Nincompoopolis

The Follies of Boris Johnson

Author: Douglas Murphy

Publisher: Watkins Media Limited

ISBN: 1910924598

Category: Political Science

Page: 272

View: 475

In a world where the built environment seems ever more shaped by invisible market forces, where modern architecture can seem to dissolve into a generic void, sometimes it takes a very special person to make a difference. Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson was Mayor of London from 2008 until 2016, during which time he took a remarkably keen interest in the built environment, commissioning, guiding, and shaping all manner of different projects. With his achievements he showed us all that massive privilege, leaping ambition, no concern for detail and a wasp’s attention span needn’t hold you back when it comes to creating terrible architecture. Nincompoopolis examines the built legacy of Johnson’s tenure, from his embarrassing follies to the folly of his policies, and wonders if there’s anything that can be learned from letting someone like him have a go at one the world’s great cities.

Nincompoopolis

The Follies of Boris Johnson

Author: Douglas Murphy

Publisher: Repeater

ISBN: 1910924598

Category: Political Science

Page: 272

View: 4571

In a world where the built environment seems ever more shaped by invisible market forces, where modern architecture can seem to dissolve into a generic void, sometimes it takes a very special person to make a difference. Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson was Mayor of London from 2008 until 2016, during which time he took a remarkably keen interest in the built environment, commissioning, guiding, and shaping all manner of different projects. With his achievements he showed us all that massive privilege, leaping ambition, no concern for detail and a wasp’s attention span needn’t hold you back when it comes to creating terrible architecture. Nincompoopolis examines the built legacy of Johnson’s tenure, from his embarrassing follies to the folly of his policies, and wonders if there’s anything that can be learned from letting someone like him have a go at one the world’s great cities.

The Architecture of Failure

Author: Douglas Murphy

Publisher: John Hunt Publishing

ISBN: 1780990227

Category: Philosophy

Page: 158

View: 3520

Against those who considerarchitecture to be a wholly optimistic activity, this book shows how the history of modern architecture is inextricably tied to ideas of failure and ruin. By means of an original reading of the earliest origins of modernism, the Architecture of Failure exposes the ways in which failure has been suppressed, ignored and denied in the way we design our cities. It examines the 19th century fantasy architecture of the iron and glass exhibition palaces, strange, unprecedented, dream-like structures, almost all now lost, existing only as melancholy archive fragments; it traces the cultural legacy of these buildings through the heroics of the early 20th century, post-war radicals and recent developments, discussing related themes in art, literature, politics and philosophy. Critiquing the capitalist symbolism of the self-styled contemporary avant-garde, the book outlines a new history of contemporary architecture, and attempts to recover a radical approach to understanding what we build. Douglas Murphy blogs at http://www.youyouidiot.blogspot.com/

Last Futures

Nature, Technology and the End of Architecture

Author: Douglas Murphy

Publisher: Verso Books

ISBN: 1781689814

Category: Architecture

Page: 240

View: 3636

Whatever happened to the last utopian dreams of the city? In the late 1960s the world was faced with impending disaster: the height of the Cold War, the end of oil and the decline of great cities throughout the world. Out of this crisis came a new generation that hoped to build a better future, influenced by visions of geodesic domes, walking cities and a meaningful connection with nature. In this brilliant work of cultural history, architect Douglas Murphy traces the lost archeology of the present day through the works of thinkers and designers such as Buckminster Fuller, the ecological pioneer Stewart Brand, the Archigram architects who envisioned the Plug-In City in the ’60s, as well as co-operatives in Vienna, communes in the Californian desert and protesters on the streets of Paris. In this mind-bending account of the last avant-garde, we see not just the source of our current problems but also some powerful alternative futures. From the Hardcover edition.

Why It's Kicking Off Everywhere

The New Global Revolutions

Author: Paul Mason

Publisher: Verso Books

ISBN: 184467889X

Category: Political Science

Page: 244

View: 1348

The world is facing a wave of uprisings, protests and revolutions: Arab dictators swept away, public spaces occupied, slum-dwellers in revolt, cyberspace buzzing with utopian dreams. Events we were told were consigned to history—democratic revolt and social revolution—are being lived by millions of people. In this compelling new book, Paul Mason explores the causes and consequences of this great unrest. From Cairo to Athens, Wall Street and Westminster to Manila, Mason goes in search of the changes in society, technology and human behavior that have propelled a generation onto the streets in search of social justice. In a narrative that blends historical insight with first-person reportage, Mason shines a light on these new forms of activism, from the vast, agile networks of cyberprotest to the culture wars and tent camps of the #occupy movement. The events, says Mason, reflect the expanding power of the individual and call for new political alternatives to elite rule and global poverty.

