The project also provides a cluster map of these texts, which is probably less interesting (and more confusing) in its large form than when one pokes into it from a given text — to find, for instance, that The Communist Manifesto (at #3) is assigned most commonly with Capital, The Social Contract, and Leviathan; Thoreau’s Walden (#31) with texts by Emerson; and Barbara Bush’s The White House (at #69?!) with William Rehnquist’s The Supreme Court, Time, Inc.’s World War Two, andHitler’s Mein Kampf (interesting…).
(Meanwhile, The Guardianrecently polled booksellers, librarians, publishers, and the public to create a list of the 20 most influential academic books of all time. The overlap between the two lists is interesting, even if the Guardian‘s methodology leaves a great deal of room for improvement. Darwin’s On the Origin of Speciestopped that list, followed by The Communist Manifesto, The Complete Works of Shakespeare, Plato’s Republic, and Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason.)
Here are a few quick observations about the Open Syllabus Project mega-list.
I shared my previous post on the Peirce-L discussion forum and received about 16 responses in five days. The following is an edited version of the summary response I sent to the forum regarding the main comments presented there. I’ve eliminated names or substituted them with single initials where that seemed warranted.
This article has been revised since it was first posted. It consists of a list of useful sources providing ongoing coverage of, and initial post-conference reactions to, the COP21 conference and mobilizations in response to it. Please suggest any other helpful sources and links in the “Comments.” (Previously suggested links have been added and the comments removed.)
Originally published: Dec. 3. Last (& probably final) revision: Dec. 16
The Paris climate talks were successful in that they resulted in an agreement that is both better than nothing and better than most of us expected. They were a failure in that even if they are followed to the letter — and there’s no provision for enforcing whether anyone follows them or not — they would still likely result in changes to the world climate that will bring tremendous hardship to millions, possibly billions, of humans and countless other organisms.
They argue, first, that the negotiators won’t change anything under pressure, and probably won’t even notice that pressure coming from the streets. (Especially when street demonstrations are banned.) And second, they argue that the tactics, whether it is marches or gamified street actions, are ineffective — they may be fun photo-ops that make sense during earlier phases of a movement, but they are too little, too late, for climate change.
“In accordance with a philosophy laid out by a leftist revolutionary named Abdullah Ocalan, Rojavan women had been championed as leaders, defense of the environment enshrined in law and radical direct democracy enacted in the streets.”
Ocalan’s philosophy, in turn, is a revolutionary Kurdish version of eco-anarchist Murray Bookchin’s philosophy of “social ecology” and “libertarian municipalism.”
How connected are the recent Paris attacks with the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP 21 (Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change)?
At first glance, the targeting of Paris for ISIS’s act of war on civilian populations would seem to be motivated by other things: France’s role in the war in Syria, the high proportion of Muslims in France, challenges in integrating both immigrant and refugee populations, the symbolic resonance of the city itself, and so on.
A growing sentiment among climate change activists, led by Britain’s The Ecologist magazine, is the suspicion that the upcoming climate change conference may be more than just coincidentally related to last week’s events. ISIS, or Daesh (as critics are increasingly calling it), may have motivations that coincide with the protection of the oil industry that they, in fact, depend on. And the militaristic and security-obsessed response of France’s Hollande government would seem to play right into the objectives that ISIS may share with others in the fossil fuel industry.