Caleb Crain

Caleb Crain writes for various upmarket papers and rides a Swobo Dixon.


Domes, Domes, Domes

18 December 2008

To rebuke me for slighting Buckminster Fuller’s achievements, Paul Taylor points out that Fuller ‘developed the material and invented the machinery for manufacturing’ the wood-fibre bricks that he sold as a young man (Letters, 1 January). That’s true, but so is what I wrote, namely that Fuller’s father-in-law designed the bricks, that Fuller was in charge of selling them, and that he failed...

In the recent Pixar movie Wall-E there is a conflict between two different visions of technology. From one angle, technology appears to be humanity’s overlord: the movie imagines that in the future a megacorporation called Buy N Large will so exhaust and pollute the planet that it will have to whisk its customers away on a luxury outer-space cruise ship for their own protection. From...

To slip the leash in the 19th century, it was usually enough to move without leaving a forwarding address, and that was how some in the working class shook off inconvenient debts and marriages. Most in the bourgeoisie lacked the option, however, because they valued their social identity too highly to sacrifice it, not to mention the property associated with it. Their fantasies of release had...

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