Berfrois

November 2010

Theory of Everything but the Theorist

Theory of Everything but the Theorist

Arrow of Time, Vladimir Kush From Philosophy Now: Denying the reality of tensed time illustrates what happens when physics exceeds its proper bounds. Shrinking the conscious subject to an observer who is in turn reduced to a group of values assigned to mathematical variables, thus discarding memory and anticipation...

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‘Playing at cards is, after all, close to playing with fate’

‘Playing at cards is, after all, close to playing with fate’

What's the Big Deal? | by Sally Feldman

New Humanist

The Church has always been wary, regarding cards not merely as the route to gambling, but also as “the Devil’s picture-book” because of their association with dark practices like fortune-telling...

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The Cosmos: Capitalism’s New “Outside”

The Cosmos: Capitalism’s New “Outside”

Total Recall, 1990 From Monthly Review: In the early twentieth century, Rosa Luxemburg argued that an “outside” to capitalism is important for two main reasons. First, it is needed as a means of creating massive numbers of new customers who would buy the goods made in the capitalist countries....

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‘An examination of cannibalism is bound to induce a species of metaphysical unease’

‘An examination of cannibalism is bound to induce a species of metaphysical unease’

Illustration by Theodor de Bry from Americae Tertia Pars, 1592 From Cabinet Magazine: Have you sensed that readers have had trouble coming to terms with how there could be an intellectual history of cannibalism at all? I think cannibalism is challenging not just on an epistemological level. The cannibal provokes...

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Ten Million Hopeful Scribblers

Ten Million Hopeful Scribblers

From More Intelligent Life: Somewhere in the world right now, ten million souls are hunched over their keyboards writing novels. Ten million hopeful scribblers in their holes. Good Lord, I’m one of them. The figure is an invention, but backed up by rough math. A quarter of a million...

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Namely Oprichniki

Namely Oprichniki

Tor-Björn Adelgren From The Day: You have stated previously that 20 years is a short term for history, yet some changes are taking place. I am personally worried not simply by reanimation, but by a powerful promotion of one of the most terrible people of the 20th century —...

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Alice Gregory: Refresh to See

Alice Gregory: Refresh to See

From N+1: When we self-diagnose, we look for control factors. Sometimes we invent them. The goal of solipsistic anxiety is to find an individual agent that explains our misery. We eliminate possibilities one-by-one in hopes that a single cause remains. This is how people deduce food allergies and come...

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Reflections on a Jewish Mirror

Reflections on a Jewish Mirror

by Julian Bourg Jean-Paul Sartre and The Jewish Question: Anti-antisemitism and the Politics of the French Intellectual (Texts and Contexts) by Jonathan Judaken Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 408 pp. Given the sinuous tale of the distinctive relationship between France and Judaism and especially because the figure of the...

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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: LGBT Struggles in Albania

This morning I woke up to a rather surprising headline: "first gay marriage in Tirana." The article referred to the marriage ceremony recently held...

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Feroz Rather in Srinagar

Though the war was still going on, it was not a terribly sad time in my life; at least, I had the consolation of...

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Foucault’s Politics of Truth by Stuart Elden

The key figures are Cardinal Richelieu and Chancellor Séguier, and Foucault thinks it is important that he can discern the “first great deployment of...

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Menachem Feuer on Sarah Silverman and Lena Dunham

Elle called Silverman’s image of her wearing a shirt with several naked Lena Dunhams a “beautiful tribute.” Dunham, the article tells us, “seemed to...

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Mediamacro are very good at pretending…

A few weeks ago I was having dinner with David Cameron. Well, almost - we were at the same restaurant but on tables at...

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Tammy Ho Lai-Ming: One Little Room

A room with graffitied walls. Inside this room the dogs bark. A room cluttered with porcelain figurines. A room decorated with binary numbers.

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Jeremy Fernando
Jeremy Fernando on Tan Chui Mui

For, it is not as if films speak; nor are their filmmakers there—at the site where this alleged speaking to, speech, takes place —...

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David Beer
David Beer: Make Happy, Happy, Happy

As I read through William Davies’ engaging new book, I can’t help but wonder what Mad Men’s Don Draper would have made of John...

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Russell Bennetts: Coffee for 8 More

I might be the last person you should ask about St. Paul coffee in general. On an ordinary day I make do with drip...

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Emeline Edgewood
In X the Promise

X seems to want to be both the equivalent of The Giant and of Laura Palmer’s mother in Twin Peaks.

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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Municipal

Although there are also some independent candidates who may take a few votes here and there, the general opinion of the Tirana public and...

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En Liang Khong: Full Bloom

The cross-dressing Qiu Jin was emblematic of a revolutionary feminist current at the end of the Qing era, writing urgently on women’s emancipation: “While...

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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei
Very Much Like a Whale by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei

They had obviously taken the pictures of the whale, and the group of people carrying it, out of curiosity. But still the images failed...

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Oscillation

We recognise oscillation to be the natural order of the world.

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