moore on fawkes

Finally—↑Alan Moore himself speaks out about ↑Anonymous and ↑Occupy Wall Street using Guy-Fawkes masks. Tom Lamont has done a telephone interview with Moore, and made it into a fine ↑article in The Guardian. Here are some snippets: I suppose I’ve gotten used to the fact,” says the 58-year-old, “that some of my fictions percolate out into the material world.” […]     “I suppose when I was writing V for Vendetta I would in my secret heart of hearts have thought: wouldn’t it be great if these ideas actually made an impact? So when you start to see that idle … Continue reading

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commodifying bodies

At one level, then, the commodification of the body is a new discourse, linked to the incredible expansion of possibilities through recent advances in biomedicine, transplant surgery, experimental genetic medicine, biotechnology and the science of genomics in tandem with the spread of global capitalism and the consequent speed at which patients, technologies, capital, bodies and organs can now move across the globe. But on another level the commodification of bodies is continuous with earlier discourses on the desire, need and scarcity of human bodies and body parts for religious edification, healing, dissection, recreation and sports, and for medical experimentation and … Continue reading

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96 hours later

↑96 hours to the stone age at ↑GigaOM complements ↵behind closed doors and ↵telegeography. The story asks, especially in respect to information technology, what will happen when electrical power won’t be delivered anymore. Well, an apocalypse in the strict sense of the term will happen—a revelation. It will be revealed to all of us in unblinking clearness, on how much hardware around us we depend, which in turn depends on electricity.     The gist of this kind of speculation is informed by scientific methodology: Take an element, or a whole category of elements, out of a system and see … Continue reading

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joker in academia

And I thought the topics and issues I am belabouring are somewhat exotic, or even strange … If I’d have the time, I’d love to submit something. On the other hand, that last note: ‘Note that invitation to submit a full essay does not guarantee inclusion in the volume.’ Quite frankly, and this isn’t meant arrogantly, but I do not see myself fit to meet rules like that—it’s simply a matter of time, the scarcest resource.     Anyway, here’s the worthwhile call for abstracts (although I do not think that the Joker himself will like being dissected academically—see above. … Continue reading

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who wrote it?

zeph’s pop culture quiz #4 All right, everybody recognizes him standing in the background. But who wrote the novel the movie is based on? The movie is an unusual adaptation, because the other novels of the series were adapted to the silver screen decades earlier, with iconic actors almost defining a genre. UPDATE and solution (26 November 2011): My apologies for updating so late. Especially as ↵klandestino already solved the riddle, and provided a ↑YouTube link as proof, the day it was posted: In the background it of course is Arnold Schwarzenegger (not appearing in the movie’s credits), the guy … Continue reading

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manchurian operations club

After having sent the manuscript of my book ‘↑Cyberanthropology‘ (Knorr 2011) to the editor, I went downtown in order to reward myself a bit. Perfectly aware that I’d never have time for it all, I nevertheless bought ‘↑Call of Duty: Black Ops‘ (Treyarch 2010), ‘Portal 2’ (Valve Corporation 2011), ‘↑Crysis 2‘ (Crytek 2011), and ‘↑Far Cry 2‘ (Ubisoft Montreal 2008). In a street café I treated myself with a latte macchiato, all the while wondering at the boxes of my newly acquired treasures. The collector’s edition of ‘Far Cry 2’ indeed comes in a treasure chest, containing e.g. a t-shirt. … Continue reading

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john le carré

As a youth I somehow missed the novels by ↑John le Carré. On television I had seen the iconic movie ↑The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (Ritt 1965), starring Richard Burton, but somehow never cared to read the ↑book of the same name (le Carré 1963), or any other of le Carré’s. Meanwhile I am in the process of correcting this lapse. Some weeks ago I read “The Spy Who Came in from the Cold,” which really is haunting, then proceeded to the ↑Karla Trilogy: ↑Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1974), ↑The Honourable Schoolboy (1977), and ↑Smiley’s People (1979). … Continue reading

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punk galore

[As ↵the question crept up, I thought it to be timely to complete a post which I began to draft in December last year … in between it found its way into my book ↑Cyberanthropology (Knorr 2011; in German). So, the following more or less is the English version of a snippet of the book’s third chapter, which is on the cyberpunk discourse.] In 1991 ↑The Difference Engine (Gibson & Sterling 1991), a collaborative novel by ↑William Gibson and ↑Bruce Sterling, was published. The story is set in 19th century Great Britain, but—and that’s the core idea—Victorian society hasn’t developed … Continue reading

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corpse companionship

‘Knew him personally at all, did you, sir?’ the Detective Chief Superintendent of Police asked respectfully in a voice kept deliberately low. ‘Or perhaps I shouldn’t enquire.’     The two men had been together for fifteen minutes but this was the Superintendent’s first question. For a while Smiley did not seem to hear it, but his silence was not offensive, he had the gift of quiet. Besides, there is a companionship about two men contemplating a corpse. (Le Carré 1979: chpt. 3) LE CARRÉ, JOHN [aka CORNWELL, DAVID JOHN MOORE]. 1979. Smiley’s people. London: Hodder & Stoughton. … Continue reading

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billion dollar brain

“↑Billion Dollar Brain” (Russell 1967) is a cold war spy thriller movie based on the ↑novel of the same name by British writer ↑Len Deighton (1966). Said novel is one of a series starring an unnamed secret agent, working for British intelligence, as the central protagonist. During the 1960s three movies were made, based on three novels of the series. In the movies the protagonist has a name, ↑Harry Palmer, and is played by ↑Michael Caine.     Both, the novels and the movies, somewhat counter ↑Ian Fleming‘s urbane character ↑James Bond and his glitzy high society universe. Deighton renders … Continue reading

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