cyberpunkish artefacts listings

In the navigation menu above ↵cyberpunk has appeared as a new element. Here is what the new element and its dropdown menu are all about:     On the pages assembled in this menu I am collecting ↵motion pictures, ↵literature, ↵comics, and ↵computer games which can be called cyberpunk or cyberpunkish. A cultural artefact out of this categories qualifies, and is added to the respective list, if it comprises a sufficiently critical mass composed of peculiar core themes, æsthetics, settings, and protagonists.     At the thematic core there are the reciprocal effects between state-of-the-art technology and culture, society, the … Continue reading

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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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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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remember

“Remember, remember … the fifth of November!” Well, well, the fifth of November just broke, and I’m curious what’s going to happen. If ↑Guy Fawkes, respectively ↵Alan Moore‘s “↑V for Vendetta,” and ↑its movie adaptation of the same name, on the symbolic level really is of such importance to the #OWS movement [see ↵occupy guy and ↵guy headroom], then we should expect some occupation today. Above that ↑Anonymous has announced actions against Facebook and against a mexican drug cartell—that is, if Anonymous indeed announced all of that, and not some hoaxsters. Anyway, it’s the fifth, it’s Guy Fawkes’ day. If … Continue reading

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this is anthropology

During a radio interview on ↑The Marc Bernier Show on 10 October 2011 Rick Scott, the governor of Florida (his ↑daughter has a degree in anthropology—and ↑doesn’t like her father’s stance), voiced the following: We don’t need a lot more anthropologists in the state. It’s a great degree if people want to get it, but we don’t need them here. I want to spend our dollars giving people science, technology, engineering, and math degrees. That’s what our kids need to focus all their time and attention on, those types of degrees, so when they get out of school, they can … Continue reading

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occupy guy

On 26th September 2011 ↑Noam Chomsky announced his solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement. The next day ↑Cornell West addressed the crowd in person. And on 09th October ↑Slavoj Žižek gave a talk at ↑Liberty Plaza (formely Zuccotti Park). Not that I am much in synch with Žižek, but it’s the second time this year that I read something from him which made me applaud. Have a snippet from the transcript: In April 2011, the Chinese government prohibited on TV and films and in novels all stories that contain alternate reality or time travel. This is a good sign … Continue reading

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occupation—transformation

During the upcoming winter term it is me who has to deliver the ‘Introduction to social and cultural anthropology’ lecture (anthro 101) at ↑my institute—I guess as a starter for the session on ↑economic anthropology I will use the 12 September entry ↑Why? posted at ↑OccupyWallStreet: Contemporary society is commodified society, where the economic transaction has become the dominant way of relating to the culture and artifacts of human civilization, over and above all other means of understanding, with any exceptions being considered merely a temporary holdout as the market swiftly works on ways to monetize those few things which … Continue reading

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talking cyberanthropology

Several weeks before this year’s conference of the German Anthropological Association (GAA/DGV) took place (14-17 September in Vienna, Austria), Thomas Lohninger contacted me via e-mail. He is the founder of, and force behind ↑Talking Anthropology which went live in July 2009. Since then he has produced and brought online 39 podcasts, 16 of them in English. The idea of Talking Anthropology is to bring topics, notions, and ideas from social and cultural anthropology to a broader public. The podcast seems to be a fitting format for that endeavour. The download numbers, for some of his productions in the thousands, confirm … Continue reading

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rogue states

It’s 20 years ago that Bruce Sterling drew a connection between ↑cyberpunk in the nineties and Jules Verne: ‘↑Captain Nemo was a technical anarcho-terrorist.’ (Sterling 1991: 39) By chance last night I stumbled over a passage in Verne’s ‘↓20,000 leagues under the sea‘ I had marked some time. It is part of a conversation between Ned Land [picture Kirk Douglas] and Professor Arronax. Together with Arronax’ trusty servant Conseil they in effect are prisoners aboard Nemo’s submarine ‘Nautilus’ and now speculate about their jailors’ origin: “My opinion is formed,” replied Ned Land, sharply. “They are rascals.” “Good! and from what … Continue reading

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