Rewatching all the Alien films and writing about labour, space capitalism, and extraterrestrial threat in the interstellar science-fiction horror series. (related patron post: "Xenothreat and Capitalism in Alien" https://www.patreon.com/posts/xenothreat-and-1538538)
Open offices are factory farms
Hey ya'll, just finding my way onto this platform here as an aspiring anthropologist based in Detroit.
"If capitalists dearly love wagering their right to adequate food, housing, healthcare, education, and more — let them do so. [. . .]. Let the capitalists play their game in a closed gaming system where they alone will be subjected to the penalties of devastating poverty, wars over resources, starvation, and destruction of their environment. Let the capitalists play, and free the rest of us from the game." https://medium.com/@OmanReagan/capitalism-the-game-ad9830907a5d
On sensing space:
"We each bring our ideas and senses to the experience of space. I do not look up and see spheres, a roof, a sky god – portals to the underworld. I do not see mythical figures. I do not feel insignificant, but connected, not scared, but aware. I have a spatio-temporal experience of motion through the cosmos at multiple scales, inscribed in part by science, in part by awe, in part by something else that I can only describe as sensing outer space."
Just to provide it for those interested, here is the full text of my response to the questions about Silicon Valley science funding.
I'm quoted in this article about the Paradise Papers, Russian money, Silicon Valley, and SETI.
Considering the way texts now appear in print and online, in scrolling sites and PDFs and plaintext, and other forms: Why do we cite page numbers not paragraph numbers?
This is full of great methods, tactics, and sources for methods if you're doing ethnographic STS work (whether you work on algorithms or not).
I've been looking for ways to talk about this kind of "scavenge ethnography" - also great insights on access, secrecy, and more.
"Algorithms as culture: Some tactics for the ethnography of algorithmic systems" from Nick Seaver
If this happened, however, universities would have to stop charging students tuition and then waiving it - they would need to eliminate tuition altogether.
The overall point is very important, but the picture this paints of current PhD funding is way too rosy. https://www.wired.com/story/grad-students-are-freaking-out-about-the-gops-tax-plan-they-should-be/
"I agreed to write this because I have no intention to apply for an academic position in America in the foreseeable future. There is probably not a single paragraph in this essay that I would not have self-censored had that not been the case."
"It Wasn’t a Tenure Case: A Personal Testimony, with Reflections" by David Graeber
Recently working on:
History of "the interstellar" as a concept - found what I think is the oldest reference to it in English, which is just a start.
Ontologies of the "interstellar object" that is visiting our system and on the way out. Writing something about this which should be up somewhere soon.
Loads of other things, which are all bits and pieces, and who knows...
China Miéville, on how to portray authentically alien intelligences:
"I don’t just think it’s difficult, I think it’s literally impossible. If you are a writer who happens to be a human, I think it’s definitionally beyond your ken to describe something truly inhuman, psychologically, something alien. However, that doesn’t mean there’s no point trying...I don’t think you can succeed, but I think you might just fail pretty wonderfully."
"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars." - Carl Sagan
"Next year, Europe and Japan are sending a pair of spacecraft to Mercury in hopes of answering outstanding questions about our innermost planet, as well as the formation of the solar system. "
"Stop Pretending We Are a Meritocracy"
"Over the years I have watched many brilliant graduate students fail in their pursuit of a PhD, or leave anthropology in their pursuit of a different career—and they are disproportionately the students who don’t start out with family money and support. It is no coincidence.'
Political facts have been simplified by current US civic life, they have become matters of faith, veracity dependent on who says them.
cw: US politics, Trump, Tweet