Tim Morton’s book will open your mind to a new way of being

Updated 14 May 2018

Tim Morton’s book will open your mind to a new way of being

BEIRUT: “Being Ecological” will interest anyone passionate about ecology, but this is not the readership Tim Morton is targeting. Being Ecological is primarily meant for anyone who doesn’t care about ecology. “Don’t read ecology books? This book is for you,” says  Morton, acknowledging that ecology books are either clogged with information already out of date by the time they are published or filled with shocking news to make us feel bad.

“This book has none of that” and “it also contains no ecological facts, no shocking revelations about our world, no ethical or political advice, and no grand tour of ecological thinking. This is a pretty useless ecology book, in fact,” says Morton. His wry humor and playful tone run throughout this collection of essays which show us how to live ecological knowledge through the lense of philosophy, literature and popular culture.

“I have a lot of sympathy for the ‘What are we going to do?’ sort of question. And this is precisely why I refuse to give it a straight answer,” writes Morton. 

In a powerful and dazzling display of intellectual calisthenics, Morton opens our minds to new ways of thinking. 

The narrative is clever, challenging and hardly coherent.  He writes like he thinks: Unrestrained and unbridled. He re-molds the language, invents words and brings a new dimension to the art of writing so you can feel the texture of an idea, the taste of a thought and express the color of a feeling.

Tim Morton has devised an exhilarating approach to creating a liveable future. All forms of life are connected. Each one of us is a symbiotic being entwined with other symbiotic beings. 

This interconnectedness encompasses all dimensions of life. In other words, being ecological is not an option because we are ecological.

What We Are Reading Today: American Bonds by Sarah L. Quinn

Updated 26 June 2019

What We Are Reading Today: American Bonds by Sarah L. Quinn

  • American Bonds examines the evolution of securitization and federal credit programs

Federal housing finance policy and mortgage-backed securities have gained widespread attention in recent years because of the 2008 financial crisis, but issues of government credit have been part of American life since the nation’s founding. 

From the 1780s, when a watershed national land credit policy was established, to the postwar foundations of our current housing finance system, American Bonds examines the evolution of securitization and federal credit programs. Sarah Quinn shows that since the Westward expansion, the US government has used financial markets to manage America’s complex social divides, and politicians and officials across the political spectrum have turned to land sales, home ownership, and credit to provide economic opportunity without the appearance of market intervention or direct wealth redistribution.

Highly technical systems, securitization, and credit programs have been fundamental to how Americans determined what they could and should owe one another. 

Over time, government officials embraced credit as a political tool that allowed them to navigate an increasingly complex and fractured political system, affirming the government’s role as a consequential and creative market participant. Neither intermittent nor marginal, credit programs supported the growth of powerful industries, from railroads and farms to housing and finance; have been used for disaster relief, foreign policy, and military efforts; and were promoters of amortized mortgages, lending abroad, venture capital investment, and mortgage securitization. Illuminating America’s market-heavy social policies, American Bonds illustrates how political institutions became involved in the nation’s lending practices.