Temple worship has long distinguished the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from mainstream Christendom. Even the denominations that trace their roots to LDS Church founder Joseph Smith have largely defined temple doctrines and ordinances as relics of the past; others have adopted and restored them to what they deem to be their purest form. To understand the LDS people is to grasp the impact the temple has had on church members as they embraced both temple-related teachings as essential to exaltation as well as the brick-and-mortar structures that stand as symbols of faith and sacrifice.
Christian Larsen has assembled a collection of essays that illuminate the role of the temple and its rocky relationship with controversial subjects such as race and marriage. Some temples were built, abandoned, and given new life; others were either constructed for temporary use or never built at all. The nature of LDS temple ordinances is such that what LDS members deem sacred, others dismiss as secret.
The fields of Big Data and the Internet of Things (IoT) have seen tremendous advances, developments, and growth in recent years. The IoT is the inter-networking of connected smart devices, buildings, vehicles and other items which are embedded with electronics, software, sensors and actuators, and network connectivity that enable these objects to collect and exchange data. The IoT produces a lot of data. Big data describes very large and complex data sets that traditional data processing application software is inadequate to deal with, and the use of analytical methods to extract value from data. This edited book covers analytical techniques for handling the huge amount of data generated by the Internet of Things, from architectures and platforms to security and privacy issues, applications, and challenges as well as future directions.
A comprehensive study of ephemera in twentieth-century literature—and its relevance to the twenty-first century
“Nothing ever really disappears from the internet” has become a common warning of the digital age. But the twentieth century was filled with ephemera—items that were designed to disappear forever—and these objects played crucial roles in some of that century’s greatest works of literature. In The Death of Things, author Sarah Wasserman delivers the first comprehensive study addressing the role ephemera played in twentieth-century fiction and its relevance to contemporary digital culture.
Representing the experience of perpetual change and loss, ephemera was central to great works by major novelists like Don DeLillo, Ralph Ellison, and Marilynne Robinson. Following the lives and deaths of objects, Wasserman imagines new uses of urban space, new forms of visibility for marginalized groups, and new conceptions of the marginal itself. She also inquires into present-day conundrums: our fascination with the durable, our concerns with the digital, and our curiosity about what new fictional narratives have to say about deletion and preservation.
The Death of Things offers readers fascinating, original angles on how objects shape our world. Creating an alternate literary history of the twentieth century, Wasserman delivers an insightful and idiosyncratic journey through objects that were once vital but are now forgotten.
The Echo of Things is a compelling ethnographic study of what photography means to the people of Roviana Lagoon in the western Solomon Islands. Christopher Wright examines the contemporary uses of photography and expectations of the medium in Roviana, as well as people's reactions to photographs made by colonial powers in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. For Roviana people, photographs are unique objects; they are not reproducible, as they are in Euro-American understandings of the medium. Their status as singular objects contributes to their ability to channel ancestral power, and that ability is a key to understanding the links between photography, memory, and history in Roviana. Filled with the voices of Roviana people, The Echo of Things is both a nuanced study of the lives of photographs in a particular cultural setting and a provocative inquiry into our own understandings of photography.
In The Fragility of Things, eminent theorist William E. Connolly focuses on several self-organizing ecologies that help to constitute our world. These interacting geological, biological, and climate systems, some of which harbor creative capacities, are depreciated by that brand of neoliberalism that confines self-organization to economic markets and equates the latter with impersonal rationality. Neoliberal practice thus fails to address the fragilities it exacerbates. Engaging a diverse range of thinkers, from Friedrich Hayek, Michel Foucault, Hesiod, and Immanuel Kant to Voltaire, Terrence Deacon, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Alfred North Whitehead, Connolly brings the sense of fragility alive as he rethinks the idea of freedom. Urging the Left not to abandon the state but to reclaim it, he also explores scales of politics below and beyond the state. The contemporary response to fragility requires a militant pluralist assemblage composed of those sharing affinities of spirituality across differences of creed, class, gender, sexual orientation, and ethnicity.
Are you among the thousands of dog owners in the Garden State who would like to spend more time with your four-footed companion? Now you can!
In this first-of-its-kind guidebook, Diane Goodspeed brings the encouraging news to pet lovers that their furry friends are welcome to many of New Jersey's beaches, trails, parks, swim holes, and even stores. Whether you are hiking in the Kittatinny Mountains, going for a run on the beach, or playing fetch along the Delaware River, you and your dog can explore New Jersey together. From transportation and equipment to basic obedience and fitness conditioning, this guide contains all the information you need to get your dog out the door for exciting adventures in every season.
Organized by county for easy reference, you will find information about county, state, and national parks that will welcome your canine companion. The book also functions as a convenient handbook for shops, covering everything from high-end pet stores and large chains to independently run dog bakeries. Goodspeed identifies training facilities, the most reputable and well-established dog trainers, as well as shelters, rescue centers, and every dog park across the state. Whether you are a long-time dog owner, or new to the canine scene, you will be surprised by how many dog-friendly events, including walk-a-thons, fairs, canine sporting competitions, town festivals, dog parades, and fundraising events for rescue groups occur annually throughout New Jersey.
Finally, with your leash in one hand and this indispensable and all-inclusive guide in the other, you can enjoy the exciting recreational opportunities available in the Garden State with your favorite four-legged friend.
