amor mundi

Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Sunday Walk and Brunch

A lovely, lazy day... long, languid summer shadows, sweet cool breezes, nothing like so purgatorial as last week's blaze. My summer intensive is halfway through, and the upcoming week is a little less frenetic for me. I've already finished crafting the mid-term exam I'll be administering Tuesday, on Wednesday we're screening and discussing Cronenberg's "A History of Violence," which I've taught many times by now. Only Thursday's lecture on Arendt and Fanon looks demanding, really. Things are truly racing along now -- this time next week I'll be grading mid-terms, prepping an Octavia Butler novel, and getting ready for them to workshop their final papers. By then, it's like accelerating to the finish line. A nice distraction from the grotesque enraging demoralizing endless illegalities and immoralities and inanities of Trumpmerica, I must say.

Barbara Lee Speaks for Me Daily

Early Buzz

BBC Science:
Researchers have uncovered the earliest known evidence of cannabis use, from tombs in western China. The study suggests cannabis was being smoked at least 2,500 years ago, and that it may have been associated with ritual or religious activities... The cannabis had high levels of the psychoactive compound THC, suggesting people at the time were well aware of its effects. Cannabis plants have been cultivated in East Asia for their oily seeds and fibre from at least 4,000 BC. But the early cultivated varieties of cannabis, as well as most wild populations, had low levels of THC and other psychoactive compounds. The burners, or braziers, were found at Jirzankal Cemetery, high up in the Pamir Mountains. The scientists think ancient people put cannabis leaves and hot stones in the braziers and inhaled the resulting smoke. It's possible the high altitude environment caused the cannabis plants in this region to naturally produce higher levels of THC. There's evidence this can happen in response to low temperatures, low nutrient levels and other conditions associated with high elevations. But people could have deliberately bred plants with higher levels of THC than wild varieties. It's the earliest clear evidence of cannabis being used for its psychoactive properties. The plants appear to have been burnt as part of funerary rituals... The findings tally with other early evidence for the presence of cannabis from burials further north, in the Xinjiang region of China and in the Altai Mountains of Russia... Nicole Boivin, director at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany, said: "The findings support the idea that cannabis plants were first used for their psychoactive compounds in the mountainous regions of eastern Central Asia, thereafter spreading to other regions of the world."

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Today's Random Wilde

Nowadays we are all of us so hard up that the only pleasant things to pay are compliments. They're the only things we can pay.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Let Them Eat Disruption

After a generation of Reagan Republican neo-feudalist Randroidal asshole "Idea Guys" dismantled the New Deal and Great Society for short term-cash, the next generation of neo-feudalist techbro VC "thought leader" hustlers dismantled what was left of society for short-term cash again. We praise and coddle them to this day, as they kill us day after day after day after day. It isn't exactly a mystery how we got here or where this is all going.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Hot Summer Nights

Not the insomniac's friend.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Wilde on Impeachment

Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Monday, June 10, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Intensive

This week we finish our discussion of King, begin a discussion of Foucault, continue to a discussion of Angela Davis, and then move on to discuss Nietzsche. As if that weren't enough, Wednesday introduces propositional analysis (and enthymemes, formal and informal fallacies), Thursday digs deeper into figures, tropes, and schemes. You'd think I would be a bit daunted, but honestly we're covering so much so quickly I don't really have time to worry about getting behind or making mistakes, it's just three hours of theoretical ideas and critical tools firehosed relentlessly at them day after day after day till we're done for the weekend. Exhausting tho' it can be, my favorite part is just how useful and provocative all this stuff is. One really feels oneself making a difference, providing practical reading and writing tools, stunning people with abolitionist and Nietzschean provocations.