Archive for public

Research question

What are the effects of civic-produced emotional commonplaces concerning places where we live? How can we intervene in the tendency of these commonplaces to discourage the engagement and archiving of more complex affects?

On Social Moods

He asserts that the herding mentality and instincts, which are hard-wired into the most primitive part of every human brain, generate social moods associated with specific timeframes. “Ideas and thoughts move around like a contagious disease and at some point achieve a critical mass, which means that a population has a particular mood at a given time,” he said. “If you have a good way of measuring the social mood, then you have a preview of coming attractions.”

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Zoning the Eastside: Public Pathos and Distributed Emotion (Essay in progress)

NOTE: This essay is being written online as we speak. It is currently in its developmental stages, so please forgive the mess.

It was late one summer afternoon, many years ago. I sat in an apartment hunter’s office, where he had spread open a large map in order to show me the neighborhoods in Austin where affordable housing could be found. “Of course,” he said, “you don’t want to live east of I-35.” He pointed to the highway on the map, and then to the neighborhoods running east of the thin line representing the massive freeway. “It’s just not a very nice place to live.” The phrase rang in my head immediately: east of I-35. It was such a concrete marker to observe. I would later hear the same kind of warning many other times throughout my life in Austin. Even after I rented a house on the eastside, friends
would take comfort in knowing that I was not living “too far east.”
… continue reading this entry.

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