"Now you know that when you give a small child a pencil and paper, what does he do? He delights in stabbing the paper, making holes in it everywhere; everything that follows after that is sublimation."
"Never has the ‘irreplaceable’, ‘indispensable’ function of labour as the source of ‘social ties’, ‘social cohesion’, ‘integration’, ‘socialization’, ‘personalization’, ‘personal identity’ and meaning been invoked so obsessively as it has since the day it became unable any longer to fulfill any of these functions"
"until the early 1970s the Stasi used to monitor the angle of people’s antennae hanging out of their apartments, punishing them if they were turned to the west. Later, they gave up: the benefits of soporific commercial programming apparently outweighed the dangers of news bulletins from the free world."
Anna Funder, Stasiland.
This Egyptian 12 year old is seriously the best
"All of this political process is void because the parliament in the first place is void — popularly and constitutionally void."
"What is built on falsehood is false itself."
"The problem is that it’s outrageous."
"Technology is always much weaker than its advocates seem to believe. In truth this weakness is concentrated in this belief. In 1795, when the French Revolution had gone over to the side of restoration the Marquis de Sade wrote a tract extolling his fellow countrymen: ‘Frenchmen, one more effort please if you would become Republicans’. Sade offered a new radicality to what it meant to ‘become Republican’, to follow this ‘desire’ right to the end. Without this, he declared, the real ‘murderers and thieves’, the state and the wealthy, would keep on getting away with it. The rhetoric of the MOOC, of its educational capacity, despite the animate desire of its most wide eyed proponents, only delivers this new technique over to the hands of those in the position to continue to get away with determining for all what education is. Despite what such technological innovations can do, what possibilities they suppose, MOOCs and their like will remain inscribed in the vicious, expansive circle of capitalist or state logic, replicating and repeating, modifying over and again the subjective incapacity this logic demands. The weakness of technology, shackled to this logic, is that it never actually does do what is claimed, that its subjectivisation is actually of a bastard kind—it engenders what it does not want and wants what it cannot engender. Beneath all the fanfare of its arrival, its result—the intensification of the procedures of the pedagogy that already exists—commands only new rounds of cynicism, fatalism, defeatism: in the last instance and at best an emergent ecstatic nihilism supported by a hybrid humanism-vitalism which is destined to merely repeat, with difference to be sure but without the very possibility of the new. Such is why the rhetoric of the MOOC is so fervent, so desperate, so hollow: the symptom, nevertheless, of a real desire which demands to be taken up."
A.J. Bartlett on Education, Technology and ‘Innovations in Incapacity.’
"[Snowden] had access to NSA data as a contract worker employed by the consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, and the degree to which US intelligence agencies now rely on contract workers is now causing alarm."
One monster of neoliberalism (outsourcing) eats another (the permanent state of exception).
"Washington rages at ‘traitor’ Edward Snowden" | The Independent.
"One can recall a time around the dot-com crash of 2000 when a number of books dealing with the topic of the attention economy appeared in bookstores. Economists suddenly became aware of the simple fact that in a semiocapitalist world, the main commodity becomes attention. The 1990s saw an era of increasing productivity, increasing enthusiasm for production, increasing happiness of intellectual workers, who became entrepreneurs and so forth in the dot-com mania. But the 1990s was also the Prozac decade. You cannot explain what Alan Greenspan called the “irrational exuberance” in the markets without recalling the simple fact that millions of cognitive workers were consuming tons of cocaine, amphetamines, and Prozac throughout the 1990s. Greenspan was not speaking of the economy, but the cocaine effect in the brains of millions of cognitive workers all over the world. And the dot-com crash was the sudden disappearance of this amphetamine from the brains of those workers."
Franco Bifo Berardi | http://www.e-flux.com/journal/time-acceleration-and-violence/
The problem with Google’s vision is that it doesn’t acknowledge the vital role that disorder, chaos, and novelty play in shaping the urban experience. Back in 1970, cultural critic Richard Sennett wrote a wonderful little book—The Users of Disorder—that all Google engineers should read. In it, Sennett made a strong case for “dense, disorderly, overwhelming cities,” where strangers from very different socio-economic backgrounds still rub shoulders. Sennett’s ideal city is not just an agglomeration of ghettos and gated communities whose residents never talk to one another; rather, it’s the mutual entanglement between the two—and the occasionally mess that such entanglements introduce into our daily life—that makes it an interesting place to live in and allows its inhabitants to turn into mature and complex human beings.
Google’s urbanism, on the other hand, is that of someone who is trying to get to a shopping mall in their self-driving car. It’s profoundly utilitarian, even selfish in character, with little to no concern for how public space is experienced. In Google’s world, public space is just something that stands between your house and the well-reviewed restaurant that you are dying to get to. Since no one formally reviews public space or mentions it in their emails, it might as well disappear from Google’s highly personalized maps. And if the promotional videos for Google Glass are anything to judge by, we might not even notice it’s gone: For all we know, we might be walking through an urban desert, but Google Glass will still make it look exciting, masking the blighted reality."
"Austerians point to sustained deficits and debt levels as evidence that austerity has not been practised. The reality is precisely the opposite: The stubbornness of deficits and debts is the result of austerity that was implemented energetically and failed spectacularly – as predicted."
Yanis Varoufakis | ‘Defining Austerity’
"Had a poll been taken in the midst of Europe’s Black Death pandemic, a majority of Europeans would have blamed the plague on prior sinful living and would have, most likely, accepted the established view that deliverance from the disease demanded self-flagellation and collective punishment. While we should always be keenly interested in public perceptions, we should not allow polls to cloud our judgment."
Zing! Yanis Varoufakis.