The question is, does it matter at all?
The degree of mind-engagement is irrelevant if not properly coupled with
In other words, whatever you do with your fingers touching plastic
surfaces and your eyes scanning electronic screens, your brain
constructing fantastic models of could-be worlds, regurgitating those
worlds with other plastic-touchers, may be a totally irrelevant
honey-trap, if it does not result in your feet taking you somewhere and
eventually confronting men with guns. And it does not appear to result
in that at all.
While it may be hard to accept, no one in position of control gives a
flying fuck about these ideas - that's why you can do these idea
exercises ad nauseam and publish all you want. The feet coupling is
lost. The only way to regain such coupling may be a forced abstaining
You know, Felix, as one anecdotal example, here on the ground, doing curriculum
dev and renewal at The Ecosa Institute (http://ecosa.org) -- a Paolo
Soleri-inspired spin-off founded by a British architect, Tony Brown -- I run
into quite some naivete and lack of a sense of urgency. Even in the face of the
absurd socio-political developments that are happening all around (all the more
noticeable here in a bright RED state, Arizona, the source of Barry Goldwater).
People supposedly trying to do interesting sustainable-oriented things seem to
be slacking around all the time -- listless "trustafarian" students at the local
'alternative' college (http://prescott.edu) just wanting their identity to be
cushioned from any shocks. I get little sense of urgency or intensity directed
at the problems. There is the passle of grey-headed ecosophs who enjoy their
back-country walks (I certainly fall partly under that rubric), but many are too
romantically involved with this to, for example, even ponder what's
Swarms of little fish being eaten by larger, then those by larger, is
happening in many industries as well as among countries. It is hard
indeed to find anyone from the swarm who know how contest the largers
so they take buyouts, managerial positions, deanships, public
intellectualism and tough-love criticism, in order to prepare the
swarm, to terrify it into a fishball, for inescapable consumption.
Student loans, home loans, country loans, fish farms the swarm,
places nets around the fishfood manufacturies, dispenses perfectly
design fish food to turn exactly the fish designed for delicious
precarity on a gourmet's groaning board of transcontinental luxury.
Beware the little fish spies soliciting for the engorging leviathan,
often coutured by toothless "surveillance" and further cloaked by
rewarding disdain of "capitalism."
At 12:07 PM 3/15/2016, you wrote:
On 2016-03-15 07:42, Brian Holmes wrote:
At the same time, there is a whole generation of people experimenting
with new social values and forms of being together, centering
arounf networked collaboration and complex systems thinking,
all-based on digital technology but extending from experimentation
with currencies, to self-made cars to urban food production,
community-based financing, neighbourhood power stations etc etc. I
think this offers a real chance to break with consumerist/precarized
notions of individuality and open the doors towards some different
configuration of subjectivity.
The fact that nobody knows how to put all of these things together
into a coherent whole, a new techno-economic paradigm, means that
these technologies and their associated potential are still open
to interpretation and configurations based on particular social
The cynical impulse here is to say: Ah, all of this will simply
drive the next wave of innovation in capitalism! But I'm not so sure
this is a do
President Trump… Its gonna happen
A bit of a meme has sprung up recently having some ineffectual fun with the uncanny resemblance of Trump to Biff Tannen the bully from the 80’s hit movie, Back to the Future, its more than the physical resemblance, in the second movie of the series Biff is depicted as a Trump like success who has built a dystopian empire around a building that looks amazingly like Trump Towers..
So in keeping with the occasional predictive bad fortune of the Sci-fi genre (and a nod to JG Ballard’s fiction based on the ascendancy of Ronald Reagan to the presidency a decade before he event) its probably time for us to pre-mediate the likelihood of a Trump presidency.
Continuing the inversion of all the normal rules that his candidacy represents; the more absurd a Trump presidency appears, the more likely it is to happen. Trump requires no coherent arguments as he conforms precisely to Quentin Crisp’s definition of charisma as having -the ability to influence without logic- He is
To answer your questions, Patrice, for sure, both North America and the
EU are sunk in governmental gridlock, and that is the essence of the
crisis: an inability to collectively respond. In the US, the classic
sequence of a long downswing is unfolding: inventions pile up while the
economy stagnates, so the inventions are not brought to market. They
pile up: electric cars, vastly more efficient batteries, driverless
cars, digital manufacturing, smart grids, solar power, Internet of
things, to list just a few. Some of this research is crucially sponsored
by the federal governments (batteries and digital manufacturing are the
US ones I happen to know about). So all the entrepreneurs know full well
that if the governmental blockage could be overcome, then investors
would provide capital for all these new inventions, and they would go
into production. This leads to a very palpable mood that you feel in the
US: the entrepreneurs are chafing at the bit. They want to get on with
changing the world. B
"here's to that future" indeed, Brian, but I wonder how deeper we must
sink before things get better. And as far as the 'reprise' (crisis is
over) is concerned, the EU commision thinks the same of Europe, and
wants to de-re-regulate (!) banking again, securitize private dept (a
move framed as all for the benefit 'SME sector', as usual) and generally
make believe the end of the tunnel is not only in sight, it has been
passed. According to Saskia Sassen ('Expulsions') that actually might be
believable and even work for real, provided you've cut out 30% orso of
the people & their activities beforehand (cf Greece). But isn't it
bogus? It surely is in EU, what about the USA?
