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Category Archives: Impending Doom

Theses on Technological Pessimism

We fly over the mountains As though there was nothing to it Great are the works of humans! But bread for all? We can’t do it. Child, ask why Can … Continue reading

July 8, 2021 · 1 Comment

Burn it All – a Review of “Your Computer is on Fire”

It often feels as though contemporary discussions about computers have perfected the art of talking around, but not specifically about, computers. Almost every week there is a new story about … Continue reading

May 27, 2021 · Leave a comment

Plague Poems – The Fifty-Fourth Week

That which makesthe tragedy unbearableis that the worldcarries on. That which makesthe tragedy bearableis that the world carries on. * Two signs hangin the shop’s windowthe first reads“mask required for … Continue reading

March 31, 2021 · 2 Comments

Broom-Scrolling? Assume-Scrolling? Bloom-Scrolling? – what comes after Doom-Scrolling?

“The true path is along a rope, not a rope suspended way up in the air, but rather only just over the ground. It seems more like a tripwire than … Continue reading

March 12, 2021 · 1 Comment

“into the lifeboats” – a review of Nomadland

“You could not have been born at a better period than the present, when we have lost everything.” – Simone Weil Having been forced to flee, a weary traveler returns … Continue reading

February 26, 2021 · 1 Comment

The joke was on us – reflections on Trump’s presidency

“There is laughter because there is nothing to laugh about. Laughter, whether reconciled or terrible, always accompanies the moment when fear is ended. It indicates a release, whether from physical … Continue reading

January 28, 2021 · 1 Comment

Authoritarian and Democratic Technics, revisited

“The viability of technology, like democracy, depends in the end on the practice of justice and on the enforcement of limits to power.” – Ursula Franklin I. Is technology a … Continue reading

January 13, 2021 · 4 Comments

A Hell of a Year – Reflections on 2020

“I do not believe that things will turn out well, but the idea that they might is of decisive importance.” – Max Horkheimer 2020 was a hell of a year. … Continue reading

December 23, 2020 · 3 Comments

“The Tree of Science” an English translation of Eugene Huzar’s “L’arbre de la science” [Part 3]

“Indeed, what is the seduction of the flesh beside the seduction of science? Nothing; for the seduction of the flesh may well ruin a man, a people, a nation, an … Continue reading

December 10, 2020 · 1 Comment

The Cassandra Conundrum

“We hate the people who try to make us form the connections we do not want to form.” – Simone Weil   One Let us begin with a riddle. Question: … Continue reading

November 19, 2020 · 6 Comments

“The Tree of Science” an English translation of Eugene Huzar’s “L’arbre de la science” [Part 2]

“Destruction by invasions is forever over; the barbarians who will put our human cycle in powder form will be the forces and energies of nature, these giants who have come … Continue reading

November 12, 2020 · 2 Comments

“The Tree of Science” an English translation of Eugene Huzar’s “L’arbre de la Science” [Part 1]

When the locomotive of progress carries us away, it is quite permissible to ask the mechanics who direct it to be prudent and to moderate its speed before having assumed … Continue reading

October 29, 2020 · 2 Comments

Theses on Doomscrolling

‘Tis sweet, when, down the mighty main, the winds Roll up its waste of waters, from the land To watch another’s labouring anguish far, Not that we joyously delight that … Continue reading

October 8, 2020 · 7 Comments

Flamethrowers and Fire Extinguishers – a review of “The Social Dilemma”

“The myth of technological and political and social inevitability is a powerful tranquilizer of the conscience. Its service is to remove responsibility from the shoulders of everyone who truly believes … Continue reading

September 17, 2020 · 21 Comments

How to Prepare for This (totally normal) Fall Semester

The start of a new academic year is a thrilling and exhilarating moment! Professors and students come together to explore new topics, investigate complex issues, and continue down the path … Continue reading

August 27, 2020 · 1 Comment

It is later than you think – the COVID-19 catastrophe is already here

“Don’t be a coward. Have the courage to be afraid. Force yourself to produce the amount of fear that corresponds to the magnitude of the apocalyptic danger.” – Günther Anders. … Continue reading