“I’ve never believed that living in one place means being one thing all the time, condemned like Minnie Pearl to wear the same hat for every performance. Life is more complicated than that.”
In this remarkable book of days, John Hildebrand charts the overlapping rings—home, town, countryside—of life in the Midwest. Like E. B. White, Hildebrand locates the humor and drama in ordinary life: church suppers, Friday night football, outdoor weddings, garden compost, family reunions, roadside memorials, camouflage clothing. In these wry, sharply observed essays, the Midwest isn’t The Land Time Forgot but a more complicated (and vastly more interesting) place where the good life awaits once we figure exactly out what it means. From his home range in northwestern Wisconsin, Hildebrand attempts to do just that by boiling down a calendar year to its rich marrow of weather, animals, family, home—in other words, all the things that matter.
Hitchcock’s People, Places, and Things argues that Alfred Hitchcock was as much a filmmaker of things and places as he was of people. Drawing on the thought of Bruno Latour, John Bruns traces the complex relations of human and nonhuman agents in Hitchcock’s films with the aim of mapping the Hitchcock landscape cognitively, affectively, and politically. Yet this book does not promise that such a map can or will cohere, for Hitchcock was just as adept at misdirection as he was at direction. Bearing this in mind and true to the Hitchcock spirit, Hitchcock’s People, Places, and Things anticipates that people will stumble into the wrong places at the wrong time, places will be made uncanny by things, and things exchanged between people will act as (not-so) secret agents that make up the perilous landscape of Hitchcock’s work.
This book offers new readings of well-known Hitchcock films, including The Lodger, Shadow of a Doubt, Psycho, The Birds, and Marnie, as well as insights into lesser-discussed films such as I Confess and Family Plot. Additional close readings of the original theatrical trailer for Psycho and a Hitchcock-directed episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents expand the Hitchcock landscape beyond conventional critical borders. In tracing the network of relations in Hitchcock’s work, Bruns brings new Hitchcockian tropes to light. For students, scholars, and serious fans, the author promises a thrilling critical navigation of the Hitchcock landscape, with frequent “mental shake-ups” that Hitchcock promised his audience.
While the Victorian novel famously describes, catalogs, and inundates the reader with things, the protocols for reading it have long enjoined readers not to interpret most of what crowds its pages. The Ideas in Things explores apparently inconsequential objects in popular Victorian texts to make contact with their fugitive meanings. Developing an innovative approach to analyzing nineteenth-century fiction, Elaine Freedgood here reconnects the things readers unwittingly ignore to the stories they tell.
Building her case around objects from three well-known Victorian novels—the mahogany furniture in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, the calico curtains in Elizabeth Gaskell’s Mary Barton, and “Negro head” tobacco in Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations—Freedgood argues that these things are connected to histories that the novels barely acknowledge, generating darker meanings outside the novels’ symbolic systems. A valuable contribution to the new field of object studies in the humanities, The Ideas in Things pushes readers’ thinking about things beyond established concepts of commodity and fetish.
The Illustrated Version of Things is the tale of a young woman, raised in foster homes, juvenile halls, and a mental hospital, on a quest to reunite her disparate family and track down her missing mother. There are her grandparents, Holocaust survivors who reckon with history by staying in bed with their cowboy boots on; her father, a nurse who makes vitamins as a hobby; and her half-brother, an overachiever who doesn’t know whether his name is Moses or Miguel, but is certain that his sister isn’t capable of leading a steady life.
More than these, she longs for her mother, and she embarks on a search that leads her into the company of pedophiles, vagrant gamblers, fortune tellers, and musical ghosts. Enchantment and conjured memories become her only hope for finding her mother, until she undertakes a last-chance gambit—voluntary incarceration in the jail that might hold her mother—that will either set her free or follow her for life.
Konar’s characters, incredible, tragic, and sympathetic, keep us in a state of deranged rapture, making The Illustrated Version of Things an original and irresistible fiction debut.
One of the field’s most innovative thinkers reconsiders the purpose and practice of architecture. At the dawn of the twenty-first century, architecture is in a state of crisis. Numbed by an ugly and shoddily constructed built environment and outraged by the cost of high-profile design projects, the public has become disinterested in and contemptuous of architecture as both a profession and an art. At the same time, some of our most creative designers have isolated themselves from the tastes and needs of mainstream society, reflecting a similar malaise found in design and architecture schools around the country. In this troubling climate, Thomas R. Fisher—who challenged architects as editorial director of Progressive Architecture, becoming recognized as one of the field’s most original thinkers—contends that the purpose and prospects of architectural practice must be reconsidered and reenergized. In the Scheme of Things looks at architecture’s need to respond creatively and meaningfully to the extraordinary changes affecting the profession now, changes that include the global economy, the advent of computer-aided design, and the growing disconnection between design schools, architectural practice, and the public.
In each of the twelve essays that comprise this timely volume, Fisher addresses issues of vital concern to architects and students, offering hard-hitting criticism and proposing innovative and practical ideas for reform at the level of both the individual practitioner and the profession as a whole. Through his thoughtful and nuanced consideration of architecture’s ideological foundations and its relationship to ecology, politics, and technology, as well as his subtle understanding of the architect’s interior life, Fisher challenges the demoralized design community to recapture its historical role as steward and visionary of the public realm.
