    H. Hexham Groot Woorden-boeck,   Genooten, to Lie with, or to Occupie a woman.
1683    Last Will & Testament Charter of London 2   To Enjoy & Occupy all from the Bawd to the Whore downward.
1719    in T. D'Urfey Wit & Mirth V. 139   For she will be occupied when others they lay still.
1811    Lexicon Balatronicum,   Occupy, to occupy a woman, to have carnal knowledge of her.


 b. intr. To have sexual intercourse or relations; to cohabit. Obs.

c1520    in F. J. Furnivall R. Laneham's Let. (1871) Introd. 130   To make hyme [sc. your husband] lystear to occupye with youe.
1598    J. Florio Worlde of Wordes in J. S. Farmer & W. E. Henley Slang (1896) V. 86/2   A good wench, one that occupies freely.
1632    W. Rowley Woman never Vexed iii. i, in W. C. Hazlitt Dodsley's Sel. Coll. Old Eng. Plays (1875) XII. 137   Being partners, they did occupy long together before they were married.