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

Updated 14 May 2018
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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 This book is for you,” says  Morton, acknowledging that ecology books are either clogged with information already out of date by the time they are published or filled with shocking news to make us feel bad.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: The Discrete Charm of the Machine by Ken Steiglitz

Updated 17 January 2019
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What We Are Reading Today: The Discrete Charm of the Machine by Ken Steiglitz

A few short decades ago, we were informed by the smooth signals of analog television and radio; we communicated using our analog telephones; and we even computed with analog computers.

Today our world is digital, built with zeros and ones.

Why did this revolution occur? The Discrete Charm of the Machine explains, in an engaging and accessible manner, the varied physical and logical reasons behind this radical transformation, says a review on the Princeton University Press website.

The spark of individual genius shines through this story of innovation: The stored program of Jacquard’s loom; Charles Babbage’s logical branching; Alan Turing’s brilliant abstraction of the discrete machine; Harry Nyquist’s foundation for digital signal processing; Claude Shannon’s breakthrough insights into the meaning of information and bandwidth; and Richard Feynman’s prescient proposals for nanotechnology and quantum computing. Ken Steiglitz follows the progression of these ideas in the building of our digital world.