Thomas R. Fisher is dean of the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at the University of Minnesota and coeditor of Architectural Research Quarterly. His essays have appeared in Design Quarterly, Architectural Record, and other leading journals.
In this sweeping revision of avant-garde history, John Cage takes his rightful place as Wordsworth's great and final heir. George Leonard traces a direct line back from Cage, Pop, and Conceptual Art through the Futurists to Whitman, Emerson, Ruskin, Carlyle, and Wordsworth, showing how the art of everyday objects, often thought an exclusively contemporary phenomenon, actually began as far back as 1800.
In recovering the links between such seemingly disparate figures, Leonard transforms our understanding of modern culture.
Selected by the American Library Association's journal, Choice, as "one of the Outstanding Academic Books of the Year"
"Leonard's book is a fine example of interdisciplinary studies. He shifts focus persuasively from art theory to literature to religious thought and biography, making his method seem the natural mode of inquiry into culture."—Kenneth Baker, San Francisco Chronicle Book Review
The Making Sense of Things
George Choundas University of Alabama Press, 2018 Library of Congress PS3603.H69A6 2018 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
Winner of FC2’s Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Prize
A grand tour of the edges of our lives, where glory and significance riot against the logic of living and the pall of tragedy.
The Making Sense of Things is a collection of twelve stories that pulse with memory, magic, and myth—all our favorite ways of trying to make sense of things.
Readers are treated to vivid and unforgettable characters. A fiercely independent woman puts the man who loves her to unconscionable tests, never guessing that arson, suicide, and canine obesity will yield a magical kind of happiness. A honeymooner in Venice, addled by fever and second thoughts, commits by dumb error a double murder. A brisk lawyer founders when a car wreck claims his son and ex-wife, then discovers that the desperation of grief is a kind of hope.
The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the evolution of the internet as the interconnection not just of computers, but also uniquely identifiable, pervasive embedded devices. Research has estimated there will be nearly 30 billion devices on the Internet of Things within the next decade. The implementation and deployment of the IoT brings with it management challenges around seamless integration, heterogeneity, scalability, mobility, security, and many other issues. This book explores these challenges and possible solutions.
Technology permeates nearly every aspect of our daily lives. Cars enable us to travel long distances, mobile phones help us to communicate, and medical devices make it possible to detect and cure diseases. But these aids to existence are not simply neutral instruments: they give shape to what we do and how we experience the world. And because technology plays such an active role in shaping our daily actions and decisions, it is crucial, Peter-Paul Verbeek argues, that we consider the moral dimension of technology.
Moralizing Technology offers exactly that: an in-depth study of the ethical dilemmas and moral issues surrounding the interaction of humans and technology. Drawing from Heidegger and Foucault, as well as from philosophers of technology such as Don Ihde and Bruno Latour, Peter-Paul Verbeek locates morality not just in the human users of technology but in the interaction between us and our machines. Verbeek cites concrete examples, including some from his own life, and compellingly argues for the morality of things. Rich and multifaceted, and sure to be controversial, Moralizing Technology will force us all to consider the virtue of new inventions and to rethink the rightness of the products we use every day.
Unconventional and provocative, My Life with Things is Elizabeth Chin's meditation on her relationship with consumer goods and a critical statement on the politics and method of anthropology. Chin centers the book on diary entries that focus on everyday items—kitchen cabinet knobs, shoes, a piano—and uses them to intimately examine the ways consumption resonates with personal and social meaning: from writing love haikus about her favorite nail polish and discussing the racial implications of her tooth cap, to revealing how she used shopping to cope with a miscarriage and contemplating how her young daughter came to think that she needed Lunesta. Throughout, Chin keeps Karl Marx and his family's relationship to their possessions in mind, drawing parallels between Marx's napkins, the production of late nineteenth-century table linens, and Chin's own vintage linen collection. Unflinchingly and refreshingly honest, Chin unlocks the complexities of her attachments to, reliance on, and complicated relationships with her things. In so doing, she prompts readers to reconsider their own consumption, as well as their assumptions about the possibilities for creative scholarship.
Native peoples of the Amazon view objects, especially human artifacts, as the first cosmic creations and the building blocks from which the natural world has been shaped. In these constructional cosmologies, spears became the stings of wasps, hammocks became spiderwebs, stools became the buttocks of human beings.
A view so antithetical to Western thought offers a refreshing perspective on the place and role of objects in human social life—one that has remained under-studied in Amazonian anthropology. In this book, ten scholars re-introduce objects to contemporary studies of animism in order to explore how various peoples envision the lives of material objects: the occult, or extraordinary, lives of “things,” whose personas are normally not visible to lay people.
Combining linguistic, ethnological, and historical perspectives, the contributors draw on a wealth of information gathered from ten Amerindian peoples belonging to seven different linguistic families to identify the basic tenets of what might be called a native Amazonian theory of materiality and personhood. They consider which objects have subjective dimensions and how they are manifested, focusing on three domains regarding Amazonian conceptions of things: the subjective life of objects, considering which things have a subjective dimension; the social life of things, seeing the diverse ways in which human beings and things relate as subjectivities; and the historical life of things, recognizing the fact that some things have value as ritual objects or heirlooms.
