THE STRANGE CASE OF DOCTOR LOVELOCK

OR HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE CO2   James Lovelock is the much honoured British scientist famous for a beautiful and irresistible idea known as the Gaia hypothesis. Lovelock is a self-made man in the best tradition of scientists of a previous age. His parents were poor, and he financed his own […]

THE CARBON EPIPHANY

Whirl up, sea — whirl your pointed pines, splash your great pines on our rocks, hurl your green over us, cover us with your pools of fir. (Oread, by H. D.) Carbon is the element of life, common to all known life-forms. Its unique and astonishing properties make life possible. With four electrons available for covalent […]

HAMADRYAD 

A hamadryad (Greek: Ἁμαδρυάδες, Hamadryádes) is a mythological being that lives in trees. Hamadryads are born bonded to a certain tree. Some believe that hamadryads are the actual tree, while dryads are the entities, or spirits, of the trees. If the tree dies, the hamadryad associated with it dies as well. For that reason, dryads and the gods […]

THE FABULOUS PANTHER

OF CATS AND CONSPIRACIES    The Orpheus Pavement (detail)   “The idea of leopards still living in Europe is very powerful. Every year a new and ferocious creature turns up in England, one that exists only in newspaper columns, vividly imprecise eyewitness reports, blurry photographs of black pussy cats and our eternal appetite for monsters: […]

McLUHAN IN MANHATTAN

“The tactic of the terrorist model is to provoke a surplus of reality and to make the whole system collapse under it.” — Jean Baudrillard, The Spirit of Terrorism (2002).   ∆   Baudrillard’s work is coolly psychedelic, giving us the same sense of dizzying replication that we love in doppelgänger stories and much science fiction. […]

THE MEMORY HOLE

  My first real encounter with the Thought Police.  This essay, part of a series applying Jean Baudrillard’s simulation theory to contemporary events, has been suppressed by WordPress. The piece evoked a series of mass-shootings in 2011-12, viewing them in the light of the document usually referred to as The Report from Iron Mountain. It sketched a timeline […]

SACRAMENT, MALEFICE, SORCERY

∆ “Abstraction today is no longer that of the map, the double, the mirror or the concept. Simulation is no longer that of a territory, a referential being or a substance. It is the generation by models of a real without origin or reality: a hyperreal. The territory no longer precedes the map, nor survives […]