(OK no refugee crisis and bickering among the States there ...)
Little to cheer about, I'm afraid.
On 2016-03-11 22:46, Brian Holmes wrote:
This is a great article because it identifies a new variety of
capitalism and demands a response. But Shoshana Zuboff should take
three more steps to give her argument the scope it needs.
First, it's false to claim that surveillance capitalism "corrupts
the unity of supply and demand that has for centuries, however
imperfectly, tethered capitalism to the genuine needs of its
populations and societies." The essence of the commodity has always
been to shape both the desire and the behavior of the user in its
image, and that process was rendered scientific and raised to national
and even global scales by Keynesian Fordism. A vast regime of consumer
surveillance and statistical modeling was ready for the real-time
loops of the networked society. That's why I sometimes talk about
"Neilsenism" (after the TV ratings system) as the crucial adjunct of
Fordist industrial production. It's not the same as Google, not at all
- but it laid the foundations for what we are experiencing today.
Second, consumer monitoring a
< http://www.faz.net/aktuell/feuilleton/debatten/the-digital-debate/shoshana-zuboff-secrets-of-surveillance-capitalism-14103616-p2.html >
05.03.2016, 13:23 Uhr
The Secrets of Surveillance Capitalism
Governmental control is nothing compared to what Google is up to. The
company is creating a wholly new genus of capitalism, a systemic
coherent new logic of accumulation we should call surveillance
capitalism. Is there nothing we can do?surveillance capitalism
05.03.2016, von SHOSHANA ZUBOFF
Google surpassed Apple as the world's most highly valued company in
January for the first time since 2010. (Back then each company was
worth less than 200 billion. Now each is valued at well over 500
billion.) While Google's new lead lasted only a few days, the company's
success has implications for everyone who lives within the reach of the
Internet. Why? Because Google is ground zero for a wholly new subspecies
of capitalism in which profits derive from the unilateral surveillance
and modification of human behavior.
Maybe there is an overarching category that links the hack, the hoax and leak
The artist/activist/trickster an increasingly familiar figure whose method is frequently
(if not invariably) fiction.
From Wenmen?s article it seems likely that the Nefertiti 3D Scan heist
is both a hoax (the artists quite probably did not capture the artifact in the way
described) and a leak (in that the data is sound but in all probability was sourced
But that said we don?t have to buy into the lament of the final paragraph in
Wenmen?s article in which he opines that it is -unfortunate that this story is based
on a falsehood.- On the contrary in this kind of -media act- the tactical use of fiction
is one of the most powerful tools in the trickster?s arsenal, as the Yes Men
demonstrated on many occassions.
However not any old hoax will do. For fiction to be deployed most effectively it?s
Remarks by Brice Sewell, Apple's chief counsel, in a call with reporters
hours after US Justice Dept prosecutors filed a third motion (Feb 16, Feb
19, Mar 10) asking the judge to compel Apple to take extraordinary measures
to compromise an iPhone used by of the San Bernardino attackers:
The tone of the brief reads like an indictment. We've all heard director
Comey and Attorney General Lynch thank Apple for its consistent help in
working with law enforcement. Director Comey's own statement...that
there are no demons here? We certainly wouldn't conclude it from this
brief. In 30 years of practice, I don't think I've ever seen a legal
brief that was more intended to smear the other side with false
accusations and innuendo, and less intended to focus on the real merits
of the case. For the first time ever, we see an allegation that Apple
has deliberately made changes to block law enforcement requests for
access. This should be deeply offensive to everyone that reads it. An
I'm not sure I would call it a hoax. I think -- though I have no
inside knowledge -- the most likely case is that of a leak, that is,
someone with access to the official scan gave it to the artists and
the story of the guerilla scanning was created as cover to protect the
source. In the same way that it's likely that some of the hacks of
anonymous where actually leaks by the sysadmins who used story of the
anonymous hack as device to cover their tracks.
Perhaps time that we think of a typology of leaking.
For example, the most basic distinction could be:
leaking as a strategy of power or leaking as a strategy of counter
power. To the latter, belongs:
- Politically motivated whistle-blowing (Wikileaks, Snowden,
- Economically & politically motivated data brokering (most of the
banking leaks, where an insider copies information and then sells it
to the tax authorities)
- Disguised leaks (anonymous hacks, Nefertiti scan etc)
I think underlying motivation is in all cases the same, the
Interesting background article after Edwards Snowden has declared FBI's
professed inability to break thru an iPhone "Bullshit".
