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A BIT of The Art of Failure

Every day, hundreds of millions of people around the world play video games—on smart phones, on computers, on consoles—and most of them will experience failure at some point in the game; they will lose, die, or fail to advance to the next level. Not completing Super Real Tennis is not a tragedy. But it feels like a failure. This BIT explores how it feels when we fail.

A BIT of Down Detour Road

The new generation of architects faces a cold reality of economic and ecological crises. Architects may assure each other of their own importance, but society has come to view architecture as a luxury it can do without. For Eric Cesal, this recognition becomes an occasion to rethink architecture and its value from the very core. In this BIT, Cesal considers the economics of architecture and why an architect needs to know about finance as well as about buildings.

A BIT of Korea’s Online Gaming Empire

In South Korea, online gaming is a cultural phenomenon. Games are broadcast on television, professional gamers are celebrities, and youth culture is often identified with online gaming. This BIT examines the working conditions of professional gamers in the high-pressure world of the Korean online gaming industry.

A BIT of Architect?

From an essential text for the aspiring architect, this BIT offers realistic, unvarnished advice. A practicing architect and planner, professor of architecture, and architecture columnist offers reasons for becoming an architect (including “creative and intellectual fulfillment,” “love of drawing—without a computer,” and “immortality”) as well as reasons for not becoming an architect (including “lack of work,” “competition,” and “ego vulnerability”).

A BIT of Racing the Beam

The Atari Video Computer System dominated the home video game market so completely that “Atari” became the generic term for a video game console. This BIT examines the interplay between computation and culture in the Atari emulator Stella and the Atari VCS game Combat.

A BIT of The Puppet and the Dwarf

Slavoj Žižek, “the wild man of theory” famously mixes astonishing erudition and references to pop culture in his dissections of current intellectual pieties. In this BIT, he considers religion from the viewpoint of Lacanian psychoanalysis, pondering a dialectical materialist theology and comparing monotheistic and polytheistic violence.

A BIT of Radical Embodied Cognitive Science

While philosophers of mind have been arguing over the status of mental representations in cognitive science, cognitive scientists have been quietly engaged in studying perception, action, and cognition without explaining them in terms of mental representation. In this BIT, Anthony Chemero maps the evolution of a nonrepresentational, dynamical, ecological cognitive science and introduces radical embodied cognition.

A BIT of Hijacking Sustainability

The idea of “sustainability” has gone mainstream. What began as a grassroots movement to promote responsible development has become a bullet point in corporate ecobranding strategies. This BIT examines the conflict between ecobranding and true sustainability and considers the ambiguous influence of Prius-driving movie stars.

A BIT of Artificial Love

In his writing, the architect Paul Shepheard examines old assumptions about architecture and replaces the critical theory of the academic with the active theory of the architect-citizen enamored of the world around him. In this BIT, he takes Thanksgiving Day as an opportunity to reflect on the diaspora of his family and the evolution of human emotional bonds; and, conducting a seminar, he wonders how philosophy became part of architecture.

A BIT of Grace Hopper and the Invention of the Information Age

The career of computer visionary Grace Murray Hopper paralleled the meteoric trajectory of the postwar computer industry. This BIT describes the myth of “amazing Grace” and tells how she became “the third programmer of the world’s first computer.”

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