These chapters demonstrate how native Amazonian peoples view animals, plants, and things as “subjectivities” possessing agency, intentionality, and consciousness, as well as a composite anatomy. They also show how materiality is intimately linked to notions of personhood, with artifacts classified as natural or divine creations and living beings viewed as cultural or constructed. The Occult Life of Things offers original insights into these elaborate native ontologies as it breaks new ground in Amazonian studies.
Persons and Things
Barbara Johnson Harvard University Press, 2008 Library of Congress PN49.J55 2008 | Dewey Decimal 809.9335
Moving effortlessly between symbolist poetry and Barbie dolls, artificial intelligence and Kleist, Kant, and Winnicott, Barbara Johnson not only clarifies psychological and social dynamics; she also re-dramatizes the work of important tropes—without ever losing sight of the ethical imperative with which she begins: the need to treat persons as persons.
In Persons and Things, Johnson turns deconstruction around to make a fundamental contribution to the new aesthetics. She begins with the most elementary thing we know: deconstruction calls attention to gaps and reveals that their claims upon us are fraudulent. Johnson revolutionizes the method by showing that the inanimate thing exposed as a delusion is central to fantasy life, that fantasy life, however deluded, should be taken seriously, and that although a work of art “is formed around something missing,” this “void is its vanishing point, not its essence.” She shows deftly and delicately that the void inside Keats’s urn, Heidegger’s jug, or Wallace Stevens’s jar forms the center around which we tend to organize our worlds.
The new aesthetics should restore fluidities between persons and things. In pursuing it, Johnson calls upon Ovid, Keats, Poe, Plath, and others who have inhabited this in-between space. The entire process operates via a subtlety that only a critic of Johnson’s caliber could reveal to us.
City and regional planners talk constantly about the things of the world—from highway interchanges and retention ponds to zoning documents and conference rooms—yet most seem to have a poor understanding of the materiality of the world in which they’re immersed. Too often planners treat built forms, weather patterns, plants, animals, or regulatory technologies as passively awaiting commands rather than actively involved in the workings of cities and regions.
In the ambitious and provocative Planning Matter, Robert A. Beauregard sets out to offer a new materialist perspective on planning practice that reveals the many ways in which the nonhuman things of the world mediate what planners say and do. Drawing on actor-network theory and science and technology studies, Beauregard lays out a framework that acknowledges the inevitable insufficiency of our representations of reality while also engaging more holistically with the world in all of its diversity—including human and nonhuman actors alike.
We have become used to looking at art from a stance of detachment. In order to be objective, we create a “mental space” between ourselves and the objects of our investigation, separating internal and external worlds. This detachment dates back to the early modern period, when researchers in a wide variety of fields tried to describe material objects as “things in themselves”—things, that is, without the admixture of imagination. Generations of scholars have heralded this shift as the Renaissance “discovery” of the observable world.
In Poetry in a World of Things, Rachel Eisendrath explores how poetry responded to this new detachment by becoming a repository for a more complex experience of the world. The book focuses on ekphrasis, the elaborate literary description of a thing, as a mode of resistance to this new empirical objectivity. Poets like Petrarch, Spenser, Marlowe, and Shakespeare crafted highly artful descriptions that recovered the threatened subjective experience of the material world. In so doing, these poets reflected on the emergence of objectivity itself as a process that was often darker and more painful than otherwise acknowledged. This highly original book reclaims subjectivity as a decidedly poetic and human way of experiencing the material world and, at the same time, makes a case for understanding art objects as fundamentally unlike any other kind of objects.
Privacy by design is a proactive approach that promotes privacy and data protection compliance throughout project lifecycles when storing or accessing personal data. Privacy by design is essential for the Internet of Things (IoT) as privacy concerns and accountability are being raised in an increasingly connected world. What becomes of data generated, collected or processed by the IoT is clearly an important question for all involved in the development, manufacturing, applications and use of related technologies. But this IoT concept does not work well with the 'big data' trend of aggregating pools of data for new applications. Developers need to address privacy and security issues and legislative requirements at the design stage, and not as an afterthought.
Virginia Woolf once commented that the central image in Robinson Crusoe is an object—a large earthenware pot. Woolf and other critics pointed out that early modern prose is full of things but bare of setting and description. Explaining how the empty, unvisualized spaces of such writings were transformed into the elaborate landscapes and richly upholstered interiors of the Victorian novel, Cynthia Sundberg Wall argues that the shift involved not just literary representation but an evolution in cultural perception.
In The Prose of Things, Wall analyzes literary works in the contexts of natural science, consumer culture, and philosophical change to show how and why the perception and representation of space in the eighteenth-century novel and other prose narratives became so textually visible. Wall examines maps, scientific publications, country house guides, and auction catalogs to highlight the thickening descriptions of domestic interiors. Considering the prose works of John Bunyan, Samuel Pepys, Aphra Behn, Daniel Defoe, Samuel Richardson, David Hume, Ann Radcliffe, and Sir Walter Scott, The Prose of Things is the first full account of the historic shift in the art of describing.
