Objects that are enumerated in Graham Harman’s “Prince of Networks”

Graham Harman’s Prince of Networks is the most exciting book of philosophy I’ve read in a long, long time. Partly I find it exciting due to its prose style. I’m fascinated by the Whitmanesque enumeration of objects/actors/actants in the book, so I wrote a script to parse the original text for things that are probably lists of objects, and then did a little manual data cleanup. Once I had the data, it was easy to create a page that gives you a random object.

I’m not really sure why I made it, but hey, it only took a couple hours.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Greg Borenstein February 29, 2012 at 7:05 pm

Cool site. I was just pointed towards this project of yours after making my own similar list by hand: https://gist.github.com/1945670 I wonder what you scraped for to find actants? What’s the regex that distinguishes actants from normal words?


Darius Kazemi February 29, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Whoa, that’s super cool! Glad someone else is thinking along the same lines.

I don’t have the regex on hand but I’ll probably just put my code up on github. http://github.com/dariusk, btw.


Darius Kazemi February 29, 2012 at 7:11 pm

Oh, and I see you’re at ITP. Awesome! Did Adam Parrish refer you?


Darius Kazemi March 2, 2012 at 3:13 pm

For now, here’s the regex code (in Ruby). It’s like 8 different ones I run:

a = lines[0].scan(/\:\s[a-zA-Z,\s]+,[a-zA-Z,\s]+,\sand[a-zA-Z\s]+\./) { |m| puts m }
a = lines[0].scan(/\sand\s[a-zA-Z,\s]+,[a-zA-Z,\s]+,\sand[a-zA-Z\s]+\./) { |m| puts m }
a = lines[0].scan(/\sor\s[a-zA-Z,\s]+,[a-zA-Z,\s]+,\sand[a-zA-Z\s]+\./) { |m| puts m }
a = lines[0].scan(/[a-zA-Z,\s]+,[a-zA-Z,\s]+,\sand[a-zA-Z\s]+\./) { |m| puts m }

a = lines[0].scan(/\:\s[a-zA-Z,\s]+,[a-zA-Z,\s]+,\sor[a-zA-Z\s]+\./) { |m| puts m }
a = lines[0].scan(/\sand\s[a-zA-Z,\s]+,[a-zA-Z,\s]+,\sor[a-zA-Z\s]+\./) { |m| puts m }
a = lines[0].scan(/\sor\s[a-zA-Z,\s]+,[a-zA-Z,\s]+,\sor[a-zA-Z\s]+\./) { |m| puts m }
a = lines[0].scan(/[a-zA-Z,\s]+,[a-zA-Z,\s]+,\sor[a-zA-Z\s]+\./) { |m| puts m }


Peter Giebel June 7, 2014 at 8:25 pm

It kills me that you made this. I’ve been fascinated with Harman, Latour, and Bryant for the past year and I’ve had a project on the brain to create a litany of philosophy’s “objects” through history–from elements to fences and blackbirds–, a sort of reduction or erasure down to a laundry list of exemplary things, starting with some of the speculative realist texts.
About three days ago I started combing through the “Quadruple Object” and its just so hard not to be enamored, not only with Harman’s style but the sort of immaculate sprinkling of his real objects, so much so that I had decided that it deserves a project of its own. I’m a poet by training and the repetitions of cotton and fire and mailbox and hammer and etcetera strike a more resonant chord than most things I’ve read in a while. I’m pretty glad that I’m not the only one who sees that in his (and the others’) works.
It also kills me that I didn’t see this project until just now. I’ve had your site bookmarked since I saw your Metaphor-a-Minute bot, but I guess I didn’t look your projects through carefully enough.


Darius Kazemi June 25, 2014 at 3:20 pm

Hi Peter, I just saw this comment. I’m glad you like this project as it is one that I look back on fondly! Let me know if you make the objects litany/poem/thing!


Leave a Comment