WARRIOR, MERCHANT, SAGE

    When I was looking after my father, I read a lot of books, at night or in the afternoon while he was sleeping. One of them was Merchant, Soldier, Sage by the Oxford historian David Priestland. The paperback came out in 2014 and I’d picked it up fresh off the presses at the […]

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. He was […]

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 […]

THE REALITY-BASED COMMUNITY

  “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create out own reality.” These words are from a brief but memorable conversation the journalist Ron Suskind had with Karl Rove, the chief political adviser and Machiavellian ‘teacher of tricks’ to the Bush dynasty. He had a way with words, and these particular ones were […]

EINSTEIN and EMPTINESS

“It seems to me that the arguments which have led up to the theory (Relativity), and the whole state of mind of most physicists with regard to it, may some day become one of the puzzles of history.” Professor P W Bridgeman (1936) ∆ Tesla was effectively sidelined by 1905, and at that moment a […]

BAUDRILLARD in BANGKOK

Magritte, La Trahison des Images (The Treachery of Images), 1929 ∆ A simulacrum is a likeness, image or effigy; bearing a superficial similarity to its original, it is a placeholder or sign for the real thing, a representation rather than a replication. The instrumental suffix -crum signifies something which might be used in a simulation, […]