“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

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Question from a Great Contributor

Some people are so good. They send me all kinds of fantastic things all the time and make my intellectual life so much richer.

One of them has just asked:

And what is it called when politicians use the same tactics to incite people regarding their opposition...and then when those folks act (demonstrate, kill etc) the politicians disavow they did anything wrong blaming the actor?

Let's find out.

"I'm certainly not one of those awful narcissistic buddhists who actually LIKES themselves!"

Before we can extend our compassion to others, we first have to extend it to ourselves. How do we do this? We have to look at our own mind and appreciate how our own neurotic expressions – our confused thoughts and disturbing emotions – are actually helping us wake up. Our aggression can help us develop clarity and patience. Our passion can help us let go of attachments and be more generous. Basically, once we see that this mind of confusion is also our mind of awakening, we can appreciate it and have confidence in our ability to work with it. It’s a good mind after all, the mind that will carry us to enlightenment. When we understand this, we can begin to let go of our previous attitude of revulsion toward our emotions. 

 --Ponlop Rinpoche

Friday, August 26, 2016

Althusser Defines Stochastic Terrorism

And the word he uses is much more elegant than the phrase "stochastic terrorism." It's


This is a chance for us humanities scholars to help people by disseminating this. Come on!

Thursday, August 25, 2016


It's easier to be Eric Idle than to be Paul McCartney.

It's easier to be the art school band than to be the Beatles.

It's easier to be Cool Britannia than to be Jeremy Corbyn.


It's easier to enjoy money if you're Paul.

It's easier to enjoy beauty if you're the Beatles.

It's easier to be enjoy truth if you're Corbyn.


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Well This Is Jolly Nice of Somebody

...perhaps my name just wandered in there by accident...

My first thought when someone showed me this list was, wow, I'm so grateful for the existence of my friend Graham, also on the list. Graham's thought-prose made me smile and laugh so much when I first read it because I was so clicking to it.

Friday, August 19, 2016

7 Hours of Interviews

...I'm doing them for a book about me by Shinohari Misatake, a fantastic urban architecture writer and brilliant translator. He wrote such a great piece for the Japanese Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.

I've been saying some good things I think. I hope the recordings have worked!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Dark Ecology Architecture Class at Yale

Brilliant! And with any luck I'll be visiting the class at least once or twice!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Niches as Hypervolumes

Very interesting (thank you Dirk) and it just shows you how much computational power you need to map ecological beings.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Ecology without Nature in The New York Times

Excellent. It's an a really well reasoned piece about sustainability. As I often say, imitating Goebbels on culture, when I hear the word sustainability, I reach for my sunscreen.

Among many, the argument against sustainability elicits an emotional response. As the ecological theorist Timothy Morton writes in his book “Ecology Without Nature,” the environmental movement has become, and perhaps always was, infused with a sense of mourning and melancholia (not to mention nostalgia). This melancholia, I would argue, is connected to the death of God, or the ability to conceive God in a certain way, and stems from that Romantic transference of the divine into nature. In either case, as with any death, first comes denial — we can save nature! — but it eventually gives way to acceptance. Talk about “sustaining” nature, or “preserving” it, only exacerbates this mourning and indulges our melancholia. Like the bereaved who must learn to speak of the dead in the past tense, if we are to move forward in our habitation of the planet, to face the future and not the past, to say “yes” to the anthropocene, we should change our language.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

This Is the Kind of Thing

...that makes your day, your week, if you are a scholar:

Mostly, I study popular music and audio-visual media. I’ve been using your book Ecology Without Nature for my master’s thesis on environmental form in the music of Björk. Your inspiring correspondence with Björk in the MOMA catalogue really set me in the right direction. Just thought I’d check out your paper for some early thoughts you had on ambient poetics. Thanks for making this paper available! And thanks for all your marvelous books... not just for their impeccable scholarship, but their truly life-changing potential.