Category Archives: Uncategorized

Quietist Contention

A colleague in our department runs an off-campus cafe, and she invites me to host movie nights there for students on weekends. We show films from different periods and regions, and try to provoke critical discussion afterwards. This week I … Continue reading

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Passive Students

Chinese teachers sometimes  complain about their students’ passivity (很被动). This rebuke can imply various disparaged tendencies such as inattentiveness, indifference, sponsibility, and nonchalance. To put this concisely, it is where students do only what they feel is obligatory, and they … Continue reading

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Trauma of Possession

Spirit possession is when someone losses control of themselves, and their organs and even their thoughts come under the direction of external forces.  Anthropologists reserve this term for special cases where the phenomenon is recognized, and wouldn’t themselves insinuate that … Continue reading

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Market Ecstasis

The transactions of capitalism continue beyond the limits of knowledge into the uncertainty of the future and the opacity of distance. Our exposure to opaque markets – where our fate is subjected to the whims of unknown transactions – increases … Continue reading

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Some Aphorisms

Cambodian Traffic The direction of Chinese script gradually Latinized, until now it marches rightwards to Rome. Though when given the chance, it still reverts to the old ways, descending vertically on wall-scrolls, and sneaking leftwards over tea houses and temples. … Continue reading

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Financial Aesthetics

Capitalism is blind to an essential aspect of its own operations, and this blindness is an Achilles heel where the system is vulnerable to revolutionary transformation. It fails to adequately register its own objective, namely the accumulation of money, which … Continue reading

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Planetary Literature

Maurice Blanchot considered ‘literature’ as generic writing, meaning that it’s uncontained within genres.  Any writing might be literature, so long as reading becomes an unanchored, drifting experience of the sui generis where the faculties of sense are abandoned to their free play.  This is an experience where writing … Continue reading

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