From the Ruins of Empire — a review

Books On Asia asked reviewers to pick their top books for 2020. I submitted my four along with the other contributors and gave a short comment. Below is a more fleshed out review. For more reviews, check out booksonasia.net Pankaj Mishra delivers a sweeping account of the intellectual history of anti-colonial thought in the earlyContinue reading “From the Ruins of Empire — a review”

Infliction of Self — a review of The Burnout Society

Byung-Chul Han’s The Burnout Society is a collection of essays reviewing famous thinkers’ (Deleuze, Freud, Arendt, Ehrenberg, et alia) thinking about the ailments of society in an attempt to diagnose what ails now. Each essay builds towards an argument with a number of subtle nuances. At only 72 pages, this is the perfect book-club bookContinue reading “Infliction of Self — a review of The Burnout Society”

Intraculturalism: A multicultural third way

“Canada is a multicultural patchwork quilt, a country of immigrants.” These are common refrains about our country. Canada is home to over 200 ethnic groups, and has an official multicultural policy since 1971 (instituted by Trudeau the elder). Yet xenophobia and racism still remain, and multiculturalism is still a hot debate. The debate is notContinue reading “Intraculturalism: A multicultural third way”

Activist Buddhism — a review of A New Buddhist Path

Since the age of 3, I have been interested in other peoples. Apparently that was the age when I toddled up to the television, pointed to the evening news, and stated: “I am going to Tokyo.” All throughout my travels and my education I have pursued some understanding about “how the world works,” about humanContinue reading “Activist Buddhism — a review of A New Buddhist Path”

Nostalgic utopianism — a review of Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus

Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity  by Douglas Rushkoff Power corrupts and money ruins everything. These are basically the premises that Douglas Rushkoff starts from in his latest book, a critique of the concentration of power in the digital economy and the inequality it breeds. He uses theContinue reading “Nostalgic utopianism — a review of Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus”

Clausewitz Roundtable released as book

Many years ago I participated in an inter-blog (and very detailed!) discussion of the military classic On War by Carl von Clausewitz. The proceedings of that endeavour have been collated into 553 page book, released this week by Ever Victorious Press. I submitted three chapters under my alias at the time “Sir Francis Younghusband.” MyContinue reading “Clausewitz Roundtable released as book”

Recommended reading: Religion and neoliberalism

James Chappel reviews four books in the Boston Review that dig into the link between neoliberalism and religious institutions. I found this piece enlightening just from its perspective on the rise of neoliberalism in general. The idea that neoliberalism is merely “sophisticated common sense” explains its common appeal… just like religion. Below are a numberContinue reading “Recommended reading: Religion and neoliberalism”

The superficiality of living small

Downsizing (or minimalism) is often portrayed as anti-consumerist and eco-friendly. Living small means you buy less stuff, produce less trash, and have a smaller environmental footprint in terms of heating/cooling your home. Plus, if you position your home close to amenities, you walk/bike more and drive less. Secondly, living small is about removing oneself fromContinue reading “The superficiality of living small”