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robertogreco : 1988   20

A Message From the Future With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez - YouTube
"What if we actually pulled off a Green New Deal? What would the future look like? The Intercept presents a film narrated by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and illustrated by Molly Crabapple.

Set a couple of decades from now, the film is a flat-out rejection of the idea that a dystopian future is a forgone conclusion. Instead, it offers a thought experiment: What if we decided not to drive off the climate cliff? What if we chose to radically change course and save both our habitat and ourselves?

We realized that the biggest obstacle to the kind of transformative change the Green New Deal envisions is overcoming the skepticism that humanity could ever pull off something at this scale and speed. That’s the message we’ve been hearing from the “serious” center for four months straight: that it’s too big, too ambitious, that our Twitter-addled brains are incapable of it, and that we are destined to just watch walruses fall to their deaths on Netflix until it’s too late.

This film flips the script. It’s about how, in the nick of time, a critical mass of humanity in the largest economy on earth came to believe that we were actually worth saving. Because, as Ocasio-Cortez says in the film, our future has not been written yet and “we can be whatever we have the courage to see.”"

[See also:
https://theintercept.com/2019/04/17/green-new-deal-short-film-alexandria-ocasio-cortez/

"The question was: How do we tell the story of something that hasn’t happened yet?

We realized that the biggest obstacle to the kind of transformative change the Green New Deal envisions is overcoming the skepticism that humanity could ever pull off something at this scale and speed. That’s the message we’ve been hearing from the “serious” center for four months straight: that it’s too big, too ambitious, that our Twitter-addled brains are incapable of it, and that we are destined to just watch walruses fall to their deaths on Netflix until it’s too late.

This skepticism is understandable. The idea that societies could collectively decide to embrace rapid foundational changes to transportation, housing, energy, agriculture, forestry, and more — precisely what is needed to avert climate breakdown — is not something for which most of us have any living reference. We have grown up bombarded with the message that there is no alternative to the crappy system that is destabilizing the planet and hoarding vast wealth at the top. From most economists, we hear that we are fundamentally selfish, gratification-seeking units. From historians, we learn that social change has always been the work of singular great men.

Science fiction hasn’t been much help either. Almost every vision of the future that we get from best-selling novels and big-budget Hollywood films takes some kind of ecological and social apocalypse for granted. It’s almost as if we have collectively stopped believing that the future is going to happen, let alone that it could be better, in many ways, than the present.

The media debates that paint the Green New Deal as either impossibly impractical or a recipe for tyranny just reinforce the sense of futility. But here’s the good news: The old New Deal faced almost precisely the same kinds of opposition — and it didn’t stop it for a minute."]
alexandriaocasio-cortez  2019  mollycrabapple  greennewdeal  speculativefiction  politics  policy  future  climatechange  globalwarming  1988  us  oil  petroleum  fossilfuels  environment  sustainability  puertorico  crisis  change  food  transportation  economics  capitalism  inequality  medicareforall  livingwages  labor  work  infrastructure  trains  masstransit  publictransit  americorps  unions  indigenous  indigeneity  childcare  care  caring  teaching  domesticwork  universalrights  healthcare  humanism  humanity  avilewis  naomiklein  skepticism  imagination  newdeal  fdr  wpa  greatdepression  moonshots  art  artists  collectivism  society 
april 2019 by robertogreco
An Xiao Busingye Mina en Instagram: “David Wojnarowicz had a concept for the world we inherit, the “pre-invented world,” which he defines eloquently here. I interpret it as the…”
[image with text:

"Wojnarowicz identified with outsiders of all kinds—both those who resisted and escaped the "pre-invented world," and those ground don by it. He identified with the discarded, the trapped, and the rebellious. In this page from his 1988 journals, he expressed those feelings in an offhand notation:
The only hero I have or can think of is the monkey cosmonaut in the Russian capsule that got excited in space and broke loose from his restraints and began smashing the control board—the flight had to be aborted.

"The world of the stoplight, the no-smoking signs, the rental world, the split-rail fencing shielding hundreds of miles of barren wilderness from the human step… The brought-up world; the owned world. The world of coded sounds: the world of language, the world of lies. The packaged world; the world of speed metallic motion. The Other World where I've always felt like an alien." —David Wojnarowicz, Close to the Knives"]

