“Cutting Ourselves Apart” @ Reconfiguring Human and Non-Human 2015

Below is the slightly edited text of my talk from the “Reconfiguring Human and Non-Human” seminar at Jyväskylä.

1.1. Introduction  Continue reading ““Cutting Ourselves Apart” @ Reconfiguring Human and Non-Human 2015″

A Prairie Drone Companion – now available

My short provocation for Culture Machine’s “Drone Culture” issue is now up (with a wonderful response) and it’s open access, so just jump right over to Culture Machine or Academia. My more extended take on Drone agriculture won’t be appearing until late 2015 or early 2016 in Ashgate’s Rise of the Good Drone.

Rudest Book Review

This is as mean as I’ve seen in a while and from a mathematician

In the opinion of the reviewer, this is a poorly written textbook, covering the usual basic material on groups, rings, and fields. The book is not at all affected by the changes in modern algebra in the last twenty-eight years and the reviewer fails to see how any student could benefit by its use. The proofs are often needlessly long and complicated (e.g., the construction of a quotient field of an integral domain occupies 31 printed 2 pages) and the book is burdened with non-illuminating examples. For the most part, the exercises are routine, except for one or two which are much too difficult for the intended audience: Ex. 3.51 on p. 167 asks for a proof that every finite division ring is commutative, with no hints whatsoever being given!

There are far too many criticisms of exposition, arrangement, and choice of material that the reviewer feels should be made to warrant printing them here. The following samples should suffice: 1. It is surely out of place nowadays to prove the fundamental theorem for finite abelian groups, p. 46, without studying modules over Euclidean or principal ideal rings. This is done in spite of the fact that there is a long discussion of Euclidean rings and unique factorization. 2. Starting on p. 67, equivalence relations and classes are treated in ponderous detail, yet these concepts are never mentioned, let alone used, in connection with cosets or residue classes. 3. The chapter on rings has a proof of the Hilbert basis theorem, and the field chapter includes an incomplete treatment of finite fields. Now, the Hilbert theorem is pointless without further work showing its application to ideals in polynomial rings and algebraic geometry, while a treatment of finite fields that fails to state that a finite field is determined up to isomorphism by the number of its elements and does not touch the existence theorem is not useful. — A. Rosenberg (1958)

On Speaking with Pigs

Almost everyone believes pigs say oink, but they don’t. They most often say gronk, but when startled they saw rawrk. They say something like ronk when they want an associate to move over and baawrp when they’re happy. There’s also a number of mating sounds, most notably the rutting bark, which is deeper in the boar. There is also a so called guttural monotone of the baby pig; it squeals when laid on by the mother or otherwise injured. When an intruder appears they say something like wheeeiii.

Leo Bustad and V. Glenn Horstman, “Pigs: From B.C.  to 2000 A.D.: From Outhouse to Penthouse,” Swine in Biomedical Research (1986), p. 6