Distraction Free Reading

Weekly Round-up | January 20th, 2017

Starting today, we’ll be posting a weekly round-up of cool stuff from around the web that the editorial collective thinks might be interesting to readers of the blog: posts from other blogs, news stories, art objects, internet ephemera. If you stumble across anything that you think might fit here, just shoot a link to editor@castac.org. Help break us out of our habitual media itineraries and parochial corners of the internet!

Painting of vaqueros rounding up cattle in 1830s Spanish California

Actual image of our link round-up process (public domain, courtesy of Wikimedia)

  • Anthropology News published a nice short essay on the histories and futures of brisket. Come for the recipe for Lil Pachter’s Jewish-Style Braised Brisket, stay for Kelly Alexander’s sharp writing on the politics of this polyvocal piece of meat.
  • If you work on AI, you probably saw a proposed European Parliament resolution about how to deal with relationships between humans and their intelligent creations last year. Well, it’s coming up for an actual vote soon, and Coltan Scrivner takes the occasion for an interestingly cautious piece on the ethics of artificial intelligence at Savage Minds, drawing together discourse about primatology, rights, and smart machines.
  • If you’re stressed out about the inauguration, take a break to space out with Zeno van den Broek’s “immersive AV architectures” and read an interview with the composer and artist over at Create Digital Media. Van den Broek’s own website also has a ton of content to explore if you get hooked.
  • Trying to make sense of the fake news, and the arguments about fake news, and the arguments about the arguments about fake news that are threatening to take over your newsfeed? Take a look at Hugh Gusterson’s thoroughly anthropological thoughts about #pizzagate and other rumors in the internet age over at Sapiens.
  • If the relentless cascade of actual political news sharing that same newsfeed has left you feeling vegetal, or just post-human in general, check out “What are Humans? Who are Plants?“, the latest post from Michael Marder at The Philosopher’s Plant.
  • Finally, given the occasion of this inaugural post, we would be remiss if we didn’t include a link to Cultural Anthropology’s series on The Rise of Trumpism, featuring posts by heavy-hitters like Judith Butler, Michael Fischer, Susan Harding and Michael Taussig, well-curated by Lucas Bessire and David Bond.

Stay safe and happy as best you can today and this weekend, folks! We’ll be back with our editorial welcome for 2017 next Tuesday.

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