Modernity, revolution and postcapitalism… June 28th, 2018 • Our discussions today reinvoke our discussions of modernity and revolution with a focus on the possibility of postcapitalism.
R48G: global warming as grounds for revolutionary ecological socialism… August 10th, 2018 • We are almost at the gaian endgame: we need a revolutionary movement reborn from the internationals of th…
Last Thursday, many of the 7 million people living in the San Francisco Bay Area woke up to the bonfire-like smell of a forest fire. The smoke from the state’s deadliest fire traveled 160 miles south from Butte Country, where the “Camp Fire” started, and has hovered over the Bay Area since. Friday will mark the eighth consecutive day residents have been inhaling smoky air and living in a environment that appears eerily apocalyptic with no definitive end in sight.
Blending the spirit of Eats, Shoots & Leaves with the science of The Language Instinct, an original inquiry into the development of that most essential-and mysterious-of human creations: LanguageLanguage is mankind’s greatest invention-except, of course, that it was never invented.” So begins linguist Guy Deutscher’s enthralling investigation into the genesis and evolution of language. If we started off with rudimentary utterances on the level of “man throw spear,” how did we end up with sophisticated grammars, enormous vocabularies, and intricately nuanced degrees of meaning?Drawing on recent groundbreaking discoveries in modern linguistics, Deutscher exposes the elusive forces of creation at work in human communication, giving us fresh insight into how language emerges, evolves, and decays. He traces the evolution of linguistic complexity from an early “Me Tarzan” stage to such elaborate single-word constructions as the Turkish sehirlilestiremediklerimizdensiniz (“you are one of those whom we couldn’t turn into a town dweller”). Arguing that destruction and creation in language are intimately entwined, Deutscher shows how these processes are continuously in operation, generating new words, new structures, and new meanings.As entertaining as it is erudite, The Unfolding of Language moves nimbly from ancient Babylonian to American idiom, from the central role of metaphor to the staggering triumph of design that is the Semitic verb, to tell the dramatic story and explain the genius behind a uniquely human faculty.
World history, freedom in the state and freedom from the state February 28th, 2018
History as causal mechanics or simple story? May 27th, 2018 •