//
search results

Search Results

You searched for "Moon". Your search returned 25 results.

Howling at the moon

Google have launched 15 m wide helium balloons into the stratosphere to extend the Internet to remote areas. It’s called “Project Loon.” According to Google engineer working on the project Cliffe Biffle, “Balloon-powered Internet sounds positively mad” (Youtube).  “Loon” is clever branding. The association with lunatic and the extra terrestrial is obvious. According to the OED lunatic … Continue reading

Sociable encryption: The secret of the five keys

Will encryption save us? Social psychologist Shoshana Zuboff explains in detail the methods employed by Google and other digital giants to track our clicks, sell our data, and auction targeted advertising slots to monetise our private on-screen experiences. Our online behaviour is the resource. We are the product, not the consumer. Google’s clients are advertisers … Continue reading

Offensive media

Television started to make its way into people’s homes in the 1950s. There were very few channels. Audiences shared roughly the same news, commentary and entertainment outlets. By most accounts such unitary media sources helped reinforce social habits and opinions. Amongst its many effects, mass media tended to put citizens on the same page, with … Continue reading

Breaking and entering

A burgh is simply a town, usually with some kind of protection or fortification. Think also of a castle, a court or a manor house — and the related noun borough. In native English a burgh-breche was a break-in, now contracted to burglary, “The crime of breaking (formerly by night) into a house with intent to commit felony” (OED), … Continue reading

Families and crime: Kompromat 102

“My wife, my daughter and my son have my first loyalty and always will,” said convicted felon Michael Cohen, “I put family and country first” (ABC article). This is clearly no legal defence, but an attempt at public sympathy at least. He loves his wife and kids. How bad can he be? Loyalty to family … Continue reading

Rogue fan fiction: the peculiar case of QAnon

QAnon is the alias of an entity (i.e an individual or a group) that claims to be an operative within the US Intelligence Service. The entity works undercover and discloses tantalising facts about how the US military brought Trump into power to overcome the Deep State. The Deep State is that clandestine and pernicious organisation … Continue reading

How to be interesting

Online social media bring to light the human desire to be more interesting. After all, that’s how you get “likes,” friends, dates, self esteem and success. Search online for interest, attraction and/or attention to get the measure of how interested people are in being interesting. In fact, interest implies connection. The word “interest” suggests “to be between” … Continue reading

Shape-shifting architecture

Some people want buildings that adapt according to climate, respond to their occupants’ changing moods, and grow, develop, evolve and transform as if living organisms. From werewolves to trucks that transform into enormous robots, the human fascination with transformation seems part of our cultural DNA. I’ll start with metaphor. Bearers of change Metaphor is an animal term. Meta means “change, transformation, permutation, or substitution” according to … Continue reading

How animals make us think

Dog, cat, sheep, fox, hen, Pokémon — we don’t only classify animals and their surrogates, but animals are a primary means by which we develop the very idea of categories — and their denial. That’s the main thesis of Paul Shepard’s fascinating book: The Others: How Animals Made Us Human. Classification Shepard argues that animals  are “unusual parts of our … Continue reading

Blood lines

“We Transylvanian nobles love not to think that our bones may lie amongst the common dead. I seek not gaiety nor mirth, not the bright voluptuousness of much sunshine and sparkling waters which please the young and gay. I am no longer young; and my heart, through weary years of mourning over the dead, is … Continue reading

University of Edinburgh logo

Richard on Facebook

Latest FB image
Or "like" my Facebook page for blog updates.

Try a one year research degree

AHRC/EPSRC/ESRC/MRC project

book cover
book cover

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 432 other followers