TR: A Walk Through Yesteryear: Boblo Island and Fort Malden (9/29/2012)


I have come to understand and learn a lot about my surroundings since moving to Michigan. I try to stay busy, visiting places throughout the Lansing metro area as well as the surrounding towns and cities. That kind of action is really never ending and something I may end up doing the rest of my life, and I’m perfectly OK with that right now. Most often, when I start to discuss somewhere, my wife knows something about it. She understands the geography and has an idea about the history of the towns around where we’re going. There’s anecdotes and whatnot. However, that knowledge has its limits. North of Saginaw is a total mystery. The “thumb” is somewhere we’ve only really explored by car on one occasion (in freezing temps during winter). And the other side of the Detroit River, in Canada? You can tell me about how Windsor is south…

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Perception Of Landscape in A Journey To Avebury (1971) – Derek Jarman.

Celluloid Wicker Man

Out of all of Derek Jarman’s pre-feature length film work, his short capture of a 1971 walking trip, A Journey To Avebury, is perhaps his most interesting and subtly complex piece of short film work.  These were the early days of Jarman’s experimentation when his work as a painter and even a set designer still seemed to dominate over his purely cinematic interests.  This was of course the same year that saw him design the sets for Ken Russell’s The Devils; a film that wallowed in the historical urbane of human presence and depravity.  Coupling the films together, one appears to be the heady syndrome of a realist whilst the other seems a cathartic escape from populated zones and into the very heart of the green and pleasant hills.

Yet A Journey To Avebury is not a simple home movie.  Its format belies such readings as it was…

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The Commodification of People

Michael A. Katell

Among the many ways so-called Big Data is influencing our lives, quantification and predictive analytics is beginning to play a significant role in how people are selected for opportunities, such as jobs, homes, romance, sex, insurance, and so on, substituting the vagaries of human judgement with seemingly objective and reliable analytic scorecards and labels. The same profusion of data that flows from your interactions with the networked and surveiled world, and which results in all those “personalized” ads you routinely encounter, can also be used to evaluate and grade you as a person. Your daily experiences and interactions with websites, mobile apps, credit card processors, eBook readers, cell-phone carriers, security cameras, etc. leaves data trails that are routinely and tirelessly hoovered up to supply the information economy with the raw material of user profiling (but you already knew that, right?). But beyond the now familiar goal of these activities to…

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