Medieval inc.

The Middle Ages were full of bodies and heads. Bodies politic, corporations, incorporations, heads of ecclesiastical institutions, secular and regular bodies. The metaphor of the body was key to understanding everyone’s place in society, and the societies’ place in the universe. The medieval world was breathing through the bodies of countless societies and organisations. MostContinue reading “Medieval inc.”

Screwtape in lockdown

A new letter has surfaced from the boiling depths of Sheol. Screwtape’s muddled signature has been found on the dismal document. We’re publishing it here for the first time. My dear Wormwood, It’s been a while since my last letter to you, and I fear you may be thinking I’ve forgotten about you, our missionContinue reading “Screwtape in lockdown”

In defence of misspelling

Although writing was invented over 5,000 years ago, orthographical standards and the strict rules governing how words are written are quite a recent development. Ancient scribes didn’t much care about spelling. The manuscript cultures of the past were rather liberal about the way words ought to be written. Many words in ancient Greek and Latin,Continue reading “In defence of misspelling”

Architecture and networks

Each age has its own cognitive and epistemological models. The ways people remember, think and think about thinking. The myth of progress has it that societies improve over time, but in cultural terms models merely succeed each other. Ages of faith led to ages of reason (grossissimo modo) because the ways of establishing and assessingContinue reading “Architecture and networks”

Swimming mainstream

Some technologies and products take longer than others to become culturally mainstream. The printed book was adopted extremely quickly by European litterati because it made sense and it was extremely useful. Some scribes tried to defend the manuscript book against the new technology, but everyone eventually understood that print would benefit all in the end.Continue reading “Swimming mainstream”