Monthly Archives: October 2005

My Mother Was a Computer by N. Katherine Hayles and Shaping Things by Bruce Sterling

There’s been a lot of chatter, books written, and hand-waving about the merging of humans and machines ever since the computer reared its digital head. From artificial intelligence and humanoid robots to microchip implants and uploading consciousness, the melding of biology and technology has been prophesized far and wide.

Humans are indeed merging with machines, but don’t believe the hype: It’s not happening in the way those old science fiction books would have you think. (more…)

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Bomb the System Directed by Adam Bhala Lough

With its focus on graffiti and a lackluster storyline, Bomb the System (Palm Pictures) can be described fairly accurately as an update of the 80s graffiti classic Wild Style, which also rode a thin plot through the streets and walls of New York City. Its real value is in the visuals. From the nighttime shots of The City to the many pieces themselves, Bomb the System is a beautiful film. In spite of the story itself, BTS also manages to capture a sense of the energy involved in outlaw street art, a sense of the camaraderie of the crews that do it, and a sense of why they do it. (more…)

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Twentieth-Century French Philosophy: Key Themes and Thinkers

Alan D. Schrift has hereby done a great service to anyone interested in French thinkers and their thought. Twentieth-Century French Philosophy (Blackwell) chronicles the lineage, the history, and the context of all of the major thinkers and thought of France in the last hundred years. This includes a succinct chronology, brief biographies, and a lengthy historical narrative — the latter of which might seem anathema to most French thinkers, but helps glue everything together here. And when we’re talking about Derrida, Deleuze, Foucault, Barthes, Blanchot, Sartre, Bataille, Bourdieu, Althusser, de Beauviour, Levinas, and Kristeva, among many others, we need as much cohesion as we can find. (more…)

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