Midweek stuff

July 13, 2022

Just a few!


Really fine piece on jokes, the nature of online intimacy, and Twitter.  “The mechanism for context-shredding is built directly into Twitter. It’s the retweets.”  Worth reading for many reasons, not least to reacquaint yourselves with Ted Cohen and also Das Racist.  Combination insight and humor.


Local. I feel like I moved to Cville right at the end of this era.  I never went to Trax, only frequented the _reopened_ Fellini's, after the drug busts, and I think only once went to the basement of Tokyo Rose.  But you definitely had a sense of more going on here than met the tourist's eye. 


Adam Tooze, always very good: "to weigh the consequences of our actions and the risks attendant on them, to assess the costs and who pays them is a basic imperative of responsible politics. In so doing we need a clear head and democracy demands that clarity is not just something that is achieved behind closed doors."


This is “a detailed portrait of the nation’s 56 major metro areas in order to better understand their growth, city-suburb population shifts, racial and ethnic diversity, neighborhood segregation, and youth populations.” Biggest news: Those big metros are really the place where whatever growth that happened in the United States happened.  Rural areas in particular are declining in population and perhaps life chances.


Interesting interview with Merve Emre, a young literary critic I find good to read.  This is nice: “The academic’s genres are also stylized, but in a different way. They filter whatever charisma one might possess through bureaucratic protocols designed to standardize, routinize, an professionalize language, such that all articles and letters of recommendation and e-mails speak in more or less the same voice. The majority of what I write is intended to be read in the strictest confidence, by little committees making decisions about others’ lives and careers. This may be why I find it odd when people request examples of “engaging” or “beautiful” academic prose; most of the academic’s genres are not occasions for entertainment or aesthetic appreciation. I wonder how much that request is driven by a desire for beauty versus a desire to confirm that charisma can still overpower the strictures of bureaucracy.”


An older piece on Habermas on the lockdown.  To my mind, so much more sane than Agamben.


Interesting piece on Tom Nairn, with side comments that are very interesting, to me at least, on nationalism: “Gellner’s theory offered an explanation for nationalism’s undeniable ability to thrive within, rather than simply against, the processes of globalisation. It was through nationalism that modernity – encompassing everything from capitalist industry to the centralised state – ultimately spread itself across the world.”


Enough for today, no?  I bet your day is already full.  Be well.