Deep Regionality

One surprise about living in Italy is that although I’m so close, I’m still so far. Many  products that I first met in Boston, Los


Around the world is a crisis of modernization in which younger generations do not want to inherit the farming and other artisanal work of their

Keep [and electro-retrofit] Your Car!

Retrofuture FRANCE has chosen 15 iconic models and sold 70 in presale in 6 months. In the US, EV West sells kits for 14 cars. In California, Electric GT offers “swap” packages for V8, Straight 6, and 4-cylinder engines, even aestheticized to echo their predecessors. As for things like “impossible” 7-series and their ilk, one only need consult a matrix to balance one’s priorities among speed, range, weight, and price.

Shopping with Grandma

Shopping involved certain gestures, discreetly fingering the fabric, deftly flipping a garment open to see how it was sewn, to examine the quality of the lining. Objects were promptly upended to see the quality of workmanship and to search for manufacturers’ engravings. If she couldn’t lift and turn an object of interest with one hand, she’d give me the nod, and I would turn it upside down for her examination.

How to hunt cheese

Just because I’m finally in Italy doesn’t mean I’m going to be able to get my favorite cheeses from Sicily and Campania (Southern Italy) any easier here in Turin (the Piemonte region is in the NorthWest of Italy) than in Berlin or Paris, because most of what’s on offer is going to be local.


As a philosopher, young Karl Marx learned that work was an aspect of being human. He became an economist in fury that work was being systematically torn from our personhood to serve industries. His intellectual and political inheritors have mostly sought to limit this incursion, to protect the person from the world of work. Which wasn’t quite the point. Meanwhile all around us people bolt because the work is even more important than the money.

Beyond the binary

As a food tourist my strategy was simple: try lots of things and keep track of the names of the ones I like. Faced now with time to explore the diversity of Italy at leisure, I suddenly felt that I should be doing more than trawling for things I like. I should know why I like them.


I marvel at Gorey’s wallpaper, Hopper’s shadows, Louis Comfort Tiffany’s colors, Al Hirschfeld’s space, Saul Steinberg’s simplicity, and Joel Rosenthal’s ability to make diamonds look like dust.

“I do make pants”

“In the last 16 years we measured 5000 women. From that research we found many new results…Why does the body work like this? What does the body do about walking?…The pants show the body. It should be a nice picture and painting. We want to make that possible. That was our purpose. We’ve never been satisfied by anything that is half.”


The FoodTech world is fatally out of touch with the food world. In the food world people consume at least as much food porn as meals, spend their free time closely observing chefs making things by hand, and take an added pleasure in reading about food, cooking, and restaurants. It’s a hot journalistic category. Two crucial sensations in the pop culture passion for food are pleasure and power. The pleasure importantly can be mediated and digital, not only sensory. Food gives us other pleasures than taste.