apocalypse, how?

My point is: it is vain to talk about general collapse or effondrement or apocalypse if the foundation of your conceptions is dubious, and secondly, if you nevertheless want to start suggesting responses, you’d better propose approaches that fit situations and urgencies that already today need sustainable remedies. (…) The fear for a threatening collapse of civilisation is nothing new in Western culture. From the first millennium, past the year 2000, there has been the continuously postponed apocalypse of Jehova’s Witnesses, the atomic bomb, the population bomb, Star Wars, the irresistible invasion of Europe and North America by all the deplorables of the planet and with it the loss of national identity … up to the threat of artificial intelligence and the possibility of transhumanism (of a technological post-humanity, the fusion of wo/man and machine) potentially leading to the end of humanity. (Of course I would not be that cynical as to state that much of the fear mongering about an apocalypse is enhanced by those who are thinking about commercializing solutions for the problems they are invoking.)

jianghu: rivers and lakes

In Chinese writing, there’s a term which is composed by the characters for rivers and lakes: jianghu. That is why jianghu is commonly translated as ‘rivers and lakes’. One finds the notion already in ancient poetry and philosophy of two thousand years ago. Sometimes jianghu refers to watery sites, like in ‘fishes are better off... Lire la Suite →


In so many different languages people say AMEN to conclude a prayer or to confirm what has just been stated. ‘That’s how it will be, full stop, amen, finished!’ US Representative Emanuel Cleaver (Dem.) however has recently discovered a new connotation in this centuries old term: it is an offence against gender neutrality. Last Sunday,... Lire la Suite →

a long goodbye

Jan Blommaert is saying farewell to life. And as far as his public life is concerned, he does so in the way people have got to know him: astute, critical and engaged in the world around him, but not without questioning his own position in it. Jan Blommaert has always been an inspiring researcher and... Lire la Suite →


Remember, Robert, in life anything can happen. Even if you don't have all the things you want, be grateful for the things you don't have that you don't want. Bob Dylan's father, quoted in: Bob Dylan, Chronicles - Volume One, 2004, 226.

control in times of plague

"... and when his name was called he had to present himself at the window, it being understood that if he failed to appear it had to be because he was in bed, and if he was in bed he was ill, and if he was ill he was dangerous and so intervention was called for.”
Foucault on plague policy

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