I nonetheless liked the idea of visible electronics, and I remember dreaming of a world where everything was built to be radically transparent, where you could see through the cosmetic and superficial, all technology giving up its secrets, spilling its source code—cars, washing machines, computers, governments…
In late February I was on the back of a motorbike in the Dominican Republic, at three or so in the morning. A different part of the road, days before, had been washed out by a mudslide. It was an island of motorcycles, the gas for which would be sold at the side of the […]Read more "Shibumi/Uyuni"
At first I thought that The Enormous Room (1922) beginning in medias res (in the middle of a sentence, even) was a brilliant literary device employed by e e Cummings to create a sense of sudden dislocation. The reader would feel like they woke up as someone else, in a dimension not their own, already […]Read more "Enormous Prisons, Little Plants, and Missing Pages"
“I had just seen, standing a little way back from the steep ridge over which we were passing, three trees, probably marking the entrance to a a shady avenue, which made a pattern at which I was looking now not for the first time; I could not succeed in reconstructing the place from which they […]Read more "Extinctions to Origins: Nuclear Bombs and Medicine Wheels"
Delusional Donkişot (Don Quixote), driven mad by books. Armed and armored with antique language and an the outmoded conviction that there is a space for adventures and a need for knights, that he can journey out from the symbolic into real, from chivalric rules to the immersive truth, from the way things should be to […]Read more "Windmills, Language, and the Magic of Taboo"
I hate the covers of books, as much as I love what they conceal. On the second floor of the library, just as I was about to finish Shantaram (a wonderful, glowing novel by Gregory David Roberts) the thin plastic laminate wrapped around the front and back like a cognitive prophylactic began to peel away […]Read more "Cover Story: Life Gets Complicated"
The line runs between non-commercial and commercial, public and profit, what we grow for love and what we make for money. It divides (in my mind) society and capital, love and hate, play and competition. To trace this line, I will follow it here through an alien language in Mieville’s Embassytown, a secret brand in […]Read more "The Line Between Language: Embassytown, Zero History, and Continuity Drift"