Straddler 8 Cover Image
“Society has claims upon us all.”

On Network Culture:
in conversation with
Kazys Varnelis

As a historian, I worry that we have lost our ability to think historically about the present day. From the eighteenth century through the 1980s, we situated ouserves in the world using historical modes of explanation. But then something changed.

If there’s anything I’m out to do, it is to suggest that we need to do that again, even if historical modes of explanation aren’t popular anymore. Particularly so because—to use James Kwak’s point about ideology being successful when you don’t recognize it as an ideology—the ideology of network culture eschews history for a technologized now.

We’re getting into a situation where things are accelerating more and more rapidly towards this direction of unfettered networks, of privatization, coupled with a strange grinding to a halt of the gears of democracy.


From The Straddler Archives
Emily Dickinson has had it
with Yankee Bloodshed

"Appearing within a year of the Civil War’s beginning, it is difficult not to read Victory comes late— as a response both to the war and to the national and religious ideologies which underlay both sides' efforts."
Barack Obama and the
Culture of Consultancy

"Even if one accepts and laments the premise that Barack Obama is a consultant masquerading as a president, another question remains: is Barack Obama, whatever his failings as a president, a good consultant?"

What's Natural? In conversation
with Peter Temin
"In my opinion, macroeconomics has lost its way."

Poetry by Jessica Murray
"or to bear
the lack of someone
almost given something
taken back."