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Joined 1 year, 4 months ago

Reading for fun, threads over the years of scifi, history, social movements and justice, farming, philosophy. I actively work to balance out the white male default in what I read, but have a long way to go.

He/they for the praxis.

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Against purity (2016) No rating

The world is in a terrible mess. It is toxic, irradiated, and full of injustice. …

Classification schemes, as Bowker and Star note, "have the central task of providing access to the past" [and] classification practices also organize selective forgetting.

Against purity by 

Here talking about ACT UP but on a strong tack from the prior section's focus on colonial dispossession and indigenous memory.

Candy House (2022, Scribner) 4 stars

The Candy House opens with the staggeringly brilliant Bix Bouton, whose company, Mandala, is so …

good writing can save a lot

4 stars

A wild collection of short stories rubbing shoulders with each other and The Goon Squad (which I barely remember, but enjoyed) in a near sci-fi future. Tightrope between failing to cohere, falling from believability or originality, and engrossing oddities of character after character, I liked too many of these to complain.

Cultural Lives of Whales and Dolphins (2015, University of Chicago Press) 4 stars

wow, whales

4 stars

Great whale facts, wild how little we know about most whales. What we do know about the social behavior of humpbacks, bowheads, sperm whales, killer whales, and coastal dolphins (the authors study sperm whales, apropos, but build their argument across all these evenly) makes it clear to likely that social learning that is not environmentally or genetically determined is widespread in many aspects of their lives, and which make the case for preservation of broad populations of whales to maintain cultural diversity.

The Real World of Technology (Paperback, 1999, Anansi) 4 stars

In this expanded edition of her bestselling 1989 CBC Massey Lectures, renowned scientist and humanitarian …

very insightful in a short space

4 stars

Impressive set of lectures on the societal implications of technology - broadly, from ancient metalworking to sewing machines to electrification to military industrial arms - from a feminist pacifist horizontalist perspective. Franklin highlights ways in which technical choices obscure moving from holistically artisan to hierarchical control, from biological growth and uncertainty to manufacturing's obliviousness to context, and the false claims of liberation or ease from the introduction of new tech which turns to exploitation and makes us dependent on industrial supply and control.

The Great Derangement (Hardcover, 2016, University of Chicago Press) 4 stars

"Are we deranged? The acclaimed Indian novelist Amitav Ghosh argues that future generations may well …

read in 2020, a literature and story focus more than Nutmeg's Curse

4 stars

Wonderfully sharp and lucid climate critique of fiction and global capitalism. Through modern literature's failure to face or grapple with climate change, he weaves the blindspots of the western novel's individual moral narrative, the role of empire in partitioning the world's industrialization growth and infeasibility of replicating western economic exploitation for the colonized masses, and the compartmentalizing of politics to no longer allow any sense of collective or commonweal.

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Finding the Mother Tree (Paperback, ALLEN LANE) 5 stars

I very much enjoyed reading this word, which is part memoir, part a report on a career (so far) of scientific findings related to how trees (and other plants) communicate through fungal networks underground. It was an engaging and enjoyable read.

The only thing is that I wish there was more acknowledgement of the generations of Indigenous knowledges that pointed to the same ideas. Simard notes that in her 20s a friend pointed out to her that "The Coast Salish say .... that under the forest floor, there are fungi that keep the trees connected and strong" (p. 66). And yet most of the book doesn't really connect to this existing knowledge even though she notes that it was there even while she was starting out. The focus is on a Western scientific approach, which is also important. But further recognition, acknowledgement, and talking about the Indigenous knowledge of the …