hidden hit counter
From the Latest Entry...
What do philosophy and retail have in common? As this article from the Economist highlights, what a few French Marxists had to say about culture and authority might provide much insight into how modern capitalist markets behave. “Modern retailers are only just getting to grips with two of the consequences of the breakdown of authority…

Retail Therapy

What do philosophy and retail have in common? As this article from the Economist highlights, what a few French Marxists had to say about culture and authority might provide much insight into how modern capitalist markets behave. “Modern retailers are only just getting to grips with two of the consequences of the breakdown of authority and hierarchy that they hoped for half a century ago: the “fragmentation” of narratives and the individual’s ability to be “the artist of his own life.”

While I may not necessarily agree with the sentiment, my favorite quote from the article is this one by philosopher Jean-François Lyotard: “Eclecticism is the degree zero of contemporary general culture; one listens to reggae, watches a Western, eats McDonald’s food for lunch and local cuisine for dinner, wears Paris perfume in Tokyo and retro clothes in Hong Kong; knowledge is a matter for TV games.”

Posted by Joel on December 28 2006 •

Best of the Year

Every December, many critics and writers pick their favorite books of the year. A few lists have been published: a few holiday picks from independent booksellers featured at NPR; the New York Times 10 Best Books of 2006; and the Washington Post’s Best of 2006.

One more list: the Barnes and Noble Staff Picks for the best of the year.

Posted by Joel on December 17 2006 • Books

Echo Maker review

Margaret Atwood has a review of Richard Powers’ The Echo Maker in the Dec. 21 issue of the New York Review of Books. She writes, “ there are books you read once and there are other books you read more than once because they are so flavorful, and then there are yet other books that you have to read more than once. Powers is in the third category: the second time through is necessary to pick up all the hidden treasure-hunt clues you might have missed on your first gallop through the plot. You do gallop, because Powers can plot. Of some books you don’t ask How will it all turn out? since that isn’t the point. It’s certainly part of the point with Powers. Only part, however.”

Posted by Joel on December 01 2006 • Books