Book-Text-Read-Zines · Social/Politics · Technology

Silicon and surveillance: A tale of big data and bigger conspiracies


Thomas Pynchon’s novels have several recurring themes: paranoia and conspiracy, pastiches of high and low culture, synchronicity and coincidence, shadowy networks lurking around every corner, and the impact of science and technology. With the coming of the Internet age and the surveillance society that sprang up in the wake of 11 September 2001, it seems as though reality has finally caught up with his vision. In his latest work, Bleeding Edge, Pynchon takes full advantage of this convergence.

The first question asked of a new Pynchon book is: is this one of the sprawling, spiralling, time-tripping monsters with innumerable characters and a plot that is tricky to bring into focus, like Gravity’s Rainbow or Against the Day; or is it one of the fun detective stories with a well-defined protagonist, like The Crying of Lot 49 or Inherent Vice? Bleeding Edge is definitely in the latter category. There is a colourful cast of memorable personalities, and high jinks often ensue, but the tale is told linearly, from the point of view of an acknowledged main character, with something approximating an explicit goal.

Excerpt from an article written by Sean M. Carroll at Nature. Continue THERE

Earthly/Geo/Astro · Human-ities · Performativity · Technology · Theory

Moon landing conspiracy theories

Astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong in NASA’s training mockup of the Moon and lander module. Conspiracy theorists say that the film of the missions was made using similar sets to this training mockup.

Jim Lovell training for Apollo 13

The Moon landing conspiracy theories claim that some or all elements of the Apollo program and the associated Moon landings were hoaxes staged by NASA and members of other organizations. Hoax theories, saying Apollo astronauts had never walked on the Moon, began during the six manned landings (1969–1972). Various groups and individuals have continued to make conspiracy claims since the end of the Apollo program in 1975. Conspiracy theorists (henceforth conspiracists) consistently base their claims on the notion NASA and others knowingly misled the public into believing the landings happened by manufacturing, destroying, or tampering with evidence; including photos, telemetry tapes, transmissions, rock samples, and even some key witnesses.

Text and Images via Wikipedia