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Recent decades have seen a fragmentation of production processes across borders, as firms find it increasingly profitable to organize production on a global scale. This fragmentation occurs across national borders as well as across firm boundaries; companies must decide not only the location of production but also how much control to exert over the different production stages. Economists have responded to this shift by developing new models of global sourcing, generating important insights into the driving forces and economic effects of this new form of globalization.

finally there are the rolling stones who call for all these at the same time among them and around them: the policeman, the cross-dresser, the dancer, Frankenstein, the dandy, the robot
—from Dusty Pink

Composed between destinations, in cafes, museums, airplanes, and bars over three years, Jeanne Graff’s Vzszhhzz captures the glancing intersections of a loose group of artists and lawyers, restaurateurs, philosophers, wine-makers, and boxers whose lives are conducted almost entirely in languages not their own. A loose chronicle masquerading as a novel, Vszhhzz—like Michelle Bernstein’s All The King’s Horses, the Bernadette Corporation’s Reena Spaulings, and Natasha Stagg’s Surveys—couches sharp observations in a laconic and ambient style.

How Commuting Is Transforming Our Cities

We spend much of our lives in transit to and from work. Although we might dismiss our daily commute as a wearying slog, we rarely stop to think about the significance of these daily journeys. In Transit Life, David Bissell explores how everyday life in cities is increasingly defined by commuting. Examining the overlooked events and encounters of the commute, Bissell shows that the material experiences of our daily journeys are transforming life in our cities.

The principles of quantum physics—and the strange phenomena they describe—are represented most precisely in highly abstract algebraic equations. Why, then, did these mathematically driven concepts compel founders of the field, particularly Erwin Schrödinger, Niels Bohr, and Werner Heisenberg, to spend so much time reflecting on ontological, epistemological, and linguistic concerns? What is it about quantum concepts that appeals to latter-day Eastern mystics, poststructuralist critics, and get-rich-quick schemers?

When Images Take Positions

From 1938 to 1955, Bertolt Brecht created montages of images and text, filling his working journal (Arbeitsjournal) and his idiosyncratic atlas of images, War Primer, with war photographs clipped from magazines and adding his own epigrammatic commentary. In this book, Georges Didi-Huberman explores the interaction of politics and aesthetics in these creations, explaining how they became the means for Brecht, a wandering poet in exile, to “take a position” about the Nazi war in Europe.

Auctions and Matching

This book offers an introduction to market design, providing students with a broad overview of issues related to the design and analysis of market mechanisms. It defines a market as a demand and a supply, without specifying a price system or mechanism. This allows the text to analyze a broad set of situations—including such unconventional markets as college admissions and organ donation—and forces readers to pay attention to details that might otherwise be overlooked.

One in twenty-three people carry the genes for the synesthesia. Not a disorder but a neurological trait—like perfect pitch—synesthesia creates vividly felt cross-sensory couplings. A synesthete might hear a voice and at the same time see it as a color or shape, taste its distinctive flavor, or feel it as a physical touch. In this volume in the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series, Richard Cytowic, the expert who returned synesthesia to mainstream science after decades of oblivion, offers a concise, accessible primer on this fascinating human experience.

Social Media and the Cataloging of Everyday Life

Forthcoming from the MIT Press.

And he leaves. I’m not happy, I’m pretty upset at myself, I wasn’t satisfied with him but I wouldn’t have been any better without him. I sit on the couch and think. I’m not actually thinking, it’s already been thought, I have to call Grampa . . . I need to hear his voice. I miss him.
—from Now the Night Begins

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