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Monday, September 14 2009

China’s Factory Girls: A Conversation with Author Leslie T. Chang

Traditional and often sensational coverage of China is only a partial interpretation: the people themselves are being lost in the translation.


Wednesday, September 2 2009

Crown Feathers: A Dialogue of Desire in the Urban Marketplace

In a NYC grocery store, Verstehen finds its late-capitalist venue, as we the consumers get consumed by reflections on the allure of passing patrons, of fashion trends, of social customs and taboos.


Sunday, August 30 2009

Everything Is for Sale: The Merchandising of ‘Buffy’

Buffy the Vampire Slayer's lasting success tells us that demographic targeting is a complex process that requires both fan participation and forms of merchandising that literally allow everything to be for sale.


Sunday, August 16 2009

Three Days, Forty Years, Six Discs

It's the enticing performances of the smaller acts -- and not the explosions of the big ones -- that made Woodstock such a singular event.


Thursday, August 6 2009

“And Now Your Moment of Zen”: The Cultural Significance of ‘The Daily Show’

The Daily Show is an intellectual respite from the self-aggrandizing sensationalism of traditional news sources, and as such, one can’t help but cringe a little at the idea that it, too, may have begun to take itself a bit too seriously.


Thursday, July 23 2009

Scratching the Surface: Your Brain on the Internet

What does the ubiquitous availability of digital text mean for the human brain as it processes ever-increasing amounts of information?


The Cultural Logic of Computation

Far from being the great liberator, computers, Golumbia insists, actually serve to fix us in the grid of global capitalism while concentrating power and shifting it upward to those who control the networks we are enmeshed in.


Sunday, July 12 2009

The Pogues and Irish Cultural Continuity

Shane MacGowan's awareness and adaptation of trends in the literary world, along with the narrative quality and structural experimentation of his work, should cement his status as both a musical and literary figure.


Thursday, July 9 2009

Google and the End of Wisdom

What today’s students do not realize is that what Google provides is sometimes fact and oftentimes opinion – but never answers.


The Public Display of the Private Individual

As a professor of mine once opined, it is the shift from Rockwell's paranoid "I always feel like somebody's watching me" to the insistence that someone need be watching to validate private feelings.


We Are United in Our Digital Isolation

The paradox of the new media is that for each face-to-face interaction we sacrifice, we open up the possibility of connecting with thousands of like-minded people.


Tuesday, July 7 2009

Michael Jackson and the Death of Monoculture

With Jackson's death, we must also say goodbye to the era when an individual pop star had the power to saturate and unite.


Tuesday, June 16 2009

The Power of Story in the Digital Age

In an age where Twitter and Google seem to be taking over the world, how do people communicate information in a meaningful and memorable manner? They tell a story.


Monday, June 15 2009

Screaming In Digital: The New Media Generation’s Inner War

Both Twitter and Facebook are attempts to inject organic humanity into the cold, artificial realm of networking technologies -- our humanity cannot survive the conversion process.


Thursday, June 11 2009

Love Your Big Brother: What Orwell’s ‘1984’ Tells Us About 2009

George Orwell’s seminal book can equip its readers with the intellectual apparatus necessary to see through the routine mendacity and stupefying barrage of euphemism that plagues contemporary political life.


Sunday, June 7 2009

YouTube’s Budget Travel Through Space & Time – Yours & Mine

I was momentarily freaked out that I was stuck in the afterglow of The Summer of Love for so long, but I trusted it, went with the synaptic flow, and discovered YouTube’s true power.


24 Tweets

Having to bop back & forth between Facebook & MySpace & Plaxo & Blogger & Skype & Twitter is just too fucking much & I’m wading thru all thi[0!]


Thursday, May 28 2009

The Future is an Empty Room

As digital technology consolidates its conquest of the known universe, emptying our living spaces and assimilating our lives, all that will be left in our future is space. Lots and lots of empty space.


Sunday, May 17 2009

The Death of the Second Folk Revival

If the Second Folk Revival put the power of recording into the hands of the artists, what’s been happening these past five years or so has put that power into the hands of everyone: cell phones that record video, ProTools and Cakewalk, Movie Maker and MySpace.


Tuesday, May 12 2009

How It Could Be Different: An Interview with Sarah Katherine Lewis

The sex worker turned memoir author and columnist discusses the egalitarian nature of the sex industry, the devaluation of the body, and why you should just go ahead and eat that bacon if you want it.


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