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The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the…
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The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in… (vuoden 2015 painos)

– tekijä: Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
3391260,215 (4.05)10
What a rare mushroom can teach us about sustaining life on a fragile planet Matsutake is the most valuable mushroom in the world--and a weed that grows in human-disturbed forests across the northern hemisphere. Through its ability to nurture trees, matsutake helps forests to grow in daunting places. It is also an edible delicacy in Japan, where it sometimes commands astronomical prices. In all its contradictions, matsutake offers insights into areas far beyond just mushrooms and addresses a crucial question: what manages to live in the ruins we have made? A tale of diversity within our damaged landscapes, The Mushroom at the End of the World follows one of the strangest commodity chains of our times to explore the unexpected corners of capitalism. Here, we witness the varied and peculiar worlds of matsutake commerce: the worlds of Japanese gourmets, capitalist traders, Hmong jungle fighters, industrial forests, Yi Chinese goat herders, Finnish nature guides, and more. These companions also lead us into fungal ecologies and forest histories to better understand the promise of cohabitation in a time of massive human destruction. By investigating one of the world's most sought-after fungi, The Mushroom at the End of the World presents an original examination into the relation between capitalist destruction and collaborative survival within multispecies landscapes, the prerequisite for continuing life on earth.… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:Andrew_Molboski
Teoksen nimi:The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins
Kirjailijat:Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing (Tekijä)
Info:Princeton University Press (2015), Edition: Edition Unstated, 352 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
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The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins (tekijä: Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing)

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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 12) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
This is the story of how a humble mushroom has transformed commerce and become an almost priceless commodity. It is also an exploration of how value can be so relative – how “stinky” to some can remind others of the smell of autumn. Through a unique combination of supply and demand, the matsutake mushroom has become legend. And it has become emblematic of a way through ecological disaster – a rare treasure that offers us hope. A wonderful book that can be appreciated on many levels, it also triggers seemingly unrelated thoughts. Highly recommended. ( )
  dbsovereign | Mar 21, 2021 |
Absolute garbage that I spent hours digging through only to realise it's a pile of barren graphomanic twaddle even a mushroom would fail to metabolise. Full of multi-temporal assemblages of narrative marxist precarity and similar word salad. The only interesting thing is the level of ignorance of the world at large even by standards of university professors.

This is the last time I used goodreads to find related books. ( )
  Paul_S | Dec 23, 2020 |
This is a fascinating examination of how capitalism and common capitalist ways of thinking about labor, production, and value don't always hold up.

Matsutake mushrooms do not fit well in a capitalist system. Under capitalism, when a commodity has value, the logical response is to systematize the production of that commodity so you can make more of it so you can sell lots of it so you can make money. Matsutake mushrooms are valued in Japanese culture, not only because they are tasty, but because they symbolize prosperity. They are traditionally offered as gifts, and the gift of matsutake mushrooms has more value than the mushrooms would normally have themselves. The problem from a capitalist point of view is that you can't intentionally grow matsutakes. Scientists have tried to get them to grow on farms, but they haven't figured out how to do it. They only grow where pine trees grow. Pine trees grow best in forests that have been recently disturbed or damaged - after a forest fire, pine trees are one of the first things to grow back, but as soon as slower-growing broadleaf trees come in, they crowd out the pine trees and the pines die. So matsutake mushrooms will only grow in forests that are recovering from some disturbance - creating the right conditions for them on purpose is very difficult, so it's very hard to scale matsutake production the way a capitalist system would like to.

Matsutake can be found in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, so a lot of people make money by hunting for matsutake. However, these people generally don't fit into a capitalist system either - they are immigrants, veterans, and various drifters who don't want to have traditional jobs, but want to be free to live their lives however they please.

Tsing examines the entire supply chain of matsutake mushrooms, the life stories and cultures of the people who collect them, and how they don't fit into the capitalist system. She is constantly looking for the outliers, the exceptions to the rules, and the phenomena that capitalism would like to ignore. This gives her opportunities to critique capitalism, by examining the people, products, and processes that it excludes and demonstrating the damage it has done, but also to offer some hints of what the world might look like if capitalism weren't dominant. Tsing also shows that the reality of our world is a lot messier than we would like it to be - scientists, economists, and anthropologists all want to fit everything in the world into tidy taxonomies, but the real world doesn't work that way, and the things that don't fit into those categories often get ignored, but we can learn a lot about the world by paying attention to them.

Because the book resists capitalism, it also resists traditional modes of academic writing. It is interdisciplinary, and also not organized around a traditional thesis, but instead offers a variety of related ideas and perspectives. As someone who is used to reading traditional academic writing and who wants to be able to think about how every chapter supports the thesis, I found this a little unsettling, but that's exactly Tsing's goal. My discomfort with the book's organization is part of her larger project of showing that there are alternative ways of doing everything.

This is a fascinating book that covers a lot of literal and metaphorical ground. There's a lot to unpack and think about. ( )
2 ääni Gwendydd | Oct 18, 2020 |
An absolutely exquisite book in every way.

Conceptually, it is challenging and graceful, drawing from ecological research, anthropological exploration, philosophy, science fiction and economics to form a story that is centred on the matsutake mushroom. The unusual status of matsutake as an edible mushroom that operates outside of traditional capitalist economics, and simultaneously is deeply embedded in these economics, is fascinating, and written with flair and passion. The mushroom becomes a symbol for a philosophy about ways of living in commune with our surrounding environment, and with one another. Collaboration is at the centre of the theory, whether that is collaboration between plants and fungi, between people and forests, or between people and people.

Physically, it is a wonderful object, nicely presented and punctuated with engaging photographs from Tsing's travels. ( )
1 ääni ephemeral_future | Aug 20, 2020 |
I'm stunned. I started reading this book in the summer of 2020, pored over it slowly, as it is complex and the language delicious, finished a couple months short of a year later. I have been enlightened and changed. The tenacity of the wild mushroom market challenges capitalist models dictating scalability and commodification. The forestry service discourages healthy forest maintenance by too-severe restrictions against reasonable levels of human foraging. And the health of the mushroom crop may well parallel the health of world markets. All this told in a penetrating, sometimes lyrical style that blends science with empathetic storytelling. I will go back to this book again and again for a very long time. It has nothing to do with the fantasy genre, but it has gone as deeply within as the Lord of the Rings did when I was 9 or 10. ( )
  deeEhmm | Jun 27, 2020 |
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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What a rare mushroom can teach us about sustaining life on a fragile planet Matsutake is the most valuable mushroom in the world--and a weed that grows in human-disturbed forests across the northern hemisphere. Through its ability to nurture trees, matsutake helps forests to grow in daunting places. It is also an edible delicacy in Japan, where it sometimes commands astronomical prices. In all its contradictions, matsutake offers insights into areas far beyond just mushrooms and addresses a crucial question: what manages to live in the ruins we have made? A tale of diversity within our damaged landscapes, The Mushroom at the End of the World follows one of the strangest commodity chains of our times to explore the unexpected corners of capitalism. Here, we witness the varied and peculiar worlds of matsutake commerce: the worlds of Japanese gourmets, capitalist traders, Hmong jungle fighters, industrial forests, Yi Chinese goat herders, Finnish nature guides, and more. These companions also lead us into fungal ecologies and forest histories to better understand the promise of cohabitation in a time of massive human destruction. By investigating one of the world's most sought-after fungi, The Mushroom at the End of the World presents an original examination into the relation between capitalist destruction and collaborative survival within multispecies landscapes, the prerequisite for continuing life on earth.

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