Author: amory

The Case for Conspiracy Theory

By the end of 2021 a great deal of unrelated material had been collapsed together in an attempt to discredit any and all points of view divergent from public health policy. Derogation and censorship have forced intimacy upon subcultures that might otherwise have remained separate. Thanks to the wholesale vilification of “vaccine hesitancy” pacifist alternative health movements find common cause with Trumpist militants and European neo-nazis. They deserve disaggregation.

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Frames

Recently I had the opportunity to listen in on a 2-day strategy conference of experts on the liberation of Palestine. Most of the discussion focused on what social movements scholars call questions of “framing”.

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Communicative Immediacy

I lived and worked for two months with a three generation Italian family. To my sensibilities it seemed that everyone was screaming at each other all the time. No one ever communicated something in a[…]
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Clean

I feel like goldilocks. Every house is either too clean or too dirty for me. The too clean people seem to be avoiding more serious tasks, serving some inherited templates, or punishing themselves for some[…]
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Business Cards

In 2021 the prospect of introducing myself triggers me to feign death. I lower my eyelids, hold very still, and breathe carefully in hope that my predator will lose interest or become distracted. Like other[…]
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Disruption

As an artist my days and my walls stand ready, empty. I surround myself with thick blank paper and a blockade to deflect news and noise. On the surfaces ahead of my fingertips, coffee turns[…]
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The right to solitude

She’s 26 and her profession seems to be taking sexy photos of herself and keeping track of thousands of likes. Everyone on the farm seems very impressed. She feels sorry for me and constantly invites[…]
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Your body is a temple

Originally a Christian concept from Corinthians 6:19 “What? Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God, and that you[…]
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Collaboration

I have been looking for a way to connect with people who I can’t dance with. With an otherwise useless man I found connection in the garden, weeding, harvesting, tying. We conflicted terribly in any[…]
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Enough

All this destructiveness cannot be haphazard. She is angry, at everyone, and herself.
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Control versus connection

There are people who I love or admire who have chaotic kitchens, uncomfortable cars, shop in supermarkets, or expect me to respond to spontaneous invitations.
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Certainty v civility

My job at the moment is to learn how to be in relationship again. With another flawed human. One who like me, is old enough to have preferences and processes. Favorite dish sponges, certainty about[…]
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Direct Knowledge

What I’ve learned from a year of pitching… So one question that comes to me is that if I’m going to have to do most of the promotion anyway, why would I give the publisher 85%? For what? The imprimatur of a “real” publisher? Let’s cut out the middlemen and the gatekeepers. And for me, the freedom to write what I want to, design the presentation, and launch it promptly is as important to my creative process as getting paid.

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Respect Fear

People who are afraid that their governments withhold information are factually correct. People who are afraid that government programs might sacrifice certain categories of people in service of an undemocratic notion of “the public good” are validated by historic and recent events. People who are afraid that for-profit corporations could sell known harmful, addictive, or unsafe products have plenty of case data to underlie their concern.

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Creativity

As this ritual has proven its worth, it is now my most fundamental commitment. It is a time-space devoted to creativity, blank and receptive, with beauty in sight, milky comforting coffee in one hand, and[…]
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Anti-corporate 2.021

Those who run the company are considered to be owner-stewards. They “own” the company in the sense of having responsibility for its purpose, but they do not own it financially or legally, in that they do not have the power to sell it.

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Farm and artisan industry succession

Around the world is a crisis of modernization in which younger generations do not want to inherit the farming and other artisanal work of their families. At the same time, a subculture is burgeoning of young people and ex-office workers who want to work with land, agriculture, food, and traditional production methods.

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Authenticity

What Italians do not seem to know is how profoundly revered Italian cuisine is in the US, and particularly in California. I could recognize my compatriots easily in Napoli. They were silent, faces upturned, eyes half-closed, eating the pizza as if they were receiving communion.

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Electrify your Favorite Car

My anger is abating. I’m refocused on wondering how to buy as many good car bodies as possible and where to put them for a few years while the kits proliferate, mechanics streamline their methods, and countries improve their incentives.

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From “impossible” to industry

Impossible is the perimeter guard of the contemporary paradigm. We know that paradigms are generally under assault by research, adventure, invention, and culture, and that they are often superceded.

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Vocation

People who make guitars and surfboards, bread and pants, are driven by the pleasure of manifestation, the urge to work with their hands, and the need to work autonomously. Artists too, most artists, forego security and luxury in fealty to that same urgency. Filmmakers indebt themselves to the story that compels them. Not because it is a good investment. Farmers take second jobs so they can keep their land in production. I did not know that journalists who provide the food of democracy, also do this.

