What's the difference between a bad idea and a good one? Time. Rethink is the story of how ideas that were mocked or ignored for centuries or more are storming back to the cutting edge of research in biology, cosmology, technology, philosophy, and other disciplines. From the 19th-century electric taxi to depressed mice and the multiverse; from chess grandmasters and computing pioneers to Cold War spies and ancient philosophers — Rethink invites us to think again about what innovation really means.
Who Touched Base In My…
Do you hate going forward? Do you shudder when a colleague wants to reach out? Are you disgusted by low-hanging fruit, sick of being on the team, and reluctant to open the kimono? If modern business-speak makes you want to throw up, then Who Touched Base In My Thought Shower? A Treasury of Unbearable Office Jargon is for you. It’s both a satirical deep dive and a come to Jesus moment for verbally downtrodden workers everywhere. Open your kimono.
Trigger Happy 2.0
‘Wonderfully energising… focused literary joy’ — Eurogamer
Why can’t a wargame be anti-war? Why does “gamification” spit on the downtrodden? And why do so many videogames take the form of boring jobs? The essays in this sequel to Trigger Happy explain why the Tomb Raider series is like the oeuvre of Mark Rothko, why Nietzsche might have enjoyed Donkey Kong, and what self co-op, cognitive panic, and unreliable agency mean. Out on Kindle worldwide. (US, UK.)
You Aren’t What You Eat
Why is everyone so obsessed with food? How did chefs come to be the gurus of the age? And what’s with serving chips in a beaker and slivers of vegetable on hot stones? This polemic against “foodies” and their oral fixation pits Jamie Oliver against Jacques Derrida, and sees the author eating a nitro-frozen bolus of olive oil, marvelling at food fashion, and descending into the ninth circle of foodist hell at MasterChef Live. It’s published in the UK & Eire, Australia, and North America. More information here.
{New: Unspeak is now also an interactive web documentary.} Modern political speech is weaponized rhetoric. Words and soundbites smuggle in unexamined arguments, from “community” or “death tax” to “intelligent design”, “war on terror”, and the need to “reassure the markets” in times of financial crisis. On publication in 2006, Unspeak’s fiery analysis was called “required reading” by Slate, “compelling” by the Daily Telegraph, and “crap” by Alastair Campbell. More information at the archived blog.
Trigger Happy
Videogames are a new artform, but what kind of artform are they? This book, called “seminal” and “groundbreaking” on its first publication in 2000, teases out the relationships and differences between videogames and cinema, storytelling, the history of painting, architecture, and semiotics, from Spacewar! to Ocarina of Time and beyond. Trigger Happy became an influential text for game studies, and also generated a BBC4 documentary and a long-running column in Edge magazine.