Is the FBI v Apple PR war even about encryption?
By Alex Hern
The Guardian, Feb 23, 2016.
The war between Apple and the FBI is a PR war. And it’s one that the
FBI has fought well, from its initial selection of the battleground (a
fight over access to a dead murderer’s government-owned iPhone) to
the choreographed intervention of the relatives of the victims of the
San Bernadino shootings – who were contacted by the FBI for support
before the dispute even became public, according to Reuters.
But Apple has also been carefully controlling the debate through its
own interventions, and nowhere is that more obvious than Tim Cook’s
open letter published last wee
< https://cosmowenman.wordpress.com/2016/03/08/the-nefertiti-3d-scan-heist-is-a-hoax/ >
The Nefertiti 3D Scan Heist Is A Hoax
Posted on March 8, 2016 by cosmowenman
The New York Times' March 1, 2016 story "Swiping a Priceless
Antiquity...With a Scanner and a 3-D Printer" by Charly Wilder tells how
two German artists made a surreptitious, unauthorized 3D scan of the
iconic bust of Nefertiti in the Neues Museum in Berlin.
The artists, Nora Al-Badri and Jan Nikolai Nelles, make a case for
repatriating artifacts to their native countries and use Nefertiti as
their focal point. They also point out that the Neues Museum has made
its own high-quality 3D scan of the bust, and that the museum should
share that data with the public. As a protest, they released their own
scan to the public, and the quality of their scan is extraordinary.
The story has received a great deal of attention and Al-badri and Nelles
have earned much praise for their efforts to digitally repatriate
important cultural artifacts. Unfortunat
It reminded me of the Bilderburg (?) Summit. ??Funny thing is, none of
the technology executives noted in the article are conservatives, or
even Republicans. ??They are all Democrats. ??All three leading
Republican candidates are a personal and professional threat to Silicon
Valley. ??They will repeal gay rights and mandate software backdoors,
make encryption illegal, and play straight into the hands of the
telecom bitlords, who are the mortal enemies of the Valley. ??Strange
bedfellows, indeed. ??OTOH, I don't want to see Elon 'Ironman' Musk
angry. These are guys who get even.
Many business executives see a two party US as beneficial to thier
interests, because they can play one party off against the other,
although their personal interests may lie more with one than the other.
As for what is said in the room, my guess is that it is more along
the lines of Rs " hey, we have a big problem, and wonder if you smart
guys have any ideas?" and smart guys," well, we're glad you asked, but
before we go there, we
this report could relevant for the `nettime' take on Trump. Something
like this was already announced here and there. It is widely known that
Google supports Hilary Clinton. But why would that imply that Silicon
Valley moguls have to conspire against Trump? It probably indicates
that the Valley is now part of the old industry elite of the USA. Time
to update John Perry Barlow's Independence manifesto?
- - -
GOP Leaders, Tech Execs Plot Against Trump At Secret NeoCon Island
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/08/2016 12:11 -0500
Last Thursday, in a speech delivered at the University of Utah, Mitt
Romney blindsided Donald Trump in what amounted to a scathing
indictment of the billionaire's ability to lead the country.
"If we Republicans choose Donald Trump as our nominee, the prospects
for a safe and pros
One of the truly amazing aspects of this case is the breadth of
support for the position that what Sci-Hub is doing amounts to
justified civil disobedience.
However get to the root of this, you need to be a bit more "radical"
than this article.
Sure, ignoring foreign copyright has been a strategy of developing
countries for as long as copyright existed. Not just the US ignored
foreign copyright throughout much of the 19th century, also most
catholic countries in Europe were slow enforce foreign copyrights,
that is, that of protestant countries and their much thought after
secular literature. And before that, protestant countries built up
their printing industries by ignoring privileges through which
catholic countries tried to control the spread of enlightenment ideas.
Robert Darnton writes eloquently about "fertile crescent" of pirate
publishers around 18th century France.
The US joined the global copyright framework only in 1976 (with by
way of a major reform of its Copyright Act), at the time when Jap
This is the full text of a letter written by prominent émigrés to
ministers in protest over the country's role in border closures against
Open letter to the Austrian government
Austrians living and working in Greece, who feel deeply connected with
this country, appeal to the Austrian government to take a more
responsible position in dealing with the refugee crisis. Instead of
putting on blinkers, pretending that by closing the borders the problem
will go away, the situation has to be tackled head-on at a European
level. The Austrian government needs to understand that individual,
national approaches fail to produce results, also because solitary
advances contradict the basic tenets of the European programme, which is
meant to serve as the foundation for a new generation.
Despite the temporary ceasefire, the war in Syria continues unabated,
forcing the frightened civilian