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Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Big data + authoritarian governance = techno-totalitarianism. At least that’s the equation we’re most familiar with, and the route that appears to be being laid out in Xi’s China, according to this lengthily researched New York Times piece. (To be fair, the authors only use “techno-authoritarianism,” and the titular and subtitular “-totalitarianism” gloss appears to […]

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Here are some thoughts on the humanitarian, historical, moral, and environmental implications of the crisis of refugees fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine. They were prompted by questions asked of me by a public radio interviewer. I’m still working on the answers (and the interview has not aired, as far as I can tell). Comments […]

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This is being cross-posted (in modified form) from UKR-TAZ, where it is part of a series examining the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The invasion of Ukraine continues to horrify, with casualties mounting and humanitarian corridors failing to materialize. But one of its more interesting dimensions, from the perspective of media and cultural theory, is the […]

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Readers of this blog may know that I have longstanding research as well as personal/family connections in Ukraine and that I have sometimes run a parallel blog on issues related to that country. (Called “UKR-TAZ: A Ukrainian Temporary Autonomous Zone,” the blog is found here.) I recently began posting to that blog more regularly with […]

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When we look back at this time a few decades hence, what changes will we take the pandemic of 2020-21 to have ushered in? How will it have transformed work, recreation, travel and transportation, food, politics, and everything else? The following are some initial thoughts toward a hopeful eco-justice based perspective on how the world […]

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I don’t usually write about local politics on this blog. But why not? Here’s my prediction for next Tuesday’s Burlington,* Vermont, mayoral election. Let this be a test of how good, or bad, I’ve gotten at observing my city’s politics. (For outsiders: this is the city where Bernie Sanders cut his political chops as mayor […]

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There’s a fairly straightforward narrative about media and cultural hegemony in the United States that most scholarly observers have come to largely agree on (with the usual spectrum of variations in emphasis), but that more of the public ought to be aware of. It accounts for how we got here, into this situation where media […]

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Two points of social media use call for more attention as we make sense of this week’s events at the U. S. Capitol. 1) Videos and selfies from Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rallies are circulating online and making it easier to identify those who participated in the attempted coup at the Capitol. Images created and […]

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I am an academic who researches, writes, and teaches about the human relationship with the ecological environment within which we live and on which we depend. I recognize that that relationship is deeply troubled, and I want to be working on untroubling it. Politics — the shaping and implementation of policy to steer collective and […]

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Trump’s parting electoral tantrum puts the exclamation mark on the fundamental flaw of democracy that his presidency has revealed: that a poorly informed electorate can willingly choose its own demise (even as it recites platitudes to the contrary). Two institutions are most implicated in this flaw: public education and the mass media. In well functioning […]

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Cross-posted from e2mc. Note that this post takes the Stoic strategy of preparing for the worst, so as to be pleasantly surprised when the worst fails to come to pass. Deep breath, Americanos. Let’s brace ourselves for what may be the messiest, most litigious and disruptive Interregnum in U.S. history. (“Interregnum” = the 79 day interval between […]

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Rather like the Airborne Toxic Event in Don Delillo’s 1980s novel White Noise, these days seem, to many of us, suffused with a kind of Generalized Floating Dread. I’ve picked this sense up from students, from colleagues, from friends and neighbors. It is as if there is a cloud of dark matter around us, whose […]

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