Tuesday, February 21, 2017



  1. "TO put it bluntly, my conatus will not let me 'horizontalize' the world completely. I also identify with members of my species, insofar as they are bodies most similar to mine…The political goal of a vital materialism is not the perfect equality of actants, but a polity with more channels of communication between members" (104).

    I'm kind of confused by this. Doesn't a hierarchy kind of defeat the purpose of vital matter? Doesn't this mean there's a hierarchy among people? If there's a hierarchy within private matter (everything), does that mean we can never escape it? I certainly agree that a hierarchy exists in the world in infant number of ways, but I'm interested in how this relates humans to worms. Do worms have a hierarchy?

  2. “Latour and the scientists he is observing eventually conclude that, for reasons unknown to the humans, worms had gathered at the border and produced a lot of aluminum, which transformed the silica of the sandy soil into the clay more amenable to forest trees, and so it was the forest that was advancing into the savanna”
    interesting story of a particular group of worms in amazon rainforest that changed the conditions of the border between the savanna and the forest. These worms have the ability to change the ecosystems.
    “A touch of anthropomorphism, then, can catalyze a sensibility that finds a world filled not with ontologically distinct categories of beings (subjects and objects) but with variously composed materialities that form confederations. In revealing similiraties across categorical divides and lighting up structural parallels between material forms in ‘nature’ and those in ‘culture’ anthropomorphism can reveal isomorphisms.”
    “A public is a contingent and temporary formation existing alongside many other publics, protopublics, and residual or postpublics.”

    The public is likened to an ecosystem ?

    “for while every public may very wel be an ecosystem, not every ecosystem is democratic. And I cannot envision any polity so egalitarian that important human needs, such as health or survival, would not take priority. To put it blunty, my conatus will not me ‘horizontalize’ the world completely. I also identify with members of my species, insofar as they are bodies most similar to mine”

    non-human are a part of democracy? Maybe not exactly in the way that human are.

    I agree that non-humans act/react against human destruction.

    The story of an angry volcano which exploded because of his anger of the oil pipe- line going on close to that area in (Peru). I think so, I don't remember the exact location.

    Hurricane Katerina’s a reaction to Bush and the destruction of the Gulf’s ecosystem by the crude oil.

  3. In this chapter Bennett analyzes the political capacity of actants with overview on Darwin and at the end Ranciere's ideas. Throughout the chapter there was a clear analysis of Darwin's study on worms. One of the most poetic moments is about the discussion of worms making history by preserving the artifacts that humans make: worms protect "for an indefinitely long period every object, not liable to decay, which is dropped on the surface of the land, by burying it beneath their castings" The study of worms also diverged specific reactions in terms to wet / dry soil, type of leaf and other environmental factors like sensitivity to light. One last comment on the worms study that intrigued me is when they stated, "When close attention to some object leads to the disregard of the impressions which other objects must be producing on them, we attribute this to their attention being then absorbed; and attention implies the presence of a mind." Further on in the writing Bennett critiques Darwin's ideas by stating that we anthropomorphized these animals too much causing him to pay close attention to the mundane activities of worms and what came via paying attention was their own, distinctive, material complexity.

    As the chapter continues it talks about the idea of political gathering and Dewey's theory is presented and the public having been introduced into rather than volunteering for it: each body finds itself thrown together with other harmed and squirming bodies. This idea of political assemblage is highly interesting to me.

    The ideas of human privilege also comes up in this chapter and it starts to question that if the political assemblages of human word is the most important and highest in the world. I start to be intrigued when Bennett starts to talk about the assemblage of a hurricane and how it can politically effect a president.