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You searched for "Zizek". Your search returned 12 results.

Escapology 101

Biologists and animal behaviourists refer to their study of escape responses as escapology. Fish, cockroaches and higher animals move at speed in a direction away from an immediate threat from a predator, but not always, and not directly. The direction of the escape travel depends on the lay of the land, the position of likely … Continue reading

Politics as art

Art can bring into sharp relief aspects of life and the world to which people (some of us) previously paid little attention. Art can accomplish this through an ecology of signs — pointing stuff out i.e. by making direct reference. But art also informs by presenting the opposite to what we art lovers might expect as the object of … Continue reading

Armchair postmodernism

What is (or was) postmodernism? “[T]ruth is relative, morality is subjective, and therefore all of our individually preferred ‘narratives’ that give our lives meaning are equally true and worthy of validation,” wrote David Ernst by way of definition in The Federalist (21 January 2017). It seems that the current US president is the first “to … Continue reading

Is cyberspace real?

Cyberspace has been hijacked by cybercriminals, cyberterrorists, cyberwarriors and cybervigilantes. But is it a real place? Sometimes artless questions like “Is cyberspace real?” turn out to reveal more than the interrogator bargained for. Not only is it real, but surreal. Eventually, any cultural theorist investigating the problems of reality alights on the work of Jacques Lacan (1901-1981), the psychoanalyst and philosopher whose … Continue reading

Like this

I have a daily quota of clicks to dispose of. I’m frugal with these minimally interactive units. George in The Jetsons (1962) must have left an impression on me. I recall this office worker of the future complaining to his boss on one particular day of having to press too many buttons. George was only contracted to press one a day. Pressing a button was all … Continue reading

Good morning melancholia

“Set mood to melancholy.” Scase glanced out at the morning sky, which was the sombre colour of a television tuned to a dead channel he’d read about in a novel. His new hand-held emot machine sat inert on the window ledge. “I said melancholy — or just sad if you can’t manage that.” It blinked. “Give me grief then.” … Continue reading

Eye contact

TheOnion.com published a mockumentary about a “braindead” teenager who only communicates by rolling her eyes. She’ll never recover from the persistent vegetative state. So life termination is the only humane option. Making eye contact is a crucial social skill. There’s even advice online on how to do it. (See wickiHow.) It’s linked biologically to our survival as a … Continue reading

Showing off

As well as valuing their privacy, it seems that some people want to make spectacles of themselves. Include in this category conspicuous whistle blowers exposing secrets — about covert operations that uncover other people’s secrets. Amidst concerns about the interception of text messages, voice, and phone data by GCHQ (Guardian) and ubiquitous video surveillance, spare … Continue reading

Voices without bodies

Question to Siri: “What’s The Wizard of Oz about?” Siri: “It’s about some Dorothy, her intelligent assistants, and her little dog too. Some are not so intelligent, I guess.” The development of speech recognition and speech synthesis on smartphones (eg Siri) brings to mind how important the voice is in helping people feel engaged, at least … Continue reading

Wired-Up Words

An A–Z of Awkward Ideas for a Wired World (DRAFT in process, Admin) Introduction: Networks and Word Play The public platform of the Word Wide Web (sic) is populated with neologisms, portmanteau terms, the alleged language of the street, and bad puns — not to mention spelling mistakes. Writers for the web now have license to … Continue reading

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