Why did affirmative action programs implemented during the sixties and seventies suffer vicious assaults in the nineties? How were culturally resonant appeals to individualism and colorblindness turned around during the nineties to epitomize a “toxic system of quotas, preference, and set-asides”?In The Racial Order of Things, Roopali Mukherjee analyzes reversals and reinterpretations that mark the turn from the civil rights era of the sixties to the post-soul decade of the nineties. She begins by surveying a series of intractable disagreements over race- and gender-based social justice that have played out over the past decade, framed by the 1996 passage of California’s Proposition 209 and the 2003 Supreme Court decision on admissions criteria at the University of Michigan. Examining political campaigns for and against affirmative action as well as films about dilemmas of gender and race in the mythic meritocracy, the book exposes a remarkable discursive tug-of-war over antidiscrimination policies during the nineties.Highlighting the ways in which categories such as “blackness” and “women” have operated in these debates, Mukherjee sees the public policy process as a key site where cultural identities are formed, recognized, and discarded. Considering mainstream media, including Hollywood films like Disclosure, G.I. Jane, Courage under Fire, and The Contender, Mukherjee focuses on conflicts following the introduction of women and blacks into the workplace. She explores the politics of public memory about the civil rights era through the lens of feature film, documentary, and network news. Using newspaper articles and legislative records, Mukherjee provides a comparative reading of narratives and counternarratives of the debate surrounding the 1964 Civil Rights Act and anti–affirmative action campaigns of the neoliberal nineties.Balancing policy narrative, cinematic reading, and conceptual analysis, Mukherjee demonstrates a shifting and paradoxical racial order that explains how the cultural authority and political career of affirmative action remains in flux, thoroughly contested, and contradictory.Roopali Mukherjee is assistant professor of media studies at Queens College of the City University of New York.
“It’s safe to say your relationship is in trouble if the only way you can imagine solving your problems is by borrowing a time machine.”
In 2006 comic book dealer John Sherkston has decided to break up with his physicist boyfriend, Taylor Esgard, on the very day Taylor announces he’s finally perfected a time machine for the U.S government. John travels back to 1986, where he encounters “Junior,” his younger, more innocent self. When Junior starts to flirt, John wonders how to reveal his identity: “I’m you, only with less hair and problems you can’t imagine.” He also meets up with the younger Taylor, and this unlikely trio teams up to plot a course around their future relationship troubles, prevent John’s sister from making a tragic decision, and stop George W. Bush from becoming president.
In this wickedly comic, cross-country, time-bending journey, John confronts his own—and the nation’s—blunders, learning that a second chance at changing things for the better also brings new opportunities to screw them up. Through edgy humor, time travel, and droll one-liners, Bob Smith examines family dysfunction, suicide, New York City, and recent American history while effortlessly blending domestic comedy with science fiction. Part acidic political satire, part wild comedy, and part poignant social scrutiny, Remembrance of Things I Forgot is an uproarious adventure filled with sharp observations about our recent past.
InSight Out Book Club, featured selection
Bob Smith named one of Instinct magazine’s Leading Men 2011
Winner, Barbara Gittings Literature Award/Stonewall Book Awards, American Library Association
Finalist, Over the Rainbow Selection, American Library Association
Finalist, Green Carnation Prize, international prize for LGBT Literature
Amazon Top Ten Gay & Lesbian Books of 2011
Best Books for General Audiences, selected by the American Association of School Librarians
Best Books for General Audiences, selected by the Public Library Reviewers
In the 1960s and 1970s, minority and women students at colleges and universities across the United States organized protest movements to end racial and gender inequality on campus. African American, Chicano, Asia American, American Indian, women, and queer activists demanded the creation of departments that reflected their histories and experiences, resulting in the formation of interdisciplinary studies programs that hoped to transform both the university and the wider society beyond the campus.
In The Reorder of Things, however, Roderick A. Ferguson traces and assesses the ways in which the rise of interdisciplines—departments of race, gender, and ethnicity; fields such as queer studies—were not simply a challenge to contemporary power as manifest in academia, the state, and global capitalism but were, rather, constitutive of it. Ferguson delineates precisely how minority culture and difference as affirmed by legacies of the student movements were appropriated and institutionalized by established networks of power.
Critically examining liberationist social movements and the cultural products that have been informed by them, including works by Adrian Piper, Toni Cade Bambara, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Zadie Smith, The Reorder of Things argues for the need to recognize the vulnerabilities of cultural studies to co-option by state power and to develop modes of debate and analysis that may be in the institution but are, unequivocally, not of it.
Radio-frequency identification (RFID) uses electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track tags attached to objects. The tags contain electronically stored information. RFIDs have been widely used in countless applications such as object tracking, 3D positioning, indoor localization, supply chain management, automotive, inventory control, anti-theft, anti-counterfeit, and access control. The Internet of Things (IoT) promises a huge growth in RFID technology and usage.
The Roots of Things: Essays
Maxine Kumin Northwestern University Press, 2010 Library of Congress PS3521.U638R66 2010 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Throughout her career, Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Maxine Kumin has been at the vanguard of discussions about feminism and sexism, the state of poetry, and our place in the natural world. The Roots of Things gathers into one volume her best essays on the issues that have been closest to her throughout her storied career.
