Tuesday, April 30, 2013

nice paragraph on sleep debt

"Outside of maintaining a healthy sleep pattern, there is literally nothing you can do to erase your sleep debt. It's a lot like fiscal debt: gradually accumulated and a bastard to get rid of. Also, you probably have way more of it than you think. Most people only count "negative" loss of sleep into their sleep debt -- the nights when they had to work late or couldn't sleep because of the monster truck rally next door. However, every little hour counts, no matter how you spent it: Playing BioShock until the small hours adds to the debt pile just the same, no matter how much fun you had."


Friday, April 26, 2013

Van Vogt fits

We may be better able nowadays to appreciate the merits of van Vogt's fiction. The disjointed novel is more in vogue today than at any previous point in history...
But, above all, van Vogt fits in nicely with the popular culture of our day, in which loose narratives or anti-narratives — in computer games, music videos, reality TV, etc. — have replaced the tightly scripted tales of an earlier era. 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Only the Sociologist has Agency

In spite of the strenuous attempts by sociologists to preserve some autonomy for the acting subject — Bourdieu’s “habitus,” Latour’s “actor-network” theory — popularization has inevitably resulted in more weight being thrown on the structuring side of things, the network over the actor. The only quantum of freedom left then belongs to the sociologist himself. It is the sociologist who is uniquely qualified to provide explanations for us, which have to do with feelings of status or desire for recognition, sublimated self-interest. Ultimately, there can be no mixed motives, no swerving, no revisions, no “powerful attraction towards all that we conceive or fear or hope beyond ourselves,” as Shelley once tried to define love.