this week i

worked late a couple nights for a few moments above the fold.  journal article too.  favorite phrase: this is similar to the percentage last year


met gayle, robert for beer, spaghetti, ice cream, exchange of travel stories, discussion of culpeper vinters


surprised rupak (en route to grant committee meetings) with the second yellow fever immunization of my life.  we agreed on barcelona over gelato


viewed three photobooks: prartha singh's har shaam shaheen bagh, chobi mela 2017, chobi mela 2021




(1)  noam chomsky visited lula in jail

if i speak, the republic falls

corruption so widespread that it threatens the political system itself


(2) the most widely consumed fat on the planet

when the venetian explorer cadamosto encountered it in senegal in the 15th century, he wrote that it had the 'scent of violets, the taste of our olive oil and a colour which tinges food like saffron, but is more attractive'


(3) yawns, coughs, blinks and itches are contagious: why not convulsions?

one of the most effective treatments for resignation syndrome is to grant the family asylum, but even then recovery is slow - as would be expected of a body subject to such prolonged inactivity.  that the condition can be cured by a positive asylum decision leads some to dismiss it as malingering


(4) to understand afghanistan you have to start in islamabad

saudi arabia joined the us in financing the mujahideen, and training and equipment were supplied by pakistan's isi

the pashtun plural for the arabic word talib, 'student', since they had all been students or teachers at madrasas in afghanistan and pakistan


(5) san francisco came to be known in cantonese as 'old gold mountain' (gau gamsan), melbourne as 'new gold mountain' (san gamsan)

the gold rushes transformed the world economy.  in half a century 435 million ounces of gold were extracted, more than the total amount in circulation over the previous three thousand years..the discovery enabled an expansion of trade and finance, and much of the world adopted the gold standard in response.  since 88 per cent of the gold was held in britain and the us, this transition cemented the countries' status as global creditors and lenders.  at the same time, the value of silver held by many other economies, most notably the qing, collapsed.  chinese purchases of silver from latin america and asia, which began in the 15th century, had helped united earlier incarnations of the global market; the shift from silver to gold symbolised the transition from a world economy centered on asia to one centered on the north atlantic

women made up between 3 and 7 per cent of the chinese american population until the 20th century

(6) the neoliberal perspective

as first articulated in the 1930s by the austrian economist friedrich hayek and by henry simons of the university of chicago, holds that if we want entrepreneurs, financiers, and ordinary citizens to be liberated from state regulation, strong government rules must protect the market from the state.  milton friedman, in a 1951 essay titled "neo-liberalism and its prospects," agreed that this project went well beyond inoculate capitalism against the threat of democracy


(7) assyrian posterity

ashurbanipal corners and destroys roaring lions, then pours a libation onto four of their prostrate bodies.  the hunting of dangerous beasts, lions above all, served the assyrian kings, and later those of persia, as a display of power and dominion; large game parks were established in capital cities to allow them to demonstrate their prowess.  (the iranian name for these lush, walled spaces comes into english, by way of greek and hebrew versions, as the word paradise.)  the relief at the getty gives a good sense of how the royal hunt was choreographed: attendants are seen releasing one lion from a cage and driving others toward ashurbanipal to give him an opening for a solo kill.  to judge by their thick necks and beardless faces, most of the attendants are eunuchs.  similar beardless retinues accompany the king in nearly every relief panel, shading him with parasols, keeping off flies with whisks, playing musical instruments, or serving him food and drink; their ministrations attest to his hypermasculine, superhuman stature


(8) janicza bravo's zola

perhaps for this reason, her relationship to capital remains murky.  is she a canny producer or a rapacious consumer?  a thing to be used or an experience to be exchanged?  a fetishized commodity or a figure for capitalism itself?  "prostitution is only the specific expression of the general prostitution of the labourer," marx writes.  elsewhere, with a nod to shakespeare, he describes money as "the common whore, the common pimp of peoples and nations."  is she common?  what is the whore's class position?  she is traditionally the lowest in society, but can be catapulted to the top in an instant.  she still magnetizes resentment and desire from everyone

"you dance?"  "it's been a minute."  "i dance."  "okay bitch.  me too."

i invented threads


(9) disposal of the dead through history

embalming took off in the us during the civil war because of the vast distances bodies had to travel without refrigeration.  the physician who perfected the technique charged a hundred bucks a piece and displayed the corpse of an unidentified soldier in the window of his shop to drum up business

every magician..knows that sticking a closed box in the middle of a group of people is a recipe for sustained suspense


(10) wanking to banking