Some Thoughts from Reading Althusser

The attempt to turn back to theory such that the Marxist approach to knowledge itself can be explained is commendable. The (re)introduction of certain levels of abstraction - particularly the separation of the "mode of production" and the "social formation" - are important and remain influential, impressively they have become important in some forms of anthropological practice itself. But many the most important features of Althusser's work are themselves marred by the entire "problematic" or theory of theory that they are integrated within. There’s a circularity to Althusser’s claim of at once maintaining fidelity to Marx’s word while stating that Marx’s words couldn’t be Marxist enough. The autonomous theory still has to try and connect to reality, but it simultaneously wants to refute the “empiricist” subject/object relationship. Althusser’s solution is unclear, and perhaps contradictory.

Academic Abominations (Or: Poor Papers from College) #4: “The Face of Joan”

The Face of Joan: Balázs’s Theory in La Passion De Jeanne D’Arc Born in Hungary in 1884, Béla Balázs became one of the first filmmakers to delve into film theory, publishing works such as Visible Man, or Film Culture, The Spirit of Film, and Theory of Film. His work dissected the unique qualities of film, … Continue reading Academic Abominations (Or: Poor Papers from College) #4: “The Face of Joan”

Academic Abominations (Or: Poor Papers from College) #3: The (Re)birth of Cycles

The (Re)birth of Cycles: (Re)examining the quest of Transhumanism In recent years science has been put in the awkward position of explaining just how insignificant humanity is. Cosmology has revealed a vast, unknowable universe (and it’s quite possible there are others out of our reach) with Earth being nothing more than a speck of cosmic … Continue reading Academic Abominations (Or: Poor Papers from College) #3: The (Re)birth of Cycles

Academic Abominations (Or: Poor Papers from College) #2: “The Modern Monster”

The Modern Monster: Examining the Monstrous and the Unknown in Modern Literature Monsters, ghosts, zombies, aliens – humanity has long had an obsession with the fierce creatures of the night that haunt our imaginations. Ever since the first humans stumbled through dark nights of the wilderness we have continued to dream up new abominations to … Continue reading Academic Abominations (Or: Poor Papers from College) #2: “The Modern Monster”

Thinking Machines and Digital Narratives

 Writing for machines is monotonous - they are born fully formed, yet stupid; requiring precise instructions for specific contexts to control their actions. As machines become more intelligent and more flexible in their programing we find that this “machine writing” may be replaced with creative dialogues. Already machines in the field of games have mastered … Continue reading Thinking Machines and Digital Narratives