thoughts

Sep 252017
 
John Long

I had written my dissertation about this seeming convergence of movements. Everyone thought I was completely crazy. I didn’t think it would happen so soon. None of us realized in advance what Seattle would be. No one knew we would make history that day. But one my students, John Long, walked into my office and said ‘Dr. Starr, we have to go to Seattle.’ I said ‘I can’t go there! I have to teach classes!’. […read the rest]

Aug 172016
 
The body is not a pipe

Nutrition “science” is so unreliable that it can hardly be trusted, and for this reason, I sympathize with people who resign themselves to mystery unaided by modernity. Despite the lack of clear information and uncontradictory advice, we face the choice between [1] believing that what we eat does indeed directly affect our health and [2] seeing the body as a pipe. Many people eat only to quell the annoying hunger pangs or for the taste […read the rest]

Aug 232015
 
Current research interests

the future of work Neither the alterglobalization movement nor the Left have a coherent vision of liberated work, other than less of it with bathroom breaks. I am interviewing artisan producers (people who produce autonomously something that can be produced industrially) to investigate their decision-making around: the experience and conditions of work; use of materials (sustainability and ethical issues); and transactions. I am interested in Marxist philosophical questions regarding the recovery of labor from alienation, […read the rest]

Jun 132014
 
Andrew Calabrese on food and media justice

Andrew’s comparison of the global consolidation of media with the global consolidation of food, gave me an idea! I’ve been applying the model of the local food movement to local objects. What about applying the model of the local food movement to recovering the media! Just as we’ve learned to buy direct from farmers, we need to figure out how to deliver our money directly to journalists. As food activists have innovated new economic institutions […read the rest]

May 312014
 
heartbroken consumer

Today my beloved MacBook Pro fried its logic board…Why is there so much consumer choice but not what I want?…But my real question is why aren’t companies somebody refurbishing the beautiful, solid old hardware chasses of these classic designs. Convert those BMWs and Mercedes to electric systems? Design lightweight guts for those beautiful PowerBooks and Communicators. If corporate design can’t match vintage classics, then innovative small companies should be designing custom kits to keep these beauties on the road.

May 232014
 
the crisis has no clothes

As a budding Australian, I learned this week that right-wierdo Tony Abbott’s budget cuts are spurious. The agenda of the cuts is to eliminate the deficit, but it’s not a big deficit and it’s not particularly a problem. Having invented a problem, Abbott has cut “across the board”, implementing Australia’s first user fees for healthcare (including children’s immunizations!) and cuts to profitable investments in innovative enterprise. During the same week, I was lucky to attend […read the rest]