July 22, 2020 · 2 Comments

How to Move Your Books in the Middle of a Pandemic

When the world is gripped by a pandemic, there are many activities that need to be approached with a new level of caution. Masks, gloves, social distancing, especially thorough handwashing, … Continue reading

June 11, 2020 · 2 Comments

Democracy is too important to trust it to an app

It’s easy to ignore complex technological systems when they are functioning properly. So long as the system fulfills its basic promise of making it a bit easier or more efficient … Continue reading

February 6, 2020 · Leave a comment

Be Afraid! But not that afraid? – on Climate Doom

People on social media would have really hated Cassandra. Her constant barrage of doleful warnings would just be dismissed of as hyperbolic and unhelpful. Those who did engage with her, … Continue reading

August 16, 2019 · 10 Comments

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Machine – a review of Aaron Bastani’s “Fully Automated Luxury Communism”

Flung back in time, to the year 2063, Captain Jean Luc Picard finds himself escorting a 21st century woman, Lily, through the starship Enterprise. As the year 2063 sees humanity … Continue reading

July 30, 2019 · 2 Comments

“And here we are” – on HBO’s Chernobyl

Audiences are used to watching cities being destroyed. From earthquakes to tornadoes, from devastating industrial accidents to wars, from giant rampaging monsters to legions of valiant heroes who wind up … Continue reading

June 13, 2019 · 1 Comment

Stop Using “Google” as a Verb

Here is a hypothetical for you: imagine that someone asks you a question to which you do not know the answer. However, it is the type of question that you … Continue reading

May 23, 2019 · 2 Comments

“Cover Your Tracks!” – A Critique of the Privacy Project from The New York Times

Whatever you say, don’t say it twice. If you find your idea with somebody else: deny it. He who didn’t sign anything, who didn’t leave an image Who wasn’t there, … Continue reading

April 15, 2019 · 4 Comments

“No one wants to see disaster coming, but those who look, do.” – A Review of “The Uninhabitable Earth”

“Don’t be a coward. Have the courage to be afraid. Force yourself to produce that amount of fear that corresponds to the magnitude of the apocalyptic danger.” – Günther Anders … Continue reading

March 4, 2019 · 3 Comments

Between Salvation and Doom – Notes on the Green New Deal

At a time when their fall was certain – On the ramparts the lament for the dead had begun – The Trojans adjusted small pieces, small pieces In the triple … Continue reading

February 11, 2019 · 5 Comments

Choose Very Carefully: a Review of Black Mirror – Bandersnatch

Manipulated comes from manus: hand We see ourselves manipulated and hope in this way to come to grips with our reality When it was really still hands manipulating us manipulation … Continue reading

January 10, 2019 · 27 Comments

A Disastrous Year – Reflections on 2018

“There is nothing more frightful than to be right. And if some, paralyzed by the gloomy likelihood of the catastrophe, have already lost courage, they still have a chance to … Continue reading

December 20, 2018 · 3 Comments

“The End of the World by Science” – an English translation of Eugene Huzar’s “La Fin du Monde par la Science.” Part 4

“Why constantly elevate the edifice of civilization, and heap Pelion on Ossa? Do you still want to climb to the sky, do you not remember the lightning bolts of Jupiter, … Continue reading

December 10, 2018 · 3 Comments

The technology giants didn’t deserve public trust in the first place

Amazon may have been expecting lots of public attention when it announced where it would establish its new headquarters – but like many technology companies recently, it probably didn’t anticipate … Continue reading

November 19, 2018 · 11 Comments

“The End of the World by Science” – an English translation of Eugene Huzar’s “La Fin du Monde par la Science.” Part 3

Symbols and myths, mysteries, in a word, were the essential formulas by which antiquity hid the truth. Sacred veils, so impenetrable that they reached us without there having been a … Continue reading

October 31, 2018 · 5 Comments

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