Will 2011 hold ecological disasters comparable to this year's floods in Pakistan, Iceland's volcano, the tsunami in Indonesia, or China's earthquakes? Hard to tell, says Slavoj Žižek, author of Living in the End Times, in a provocative new op-ed for the New York Times:
One thing is clear: We should accustom ourselves to a much more nomadic way of life. Gradual or sudden change in our environment, about which science can do little more than offer a warning, may force unheard-of social and cultural transformations. Suppose a new volcanic eruption makes a place uninhabitable: Where will the inhabitants find a home? In the past, large population movements were spontaneous processes, full of suffering and loss of civilizations. Today, when weapons of mass destruction are available not only to states but even to local groups, humanity simply can't afford a spontaneous population exchange.
What this means is that new forms of global cooperation, which do not depend on the market or on diplomatic negotiations, must be invented. Is this an impossible dream?
Visit the New York Times to read the article in full.
Following events to launch Rebel Rank and File in California recently, Cal Winslow and Mike Hamlin were interviewed about the new collection for KPFA's "Against the Grain." Winslow is one of the editor's of the Rebel Rank and File, and contributed the opening piece, "Overview: The Rebellion from Below, 1965–81." Hamlin, of the Dodge Revolutionary Union Movement, wrote the book's foreword.
Writing today for the London Review of Books Blog, Tariq Ali, author most recently of The Obama Syndrome, says the new round of Wikileaks simply "confirm what we already know about Af-Pak," namely that:
Pakistan is a US satrapy: its military and political leaders constitute a venal elite happy to kill and maim its people at the behest of a foreign power.
Edwin Heathcote, the Financial Times' architecture critic, selects Jean Baudrillard's America as one of the best non-fiction books of 2010:
Baudrillard's stunning contemplation on the vastness of the US was first published in English in 1988 and is reissued here with an excellent introduction by Geoff Dyer.
Visit the Financial Times to read the full list.
Leon Neyfakh, arts reporter for the New York Observer, reports on Words and Money, and the tension between market pressure and literary value in publishing today:
Schiffrin argues that neither book publishers who seek to publish important or difficult works nor news outlets that aim to produce significant reportage can "continue to rely on the traditional forms of profit-centered ownership" and must find ways to attract funding from alternative sources.
Visit Thirteen.org to read the article in full.