A compilation of my notes from the book: Plagues and Peoples, by William H. McNeill (1976); complimented by my summarizing sub-headings.
As quoted by the Lancet behind the front cover of this book,
Professor McNeill is an American historian with a sound grasp of epidemiological principles.
As McNeill points out himself in this book (which can be seen immediately in the notes to follow), historians systematically gloss-over the significance of epidemic disease.
In choosing to read Plagues and Peoples third in my sequence of pandemic-themed books, I identified it as the one most complimentary to Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year: for while the latter is “the prototype of all accounts of great cities in times of epidemic”, the former has to be one of, if not the most substantial attempts at a historicalinterpretation of epidemics (—which is quite distinct from an epidemiological interpretation of history, I would add).
An article on Stranger Things (SPOILER: it’s duffing long!)
Retromania: from the 2000s onward, pop culture has lacked the creative, future-oriented, dynamic energy of the previous decades: rather than opening the future, it inaugurated the ‘Re’ era, i.e. dominated by the ‘re-’ prefix – such as in revivals, reissues, remakes, re-enactments – thus representing endless retrospection. The post-millennium ushered in an era of unoriginality that feeds on its own history, trades in references, and quickly begun to rework material from a past that is increasingly immediate—thus has pop culture turned into an endless act of regurgitation.
What does this have to do with Stranger Things? With the debut of this series in 2016, pop culture has seen a particular development of retromania: from the mania of retro, i.e. the cultural pervasiveness of it; to the intensification of retro, i.e. the artifactual over-dosage of it.
And hence: Retroverdose (on strangely familiarthings)…
This article features a selection of quotes from the book Homo Deus, each accompanied by my notes, comments, and references to related media.
Part 2 of this article series features my expansion of Ncaps 16-30 for the book Homo Deus (as discussed in the Introduction, which also includes the full list), as a basis for identifying points of significance and referencing a variety of relevant media.
Themes covered in Part 2 includeEffects of Specialization, Elitism,Use of History,Strategic Criticism, Confusion-Inducement, ‘Slippery Slope’ Revolution, Biogenetics, Ascent of Algorithms, Scientific Theories, End of Individuality, Demeaning of‘Consciousness’, Materialism, Convention Creation, Techniques of Ideology, Tailored Terminology, Physics Above All, Professional Prestige.