Divided into sections on "Taking Root," "Poets and Poetry," and "Country Living," these pieces reveal Kumin honing her views within a variety of forms, including speeches, critical essays, and introductions of other writers’ work. Whether she is recollecting scenes from her childhood, ruminating on the ups and downs of what she calls "pobiz" (for "poetry business"), describing the battles she’s fought on behalf of women, or illuminating the lives of animals, Kumin offers insight that can only be born of long and closely observed experience.
In May 1906, the Atlantic Monthly commented that Americans live not merely in an age of things, but under the tyranny of them, and that in our relentless effort to sell, purchase, and accumulate things, we do not possess them as much as they possess us. For Bill Brown, the tale of that possession is something stranger than the history of a culture of consumption. It is the story of Americans using things to think about themselves.
Brown's captivating new study explores the roots of modern America's fascination with things and the problem that objects posed for American literature at the turn of the century. This was an era when the invention, production, distribution, and consumption of things suddenly came to define a national culture. Brown shows how crucial novels of the time made things not a solution to problems, but problems in their own right. Writers such as Mark Twain, Frank Norris, Sarah Orne Jewett, and Henry James ask why and how we use objects to make meaning, to make or remake ourselves, to organize our anxieties and affections, to sublimate our fears, and to shape our wildest dreams. Offering a remarkably new way to think about materialism, A Sense of Things will be essential reading for anyone interested in American literature and culture.
This book presents for the first time in English an array of essays on design by the seminal media critic and philosopher Vilém Flusser. It puts forward the view that our future depends on design. In a series of insightful essays on such ordinary "things" as wheels, carpets, pots, umbrellas and tents, Flusser emphasizes the interrelationships between art and science, theology and technology, and archaeology and architecture. Just as formal creativity has produced both weapons of destruction and great works of art, Flusser believed that the shape of things (and the designs behind them) represents both a threat and an opportunity for designers of the future.
A groundbreaking approach to sound in sci-fi films offers new ways of construing both sonic innovation and science fiction cinema
Including original readings of classics like The Day the Earth Stood Still, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Star Wars, and Blade Runner, The Sound of Things to Come delivers a comprehensive history of sound in science fiction cinema. Approaching movies as sound objects that combine cinematic apparatus and consciousness, Trace Reddell presents a new theory of sonic innovation in the science fiction film.
Reddell assembles a staggering array of movies from sixty years of film history—including classics, blockbusters, B-movies, and documentaries from the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Japan, and the Soviet Union—all in service to his powerful conception of sound making as a speculative activity in its own right. Reddell recasts debates about noise and music, while arguing that sound in the science fiction film provides a medium for alien, unknown, and posthuman sound objects that transform what and how we hear.
Avoiding genre criticism’s tendency to obsess over utopias, The Sound of Things to Come draws on film theory, sound studies, and philosophies of technology to advance conversations about the avant-garde, while also opening up opportunities to examine cinematic sounds beyond the screen.
In the steam-powered mechanical age of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the work of late Georgian and early Victorian mathematicians depended on far more than the properties of number. British mathematicians came to rely on industrialized paper and pen manufacture, railways and mail, and the print industries of the book, disciplinary journal, magazine, and newspaper. Though not always physically present with one another, the characters central to this book—from George Green to William Rowan Hamilton—relied heavily on communication technologies as they developed their theories in consort with colleagues. The letters they exchanged, together with the equations, diagrams, tables, or pictures that filled their manuscripts and publications, were all tangible traces of abstract ideas that extended mathematicians into their social and material environment. Each chapter of this book explores a thing, or assembling of things, mathematicians needed to do their work—whether a textbook, museum, journal, library, diagram, notebook, or letter—all characteristic of the mid-nineteenth-century British taskscape, but also representative of great change to a discipline brought about by an industrialized world in motion.
Edited by Bill Brown University of Chicago Press, 2004 Library of Congress GN406.T45 2004 | Dewey Decimal 306
This book is an invitation to think about why children chew pencils; why we talk to our cars, our refrigerators, our computers; rosary beads and worry beads; Cuban cigars; why we no longer wear hats that we can tip to one another and why we don't seem to long to; what has been described as bourgeois longing. It is an invitation to think about the fetishism of daily life in different times and in different cultures. It is an invitation to rethink several topics of critical inquiry—camp, collage, primitivism, consumer culture, museum culture, the aesthetic object, still life, "things as they are," Renaissance wonders, "the thing itself"—within the rubric of "things," not in an effort to foreclose the question of what sort of things these seem to be, but rather to suggest new questions about how objects produce subjects, about the phenomenology of the material everyday, about the secret life of things.
Based on an award-winning special issue of the journal Critical Inquiry, Things features eighteen thought-evoking essays by contributors including Bill Brown, Matthew L. Jones, Bruno Latour, W. J. T. Mitchell, Jessica Riskin, Jeffrey T. Schnapp, Peter Schwenger, Charity Scribner, and Alan Trachtenberg.
How does a computer scientist understand infinity? What can probability theory teach us about free will? Can mathematical notions be used to enhance one's personal understanding of the Bible?
Perhaps no one is more qualified to address these questions than Donald E. Knuth, whose massive contributions to computing have led others to nickname him "The Father of Computer Science"—and whose religious faith led him to understand a fascinating analysis of the Bible called the 3:16 project. In this series of six spirited, informal lectures, Knuth explores the relationships between his vocation and his faith, revealing the unique perspective that his work with computing has lent to his understanding of God.
