English

The Story of Stuff

Disclosing basic ploblems with the current economic system:
http://www.storyofstuff.org/movies-all/story-of-stuff/

My stint with vanity publishing

A while back I was contacted by a publishing group calling themselves “Lambert Academic Publishing (LAP)”, expressing an interest in “publishing my thesis”. A short exchange of emails made it clear that the woman who sent the email had no idea what my thesis was about, what sort of thesis we were talking about, or actually whether I had a thesis she could publish at all.

I realized, as I had suspected all along, that this was a standardized email sent an mass to people employed at universities and colleges around the world. The company presented its business-idea as making all sorts of academic work that normally only collect dust on local campus libraries available online as print-on-demand. Basically, I think this sounds as a good idea, but I did not like the way the company tried to present itself as a genuine academic publishing house. This kind of subtle falsehood is, in my view not compatible with academic values. In addition, publishing with them would mean giving them rights to my work.

However, I thought the idea of making old academic works available for a larger audience sounded good. If only there was a way I could do this without the pretence and dishonesty, and without giving away the rights to my own work.

Kitchen Notebooks - Gramsci, Journalism and Rational Thinking

Like Antonio Gramsci found himself confined to Mussolini's dungeons, having to jot down short lines of thought in small notebooks, I at times find myself confined to the kitchen table, by a laptop, forced by an uncontrollable impulse to comment on something I have seen or read, to write a few short lines about some subject.

Kitchen Notebooks - Gramsci and the Mass Party

Like Antonio Gramsci found himself confined to Mussolini's dungeons, having to jot down short lines of thought in small notebooks, I at times find myself confined to the kitchen table, by a laptop, forced by an uncontrollable impulse to comment on something I have seen or read, to write a few short lines about some subject.

I recently started reading Monthly Review Press’ edition of Antonio A. Santucci’s Antonio Gramsci. Santucci there quotes Gramsci on the development of the political mass parties. Gramsci as we know was a leader of the Italian Communist Party (PCI), and did most of his political work in the 20s and 30s. This was the era of mass parties with a wide membership base.

Gramsci however criticizes elements within these parties, namely so-called charismatic leaders. This "charisma" Gramsci claims, always coincides "with a primitive phase of mass parties, when doctrine is introduced to the masses as something so nebulous and incoherent that it needs an infallible pope to interpret it and adapt it to circumstances" (Q, p. 233, Santucci p. 41).

Kitchen Notebooks - Gramsci, Language and Understanding

Like Antonio Gramsci found himself confined to Mussolini's dungeons, having to jot down short lines of thought in small notebooks, I at times find myself confined to the kitchen table, by a laptop, forced by an uncontrollable impulse to comment on something I have seen or read, to write a few short lines about some subject.

I recently started reading Monthly Review Press’ edition of Antonio A. Santucci’s Antonio Gramsci. A quote from (Q,p.1818), got me thinking about a few personal experiences I have had with language, but let me rather start with the basics.

Words have no meaning. Not in themselves. A lot of people do not understand this, and this is the starting point of many a failure to communicate.

Badly Drawn Silly Wordplay #63


BDSW here presents a special Cinematic feature - The Twinquisition!

Badly Drawn Silly Wordplay #62


Kitchen Notebooks - Gramsci and Scientific Method

Like Antonio Gramsci found himself confined to Mussolini's dungeons, having to jot down short lines of thought in small notebooks, I at times find myself confined to the kitchen table, by a laptop, forced by an uncontrollable impulse to comment on something I have seen or read, to write a few short lines about some subject.

I recently started reading Monthly Review Press’ edition of Antonio A. Santucci’s Antonio Gramsci. As I had just been lecturing a group of engineering students on the topic of scientific method, and common errors of thought that can create obstacles in scientific thinking, I did not get further than Joseph A. Buttigieg’s foreword, before stumbeling upon a connection I had to comment.

In describing Gramsci’s criticism of Bukharin’s rather dogmatic and deterministic understanding of history, Buttigieg quotes Gramsci writing “There are those who believe that science must absolutely mean ‘system’, and therefore they construct all kinds of systems that have only the mechanical outward appearance of a system” (Q7, §29)

Badly Drawn Silly Wordplay #48

A badly photographed guest appearance:

Badly Drawn Silly Wordplay #47

Another badly manipulated guest appearance:
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*Understanding this joke requires basic knowledge of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, and old Superman-villains.