Life as an Extreme Sport

A New Type of Work, An Old Type of Man

The socialization of the worker to the condition of capitalist production entails the social control of physical and mental power on a very broad basis. Education, training, persuasion, the mobilization of certain social sentiments… and psychological propensities… all play a role and one plainly mixed with the formation of dominant ideologies cultivated by the mass media, religious and educational institutions, and the various arms of the state… It’s long been a criticism of our public education system that its function is primarily to create highly socialized factory drones. Following a Fordist model, children are raised to be comfortable in warehouse-like settings that accustom the child to working in factory life. Taking direction from the teacher easily translates into taking direction from a foreman, and the indoctrination of school pride (often played out via support for sports teams) can be seen as conditioning to support the company and instill habits of

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If Postmodernists Are Reacting Against Modernity, Are Fundamentalists Postmodern?

No one exactly agrees as to what is meant by the term, except, perhaps, that ‘postmodernism’ represents some kind of reaction to, or departure from, ‘modernism’. – David Harvey, The Condition of Postmodernity If modernity/modernism can be defined as a result of the Enlightenment and characterized by a seriousness of scientificism and rationality (empiricism), then literary critic Terry Eagleton’s definition of a playful and self-ironizing postmodernsim would play very nicely into the idea of postmodernism as a secular reaction to modernity, the flip side to the 1910s-1920s development of fundamentalism as the religious response to modernization. The editors of the PRECIS 6 architectural journal certainly plays into this idea of postmodernism “as a legitimate reaction to the ‘monotony’ of universal modernism’s vision of the world’ (Harvey 9). If modernism is an embodiment of the scientific revolution, “with the belief in linear progress, absolute truths, the rational planning of ideal social

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The Teaching Conspiracy

So, as I believe I’ve mentioned, I’m functioning as a teacher’s assistant (technically considered a peer facillitator, as I’m an undergrad) for CHID 390. I’m keeping a running log of my thoughts on this, largely because it’s my first time teaching at the university level, and I want to remember the lessons learned for future years of teaching (of which I forsee quite a bit). I consider myself so very lucky to have Phillip as the professor I’m working with. He’s incredibly supportive and confident in my ability to do this, which is a great relief, especially as my own faith in being able to do “this” is still, for lack of better word, being earned. I might believe I can do this by the time the quarter is over. I think the most important lesson I’ve learned from Phillip so far, aside from the incredibly valuable “reading as an

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A Brief History of Medical Knowledge

The Doctor’s Decalogue For in ten words the whole Art is comprised — For some of the ten are always advised: Piss, Spew and Spit, Perspiration and Sweat; Purge, Bleed, and Blister, Issues and Clyster. – Edward Baynard, M.D. 1719 The body of medical knowledge has existed in three distinct phases. The first phase would stretch from the beginnings of history to about 450 BCE, the time of Phythagorus and Hippocrates. What we now consider Hippocratic Medicine took for granted that disease is caused by natural subjects and natural law (that the world is ordered and governed in a certain way). No one really knows why the Greeks suddenly shifted to this natural law, but it’s been the basis of our medical thinking ever since. Pre-Hippocratic medical knowledge was interpretted in strictly supernatural terms, while Hippocratic medicine saw illness as a practical matter. The big differentiation here is what caused

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modernity and the war on drugs

A quick entry (although I have a backlog of topics to write on, lucky me) before I lose the thought to my fried short term memory: One of the reasons the so-called war on drugs never achieved its goals of stopping drug use is that it was fighting a war without an opponent. This is not to say that there was no opposition, but that those dealing in the drug trade were operating on such a different level than the government, the analogy of books and pages and even libraries becomes meaningless. The government’s war on drugs is a decidedly modernist conception, a vertical column of rigid infrastructure that they expected their opposition to also adhere to. By contrast, those trading in drugs are following a more horizontal organizational style, focusing on distributed systems and cell based communications – all very postmodern. By framing their offensive on a modernist conception

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