"David Wojnarowicz had a concept for the world we inherit, the “pre-invented world,” which he defines eloquently here. I interpret it as the consensus narrative, the world that we might call the mainstream or the dominant. We are watching today the steady disintegration of the pre-invented world. The post-Cold War consensus is collapsing, and a new world is coming into being. On the one hand is a violent ethnonationalism and authoritarianism. On the other is a global, communal, inclusive outlook. It is not clear which one will win, but for those of us born on the margins, for those of us who’ve always struggled with the pre-invented world, these are the most dangerous times. But this comes with the recognition that the world before wasn’t made for us, either. The world before was also dangerous.
.
Wojnarowicz died of AIDS in 1992. He wouldn’t live to see the emergence of gay marriage and contemporary queer culture in the US, nor of a massive public health campaign to curb the spread of HIV and AIDS. For the queer community in the US, we have seen improvements. And if we are lucky, what comes next after these dark times might be better. For now, we live in a time of monsters."
anxiaomina  2018  davidwojnarowicz  pre-inventedworld  ethnonationalism  authoritarianism  change  mainstream  unschooling  deschooling  queerculture  othering  otherness  homogeneity  ownership  property  consensus  dominant  margins  marginalization  trapped  resistance  discarded  rebellion  1988  multispecies  monkeys  escape 
october 2018 by robertogreco
Jakey Toor en Instagram: “Sorting, Sifting, and Purging in SD; Fascinating to go through all my old books, research, notes, and papers 📚📖📝—- Lisa Delpit was, and…”
"Lisa Delpit was, and still is, one of my favorite education theorists & authors. In fact, a few years ago, while working with a coach, I realized that part of what I want for the field of education is to see more sociology & anthropology research utilized in credentialing programs, as well as in-house professional developments. I feel lucky to have been introduced to Delpit’s work early on in my own program, which I have to say, especially now in retrospect, was top notch. “In her groundbreaking 1988 essay “The Silenced Dialogue: Power and Pedagogy in Educating Other People’s Children,” the elementary school teacher cum theorist Lisa Delpit dismantled some of the pieties of progressive education. Deliberately unstructured teaching strategies like “whole language,” “open classrooms,” and “process, not product” were putting poor, non-white children at an even greater disadvantage in school and beyond...” - The Nation: An interview with Lisa Delpit on educating “Other People’s Children’”."
education  jakeytoor  2018  1988  lisadelpit  progressive  learning  schools  schooling  teaching  howweteach  sociology  anthropology  pedagogy  power  openclassrooms  wholelanguage  disadvantage  process  processoverproduct  structure  unstructured 
august 2018 by robertogreco
Letters of Note: Ladies & Gentlemen of A.D. 2088
"The sort of leaders we need now are not those who promise ultimate victory over Nature through perseverance in living as we do right now, but those with the courage and intelligence to present to the world what appears to be Nature's stern but reasonable surrender terms:

1. Reduce and stabilize your population.
2. Stop poisoning the air, the water, and the topsoil.
3. Stop preparing for war and start dealing with your real problems.
4. Teach your kids, and yourselves, too, while you're at it, how to inhabit a small planet without helping to kill it.
5. Stop thinking science can fix anything if you give it a trillion dollars.
6. Stop thinking your grandchildren will be OK no matter how wasteful or destructive you may be, since they can go to a nice new planet on a spaceship. That is really mean, and stupid.
7. And so on. Or else."

[via http://www.openculture.com/2016/07/in-1988-kurt-vonnegut-gives-seven-pieces-advice-to-people-living-in-2088.html
via https://kottke.org/18/07/seven-bits-of-advice-from-kurt-vonnegut-to-people-living-100-years-in-the-future ]
vonnegut  advice  future  environment  sustainability  selfishness  goodancestors  1988  2088  nature  planetearth  spaceshipearth  ecosystems  war  small  slow  waste  wastefulness  escapism  technosolutionism 
july 2018 by robertogreco
“Neoliberalism” isn’t an empty epithet. It’s a real, powerful set of ideas. - Vox
"It’s hard to think of a term that causes more confusion, yet is more frequently used in political debate, than “neoliberalism.” It’s one thing to argue that the term should be discouraged or retired from public discussions, because it generates heat instead of light, but it is another to say that it doesn’t have any meaning or use. Jonathan Chait makes the second case in New York magazine.

Whenever I find myself reaching for “neoliberalism,” I look for a different phrase, simply because it will better communicate what I’m trying to convey. But if we throw away the term entirely, or ignore what it’s describing, we lose out on an important way of understanding where we are right now, economically speaking.

Neoliberalism, at its core, describes the stage of capitalism that has existed over the past 30 years, one that evolved out of the economic crises of the 1970s. The underpinnings of this stage are buckling under the weight of our own crises, perhaps even collapsing, all of it in ways we don’t yet understand. A careful consideration of the term can help us grasp a lot of what is going on in the world, especially as the Democratic Party looks to change.

Jonathan Chait’s sweeping condemnation of the word “neoliberal”

For Chait, the term neoliberal “now refers to liberals generally” and indiscriminately, regardless of what views they hold. The “basic claim is that, from the New Deal through the Great Society, the Democratic Party espoused a set of values defined by, or at the very least consistent with, social democracy,” but then, starting in the 1970s, “neoliberal elites hijacked the party.” However, the efforts at hijacking that the critics identify “never really took off,” in Chait’s view. As such, to use the term is simply to try “to win [an argument] with an epithet.”

