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Interview: Zygmunt Bauman: “Social media are a trap”

Interview: Zygmunt Bauman: “Social media are a trap”
Zygmunt Bauman has just celebrated his 90th birthday and taken two flights from his home in the northern British city of Leeds to get to an event in Burgos, northern Spain. He admits to being tired as we begin the interview, but he still manages to express his ideas calmly and clearly, taking his time with each response because he hates giving simple answers to complex questions. Since developing his theory of liquid modernity in the late 1990s – which describes our age as one in which “all agreements are temporary, fleeting, and valid only until further notice” – he has become a leading figure in the field of sociology. His work on inequality and his critique of what he sees as the failure of politics to meet people’s expectations, along with a highly pessimistic view of the future of society, have been picked up by the so-called May 15 “Indignant” movement in Spain – although he has repeatedly highlighted its weaknesses. QUESTION. You have described inequality as a “metastasis.” Q.

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On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs Ever had the feeling that your job might be made up? That the world would keep on turning if you weren’t doing that thing you do 9-5? Anthropology professor and best selling author David Graeber explored the phenomenon of bullshit jobs for our recent summer issue – everyone who’s employed should read carefully… On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs by David Graeber.

Will chimps soon have human rights? Tommy, 26, lives on a trailer lot in Gloversville, New York, with only a television for company. Tommy is a chimpanzee, and if the organisation seeking to free him and move him to a sanctuary wins a lawsuit it filed today, the result could have implications for how we view – and treat – our closest animal relatives. Tommy is one of four chimps the Nonhuman Rights Project will be representing. Kiko, also thought to be 26, lives in Niagara Falls, and has been trained in martial arts, though his sparring partner Charlie, "the karate Chimp", is now dead. The other two, Hercules and Leo, are "being held" at a university, where they are used for biomechanical research.

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