The Political Economy of Media and Power

Author: Jeffery Klaehn

Publisher: Peter Lang

ISBN: 9781433107733

Category: Political Science

Page: 361

View: 8517

The Political Economy of Media and Power is a highly interdisciplinary and innovative edited collection, bringing together a diverse range of chapters that address some of the most important issues of our times. Contributors cut through media spectacle and make visible the intersections between mass media and the politics of power in the contemporary social world. The book is intended to foster critical pedagogy; chapters explore ways in which media connect with a broad range of topics and issues, including globalization; war and terrorism; foreign affairs; democracy; governmental relations; the cultural politics of militarization; gender inequality and the sexist saturation of the public sphere; media representations of women; media spin and public relations within the broader context of corporate and ideological power. The volume features notable contributors, including a preface by Cees Hamelink, an introduction by David Miller and William Dinan, and chapters from Justin Lewis, Robin Andersen, Henry Giroux, James Winter, Robert Jensen, Stuart Allan, Richard Keeble, Yasmin Jiwani, David Berry, Gerald Sussman, and Andrew Mullen.

The City Always Wins

A Novel

Author: Omar Robert Hamilton

Publisher: MCD

ISBN: 0374716331

Category: Fiction

Page: 320

View: 410

Named as one of the Best Books of 2017 by The Boston Globe and The Arts Desk We've been doing the same thing for hundreds of years. Marching, fighting, chanting, dying, changing, winning, losing . This time will be different. This time the future can still be made new. The City Always Wins is a novel from the front line of a revolution. Deeply enmeshed in the 2011 uprising in Tahrir Square, Mariam and Khalil move through Cairo’s surging streets and roiling political underground, their lives burning with purpose, their city alive in open revolt, the world watching, listening, as they chart a course into an unknown future. They are—they believe—fighting a new kind of revolution; they are players in a new epic in the making. But as regimes crumble and the country shatters into ideological extremes, Khalil and Mariam’s commitment—to the ideals of revolution and to one another—is put to the test. From the highs of street battles against the police to the paralysis of authoritarianism, Omar Robert Hamilton’s bold debut cuts straight from the heart of one of the key chapters of the twenty-first century.Arrestingly visual, intensely lyrical, uncompromisingly political, and brutal in its poetry, The City Always Wins is a novel not just about Egypt’s revolution, but also about a global generation that tried to change the world.

Kosovo

The Path to Contested Statehood in the Balkans

Author: James Ker-Lindsay

Publisher: I.B.Tauris

ISBN: 0857714120

Category: Political Science

Page: 288

View: 8271

In 2008, Kosovo declared independence from Serbia. Was this the final chapter in the break-up of Yugoslavia and the successful conclusion to the Balkan Wars of the 1990s? Or was it just one more wrong turn in the path to stability in the Balkans which has set a dangerous precedent for regional conflict throughout the world? _x000D_ _x000D_ When the UN Security Council authorised negotiations to determine the final status of Kosovo in October 2005, most observers confidently expected the Serbian province to become an independent state by the end of the following year. However, the process did not go as planned. After two years of discussions, conducted by two different sets of mediators, the two sides had still not reached an agreement. With the risk of violence in Kosovo increasing, Western leaders appeared to be left with no choice but to accept a unilateral declaration of independence - despite the destabilising effects that this might have on regional and international security. _x000D_ _x000D_ James Ker-Lindsay here charts the course of Kosovo’s path to independence. He points out the serious flaws in the way the talks were conducted and shows how the discussions became caught up in renewed East-West tensions. This clear and perceptive account will be essential reading for anyone with an interest in the recent history of the Balkans or in international conflict resolution.

Niche Tactics

Generative Relationships Between Architecture and Site

Author: Caroline O'Donnell

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317548450

Category: Architecture

Page: 254

View: 3584

Niche Tactics aligns architecture's relationship with site with its ecological analogue: the relationship between an organism and its environment. Bracketed between texts on giraffe morphology, ecological perception, ugliness, and hopeful monsters, architectural case studies investigate historical moments when relationships between architecture and site were productively intertwined, from the anomalous city designs of Francesco de Marchi in the sixteenth century to Le Corbusier’s near eradication of context in his Plan Voisin in the twentieth century to the more recent contextualist movements. Extensively illustrated with 140 drawings and photographs, Niche Tactics considers how attention to site might create a generative language for architecture today.

The Lives of Things

Author: José Saramago

Publisher: Verso Books

ISBN: 1844678784

Category: Fiction

Page: 145

View: 3770

Collects the author's early short stories, infused with satire and fantastical elements and showcasing his efforts to expose the tyranny of the Salazar regime in his native Portugal.