Chait correctly points out that the left has historically been disappointed with the New Deal and Great Society, viewing them as lost opportunities. But he oversteps when he goes further to say that “neoliberal” is not only devoid of meaning, but that there was no essential shift in Democratic identity toward the end of the last century.

The difficulty of the term is that it’s used to described three overlapping but very distinct intellectual developments. In political circles, it’s most commonly used to refer to a successful attempt to move the Democratic Party to the center in the aftermath of conservative victories in the 1980s. Once can look to Bill Galston and Elaine Kamarck’s influential 1989 The Politics of Evasion, in which the authors argued that Democratic “programs must be shaped and defended within an inhospitable ideological climate, and they cannot by themselves remedy the electorate's broader antipathy to contemporary liberalism.”

Galston and Kamarck were calling for a New Deal liberalism that was updated to be made more palatable to a right-leaning public, after Reagan and the ascendancy of conservatism. You might also say that they were calling for “triangulation” between Reaganism and New Deal liberalism — or, at worst, abandoning the FDR-style approach.

In economic circles, however, “neoliberalism” is most identified with an elite response to the economic crises of the 1970s: stagflation, the energy crisis, the near bankruptcy of New York. The response to these crises was conservative in nature, pushing back against the economic management of the midcentury period. It is sometimes known as the “Washington Consensus,” a set of 10 policies that became the new economic common sense.

These policies included reduction of top marginal tax rates, the liberalization of trade, privatization of government services, and deregulation. These became the sensible things for generic people in Washington and other global headquarters to embrace and promote, and the policies were pushed on other countries via global institutions like the International Monetary Fund. This had significant consequences for the power of capital, as the geographer David Harvey writes in his useful Brief Introduction to Neoliberalism. The upshot of such policies, as the historical sociologist Greta Krippner notes, was to shift many aspects of managing the economy from government to Wall Street, and to financiers generally.

Chait summarizes this sense of the term in the following way: It simply “means capitalist, as distinguished from socialist.” But what kind of capitalism? The Washington Consensus represents a particularly laissez-faire approach that changed life in many countries profoundly: To sample its effects, just check out a book like Joseph Stiglitz’s Globalization and its Discontents. The shock therapy of mass privatization applied to Russia after the Soviet collapsed, for example, reduced life expectancy in that country by five years and ensured that Russia was taken over by strongmen and oligarchs.

International pressure forced East Asian countries to liberalize their capital flows, which led to a financial crisis that the IMF subsequently made use of to demand even more painful austerity. The European Union was created to facilitate the austerity that is destroying a generation in such countries as Greece, Portugal, and Spain. (The IMF itself is reexamining its actions over the past several decades; titles it has published, including Neoliberalism, Oversold?, demonstrate the broad usefulness of the term.)

Markets are defining more and more aspects of our lives

The third meaning of “neoliberalism,” most often used in academic circles, encompasses market supremacy — or the extension of markets or market-like logic to more and more spheres of life. This, in turn, has a significant influence on our subjectivity: how we view ourselves, our society, and our roles in it. One insight here is that markets don’t occur naturally but are instead constructed through law and practices, and those practices can be extended into realms well beyond traditional markets.

Another insight is that market exchanges can create an ethos that ends up shaping more and more human behavior; we can increasingly view ourselves as little more than human capital maximizing our market values.

This is a little abstract, but it really does matter for our everyday lives. As the political theorist Wendy Brown notes in her book Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism’s Stealth Revolution, the Supreme Court case overturning a century of campaign finance law, Citizens United, wasn’t just about viewing corporations as political citizens. Kennedy’s opinion was also about viewing all politics as a form of market activity. The question, as he saw it, was is how to preserve a “political marketplace.” In this market-centric view, democracy, access, voice, and other democratic values are flattened, replaced with a thin veneer of political activity as a type of capital right.

You may not believe in neoliberalism, but neoliberalism believes in you

Why does this matter if you couldn’t care less about either the IMF or subjectivity? The 2016 election brought forward real disagreements in the Democratic Party, disagreements that aren’t reducible to empirical arguments, or arguments about what an achievable political agenda might be. These disagreements will become more important as we move forward, and they can only be answered with an understanding of what the Democratic Party stands for.

One highly salient conflict was the fight over free college during the Democratic primary. It wasn’t about the price tag; it was about the role the government should play in helping to educate the citizenry. Clinton originally argued that a universal program would help people who didn’t need help — why pay for Donald Trump’s kids? This reflects the focus on means-tested programs that dominated Democratic policymaking over the past several decades. (Some of the original people who wanted to reinvent the Democratic Party, such as Charles Peters in his 1983 article “A Neoliberal’s Manifesto,” called for means-testing Social Security so it served only the very poor.)

