Gentrification and ‘the fucking hipster show’; hostile architercure and defensive urban design

In a post at the Jacobin blog, Anthony Galluzzo considers how the mainstream media's "fucking hipster" show mocks hipsters in the service of capital: [Marxist geographer Neil] Smith offers a dry, but emphatically structural account of this process, which he first theorized in the late eighties with Soho and the Lower East Side in mind. … Continue reading Gentrification and ‘the fucking hipster show’; hostile architercure and defensive urban design

Chris Hedges interviews Chomsky; Žižek on illusion of freedom; Bogost on ‘Darmok’ and ‘Yo’

Journalist and media critic Chris Hedges recently interviewed Noam Chomsky. Hedge's writeup of the discussion is up at Truthdig: Chomsky believes that the propaganda used to manufacture consent, even in the age of digital media, is losing its effectiveness as our reality bears less and less resemblance to the portrayal of reality by the organs … Continue reading Chris Hedges interviews Chomsky; Žižek on illusion of freedom; Bogost on ‘Darmok’ and ‘Yo’

Gamification: educational applications and the rise of engagement

This EdTech article by D. Frank Smith showcases an app designed by a UW-Madison professor to teach campus sustainability through gamification: One of the app's games lets students practice waste sorting to reinforce good habits in distinguishing waste from recyclable materials. Different objects scroll down the side of the screen on a conveyer belt, and … Continue reading Gamification: educational applications and the rise of engagement

A ticklish subject: Decrying, defending Žižek as teacher

Slavoj Žižek's pedagogy became a topic of debate among critics and supporters of the philosopher after video of an interview with Žižek was posted to YouTube. In the 10-minute video, recorded in April at the 2014 Žižek Conference in Cincinnati, Žižek discusses his loathing of office hours, among other subjects. Regarding classes he has taught … Continue reading A ticklish subject: Decrying, defending Žižek as teacher

Critical perspectives on the Isla Vista spree killer, media coverage

  Immediately following Elliot Rodger's spree killing in Isla Vista, CA last month Internet users discovered his YouTube channel and a 140-page autobiographical screed, dubbed a "manifesto" by the media. The written document and the videos documented Rodger's sexual frustration and his chronic inability to connect with other people. He specifically lashed out at women … Continue reading Critical perspectives on the Isla Vista spree killer, media coverage

Fukuyama: 25 years after the “End of History”

Commemorating the 25th anniversary of the publication of his infamous essay, "The End of History?", Francis Fukuyama wrote an essay for the Wall Street Journal reflecting on how the world has changed since he declared the end of history: I argued that History (in the grand philosophical sense) was turning out very differently from what … Continue reading Fukuyama: 25 years after the “End of History”

Critical Pedagogy and Imperialism; social media and commodity fetishism

Counterpunch published an interview with Peter Mayo on education, imperialism, and critical pedagogy: Gramsci has had a huge impact on critical pedagogy especially because of the importance he attached to the role of culture, in both its highbrow and popular forms, in the process of hegemony which combines rule by force with rule by consent. … Continue reading Critical Pedagogy and Imperialism; social media and commodity fetishism

Mind-controlled exoskeleton opens World Cup; AI will crash the stock market; Cortana’s personality

The 2014 World Cup kicked off yesterday with a futuristic twist on the opening ceremonies. A paraplegic kicked a soccer ball using an exoskeleton designed by the Walk Again Project: The exoskeleton -- a system comprising a helmet implanted with a microchip that sticks out from the underside; a T-shirt loaded with sensors; metal leg … Continue reading Mind-controlled exoskeleton opens World Cup; AI will crash the stock market; Cortana’s personality

Chomsky on Snowden, Žižek on Buddhism, Fuchs on social media and the public sphere

In a recent editorial Noam Chomsky considers the Snowden revelations and their implications: These exposures lead us to inquire into state policy more generally and the factors that drive it. The received standard version is that the primary goal of policy is security and defense against enemies. The doctrine at once suggests a few questions: … Continue reading Chomsky on Snowden, Žižek on Buddhism, Fuchs on social media and the public sphere

Graeber on labor and leisure; the perils of hipster economics; and the educational value of MOOCs

Following last month's post of David Graeber's views on "bullshit jobs," this Salon interview with Graeber discusses the failed forecast of universal leisure time: Right after my original bullshit jobs piece came out, I used to think that if I wanted, I could start a whole career in job counseling – because so many people … Continue reading Graeber on labor and leisure; the perils of hipster economics; and the educational value of MOOCs