His starting point is the 3:16 project, an application of mathematical "random sampling" to the books of the Bible. The first lectures tell the story of the project's conception and execution, exploring its many dimensions of language translation, aesthetics, and theological history. Along the way, Knuth explains the many insights he gained from such interdisciplinary work. These theological musings culminate in a surprising final lecture tackling the ideas of infinity, free will, and some of the other big questions that lie at the juncture of theology and computation.
Things a Computer Scientist Rarely Talks About, with its charming and user-friendly format—each lecture ends with a question and answer exchange, and the book itself contains more than 100 illustrations—is a readable and intriguing approach to a crucial topic, certain to edify both those who are serious and curious about their faiths and those who look at the science of computation and wonder what it might teach them about their spiritual world.
Includes "Creativity, Spirituality, and Computer Science," a panel discussion featuring Harry Lewis, Guy L. Steele, Jr., Manuela Veloso, Donald E. Knuth, and Mitch Kapor.
Wilford Woodruff converted to the LDS church in 1833, he joined a millenarian group of a few thousand persecuted believers clustered around Kirtland, Ohio. When he died sixty-five years later in 1898, he was the leader of more than a quarter of a million followers worldwide who were on the verge of entering the mainstream of American culture.
Before attaining that status of senior church apostle at the death of John Taylor in 1886, Woodruff had been one of the fiercest opponents of United States hegemony. He spent years evading territorial marshals on the Mormon “underground,” escaping prosecution for polygamy, unable even to attend his first wife’s funeral. As church president, faced with disfranchisement and federal confiscation of Mormon property, including temples, Woodruff reached his monumental decision in 1890 to accept U.S. law and to petition for Utah statehood.
As church doctrines and practices evolved, Woodruff himself changed. The author examines the secular and religious development of Woodruff’s world view from apocalyptic mystic to pragmatic conciliator. He also reveals the gentle, solitary farmer; the fisherman and horticulturalist; the family man with seven wives; the charismatic preacher of the Mormon Reformation; the astute businessman; the urbane, savvy politician who courted the favor of prominent Republicans in California and Oregon (Leland Stanford and Isaac Trumbo); and the vulnerable romantic who pursued the affections of Lydia Mountford, an international lecturer and Jewish rights advocate. He traces a faithful polygamist who ultimately embraced the Christian Home movement and settled comfortably into a monogamous relationship in an otherwise typically Victorian setting.
Things No Longer There is a lovingly crafted collection of personal stories about the author's struggle toward enlightenment while losing her eyesight. It is also, more broadly, about invisible landscapes—places of the heart that linger long after they have disappeared from the world outside. In these ten brief tales and one novella-length intimate drama, Susan Krieger takes us on a series of adventures in vision, a journey both inward and to various parts of the country. We travel with her as she goes birdwatching before sunrise in the New Mexico desert, learns to walk with a white cane, revisits an old love, returns to a summer camp of her youth, and reflects on the nature of blindness and sight.
Krieger's touching memoir explores the ways that outer landscapes may change and sight may be lost, but inner visions persist, giving meaning, jarring the senses with a very different picture than what appears before the eyes. This book will reward both the general reader and those interested in disability studies, feminist ethnography, and lesbian studies.
H. Lewis Ulman here examines the roles of language theory in eighteenth-century British rhetorics, linking those roles to philosophical issues informing twentieth-century rhetorical theory. In doing so, Ulman develops a general model of the "problem of language" for rhetorical theory, a model that transcends the impasse between realism and skepticism that marks both eighteenth- and twentieth-century rhetorical theory.
The nature of language was never more central to rhetorical theory than in the second half of the eighteenth century. Yet, until now, the articulation of theories of language and the arts of rhetoric in eighteenth-century Britain has received little attention. Ulman examines the role of grammar and theories of language in the formation of eighteenth-century rhetorical theory, investigating the significance of language theory for such key concerns of eighteenth-century rhetoric as verbal criticism, style, and elocution. His study highlights what he understands as the central motive of late eighteenth-century British rhetoricians— to construct for their particular cultural context philosophically rigorous accounts of verbal communication based on carefully articulated theories of thought and language.
Toward this end, Ulman examines three eighteenth-century British rhetorical treatises: George Campbell’ s Philosophy of Rhetoric, Hugh Blair’ s Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres, and Thomas Sheridan’ s Course of Lectures on Elocution. He then identifies the continuities and discontinuities between the problem of language for eighteenth- and twentieth-century rhetorical theory and proposes a pluralistic stance toward the problem of language in rhetoric as an alternative to the theoretical standoff that currently characterizes the debate between realist and antirealist rhetorics.
Thoughts and Things
Leo Bersani University of Chicago Press, 2014 Library of Congress BD331.B475 2015 | Dewey Decimal 110
Leo Bersani’s career spans more than fifty years and extends across a wide spectrum of fields—including French studies, modernism, realist fiction, psychoanalytic criticism, film studies, and queer theory. Throughout this new collection of essays that ranges, interestingly and brilliantly, from movies by Claire Denis and Jean-Luc Godard to fiction by Proust and Pierre Bergounioux, Bersani considers various kinds of connectedness.