Bernie Sanders argued instead that education was a right, and it should be guaranteed to all Americans regardless of wealth or income. The two rivals came to a smart compromise after the campaign, concluding that public tuition should be free for all families with income of less than $125,000 — a proposal that is already serving as a base from which activists can build.

This points to a disagreement as we move forward. Should the Democratic Party focus on the most vulnerable, in the language of access and need? Or should it focus on everyone, in the language of rights?

We’ll see a similar fight in health care. The horror movie villain of Republican health care reform has been killed and thrown into the summer camp lake, and we’re all sitting on the beach terrified that the undead body will simply walk right back out. In the meantime, Democrats have to think about whether their health care goals will build on the ACA framework or whether they should more aggressively extend Medicare for more people.

Chait argues that “[t]he Democratic Party has evolved over the last half-century, as any party does over a long period of time. But the basic ideological cast of its economic policy has not changed dramatically since the New Deal.” Whether you believe that’s true hinges on what you think of the relative merits of public and private provisioning of goods. For there was clearly some change in Democratic policymaking — and, arguably, in its “ideological cast” — sometime between 1976 and 1992. It became much more acceptable to let the private market drive outcomes, with government helping through tax credits and various nudges. One influential 1992 book, Reinventing Government, by David Osborne and Ted Gaebler, described a government that should “steer, not row.” (FDR believed government could and should row.)

Another place we can see a break in the Democratic Party … [more]
neoliberalism  capitalism  democrats  history  politics  2017  mikekonczal  jonathanchait  billgalston  elainekamarck  newdeal  liberalism  conservatism  economics  policy  liberalization  privatization  government  governance  josephstiglitz  globalization  markets  berniesanders  ideology  dvidorsborne  tedgaebler  finance  banking  boblitan  jonathanruch  education  corporations  1988  ronaldreagan 
july 2017 by robertogreco
Plastic Words — davidcayley.com
"In his book Deschooling Society (1971), Ivan Illich briefly alluded to a class of words "so flexible that they cease to be useful." "Like an amoeba," he said, "they fit into almost any interstice of the language." Two years later, in Tools for Conviviality, Illich wrote that language had come to "reflect the monopoly of the industrial mode of production over perception and motivation." He urged " rediscovery of language" as a personal and poetic medium. But Illich made no detailed analysis of how language had been industrialized. Then, in 1981, he became one of the first group of fellows at the new Wissenschaftkolleg, or Institute for Advanced Studies in Berlin. Among his colleagues was Uwe Pörksen, a professor of German literature from the University of Freiburg. The two became friends, and one of the things they discussed was the empty word husks that Illich had first called amoebas. Pörksen renamed them plastic words and undertook a detailed study of the phenomenon, Seven years later in 1988, he published Plastikwörter: Die Sprache einer Internationalen Diktatur (The Language of an International Dictatorship.)

Pörksen argued that plastic words are not merely the clichés, slogans and hackneyed expressions against which commentators like George Orwell ("Politics and the English Language") or James Thurber ("The Psychosemanticist Will See You Now, Mr. Thurber") had railed. They form a distinct class, numbering not many more than thirty or forty. The list includes obviously puffed up words like communication, sexuality, and information, but also less obtrusive terms like problem, factor, and role. Together, Pörksen says, they compose a Lego-like, modular lingo which bulldozes all the merely local and historical features of language and paves the way to the shining city of universal development.

I learned of Pörksen's work from Illich, when I went to State College, Pennsylvania to record interviews with Illich in 1988. At the time, it had briefly become the playful custom in his household to ostentatiously clear one's throat whenever one found it necessary to pronounce a plastic word. I was intrigued and eager to present Pörksen's research to my Canadian radio audience, but there were several problems: his book wasn't translated, I didn't speak German, and Pörksen had only limited English. My German-born wife, Jutta Mason, solved the first problem by making a rough translation of the German text, and, in time, as we got to know each other, Uwe agreed to attempt the interview. It was recorded in Barbara Duden's house in Bremen in 1992. Jutta joined us, to boost Uwe's confidence and help with translation as needed, but, in the event, the occasion seemed to inspire a rudimentary but powerful eloquence in Uwe, and no translation was needed.

