tl;dr I’m sick, my attention is sapped, and I’m bored, so I’m making a little retrospective scrapbook on Covid-19 changes in tech, culture, and political institutions that I can update daily-ish. (originally written 16 March 2020) For weeks now, my entire social media world has caught Coronavirus!, and for absolutely good reason. Surely visitors to my small corner more »

Voter Theory 03-2020

This is the kind of post that may not age well, but might instead act as a snapshot of a particular time, post-2016 electoral predictions. (Though at least the model is somewhat testable here.) I was also spurred into pushing links because Bitecofer et al. appear to be mainstreaming, so actually it sounds like I more »

The Marveliad: A summary

ACN: A summary of a series of posts by Matthew Ball and Jonathan Glick titled “The Marveliad“, with periodic injections of my own biases and of Nayar’s Before Literature. The Death and ‘Rebirth’ of the Epic A/N The Epic as an “Actual History” is mostly still dead (so far). Modern Epics as I’ll describe them more »

Pre-Lit 2: Orality as a mode in Visual Media

Agonistic Storytelling More evidence that the statues, cathedrals, fossils, and transcriptions that we are left with deny us the color, behavior, and flavor of the monuments, animals, and storytelling media as they lived. Believe it or not, our engagement with the plays of William Shakespeare may have gone this increasingly, if accidentally “literized” direction. Historian more »

Pre-Lit – Some Context, Feb 2020

Attention Conservation Notice: This post is primarily a prompt setting myself up for several posts springing from my recent reading of Before Literature: The Narrative Without the Written Word, which hit me at the right time and connected to other ideas I’ve been exploring. This series of posts represent a thread of thought I couldn’t more »

Pre-Lit 1: Notes on Narrative Without Inscription

Sat on these notes for over a month. Time to let it go. Narrative Without Inscription Most humans who have lived have been illiterate. They/we still told stories, a very small sample of which have been fossilized for observation today. These transcriptions and translations have kept the shape of those spoken specimens, but some of more »

Liminal Passage 2019

It’s the end of the decade, I should write something! Why not. In 2009, I graduated High School. In 2012 I graduated college and started work as a consultant. (In 2013 I started writing here.) In 2017 I left my job and left the country to explore and work with some college friends in India more »

Excerpt: Chaos Management

Those who, like Pavlovsky, know from the inside how the [Russian] system works, those who have seen the beast from close quarters, come back impressed by its chaotic nature. It is certainly not the case that President Putin has established a clear power channel by which decisions are transmitted down to the lower levels of more »

Weaponized Interdependence

Conflict in our time starts from the fact of deep integration. The different sides are so deeply connected through political, economic and technical links that no clear borders can be drawn and everyone is, in a way, present inside the enemy camp, and will try to weaken his forces from within. The image of conflict more »

The Bruno Maçães Lens

Bruno Maçães’ “The Dawn of Eurasia” was a fun travelogue and meditation on geopolitics from the perspective of China, Russia, the European Union, and some of the border regions that lie between these powers. I actually enjoyed the vignettes a lot more than I thought I would- stories of his travels through the Eurasian badlands, more »