Thoughts and Things posits what would appear to be an irreducible gap between our thoughts (the human subject) and things (the world). Bersani departs from his psychoanalytic convictions to speculate on the oneness of being—of our intrinsic connectedness to the other that is at once external and internal to us. He addresses the problem of formulating ways to consider the undivided mind, drawing on various sources, from Descartes to cosmology, Freud, and Genet and succeeds brilliantly in diagramming new forms as well as radical failures of connectedness. Ambitious, original, and eloquent, Thoughts and Things will be of interest to scholars in philosophy, film, literature, and beyond.
From the rediscovery of Alfred North Whitehead’s work to the rise of new materialist thought, including object-oriented ontology, there has been a rapid turn toward speculation in philosophy as a way of moving beyond solely human perceptions of nature and existence. Now Steven Shaviro maps this quickly emerging speculative realism, which is already dramatically influencing how we interpret reality and our place in a universe in which humans are not the measure of all things.
The Universe of Things explores the common insistence of speculative realism on a noncorrelationist thought: that things or objects exist apart from how our own human minds relate to and comprehend them. Shaviro focuses on how Whitehead both anticipates and offers challenges to prevailing speculative realist thought, moving between Whitehead’s own panpsychism, Harman’s object-oriented ontology, and the reductionist eliminativism of Quentin Meillassoux and Ray Brassier.
The stakes of this recent speculative realist thought—of the effort to develop new ways of grasping the world—are enormous as it becomes clear that our inherited assumptions are no longer adequate to describe, much less understand, the reality we experience around us. As Shaviro acknowledges, speculative realist thought has its dangers, but it also, like the best speculative fiction, holds the potential to liberate us from confining views of what is outside ourselves and, he believes, to reclaim aesthetics and beauty as a principle of life itself.
Bringing together a wide array of contemporary thought, and evenhandedly assessing its current debates, The Universe of Things is an invaluable guide to the evolution of speculative realism and the provocation of Alfred North Whitehead’s pathbreaking work.
Jade, stone tools, honey and wax, ceramics, rum, land. What gave these commodities value in the Maya world, and how were those values determined? What factors influenced the rise and fall of a commodity’s value? The Value of Things examines the social and ritual value of commodities in Mesoamerica, providing a new and dynamic temporal view of the roles of trade of commodities and elite goods from the prehistoric Maya to the present.
Editors Jennifer P. Mathews and Thomas H. Guderjan begin the volume with a review of the theoretical literature related to the “value of things.” Throughout the volume, well-known scholars offer chapters that examine the value of specific commodities in a broad time frame—from prehistoric, colonial, and historic times to the present. Using cases from the Maya world on both the local level and the macro-regional, contributors look at jade, agricultural products (ancient and contemporary), stone tools, salt, cacao (chocolate), honey and wax, henequen, sugarcane and rum, land, ceramic (ancient and contemporary), and contemporary tourist handicrafts.
Each chapter author looks into what made their specific commodity valuable to ancient, historic, and contemporary peoples in the Maya region. Often a commodity’s worth goes far beyond its financial value; indeed, in some cases, it may not even be viewed as something that can be sold. Other themes include the rise and fall in commodity values based on perceived need, rarity or overproduction, and change in available raw materials; the domestic labor side of commodities, including daily life of the laborers; and relationships between elites and nonelites in production.
Examining, explaining, and theorizing how people ascribe value to what they trade, this scholarly volume provides a rich look at local and regional Maya case studies through centuries of time.
Rani T. Alexander
Dean E. Arnold
Tiffany C. Cain
Scott L. Fedick
Thomas H. Guderjan
Joshua J. Kwoka
Richard M. Leventhal
Jennifer P. Mathews
Allan D. Meyers
Mary Katherine Scott
E. Cory Sills
In Vibrant Matter the political theorist Jane Bennett, renowned for her work on nature, ethics, and affect, shifts her focus from the human experience of things to things themselves. Bennett argues that political theory needs to do a better job of recognizing the active participation of nonhuman forces in events. Toward that end, she theorizes a “vital materiality” that runs through and across bodies, both human and nonhuman. Bennett explores how political analyses of public events might change were we to acknowledge that agency always emerges as the effect of ad hoc configurations of human and nonhuman forces. She suggests that recognizing that agency is distributed this way, and is not solely the province of humans, might spur the cultivation of a more responsible, ecologically sound politics: a politics less devoted to blaming and condemning individuals than to discerning the web of forces affecting situations and events.
Bennett examines the political and theoretical implications of vital materialism through extended discussions of commonplace things and physical phenomena including stem cells, fish oils, electricity, metal, and trash. She reflects on the vital power of material formations such as landfills, which generate lively streams of chemicals, and omega-3 fatty acids, which can transform brain chemistry and mood. Along the way, she engages with the concepts and claims of Spinoza, Nietzsche, Thoreau, Darwin, Adorno, and Deleuze, disclosing a long history of thinking about vibrant matter in Western philosophy, including attempts by Kant, Bergson, and the embryologist Hans Driesch to name the “vital force” inherent in material forms. Bennett concludes by sketching the contours of a “green materialist” ecophilosophy.