man in the dark.

Es ist ja immer die Frage, ob man ein neues Buch von Paul Auster lesen soll. Herr Knoerer hat einmal geraten, nach dem Titel zu gehen: wenn er zu verquast klingt, dann lieber sein lassen. Das war für das letzte Buch „Travels in the Scriptorium“ ein gut funktionierender Rat: ein verquaster Titel und ein mittelmäßiges Buch, ohne dessen Lektüre man auch hätte leben können. Was macht man aber bei „Man in the Dark“? Klingt eigentlich noch so okay, dass man es wagen könnte. Die Rezension in der ‚New York Review of Books‘ empfiehlt es, durchaus vor dem Hintergrund begründeter Kritik an Austers Büchern: „Some of Auster’s tics or techniques—the incestuous literary connections, the skewed autobiography, the ambiguous blurring of fact and fiction, the pervasive fatefulness—might sink any ordinary novel from sheer portentousness. And portentousness, as well as sentimentality, has been a criticism regularly leveled at his work. At its best, his tone is unruffled, meditative, intelligent, yet sometimes it does grow gravely august, both orotund and oracular. His characters are all too often the playthings of invisible forces; and the most trivial action—answering a telephone, buying a blue notebook—can bring about the most improbable and dire consequences. What may look like chance is usually kismet, and to Auster New York really is Baghdad on the Hudson, an Arabian Nights world of omens, shifting identities, unexpected windfalls, improbable meetings, wildly good and bad luck, and all those sudden peripeteias that seem more the stuff of melodrama than of modern fiction.“ [#]

cognitive disability: a challenge to moral philosophy.

Im September fand an der Stony Brook University eine Konferenz über die Beziehung zwischen kognitiven Behinderungen und Moralphilosophie statt, mit hochkarätigen Vortragenden wie Martha Nussbaum und Peter Singer, um nur zwei Beispiele zu nennen. Jetzt sind fast alle Vorträge als Podcasts online. Es geht vor allem um Autismus, Alzheimer und geistige Behinderung.

Zum Thema Autismus besonders interessant: das Video von Ian Hackings Vortrag „How we have been learning to talk about autism.“ In seinem Vortrag spricht Hacking über den Bedarf einer neuen Linguistik: „The new multimedia genre of autistic narrative–autobiography, parental biography, fictions, stories for children, and above all blogs, is an essential part of transforming the conception that severely autistic people lead „thin“ emotional lives into a vision of a far richer mode of existence.“ [#]

people shapes.

„One of the ideas I’ve been exploring relates to how urban industry – in the widest sense of the word – in the knowledge economy is often invisible, at least immediately and in situ. Whereas urban industry would once have produced thick plumes of smoke or deafening sheets of sound, today’s information-rich environments – like the State Library of Queensland, or a contemporary office – are places of still, quiet production, with few sensory side-effects. We see people everywhere, faces lit by their open laptops, yet no evidence of their production.“ [#]

menschliches erbgut in nur acht wochen entziffert.

„Der Umgang mit genetischen Daten müsse geregelt werden, bevor das Wissen in der Welt und nicht mehr rückholbar ist.“ [#]

(Warum dies ein drängendes Thema ist, sieht man zum Beispiel an Berichten über Health 2.0 auf O’Reilly’s Web 2.0 Summit. Beängstigend, die Vorstellungen von Unternehmen wie 23andme, oder etwa die Aussagen der Präsidentin von Humana Inc.: „McCall envisions something much larger though. Why can’t every citizen in this country be able to participate in studies? she asked. You’d have data from blood, spit, urine…and have everyone participate in a giant informational study. You can be a part of something real from a bottom up discovery.) [#]

obama und biden wollen menschen mit behinderung besser versorgen.

Barack Obama and Joe Biden’s comprehensive agenda to empower individuals with disabilities fits in with the campaign’s overarching message of equalizing opportunities for all Americans. In addition to reclaiming America’s global leadership on this issue by becoming a signatory to — and having the Senate ratify — the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the plan has four parts, designed to provide lifelong supports and resources to Americans with disabilities. [#]

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