This is a test. I repeat, this is just a test. On oaccasion I have made a couple of non-scientific tests on my blog. I simply want to see how many people connect a recent disaster with the supposed end date later this year. Last year’s tsunami in Japan and the dead birds falling from the sky were connected to the “Mayan prophecy” in several ways by people ending up on this blog. One of the most popular predictions regarding the armageddon faction of the 2012 phenomenon is that of volcanic eruptions (more specifically eruptions by “supervolcanoes”). Fuego outside Antigua in Guatemala is probably not one of those supervolcanoes but it is currently erupting. I am sure someone somewhere will connect the dots here. If you are not familiar what these dots are, I’ll give you a hint: it is a volcano, it is located in the Maya area (not where the Long Count predominantly was used but who cares about details?), it happens near the autumn equinox (the end is on the winter solstice), and only a few days after 9-11. Can you come up with other dots that I am missing?
As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago I will give a public lecture on October 31, 2012. This is the “digital poster” that will appear on a screen at the university. It should cover pretty much the basic stuff that I will be talking about.
I am writing an article for an anthology that will not be published for quite some time but here is the abstract.
Towards an object-oriented gender archeology
Gender archeology has helped to elucidate and problematize androcentric interpretations of archaeological material. However, what remains a common ground with other Kantian influenced archeology is the anthropocentric perspective that depends on the correlation between subject and object. Centrism is perhaps necessary but the archaeological source of material is not an ancient socially constructed entity a la Butler, Foucault, Bourdieu, etc. The objects of various shapes, temporalities and sizes are our source of material and those should be in center. Within the different versions of object-oriented ontology (OOO) humans as subjects ceases to exist. She is one of many real and sensual objects. In the democracy of objects humans consists of different objects at the same time as she is a part of several different objects. We have to begin with the objects that make up the human first. Latourian relations between these objects are not what determine the object’s capacities or properties. Following the ontologies by Harman, Bryant, Bogost and Morton, this article approaches the much scorned notion of essence (without essentialism). The article illustrates how such an object-oriented gender archeology could work.
The 2012 phenomenon is getting personal with me. Yesterday the Yangtze river in China turned red, particularly around Chongqing, my son’s city of birth, less than a week before his actual birthday…
Rosemary Joyce writes about a website (Genderanalyzer) that from the content of a blog analyzes the gender of the blogger (or is it the blog itself?). I made the test myself and they think that this blog is written by man (but they are only 79% sure). Is it because I write about climate change, Maya warfare, male-dominated object-oriented ontology, 2012, etc.? What makes them 21% not sure? My gender studies?
I entered the website’s own address to see if it can analyze itself. It did not work since an error occurred in the analysis: “Sorry, we could not extract enough text from http://genderanalyzer.com/. We could only find 178 words. We need more than 300 words to analyze a web page. More text gives better result!” Since the creators of the website have Swedish names I can make a 100% accurate analysis without the help of the website. Genderanalyzer is written by two men…
On facebook I saw this image and a quote of Stephen Colbert that reminds me of Deleuze and Guattari’s discussion of order-words in A Thousand Plateaus. Order-words refer to the capacity to create commitments through statements. It is not related to the communicative functions of language but rather the impersonal transmission of statements.
For people to obey they must believe in the legitimacy of the claims to authority expressed by these commands. A teacher gives order and commands. These are not external or additional to what is being taught. An order concerns earlier orders and hence ordering is redundancy. Order-words are not communicated, they impose semiotic coordinates on a child. Therefore, language is made to be obeyed and to compel obedience. A rule of grammar is a marker of power before it becomes a syntactical marker. Colbert is therefore right that arbitrary rules make us disciplined. They do not teach us logic. Religion and politics are made to make us disciplined. Unfortunately, science also tends to follow order-words. There is probably no way around that.
We can apply order-words on historical and archaeological data as well since order-words are dated. For instance, declaration of war expresses an instant incorporeal transformation of bodies. Farmers turn into soldiers, friends into enemies. Its instantaneousness gives it a power of variation in relation to the bodies. The order-word is a death sentence since it brings death to the identity of those who receive the order. It is also a warning to flee. In this light, the order-words to turn to Christianity or to congregate Maya settlements expressed by the Spanish missionaries triggered flight in Colonial period Mexico. The slow emergence of Maya reducido (William Hanks term for the Colonial Maya language adapted to Christianity) ultimately reduced the lines of flight and territorialized the Spanish empire and the later Mexican state.
Since I will be participating in Per Cornell’s project on the Early Modern Town next year I should mention that the project arranges a four days long symposium in February next year. I will probably present something regarding the early colonial congregations in the Cochuah region and how they relate to earlier Maya settlements, the “rotted towns“.