Geoffrey Fox

Reflections & Inquiries

Stepping back to charge forward

2017.01.03

In a world beset by so many crises, and with Internet communications thrusting great tragedies and shocking murders into our faces almost all the time, we have to make an effort to stay calm, not quiescent but cool enough to think and act rationally. Using whatever resources each of us commands to help make things … read more »

She lives!

2016.12.21

Communal Luxury: The Political Imaginary of the Paris Commune by Kristin Ross My rating: 4 of 5 stars This is a collection of five deeply thought essays on distinct but overlapping debates regarding the Paris Commune of the spring of 1871, coming not to a unified conclusion but raising more sharply pointed questions about social … read more »

They’re out to get you!

2016.12.08

A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan My rating: 4 of 5 stars An overarching story of changing times and failed aspirations is constructed of many much smaller, intimately observed episodes of a dozen or more characters in and around the music business. Their lives sometimes just brush against one another, or can … read more »

Crises and inequality

2016.12.07

Professor Scheidel tells us that the only effective social leveler is all-out war. There is another sort of crisis brewing, short of thermonuclear war (though not without violence), destabilizing the patterns that are producing greater inequality. We are experiencing its effects already: Inequality (as Thomas Piketty predicted) has grown so great and become so obvious … read more »

Consciousness and conspiracy

2016.11.18

I just discovered this note written 1-28-1971 as preparation for a lecture in a sociology course I was then teaching at the University of Illinois in Chicago. It still seems relevant  — especially for the “bubbles” we all live in. People who share common objective conditions come to develop similar interpretations of the world, and … read more »

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