One of the main features of our moment in history, in anything that affects the state of the body (though, importantly, not the life of the mind), is that we prefer optimization to simplicity. We are afraid of dying, and reluctant to miss any physical improvement. I don’t want to die. But I am caught between that negative desire and the wish for freedom from control. I think we barely notice how much these tricks of care take up of our thinking, and what domination they exert.
April 10, 2014
The left has long admired Canada as an enclave of social democracy in North America: for its openly socialist electoral parties, its robust welfare state, and its more moderate policy profile. Recent developments, however, have thrown that reputation into question. The country is helmed by a prime minister, Stephen Harper, known for his brazenly right-wing views and executive unilateralism. Both federal and provincial governments have embraced austerity and eroded public services. And Canada’s newly aggressive exploitation of its natural resources has it trampling on civil liberties and reneging on its international obligations like, as Foreign Policy put it, a “rogue, reckless petrostate.”
March 12, 2014
Because of where New Orleans is, catastrophe is a promise.
Ultimately, the antipolitics of fear would deprive the person of his status as a political, even a social being.
Like Oedipus, we flout the warning, and we’ll act surprised, even outraged, when we find out what we’ve done.
Today the concept of global peak oil is widely accepted in the energy field.
December 30, 2013
To be effective as an activist, never say die. Unless you’re on the right.
October 14, 2013
There are cars on the road today that could, with just a little tweaking, drive themselves in most situations.
June 5, 2013
Recast in the language of the start-up economy, the spectacular failures of DIY countries become noble enterprises.
November 12, 2012
I knew the water came because I saw it from my new apartment, where the lights never went out, not once.
July 18, 2012
We might consider whether beyond coal and natural gas there lies a third choice.
And all of us know perfectly well that our fossil-fueled civilization isn’t built to last; we also know that we need to effect a deliberate and graceful transition to another energy regime or suffer a chaotic and violent interregnum. The ignorant as well as the informed know this. You could write a Walt Whitman-style poem about this obvious thing that everybody knows.
July 18, 2012
This is a long book about an oil company with remarkably little (unspilled) oil in it.