The edited interview, which follows, was broadcast on Ideas early in 1993. Jutta's translation also became the basis for an English edition, pictured above, of Plastic Words. Uwe came and stayed with us for a week in Toronto, and he and Jutta and I together worked over the English text, until it was ready for publication by the Penn State Press in 1995. Good reviews never led to much of a readership for a book that I think deserves to be better known, but it remains available."
davidcayley  deschooling  ivanillich  2017  toolsforconviviality  unschooling  jargon  meaning  language  uwepörksen  1993  1988  georgeorwell  jamesthurber  communication  clarity  conviviality 
may 2017 by robertogreco
How Bernie Sanders Lost the Platform Fight Over Israel | The Nation
"Despite the best efforts of his delegates, the Democratic Party platform does not mention Israel’s occupation or its settlements."
aligharib  israel  palestine  2016  elections  democrats  hillaryclinton  berniesanders  jameszogby  history  1988  jessejackson  michaeldukakis  wendysherman  policy  bds  divestment  boycott  sanctions  foreignpolicy 
july 2016 by robertogreco
Adults Have Become Shorter in Many Countries - The New York Times
"Average adult heights in many countries appear to have peaked 30 to 40 years ago and have declined slightly since then, according to a new study that the authors say is based on the largest set of such data ever gathered.

They combined results from 1,472 studies in 200 countries looking at the measured — rather than self-reported or estimated — heights of about 18.6 million people born from 1896 to 1996. The study was published in eLife.

Dutchmen born before 2000 were the world’s tallest, and Guatemalan women born before 1900 were the shortest, the study found. South Korean women and Iranian men had the greatest gains in height over the last century. But Guatemalan women also grew, rising from 4 feet 7 inches to 4 feet 11 inches, on average.

Latvian women are now the world’s tallest.

Height is strongly influenced by the mother’s nourishment during pregnancy, and the child’s during infancy. Height is also linked to overall health and well-being.

Taller people tend on average to live longer and to have fewer cardiac and respiratory problems. Some studies have shown that they receive more education and are paid higher salaries.

American men reached their maximum average height in 1996, and women in 1988. Two of the study’s authors, James Bentham and Majid Ezzati, both of Imperial College, London, speculated that the decline could be because of worsening nutrition standards for poor Americans but conceded that they had not measured the effects of immigration from, for example, Central American countries with substantially shorter citizens.

Average heights in North America, Western Europe and Japan rose quickly in the 20th century, then plateaued or shrank slightly, the authors said. African and South Asians have not grown very much and, in some countries, have shrunk slightly.

Africans were taller when the colonial era ended in the 1960s. They may have lost height because of collapsing health care systems, rising population density and less dietary diversity among urbanites, the authors said."

[See also: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.13410 ]
humans  evolution  height  netherlands  latvia  2016  korea  iran  nourishment  1996  1988  1960s  health  japan  europe  us  asia  guatemala  jamesbentham  majidezzati 
july 2016 by robertogreco
Akira Kurosawa to Ingmar Bergman: “A Human Is Not Really Capable of Creating Really Good Works Until He Reaches 80” | Open Culture
"Dear Mr. Bergman,

Please let me congratulate you upon your seventieth birthday.

Your work deeply touches my heart every time I see it and I have learned a lot from your works and have been encouraged by them. I would like you to stay in good health to create more wonderful movies for us.

In Japan, there was a great artist called Tessai Tomioka who lived in the Meiji Era (the late 19th century). This artist painted many excellent pictures while he was still young, and when he reached the age of eighty, he suddenly started painting pictures which were much superior to the previous ones, as if he were in magnificent bloom. Every time I see his paintings, I fully realize that a human is not really capable of creating really good works until he reaches eighty.

A human is born a baby, becomes a boy, goes through youth, the prime of life and finally returns to being a baby before he closes his life. This is, in my opinion, the most ideal way of life.

I believe you would agree that a human becomes capable of producing pure works, without any restrictions, in the days of his second babyhood.

I am now seventy-seven (77) years old and am convinced that my real work is just beginning.

Let us hold out together for the sake of movies.

With the warmest regards,

Akira Kurosawa"
akirakurosawa  ingmarbergman  age  aging  appreciation  1988  creativity  film  filmmaking  tessaitomioka 
july 2016 by robertogreco
A Flag for No Nations | booktwo.org
"This is the moment at which our ideas of technology as a series of waymarks on the universal march of human progress falter and fall apart. A single technology – the vacuum-deposition of metal vapour onto a thin film substrate – makes its consecutive and multiple appearances at times of stress and trial: at the dawn of the space age, in orbit and on other planets, at the scene of athletic feats of endurance, in defence and offence in the mountains of the Hindu Kush, on the beaches of the European archipelago. These are moments of hope as well as failure; moments when, properly utilised, technological progress enables us to achieve something which was beyond our capabilities before. And yet: we are still pulling bodies from the water wrapped in material which was meant to send us into space."



