Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Sparely written, the book moves through a host of experiences but keeps the reader engaged alone the way and gives the impression that you are there every step of the way. Though this is not high literature in any regard, it is also more than just a little racist, the craft of the tale is fairly unimpeachable. Writing clearly, with complexity and excitement is not a series of skills to be overlooked. Haggard has accomplished these things and I will look forward to read another of his adventure stories when the mood strikes me.
Friday, June 10, 2011
As the title suggests, Latour argues that there is no distinction of kind between western culture and others, rather one of scope, scale and pretension. Latour coherently crafts an argument for why such is the case - his theoretical work on networks and events, if nothing else, can provide interesting brain fodder for numerous disciplines - and how our actual mediation as a part of the world opens avenues for new analysis and potentialities for new politics. By suggesting a new nature-culture "Constitution" Latour attempts to provide an at once commonsensical - once you understand his logic - and novel understanding for the ways that phenomena, whether they be humans or non-humans, technologies, sciences, concepts or locations, are connected and circulate among one another. Though seemingly complex and dense at first, We Have Never Been Modern provides a wonderful introduction to a powerful mind and one of the major movements of the modern philosophies of science and technology.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Throughout, Latour performs admirably in trying to pin down the often difficult conceptualizations and intellectual jumps Serres is performing. Simultaneously Serres is allowed to speak for himself and really enunciate that which drives him and the role in to which he has cast himself. This self-styled, modern day Hermes (a title for two of his works) strikes us as most interested in enunciating relationships between seemingly disparate realms of knowledge and inquiry, in the hopes that we might continue to build the human adventure positively. This work seems most valuable in providing a baseline of understanding, or perhaps a spirit with which to better read Serres' work - which, despite his urging and pronouncements, is often difficult to pin down. Much as Serres often seems to construct a framework within which difference fluctuates, this work helps to bracket aspects of his thoughts so that the reader may come along with him as he traces networks and helps to illuminate the importance of pre-positions. Rather than trying to pin him down to place, we are better able to understand the roadmap he is building.