Order out of chaos: Covid-19 threat levels and the manufacture of competence

When I was teaching in China in the 1980s, no matter what essay topic I would set for my students, there was always a good portion of the class that chose to write about ‘The Four Modernizations’, which was the key Party policy at the time and the theme of a massive and constant propagandaContinue reading “Order out of chaos: Covid-19 threat levels and the manufacture of competence”

The veil of civilization and the semiotics of the mask

It seems that the world is coming around to the idea of ordinary people wearing face masks as a way of slowing the spread of the coronavirus. After months of dismissing their usefulness for the general public, and even extorting people to STOP BUYING MASKS!, on Tuesday (March 31) the US Surgeon General and theContinue reading “The veil of civilization and the semiotics of the mask”