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Derrida

This tag is associated with 20 posts

The dissimulated city

As anyone who plays video games or works with digital media will tell you, a simulation of a city is a model or image of a city. A simulated city (as in SimCity™) is similar in some respects, but not the same as a brick and concrete city. Now consider the related word dissimulation. Something … Continue reading

Write me a city

I’m interested in cryptography and the city, as a way of thinking about the supposed smart city. The graphic part of cryptographic might make us think of drawing, but it has most to do with writing. Etymonoline.com describes the common abstract noun ending -graphy as a “word-forming element meaning ‘process of writing or recording’ or … Continue reading

Recursion again

In mathematics and computer programming, a recursive definition is one that defines a process in terms of itself: a branch of a tree is a branch that ends in smaller branches. That’s recursive as the definition of a branch in this case refers to a definition of a branch. A program that draws a branching … Continue reading

What’s wrong with postmodernism

Training and professional competence offer no immunity against casual and unguarded opinion. In spite of my training, like any novice, I’m keen to identify certain buildings as postmodern. Such structures are usually signalled by a triangular pediment somewhere, or an arch, semi-classical columns, axial symmetry, and they are of monumental scale, or out of scale. Such buildings are also … Continue reading

Flipped classroom 101

What is a lecture? In the 1980s with Jacques Derrida’s radical hermeneutics in full flow, we read about and practiced the lec(ri)ture, an inversion of the lecturing format — the insertion of laughter (ri) into the standard, conventional idea that knowledge could be delivered by talking to a group of people sitting in front of you. Scholar of English literature Gregory Ulmer asserted … Continue reading

Unsuccessful failure

It’s impossible to fail utterly. Years ago, before they were usual practice, a colleague and I organised a postgraduate recruitment open day for our department. It was a great innovation, with a substantial turnout of staff. The five or so potential applicants who appeared included a boy still at school, a couple inquiring on behalf of a … Continue reading

Even more radical pedagogy

This week Beatriz Colomina spoke at the Andrew Carnegie Lecture Series at the University of Edinburgh on radical pedagogy. That prompted me to rush to Jacques Rancière’s book The Ignorant Schoolmaster, which she referenced. The book is a satirical quasi-historical account of an actual nineteenth century French schoolteacher who practiced liberal teaching methods, and sought to emancipate … Continue reading

Deconstruct that!

Fish pie essentials include leftover cooked fish mixed with bechamel sauce covered in creamy mashed potatoes and baked in the oven. For a deconstructed fish pie on the other hand the chef prepares the dish so that the main ingredients are cooked and put on the plate individually. The eater can see and taste what the “pie” is made of and savour the components … Continue reading

Why cartoons have animals 2

Watching pet owners coach their pets to talk provides one of the more amusing diversions on YouTube. Apparently you can train a dog to say “hello” as a kind of vocalised yawn, or to growl out something like “sausages.” In a post in May 2012 I outlined 9 reasons why cartoons feature animals. Here’s a 10th reason: getting animals to talk. It’s obvious: animals (non-human) … Continue reading

Architectural pragmatics

It’s important to get to the truth. Michael Gove, the current UK education secretary, thinks that we are selling short the truth about WWI: “Our understanding of the war has been overlaid by misunderstandings, and misrepresentations which reflect an, at best, ambiguous attitude to this country and, at worst, an unhappy compulsion on the part … Continue reading

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