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Green Waste

There is no justification for the throughput of materials involved in  junking cars less than 20 years old and encouraging people to buy new electric/hybrid. Even if the old car are purportedly “recycled”, metal recycling produces really terrible jobs. As does mining (often illegal) for e.g. cobalt and lithium needed for electric car batteries.

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Naming

Ursula K. LeGuin is a feminist science-fiction author. In her essay “The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction” she constructs an anthropology of story: stories have conflicts, action, a hero, weapons, hunters. Gathering, on the other[…]
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Experiment

The hot workflow for innovation in Silicon Valley is to launch imperfect products, fail as fast as you can, be ready to lose your investment, pivot to the next iteration. Shouldn’t we run our personal[…]
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Debrief

Every project needs a debriefing…vacations, repairs, dinner parties, collaborations, relationships… This way you can acknowledge your power, how you used it, and how you can use it better. Here’s how to do it: First make[…]
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Honor

We are surrounded by gorgeous, gracious, and complicated objects, people, and systems. To honor what is keeps us in contact with the pleasures and lessons. Doing so mandates various actions: Acknowledging and celebrating people’s contributions.[…]
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Bender

It will be never be the most important thing to write a note telling someone how much you appreciate them, or wrap and package and slog to the post office to send a gift for[…]
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Shouldguilt

You can keep yourself very busy doing things the way your father did it – or trying to do the opposite, or whatever your personal flavor of “being a good person” looks like. Technology can[…]
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Shahatalamula

‘Shahatalamula’ is a word made by Andrea Godshalk for a category of things we found on our to-do lists – the things carried from one day’s list to another’s but never checked off, for weeks[…]
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15 Minutes

When faced with large and intimidating tasks, we often delay, waiting for a gap that rarely appears on time. Days, weeks, and months pass with no progress. Looking back, it’s easy to see that one[…]
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How to Work at Home

Greetings from Wailuki, Maui, Hawai’i. I am very fortunate to have been passing through Hawai’i when the travel restrictions went into effect, and to be

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Buddhas in Bali

29.November-5.February, 2020 [A prescript about photography:I felt very uncomfortable taking photos of people, as if zooifying their daily lives,and I was also uncertain about taking

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N30+20

20 Years After Seattle: Call for Reflections by participants in N30 WTO manifestation.

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Criminalize Supermarkets

Supermarkets are machines to betray farmers, consumers, and ecology. Farmers need reliable sales at the highest possible prices. Supermarkets buy whatever they can find at

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Comas

To be an ecological society we have to stop the whole habit of living despite nature. We must take our pleasure and inspiration in seasonality and ecological particularity.

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Anti-convenience

Let’s just be perfectly clear exactly what is going on. I am crossing town, via two buses, in weather below freezing, for a bunch of

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Heritages

Because this grape was difficult to grow and not abundant it fell almost completely of production in favor of more abundant varieties. In the 1990s, winemaker Elvio Cogno rediscovered the wine and got it back into production. This was not easy because they had to actually locate and select the plants. The contemporary interest in autochthonous wines provides the support to bring a difficult grape into commercial viability.
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The Comeback

For his father’s generation, value meant to save money on inputs. He was buying milk. Francesco sees value as quality. He’s buying cows.
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Down the Battery

Denominazione d’Origine Protetta (DOP) Balsamico to be certified by the “consortium” (and receive its label and €10/ml price) must age for 25 years through a “battery”. Nevertheless no balsamic has an age, because the barrels are never emptied or cleaned. They still contain the sediment of hundreds of years. Giusti produces 250 l/year.
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Food with Context

Food is a focal point for the struggle of meaning against machine. Food’s meaning comes from context, the very context which commodification destroys or conceals.
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Julian’s Yes

“I don’t do something just for money reasons, but also for quality. For the thing itself. I like single components. I never use any kind of mix. I make it all by myself. I don’t like the tendency in business that you can buy everything ready-made.”
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3D printing

If we can have exactly what we want, in the size and color we want, with a small modification, a lot of our retail expenditures will fall away, as will surely some of the ability to manipulate buying preferences, and, hopefully, wasteful overproduction.
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Not by ingredients alone

The passionate serving staff did provide lectures about the commitments to culture, region, and producers. But we were hungry, and unfilled by lectures.
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