Biella Coleman on Anonymous and trickery

The internet collaborative Anonymous is not one that is well understood but it is one that Gabriella Coleman at McGill has been studying for some time. Here is an interesting talk she recently gave on Anonymous and tricksters:

The Birth of Territory – preview on Google books

A much anticipated volume from Stuart Elden is now partially available online.

Progressive Geographies

12 The Birth of TerritorySubstantial parts of The Birth of Territory– including most of the introduction – are now available on Google books. The publication date has slipped to September.

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Between science and, well, everything else

Steven Pinker’s recent article on scientism in the New Republic is getting a lot of attention. It is not an easily summarized essay, but I will do so anyways. It is a suggestion that the sciences have a great deal to contribute to the humanities even if neither are reducible to the other.

A recent video by another New Republic writer/editor, Leon Wiseltier, suggests something of a response that is examined in more detail here. It confronts some of Pinker’s ideas on Big Data and the quantification of life (i.e. the measurement of ‘happiness’ by economists) and social relations more broadly.

Watermark: new documentary

A new doc from Mongrel Media (a personal favorite) by Jennifer Baichwal and Edward Burtynsky promises to be great. Here is a brief description and a trailer from the same folks who produced Manufactured Landscapes (also recommended).

Watermark is a feature documentary film that brings together diverse stories from around the globe about our relationship with water: how we are drawn to it, what we learn from it, how we use it and the consequences of that use. We see massive floating abalone farms off China’s Fujian coast and the construction site of the biggest arch dam in the world – the Xiluodu, six times the size of the Hoover. We visit the barren desert delta where the mighty Colorado River no longer reaches the ocean, and the water-intensive leather tanneries of Dhaka.