"Technologies are stories we tell ourselves – often unconsciously – about who we are and what we are capable of. By analysing their traces we may divine the progress they are capable of assisting, but they are not in and of themselves future-producing, magical, or separate from human agency. They are a guide and a hope. The reality of these technologies and the place of their deployment shows us plainly that another world is not only possible, but coming into being, should we choose to recognise and participate in it. Technology alone will not achieve such change, merely reflect back our failure to capitalise upon it. Its proper use is not as a bandage for the present, but as a banner for the future."
jamesbridle  techology  humanism  humanity  nasa  space  skylab  refugees  skylab2  1973  jackkinzler  josephkerwin  nationalmetallizing  jerryross  1988  hubbletelescope  spaceblankets  heatsheets  afghanistan  rubenpeter  2011  2013  2005  pakistan  lesbos  greece  lampedusa  2014  2015  2016  mediterranean  migration  chios  hope  flags  kimstanleyrobinson  technology 
january 2016 by robertogreco
1988 The Educational enterprise in the Light of the Gospel
"This kind of obedience is the substance of the Gospel - the institutional power to teach is its counterfoil. Obedience is a loving response to an embodiment of a loving word. What we today call educational “systems” are the embodiment of the enemy, of power. The rejection of power, in Greek the an-archy, of Jesus troubles the world of power, because he totally submits to it without ever being part of it. Even his submission is one of love. This is a new kind of relationship, which Paul has well explained in Romans chapter 12. The new law demands love, even the love of our enemies, whom we love without being overcome by evil. We overcome evil by our love to the point of subjecting ourselves to the utmost of evils, namely authorities. This is the context in which Paul writes, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities.” Jesus has given the example for all times by submitting to Herod, Annas, [Caiaphas], Pilate. Paul’s sentence is constantly used to seduce Christians in the name of the Bible to integrate into systems. In fact, it says that submission to authorities is the supreme form of the “love of enemies” through which Jesus became our Savior."

[via: http://ayjay.tumblr.com/post/103986034118/this-kind-of-obedience-is-the-substance-of-the ]
ivanillich  1988  jesus  obedience  resistance  institutions  power  gospel  love  enemies  submission  authority  authorities  loveofenemies  relationships  anarchism  anarchy  education  unschooling  deschooling  counterfoil 
december 2014 by robertogreco
BOMB Magazine — Jean-Pierre Gorin by Lynne Tillman
"LT What makes Poto and Cabengo quite an incredible movie is the way in which it segues from its initial question—What are they saying?—to different areas of inquiry. And in the process, your position as a filmmaker seems to be shifting too. There is the scene, for instance, where you take the twins to the library. They are running around, grabbing books off the shelves at random and you are trying to follow them. There is something very sad and very funny simultaneously, something difficult to express in words."

JPG It’s a key scene in the film for me. They are grabbing these books as if they were these talismans. There is an urgency, something both manic and poignantly relevant to their situation in the way they pile these books up in the hope of taking them home with them, as if these things were bound to secure their liberation, their passage into another world beyond the confines of their family. While I am there lumbering around with my film equipment and trying in vain to frame them into some scene, some conceit of my own. When I saw the scene on the editing table, I decided to add to the soundtrack a series of pleas, things like “Stop, you guys! Wait a minute! Let me film you! It will only last a minute!” which I had not uttered at the time, but which I could have uttered. It was to recapture how much I had felt at the time the film was escaping me. The whole scene is a good metaphor for what always happens in the filmmaking process for me. I get the sense that a film is going to be successful when the material trips up my initial intentions! I guess what thrills me in “documentary” situations is precisely that dramatic moment when I realize that the material is going to resist my schemes. That’s where the fundamentally fictional aspect of documentaries comes into play. As the gatherer of information, the filmmaker is always forced to approach the facts from a certain angle and always forced also to realize at one point in the process that the facts will show a fundamental reluctance to fit neatly into one’s approach. In effect one is always taken to other places than the one one intended to be taken to. The detour becomes the destination, and, one detour leading to another, the closure of the film becomes very problematic. I have always had a hard time finishing my films. In Poto, I start from the question “What are they saying?” and I end up with quite a different question—"What is going to happen to them?" And somewhere in between, I have asked myself the question of kidnapping the twins and living happily every after with them. In a way these are the kinds of questions Raymond Chandler has running through the mind of Philip Marlowe. The mysteries in a Chandler novel are generally solved by page ten of the book, but the very fact of the inquiry pushes forward a different set of ethical questions. The “noirish” tone of the voiceover in Poto and Cabengo owes a lot to Chandler, who died sipping lime rickeys at the La Valencia Hotel, heartbroken over the death of his wife in La Jolla, a few miles away from Linda Vista, where the twins were living. But even more than the tone of the voiceover, the jazzy vagaries of the inquiry owe something to Chandler.

"LT It seems to me that an essential difference between Poto and Cabengo and Routine Pleasures is that Routine is all about male space—as opposed to Poto which is about women or girls and their space, although that isn’t articulated by you as the film’s narrator.

