The Cyberflâneur #1: Brian Eno

Starting this week, we are going to have friends of The Syllabus use our knowledge infrastructure to pick and share their own favourite recent pieces that we have salvaged from the nearly assured obscurity. Brian Eno – a thinker, an artist, an activist – is our first “cyberflâneur.”

Here is what Brian Eno had to say about The Syllabus:

I’ve often wondered what it would be like to have a brilliant research assistant who could find material about the many and disparate things I try to follow. Now I know: Syllabus turned up material I just never would have come across otherwise. It’s bloody magic.

Brian’s Selections:


Ghana’s Copyright Law for Folklore Hampers Cultural Growth

Interesting argument about attempts to define and protect cultural innovations – whether it’s possible and/or desirable, and how to deal with the income thus generated.


Why Large Families Are So Happy

An argument for community – in the form of family.


Announcing the Rule 30 Prizes (on cellular automata)

Cellular Automata are totally magical and completely logical at the same time! Here they are discussed by Stephen Wolfram, probably the leading thinker on their implications.


Streets Make Communities. Have Architects Realised at Last?

Jane Jacob’s message finally makes an impact among architects.


The Solitary Garden

Long term solitary confinement is a form of torture increasingly used in American prisons. This artist has developed a strategy for helping to make it less solitary. I really wish I’d thought of this!!!


Meet the Pioneering Women Farmers Saving the Catalan Pyrenees From Climate Change

People dealing with climate change from the bottom up. An inspiring story showing a new form of political and social relationships arising out of the climate crisis.


Gender Fluidity as Luxury in Perfume Packaging

Self-redefinition by smell. Beyond ‘unisex’, perfume is becoming a forum for olfactory gender discussion, a way of locating yourself on the gender spectrum.


The Effect of Pollution on Crime: Evidence From Data on Particulate Matter and Ozone

Surprising research showing that air pollution has direct social effects in terms of mental as well as physical effects. People thinking about ‘smart cities’ might want to start with cleaner air.


World’s Top Three Asset Managers Oversee $300bn Fossil Fuel Investments

The asset managers at the root of the climate change problem. Please send their names and addresses to Extinction Rebellion…


Land for the Many

The concentration of land ownership into fewer hands – and the use of land as an investment vehicle – creates fundamental imbalances in society…


On Wealth and Democratic Socialism

Very important discussion of where wealth comes from and how else it could be distributed, and why distribution is a socially productive idea…


Land and Territory

Why the UK is in such a deep hole, why the attempted national suicide of Brexit happened, and why we need a new politics. Also applies to the US, by the way…


Intuition: Why Should We Trust It?

A brief and provocative survey of intuition – what it is, and under what circumstances it develops…


Power of the Commons

A brilliant, comprehensive and essential survey of the commons – their historical role and their contemporary demise into privatisation. New understandings of what the idea of ‘the commons’ could include: genes, cultural practices etc…

More about The Cyberflâneur.

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