Tag: thingtheory

Writing

Follow the Things

In Arjun Appadurai’s introduction to The Social Life of Things, he noted that one of the aims of the essay was to “justify the conceit that commodities, like persons, have social lives.” Thirty years later, this conceit has become widespread. Projects like Follow the Things not only embrace but extend the premise by demonstrating that […]

Writing

OUMIs (Object, Utensil, Machine or Installation)

The Government wishes to inform members of the public that the faults and defects in certain objects, utensils, machines, and installations (OUMIs, in abbreviated form) that have become increasingly common in recent months, are being scrupulously examined by a panel of experts which now includes a parapsychologist. Members of the public should beware of anyone […]

Writing

The Well-Connected Game

A colleague of mine pointed me towards this insightful piece by the Hungarian writer Frigyes Karinthy. In his 1929 short story, Chains (Láncszemek, but here translated as Chain-Links), Karinthy’s narrator describes the “well-connected game” he has been playing. A fascinating game grew out of this discussion. One of us suggested performing the following experiment to […]