Fire in the water: ‘Pacific Rim’ and tectonic geopolitics

Guillermo del Toro is a remarkable film director. From Pan’s Labyrinth to The Shape of Water del Toro has delighted viewers and critics alike with spectacle, intrigue, and (for want of a more precise word) humanity. So when he made a science fiction blockbuster about great big beasts (Kaiju, from the Japanese, ‘giant beast’) emerging … Continue reading Fire in the water: ‘Pacific Rim’ and tectonic geopolitics

A hypothesis for slower ageing

Many hypotheses have been offered for why people age slower than they used to — in other words, why people look younger than they used to. It is sometimes said among those of a reactionary political inclination that the relative decline in violence among great powers means that usual rites of passage for ageing are … Continue reading A hypothesis for slower ageing

Technology: The nuclear DNA of social evolution

I would like to propose a sociology which mimics both physics and biology in its emphasis on the molecular code of relational life. Everything is connected to everything else in the web of reality, but certain elements ‘code’ for other elements, like how a recipe ‘codes’ for the food that is then cooked, prepared, and … Continue reading Technology: The nuclear DNA of social evolution

Northrop Frye and the divine majesty of ‘The Lord of the Rings’

Twelve years after reading J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings literary trilogy of high fantasy, I find myself revisiting the elegant film trilogy which was completed before I set eyes on the books. But I also find myself taking interest in Northrop Frye’s framework for literary criticism, which distinguishes the mythic transcendence … Continue reading Northrop Frye and the divine majesty of ‘The Lord of the Rings’

Darwin, Marx, Mearsheimer: Towards a theory of social evolution

I have an interest in the connection between two theories. At school, I developed an interest in theories of international relations, including Mearsheimer’s structural realist theory of great power politics. At university, I developed an interest in political economy, particularly Marx’s theory in that field. My tentative thesis title was: ‘Darwin, Marx, and the evolving … Continue reading Darwin, Marx, Mearsheimer: Towards a theory of social evolution