Psychopolitics

Neoliberalism and New Technologies of Power

Author: Byung-Chul Han

Publisher: Verso Books

ISBN: 1784785776

Category: Information technology

Page: 87

View: 8453

"The translation of this work was supported by a grant from the Goethe-Institut which is funded by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs."--Title page verso.

Class and Contemporary British Culture

Author: A. Biressi,H. Nunn

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1137314133

Category: Social Science

Page: 244

View: 6608

How does culture articulate, frame, organise and produce stories about social class and class difference? What do these stories tell us about contemporary models of success, failure, struggle and aspiration? How have class-based labels been revived or newly-minted to categorise the insiders and outsiders of the new 'age of austerity'? Drawing on examples from the 1980s to the present day this book investigates the changing landscape of class and reveals how it has become populated by a host of classed figures including Essex Man and Essex Girl, the 'squeezed middle', the 'sharp-elbowed middle class', the 'feral underclass', the 'white working class', the 'undeserving poor', 'selfish baby boomers' and others. Overall, the book argues that social class, although complicated and highly contested, remains a valid and fruitful route into understanding how contemporary British culture articulates social distinction and social difference and the significant costs and investments at stake for all involved.

Human Rights and the Uses of History

Author: Samuel Moyn

Publisher: Verso Trade

ISBN: 1781682631

Category: Philosophy

Page: 155

View: 409

A series of reflective and critical essays explores the perspectives of leading theorists of human rights, building on the postwar human rights discourse in his acclaimed The Last Utopia to challenge intellectual views about humanitarian intervention.

The Least of All Possible Evils: Humanitarian Violence from Arendt to Gaza

Author: Eyal Weizman

Publisher: Verso Books

ISBN: 1844676471

Category: Political Science

Page: 196

View: 2221

Drawing from an abundance of original research, and based on the principle of the "lesser evil"--the acceptability of pursuing one exceptional course of action in order to prevent a greater injustice--the author charts the latest manifestation of this age-old idea.

Fictitious Capital

How Finance Is Appropriating Our Future

Author: Cédric Durand

Publisher: Verso Books

ISBN: 1784787213

Category: Political Science

Page: 176

View: 8985

How finance is a mechanism of social and political domination The 2007–08 credit crisis and the long recession that followed brutally exposed the economic and social costs of financialization. Understanding what lay behind these events, the rise of “fictitious capital” and its opaque logic, is crucial to grasping the social and political conditions under which we live. Yet, for most people, the operations of the financial system remain shrouded in mystery. In this lucid and compelling book, economist Cédric Durand offers a concise and critical introduction to the world of finance, unveiling the truth behind the credit crunch. Fictitious Capital moves beyond moralizing tales about greedy bankers, short-sighted experts and compromised regulators to look at the big picture. Using comparative data covering the last four decades, Durand examines the relationship between trends such as the rise in private and public debt and the proliferation of financial products; norms such as our habitual assumptions about the production of value and financial stability; and the relationship of all this to political power. Fictitious Capital offers a stark warning about the direction that the international economy is taking. Durand argues that the accelerated expansion of financial operations is a sign of the declining power of the economies of the Global North. The City, Wall Street and other centres of the power of money, he suggests, may already be caked with the frosts of winter.

Decoding Reality

The Universe as Quantum Information

Author: Vlatko Vedral

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192554255

Category: Science

Page: 240

View: 1877

For a physicist, all the world is information. The Universe and its workings are the ebb and flow of information. We are all transient patterns of information, passing on the recipe for our basic forms to future generations using a four-letter digital code called DNA. In this engaging and mind-stretching account, Vlatko Vedral considers some of the deepest questions about the Universe and considers the implications of interpreting it in terms of information. He explains the nature of information, the idea of entropy, and the roots of this thinking in thermodynamics. He describes the bizarre effects of quantum behaviour — effects such as 'entanglement', which Einstein called 'spooky action at a distance', and explores cutting edge work on harnessing quantum effects in hyperfast quantum computers, and how recent evidence suggests that the weirdness of the quantum world, once thought limited to the tiniest scales, may reach into the macro world. Vedral finishes by considering the answer to the ultimate question: where did all of the information in the Universe come from? The answers he considers are exhilarating, drawing upon the work of distinguished physicist John Wheeler. The ideas challenge our concept of the nature of particles, of time, of determinism, and of reality itself. This edition includes a new foreword from the author, reflecting on changes in the world of quantum information since first publication. Oxford Landmark Science books are 'must-read' classics of modern science writing which have crystallized big ideas, and shaped the way we think.

