Donna Haraway – SF: String Figures, Multispecies Muddles, Staying with the Trouble

Stacy Alaimo – Your shell on acid: post-human vulnerability, anthropocene dissolves

Interesting talk from Stacy Alaimo (UT Arlington):

Ray Monk: Wittgenstein in Cambridge

Tanya Luhrmann: Placebo & prayer

I was at this talk a few months ago – quite interesting, and a few ideas in the panel discussion after as well.

Stathis Psillos: from the bankruptcy of science to the death of evidence

Interesting talk from the Canada Research Chair in the Philosophy of Science at Western University.

The obligatory Piketty post

It’s Friday, the day to do those things you thought or felt compelled to do all week. The pesky “oughts” might include putting up an obligatory post on Piketty’s new book Capital – perhaps with some critique about how it misses the structural dimensions of capital inequality by focusing primarily on the ways in which the mechanisms of capitalism produce differential outcomes. Those are the sorts of critiques you can get here (Slavoj Žižek), here (David Harvey) or here.

Alternately, you could watch Stephen Colbert’s intro and interview with Piketty here (in Canada there should be an equivalent link on Comedy Central – elsewhere I’m not too sure).

I’m feeling less inclined to weigh in on the debates, or Piketty’s responses to critics [pdf], particularly the Financial Times piece. So, instead, here is a song from a comedian that I would not normally recommend but who has, in this case, captured a fair amount of what is going on, particularly if you pay attention to the layering of capital forms of insurance that play out right until the very last scene. Plus, it’s friday…



Interiority Regained: Integral Ecology and Environmental Ethics

Michael Zimmerman’s lecture from a few years back, but still relevant given its comments on naturalism, facts, values and so forth…

New Book: the Multispecies Salon

978-0-8223-5625-7_prInteresting new title from Duke University Press. Here is the description:

A new approach to writing culture has arrived: multispecies ethnography. Plants, animals, fungi, and microbes appear alongside humans in this singular book about natural and cultural history. Anthropologists have collaborated with artists and biological scientists to illuminate how diverse organisms are entangled in political, economic, and cultural systems. Contributions from influential writers and scholars, such as Dorion Sagan, Karen Barad, Donna Haraway, and Anna Tsing, are featured along with essays by emergent artists and cultural anthropologists.

Delectable mushrooms flourishing in the aftermath of ecological disaster, microbial cultures enlivening the politics and value of food, and emergent life forms running wild in the age of biotechnology all figure in to this curated collection of essays and artefacts. Recipes provide instructions on how to cook acorn mush, make cheese out of human milk, and enliven forests after they have been clear-cut. The Multispecies Salon investigates messianic dreams, environmental nightmares, and modest sites of biocultural hope.

Contributors. Karen Barad, Caitlin Berrigan, Karin Bolender, Maria Brodine, Brandon Costelloe-Kuehn, David S. Edmunds, Christine Hamilton, Donna J. Haraway, Stefan Helmreich, Angela James, Lindsay Kelley, Eben Kirksey, Linda Noel, Heather Paxson, Nathan Rich, Anna Rodriguez, Dorion Sagan, Craig Schuetze, Nicholas Shapiro, Miriam Simun, Kim TallBear, Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing


Rivers of ideas: Keynes’ Dams, Hayek’s Meanders and Aristotle’s Regimes

There is an interesting series being put together on British Columbia’s Site C Dam, which I have mentioned here before. The series can be found in reverse chronological order here. One of the interesting things I noted from one source used is that the top 3 mega-projects in Canada are all related to hydropower – so the era of big dams in that country (like many others) is far from over.

Thinking of these interconnections between water and economics reminded me of this video of a lecture by Martin Doyle that I was recently sent. Quite interesting…


Chantal Mouffe – Agonistics: thinking the world politically