In 2005, LA Sound Posse, asked me to record my lectures on globalization. The audio is available at Radio4All.
Social change happens when new ideas and desires are incubated in open spaces of experimentation. Local Objects invite customers into a space of meaning beyond the artist’s identity, into a landscape of reverence for materials and craftsmanship. A movement for artisan objects can ignite desire to invest in lasting objects and relationships with makers. The digital internet version of the exhibit is here.
Gold bugs, income-tax-is-illegalists, illuminati cogniscentis, federal reserve suspicionists … get a bad rap from the left, who rebuke these analyses as “conspiracy theory”. We are part of an under- or de-educated population, who are -thankfully- waking up from an enchanted nap of patriotism to bravely question a country that daily betrays its promises of democracy and egalitarianism. They are teaching themselves economics and history. Those of us with the privilege of education should applaud and [...read the rest]
Since consumption is one of the major places we express our values and try to make a difference in the world, conversations about ethics and sustainability are increasingly happening in the form of questions like “do you wear fur?” As it turns out, I own quite a lot of fur. Most of it was dead before I was born, passed down from grandmother or mom. I believe in taking care of fine materials and fine [...read the rest]
Ok, so we’re cyborgs now. This means that we will start to notice performance differences among us which are based on purchased augmentations. If you have one of the latest smartphones, you not only don’t need to remember telephone numbers, you don’t need to plan anything in advance. The phone knows where you are. It knows the places you go to often and it will let you know how to get there by various means [...read the rest]
I was invited to speak at Design your Day Job, organized by &Company, part of Vivid Ideas 2013. 25 May 2013 Sydney Australia I’m new to Australia, and since I arrived, I’ve really hoped to become part of something like this event, so I’m absolutely thrilled to be here with you today. Although I imagined we’d all be around a long table and I’d be cooking for you. But this is cool too. My talk today [...read the rest]
Exploring Melbourne, we chanced upon a parking lot transformed. The People’s Market in Collingwood opened this December at 64 – 68 Stanley Street as a Thursday-Sunday destination with food, coffee, alcohol, art galleries, pop-up retail, and live music (even a “band in residence”). Many other public spaces could fit this description, but there was something special about this one, and we sat there looking at it and feeling it and trying to figure out what made it [...read the rest]
To build a movement, we need to spread the idea, far beyond the subculture which has nurtured it. We need to translate to older and newer ideas, and expand our way of seeing to recognize resonances and amplify them. As Matthew Crawford points out in Shop Class as Soul Craft, “by the mere fact that they stand ready to fix things, as a class [mechanics] they are an affront to the throwaway society.” He exhorts us [...read the rest]
Matthew B. Crawford, Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work. 2009: Penguin Books. If the regard that many people now have for the wider ramifications of their food choices could be brought to our relationships to our own automobiles, it could sustain pockets of mindful labor…  This is the book I wanted to write, to try to get at the fulfilments of artisanship, and what this suggests for how we [...read the rest]
Noam Chomsky is perhaps best known for the book he wrote with Edward Herman, Manufacturing Consent, also made into a wonderful film. They show how the mainstream media is used to manufacture political consent in purported democracies. I’m interested in how consent is manufactured to other kinds of changes in our worlds. For example, biotechnology crops have been so widely introduced and with so little oversight, that we now hear that we are eating biotech [...read the rest]
I’ve been a great defender of the academy as “a living archive” of ideas, some of which were supposed to have gone away due to unpopularity…Ideas kept alive and lively by impassioned scholars who can impart detail and vividness to the next generation. But I’ve also always suspected, and now want to insist, that it is also a form of social control. Suck in “the best and brightest”, absorb whatever privilege has caused them to [...read the rest]
We have a story that people are lazy. They’d rather watch TV. I don’t think this is true. I think the truth might be the opposite. Many science fiction stories, including The Matrix, have presented chilling visions of the human energetic body and/or the processing power of the human brain being harnessed as resources. I think we are full of energy and intelligence. The evidence is the intense way that people seem to need to [...read the rest]
So we’re seeing an increase in food allergies and sensitivities. The seemingly-obvious diagnosis is don’t eat these things. Foods, menus, and even dinner parties are now covered with whathaveyou-free labels catering to people with growing lists of foods they feel are toxic to their bodies. I’m not in any way qualified to give medical or nutritional advice, so this is just a question. Organic farmers say that healthy plants are less vulnerable to pests, blights, [...read the rest]
I’d been living abroad for more than a year complimenting people on what good vocabularies they had and how everyone I met seemed to be intelligent and capable of reasoned political conversation, when I realized I didn’t have to play dumb anymore. Well actually that’s not what I realized. I realized that people thought I was dumb. Because I was interacting as I do with the general, nonPhD public in the States, which means don’t [...read the rest]
Our kickstarter campaign to pre-launch Underground Restaurant ran from 7 July to 6 August, 2012. We reached our goal of $3500 and surpassed it by over $200. We’re thrilled. Here’s a brief and dry report on what we did and what we learned. We spent a lot of time preparing the text and video for the kickstarter. We didn’t think too much about how diverse our various audiences were be and how we would message [...read the rest]