Filed under book | Tags: · biography, history of science, physics, science
Isaac Newton was born in a stone farmhouse in 1642, fatherless and unwanted by his mother. When he died in London in 1727 he was so renowned he was given a state funeral—an unheard-of honor for a subject whose achievements were in the realm of the intellect. During the years he was an irascible presence at Trinity College, Cambridge, Newton imagined properties of nature and gave them names—mass, gravity, velocity—things our science now takes for granted. Inspired by Aristotle, spurred on by Galileo’s discoveries and the philosophy of Descartes, Newton grasped the intangible and dared to take its measure, a leap of the mind unparalleled in his generation.
James Gleick, the author of Chaos and Genius, and one of the most acclaimed science writers of his generation, brings the reader into Newton’s reclusive life and provides startlingly clear explanations of the concepts that changed forever our perception of bodies, rest, and motion—ideas so basic to the twenty-first century, it can truly be said: We are all Newtonians.
Publisher Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2004
ISBN 1400032954, 9781400032952
review (John Banville, The Guardian)
Download (EPUB)Comment (0)
Filed under book | Tags: · art, design, graphic designa, outsider art, pornography
Volume—a word that refers to sound, collections, and the measurement of space—is a crucial characteristic of both graphic design and popular music. While expressing different aspects of these two pervasive cultural mediums, the term also introduces a discussion on their many links. Volume: Writings on Graphic Design, Music, Art, and Culture is a collection of both new and classic writings by frequent Emigre contributor and educator Kenneth FitzGerald that survey the discipline of graphic design in context with the parallel creative fields of contemporary music and art. The topics of the writings are diverse: the roles of class in design, design education, Lester Bangs and Creem magazine, pornography, album cover art, independent record labels, anonymity and imaginary creative identities, and design as cultural chaos-maker.
With Linear Notes by Rudy VanderLans
Publisher Princeton Architectural Press, New York, 2010
ISBN 1568989644, 9781568989648
Filed under book | Tags: · art, art history, biography, futurism, noise, occultism, synaesthesia
Luigi Russolo (1885–1947)—painter, composer, builder of musical instruments, and first-hour member of the Italian Futurist movement—was a crucial figure in the evolution of twentieth-century aesthetics. As creator of the first systematic poetics of noise and inventor of what has been considered the first mechanical sound synthesizer, Russolo looms large in the development of twentieth-century music. In the first English language study of Russolo, Luciano Chessa emphasizes the futurist’s interest in the occult, showing it to be a leitmotif for his life and a foundation for his art of noises. Chessa shows that Russolo’s aesthetics of noise, and the machines he called the intonarumori, were intended to boost practitioners into higher states of spiritual consciousness. His analysis reveals a multifaceted man in whom the drive to keep up with the latest scientific trends coexisted with an embrace of the irrational, and a critique of materialism and positivism.
Publisher University of California Press, 2012
An Ahmanson Foundation Book in the Humanities
ISBN 0520270630, 9780520270633
Filed under book | Tags: · neoliberalism, politics, welfare state, work
In an age of government imposed austerity, and after 30 years of neo-liberal restructuring, the future of the welfare state looks increasingly uncertain. Asbjørn Wahl offers an accessible analysis of the situation across Europe, identifies the most important challenges and presents practical proposals for combating the assault on welfare.
Wahl argues that the welfare state should be seen as the result of a class compromise forged in the 20th century, which means that it cannot easily be exported internationally. He considers the enormous shifts in power relations and the profound internal changes to the welfare state which have occurred during the neo-liberal era, pointing to the paradigm shift that the welfare state is going through. This is illustrated by the shift from welfare to workfare and increased top-down control.
As well as being a fascinating study in its own right that will appeal to students of economics and politics, The Rise and Fall of the Welfare State also points to an alternative way forward for the trade union movement based on concrete examples of struggles and alliance-building.
First published in Norwegian as Velferdsstatens vekst – og fall?, Gyldendal Arbeidsliv, Oslo, 2009
Translated by John Irons
Publisher Pluto Press, 2011
ISBN 0745331408, 9780745331409
review (Sophie Smith, Socialist Review)Comment (0)
Filed under book | Tags: · capitalism, economy, marxism, political economy, politics, proletariat, socialism, theory, yugoslavia
In this important book Branko Horvat advances a type of Yugoslav Marxism referred to by many as Yugoslav ‘Praxis’ Marxism, a name adopted from the journal Praxis that promoted a humanist style of socialist thought from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s. For years, Horvat has been directly associated with many of the authors who originally founded this journal, and his work illustrates his indebtedness to them.
Originally published as The Political Economy of Socialism, New York, 1982
Translated by Dubravko Mihaljek and Mia Miki
Publisher ČGP Delo, Globus, Izdavačka djelatnost, Zagreb
via Ignorant Schoolmaster and His Committees
Filed under book | Tags: · activism, afghanistan, drones, military, war
Weeks after the 2002 American invasion of Afghanistan, Medea Benjamin visited that country. There, on the ground, talking with victims of the strikes, she learned the reality behind the “precision bombs” on which U.S. forces were becoming increasingly reliant. Now, with the use of drones escalating at a meteoric pace, Benjamin has written this book as a call to action: “It is meant to wake a sleeping public,” she writes, “lulled into thinking that drones are good, that targeted killings are making us safer.”
Drone Warfare is a comprehensive look at the growing menace of robotic warfare, with an extensive analysis of who is producing the drones, where they are being used, who “pilots” these unmanned planes, who are the victims and what are the legal and moral implications. In vivid, readable style, the book also looks at what activists, lawyers and scientists are doing to ground the drones, and ways to move forward.
In reality, writes Benjamin, the assassinations we are carrying out via drones will come back to haunt us when others start doing the same thing—to us.
Foreword by Barbara Ehrenreich
Publisher OR Books, New York/London, May 2012
ISBN 1935928813, 9781935928812
author’s talk (August 2012)Comment (0)
Filed under book | Tags: · architecture, capitalism, cartography, cybernetics, military
The term Situation Room is normally used to designate a secret place used in times of crisis to assess and monitor data for decision making purposes. Its origins can be traced back to World War II with the invention of computers, digitalization, and the collaboration of architects and the military. These rooms are equipped with monitors and data boards used to control everything from flows crossing the strait of Gibraltar to nuclear fission processes in Nuclear Power plants and the life support mechanisms on board the International Space Station.
“Rather than being afraid of control, and technologies in general, we prefer to think in terms of social appropriation and implementation with research and creativity; we even think that, as Cybersyn shows, the source of technological creativity actually lies in social cooperation, and that it is only later captured by the military or capitalism.” -Hackitectura
Idea: José Pérez de Lama y Pablo de Soto
Editors Pablo de Soto & Hackitectura
Publisher dpr-barcelona, June 2010
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License