JPG It’s quite true. In Poto, the main male figure (the father) exists at the periphery of the story. In Routine it’s the opposite; women exist as miniatures in the imaginary landscape of the train people and as articulated dolls in Farber’s paintings. What can I say? Routine is very much a filmic meditation on an American male imagination anchored in the ’30s and ’40s, its high art—Farber—and low art—the train people—manifestations, and my relationship to it. Thus the buddy story aspect of the film. In a sense, if Poto is nothing else than a skewered revamping of a film noir, Routine is a revamping of the outfit films of the ’30s, those ensemble films Hawks or Wellman were so deft at churning out, all about male bonding and the task at hand, obsessive about the way they laid out the details of the rituals of work. What fascinated me, both about the train people and Farber, is how much their childhoods articulated themselves within the rituals of their working life as adults, how much work and play got strangely confused in their activities. I chose never to get the viewer out of the model railroad club, to lock him/her within the space of these guys’ imagination. The world outside is alluded to on the soundtrack, a world of real estate deals and of incessant transformation of the landscape, a world in turmoil. But inside the club, shelter and solace were found in the voodoolike manipulation of these miniature trains, these objects which had played such a role in years past to create the wealth and the might of this country, but were—in the real world—by now almost obsolete. In a sense the film stays locked inside their conservative imagination. It seemed interesting in the ’80s to investigate the conservative imagination, to offer a view of conservatism which would not rehash the traditional macro-political pieties, but instead would probe the imagination of people I knew had voted for Reagan.

LT Obsession seems to be key here.

JPG When you try to track down the “why” of an obsession, you set a trap for yourself. The obsessed lives his obsession as a Fatum and is, definitionally, totally inarticulate about it. He lives in a transparent relationship to his obsession. He will never be able to tell you what makes him tick! If you keep at it, if you keep asking questions, it’s your own obsessiveness that comes to the fore. It’s the movement at the core of Routine. Throughout the film, I am trying to “talk train,” to get inside, and at every turn I feel my defeat: when I think that I have reached a certain level of comprehension, I always find myself confronted by another arcane subtlety. I have barely mastered the difference between a boxcar and a pigflat when I encounter a guy who hints at the fact that the real pleasure of model railroading lies in the ability to differentiate between doorknobs! After a while one just gives up and remains content just to nod at the darn models as they zip through the landscape. What else is there to say than “good-looking train?”

LT The voice in Routine Pleasures seems to be saying, I am trying to keep up with these guys, I can’t quite speak train, but I am more comfortable . . . .

JPG There was an edge, an energy to Poto, which had to do with breaking into a new world. Routine aims at something different. It describes the first years after one’s landing at Ellis Island, so to speak, a time when things American have somehow ceased to be new and assaulting. It’s “Americanization, Part II,” a time when your heart and your throat have grown accustomed to the idiom and you can start looking, a time when you are bound to be hooked by people like Farber or the train people whose exclusive business is looking and composing. There are profound formal differences between the two films, which reflect that. Poto's image has a slapdash quality, a fast-doodle-on-a-sketchpad aspect that is completely absent from Routine, which is all static and strongly referential in its compositions. The interviews of the train guys and the rituals which precede each session at the club were shot in black and white, framed and lit with the outfit films of Hawks and Wellman in mind. Babette Mangolte—the eye behind the camera—did such a good job of it that in the film there’s a shot of two guys inside the machine which turned out as a perfect duplicate of a shot in Hawks’s Ceiling Zero, a film neither of us had seen at the time of the shooting of Routine! The trains and the miniatures were shot in color, with a long list of people in mind whose business had been the depiction of the American landscape, from Walker Evans on down. All that with the hope that somewhere along the line someone would look at the film and blurt out, “Good-looking film!”

LT Let me go back to something. You mention in the film that Farber once wrote of you as a sort of twin brain. Is twin-ship a recurrent curse?

JPG In a fashion. As I say in the film, I “owe” Farber my stay in San Diego! Seriously, the meeting with Farber was a determining one. As determining in a sense as my encounter with Godard years ago. The reading of his film criticism gave me a very different key to American cinema than the one I used in France, a way to ground it in the culture and its language, to pry it away from its own mythology. But more importantly, it’s from reflecting on his painting, his main activity for years by the time I met him, that I learned the most. The lack of closure in his canvases, the endless “and . . . and . . . and” mechanism that shapes them, his relentless way to multiply the entries and the exits into the material, his way to map his own life by incessantly reordering the jetsam of the culture, his hatred for Big Ideas, his insistence on dodging clichés. All that struck a chord. In Routine, Farber gets a mythic, Virgilian status, which I intended as ironic, but that a lot of viewers take at face value. I guess the irony of attempting, under Farber’s coopted and reluctant guidance, this small-scale epic, the absurdity of trying to deliver “America under budget and in a shoebox” got lost for some in the shuffle.

