Category: Words

Our Drones, Ourselves

Drones have changed modern warfare almost beyond recognition. In the 19th century, the military theorist Carl von Clausewitz likened war to “a duel on a larger scale,” but drones do away with ...

“Rivers of Blood” @50

Imperial historians, and inhabitants of places colonized by Britain, know that much of England’s history happened beyond its borders. As decolonization whittled away imperial possessions ...

Brexit or Utopia?

Ali Smith’s Autumn, the first installment of a four-volume “seasonal quartet” that now continues with Winter, was hailed on its release as “the first great Brexit novel.” As any reader of the book knows, there ...

We Like Short Shorts

We seem to be in an age in which short forms have risen from minor to major cultural commodities. On November 30, 2017, word went out on the internet that Vine, a defunct video-sharing platform ...

Down with the Scribes!

Mesopotamian scribes knew a story about the invention of writing. According to this story, the momentous event occurred in the city of Uruk, where King Enmerkar coveted treasures from the neighboring ...

Reading with Strangers

On a visit to Bogotá in 2006, riding on the then new TransMilenio bus rapid transit system, I discovered that it sponsored Libro al Viento (Books on the Wind), a series of free publications ...

Striking Resemblances

Kadin Henningsen, a graduate student and teaching assistant at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), went on strike this past February with 2,500 of his coworkers to protect their ...