How to Teach Meditation to Children

A Practical Guide to Techniques and Tips for Children Aged 5-18

Author: David Fontana,Ingrid Slack

Publisher: Watkins Publishing

ISBN: 9781786780874

Category: Family & Relationships

Page: 240

View: 645

This is a new edition of the classic guide to teaching meditation to children - one of the first and still one of the best in terms of clarity, practicality and usability. Avoiding religious terminology, it's aimed at both parents and teachers and explains the varying techniques for working with children in different age groups (from 5 upward), offering a wide range of easy-to-follow and effective exercises. The book explains the benefits of meditation for children, from relieving shyness, anxiety and tension to reducing hyperactivity, aggression and impatience. Meditation has also proved helpful when treating asthma, insomnia and depression, and in improving concentration, establishing emotional balance and enhancing imagination and creativity. In fact, meditation is one of the best tools we can offer children to help them cope with the intensity of their feelings and ease the pressures in their lives - among family, with friends and at school. It gives even very young children power over their thinking and emotions through enhanced self-understanding and is incredibly valuable in helping adolescents to navigate the emotional peaks and valleys of the transition from childhood to adulthood. The edition will be given a new foreword by a prominent child psychologist, and a design that highlights the exercises and makes the text even easier to navigate.

Assata

An Autobiography

Author: Assata Shakur

Publisher: Zed Books Ltd.

ISBN: 1783606819

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 416

View: 1456

'Deftly written...a spellbinding tale.' The New York Times In 2013 Assata Shakur, founding member of the Black Liberation Army, former Black Panther and godmother of Tupac Shakur, became the first ever woman to make the FBI's most wanted terrorist list. Assata Shakur's trial and conviction for the murder of a white state trooper in the spring of 1973 divided America. Her case quickly became emblematic of race relations and police brutality in the USA. While Assata's detractors continue to label her a ruthless killer, her defenders cite her as the victim of a systematic, racist campaign to criminalize and suppress black nationalist organizations. This intensely personal and political autobiography reveals a sensitive and gifted woman. With wit and candour Assata recounts the formative experiences that led her to embrace a life of activism. With pained awareness she portrays the strengths, weaknesses and eventual demise of black and white revolutionary groups at the hands of the state. A major contribution to the history of black liberation, destined to take its place alongside The Autobiography of Malcolm X and the works of Maya Angelou.

Mr. Dickens and His Carol

A Novel

Author: Samantha Silva

Publisher: Flatiron Books

ISBN: 1250154030

Category: Fiction

Page: 288

View: 8582

“A charming, comic, and ultimately poignant story about the creation of the most famous Christmas tale ever written. It’s as foggy and haunted and redemptive as the original; it’s all heart, and I read it in a couple of ebullient, Christmassy gulps.” —Anthony Doerr, #1 New York Times bestselling author of All The Light We Cannot See Laced with humor, rich historical detail from Charles Dickens’ life, and clever winks to his work, Samantha Silva's Mr. Dickens and His Carol is an irresistible new take on a cherished classic. Charles Dickens is not feeling the Christmas spirit. His newest book is an utter flop, the critics have turned against him, relatives near and far hound him for money. While his wife plans a lavish holiday party for their ever-expanding family and circle of friends, Dickens has visions of the poor house. But when his publishers try to blackmail him into writing a Christmas book to save them all from financial ruin, he refuses. And a serious bout of writer’s block sets in. Frazzled and filled with self-doubt, Dickens seeks solace in his great palace of thinking, the city of London itself. On one of his long night walks, in a once-beloved square, he meets the mysterious Eleanor Lovejoy, who might be just the muse he needs. As Dickens’ deadlines close in, Eleanor propels him on a Scrooge-like journey that tests everything he believes about generosity, friendship, ambition, and love. The story he writes will change Christmas forever.

The BBC

Myth of a Public Service

Author: Tom Mills

Publisher: Verso Books

ISBN: 1784784850

Category: Political Science

Page: 272

View: 353

The BBC: the mouthpiece of the Establishment? The BBC is one of the most important institutions in Britain; it is also one of the most misunderstood. Despite its claim to be independent and impartial, and the constant accusations of a liberal bias, the BBC has always sided with the elite. As Tom Mills demonstrates, we are only getting the news that the Establishment wants aired in public. Throughout its existence, the BBC has been in thrall to those in power. This was true in 1926 when it stood against the workers during the General Strike, and since then the Corporation has continued to mute the voices of those who oppose the status quo: miners in 1984; anti-war protesters in 2003; those who offer alternatives to austerity economics since 2008. From the outset much of its activity has been scrutinised by the secret services at the invitation of those in charge. Since the 1990s the BBC has been integrated into the market, while its independence from government and big business has been steadily eroded. The BBC is an important and timely examination of a crucial public institution that is constantly under threat.