LT Did he play a role during the shooting or the editing of the film?

JPG None. I talked to him far less than I did during the shooting or the editing of the twins film. It’s all a construct, a fictional way to reassess a relationship. And maybe—to refer to one of your questions on Polo—a way to divest myself from it. In fact, in the making of Routine, the “shorthand” … [more]
potoandcabengo  documentary  interviews  film  jean-pierregorin  lynnetillman  1988  mannyfarber  jean-lucgodard 
july 2014 by robertogreco
The Mathematics of Child Street Vendors, by Geoffrey B. Saxe JSTOR: Child Development, Vol. 59, No. 5 (Oct., 1988), pp. 1415-1425
"The mathematical understandings of 23 10-12-year-old candy sellers with little or no schooling from Brazil's northeast were compared to 2 groups of nonvendors matched for age and schooling-a group from the same urban setting and a group from a nearby rural setting. Children's performances were analyzed on 3 types of mathematical problems: representation of large numerical values, arithmetical operations on currency values, and ratio comparisons. Vendors and nonvendors alike had developed nonstandard means to represent large numerical values, an expected result since problems involving large values emerge in the everyday activities of each population group. Most vendors, in contrast to nonvendors, had developed adequate strategies to solve arithmetical and ratio problems involving large numerical values, also an expected finding since these problem types emerge frequently only in the everyday activities of the vendor population. The findings are interpreted as supporting a model of cognitive development in which children construct novel understandings as they address problems that emerge in their everyday cultural practices."

[See also (.pdf): http://ci512-summer2011.wikispaces.com/file/view/Carraher+(1985)+Street+Math.pdf

Jean Lave's “Cognition in Practice,” “Everyday Cognition and Situated Learning” and “Everyday Math”
https://www.academia.edu/680601/Talja_Sanna_2010_Jean_Laves_Practice_Theory
http://www.aect.org/edtech/ed1/06.pdf ]
http://gradlectures.berkeley.edu/lecture/everyday-life-and-learning/ ]
geoffreysax  informallearning  math  mathematics  research  computation  1988  everydaylearning  everyday  streetvendors  streetkids  brazil  brasil  terezinhanunescarraher  davidcarraher  analúciaschliemann  mckenzieclements  paulusgerdes  jeanlave 
july 2014 by robertogreco
Classic Clip: Bill Moyers, Louise Erdrich, Michael Dorris on Columbus - ICTMN.com
"As a follow-up to our Columbus Day coverage yesterday, here's a video that dates from 1988 of Native authors Louise Erdrich and Michael Dorris discussing Columbus' legacy with PBS mainstay Bill Moyers. Erdrich, whose 2012 novel The Round House won the National Book Award, was married to Dorris from 1981 until his death by suicide in 1997 -- although the couple had at that point been separated for two years, and divorce was pending. In happier times, they edited each other's work and, on some occasions, wrote books together. At the time of this interview, they had committed to co-author The Crown of Columbus, which was published in 1989. This clip was found at BillMoyers.com."

[On Bill Moyers's website: http://billmoyers.com/content/louise-erdrich-and-michael-dorris-on-the-true-columbus/ ]

[On Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/63831726 ]
louiseerdrich  michaeldorris  chrisophercolumbus  1988  billmoyers  nativeamericans  law  legal  language  culture  voice  ownership  identity  property  us  history  pluralism 
april 2014 by robertogreco
They Live - Wikipedia
"They Live is a 1988 American science fiction film written and directed by John Carpenter. The film stars Roddy Piper, Keith David, and Meg Foster. It follows a nameless drifter referred to as "Nada", who discovers the ruling class are in fact aliens concealing their appearance and manipulating people with subliminal messages in mass media."
film  johncarpenter  massmedia  media  1988  rowdyroddypiper  classideas  towatch 
january 2014 by robertogreco
L.A. 2013 - Documents - Los Angeles Times
"On April 3, 1988, the Los Angeles Times Magazine pub­lished a 25-year look ahead to 2013. This year, USC pro­fess­or Jerry Lock­en­our is us­ing the series of art­icles in a gradu­ate en­gin­eer­ing class he teaches."
history  losangeles  futurism  future  retrofuturism  1988 
august 2013 by robertogreco
Max Headroom predicted my job, 20 years before it existed
"The entire 80s cyberpunk Max Headroom TV series is available today on DVD, and one of the pleasures of rewatching the series is discovering how many things it got right about the future."
1980s  cyberpunk  future  futurism  io9  maxheadroom  television  tv  predictions  technology  journalism  sciencefiction  media  scifi  punk  1988  1987  annaleenewitz  ratings  instant-ratings  4chan  piratevideo  mediahacking  security  2010 
august 2010 by robertogreco

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