Been a little slow around here. Caught a flu bug last week, been down for the count bedridden for a few days. Hopefully be back up and running next week. I hate being sick.
take care… craig
Been a little slow around here. Caught a flu bug last week, been down for the count bedridden for a few days. Hopefully be back up and running next week. I hate being sick.
take care… craig
Excellent lecture by Mirowski who wrote a couple great works on the neoliberal agenda: The Road from Mont Pelerin: The Making of the Neoliberal Thought Collective; and, Machine Dreams: Economics becomes a Cyborg Science.
I’ve been reading the latter for a while now. In this lecture he takes on the Climate agenda of the Neoliberals. Along the way discusses Foucault, Neoclassical economics, Naomi Kliein, etc. toward a nuanced discussion on what is on the plate with CO2 emissions and the carbon reduction schemes. What he terms the Neoliberal prescription: a threefold scheme to boondoggle the public in short term, medium term, and long term schemes of propaganda leading to vast markets of geoengineering of the climate. All of these schemes purporting to solve not the actual problem of carbon emissions, but to actually set that initiative to naught. He also details his reason of what the Left needs to do to counter this neoliberal vision. And, also, accuses the Left of having little or no intellectual vision at this moment to counter much of anything, much less the crisis of climate warming coming at us.
James Beniger in The Control Revolution: Technological and Economic Origins of the Information Society:
“To understand the basis of human society in information processing, communication, and control, moreover, is to appreciate the profound irony in popular sentiment against technology that has persisted over the past century. Of all the revolutionary innovations in technology since the Industrial Revolution, few have aroused more widespread suspicion , resentment, and even open hostility than have the various capabilities for information processing. Since the mid-nineteenth century, as we saw in the first chapter, increasing bureaucratization has been opposed as somehow dehumanizing, a sentiment that persisted into the 1950s in popular works like William H. Whyte’s Organization Man (1956). Since then, many of the same feelings have begun to shift to newer information-processing technologies: to the computer in the 1960s and 1970s and more recently to microprocessors, especially as manifest in devices like industrial robots, word processors, and video games, all of which were routinely accused in the early 1980s of dehumanizing influences. Just as the terms bureaucracy and bureaucrat long ago came to suggest narrow outlook, lack of humanity, and otherwise vague reprobation, similar connotations have been attached to computer technology and personnel, although less frequently as a laity begins to take responsibilities from the priesthood. The irony, of course, is that information processing might be more properly seen as the most natural of functions performed by human technologies, at least in that it is shared by every cell of every living thing on earth. In view of the fact that information processing distinguishes all living things and a few of their artifacts from the rest of the universe, moreover, the ability must by definition be as old as life itself— on this planet or any other. Information processing is also arguably the most human of life functions in that particular capabilities of our brains to process information best distinguish us from all other species. No human technology has more in common with all living things than do our various capabilities to process information, whether they be institutionalized in the formal structures and procedures of bureaucracy, input electronically to computer memory, or photolithographed into the silicon wafers of microprocessors. It is through the understanding of these capabilities, the essential life processes of organization, programming, and decision to effect control, that we can best hope to answer the many challenging questions raised by the Control Revolution.”
I tend to agree with him in the above. Once you think of different cultures throughout history as enacting the natural processes of information processing, communication, control, and decision-making of the brain itself you begin to see over time the externalization of those processes as human kind struggled to work within the larger surround of its environment: Neolithic society – organized around time computers built in stone (Stone Hinge, Southern France, Germany, etc.); Egypt – the organization of society around Pyramid and Temple construction; Greece – organization of society around the city State; Rome – organization of society around infrastructure (canals, aqueducts, baths, games, circuses); Feudalism – organization around the Catholic church – libraries; Amsterdam and Venice – organization around mercantile trade; all the modern Empires culminating in America: organization around never-ending technological innovation or information processing…
What he’s saying is that our brains are information processing systems and have been all along, we’ve just externalized many of the brain’s functions as society became more and more complex and individuals could no longer keep up with the processing needs of the socius. The true problem of control in our time is that we are “out of control”: we are living through a major crisis of control rather than needing to see “control” as the enemy. If as Nicholas Luhmann has suggested that “Society is Communication” then the balance between information processing and control are in our time skewed, imbalanced, bound to a culture in which communication is the problem not the solution. In our time communication is used as a tool of enslavement to ideologies, war, genocide, resource depletion, etc. We have allowed the few to override the needs of the many and because of that we have lost our ability to control the entropic forces that forever seek to destroy us.
What Beniger is saying is that information processing, communication, and control are no longer in balance… each of these if aligned help us to overcome the entropy of the earth’s system; yet, because we are out of control the processes are destabilizing the earth system which will ultimately lead to a correction: that correction will be the end of the human species; that is, unless we can regain control and begin to rebalance ourselves. Literally, the elite, the financiers, etc. have allowed their greed to overreach the threshold of this delicate fragility. To rebalance the system is to forge new political and social tools of communication to bring control and information processing to bare on this problem. This is the form of Resistance that we see in such things as the Chiapas, the different types of revolutions some call “Springs” popping up around the planet, etc. – these indigenous peoples are the first signs of a new communication, challenging us to find our way back to the balance of life itself. If we do not then the human species has no future.
His name is…
Will it ever come to me? There is a grand lapse of memory that may be the only thing to save us from ultimate horror. Perhaps they know the truth who preach the passing of one life into another, vowing that between a certain death and a certain birth there is an interval in which an old name is forgotten before a new one is learned. And to remember the name of a former life is to begin the backward slide into that great blackness in which all names have their source, becoming incarnate in a succession of bodies like numberless verses of an infinite scripture.
To find that you have had so many names is to lose claim to any one of them. To gain the memory of so many lives is to lose them all.
So he keeps his name secret, his many names. He hides each one from all the others, so that they will not become lost among themselves. Protecting his life from all his lives, from the memory of so many lives, he hides behind the mask of anonymity.
But even if I cannot know his name, I have always known his voice. That is one thing he can never disguise, even if it sounds like many different voices. I know his voice when I hear it speak, because it is always speaking of terrible secrets. It speaks of the most grotesque mysteries and encounters, sometimes with despair, sometimes with delight, and sometimes with a spirit not possible to define. What crime or curse has kept him turning upon this same wheel of terror, spinning out his tales which always tell of the strangeness and horror of things? When will he make an end to his telling?
He has told us so many things, and he will tell us more. Yet he will never tell his name. Not before the very end of his old life, and not after the beginning of each new one. Not until time itself has erased every name and taken away every life.
But until then, everyone needs a name. Everyone must be called something. So what can we say is the name of everyone?
- Thomas Ligotti, Grimscribe
If Self is an illusion, and I think it is, then is the name I use an illusion, too? I see my name in places that define me for the State: Birth certificate, Drivers license, Social-Security Card, Passport, Visa, Diplomas, Insurance, Car title, Home title, Bank account, etc. But is this me? Am I my memories? Am I the traces I leave in objects? Old postcards sent to friends from foreign ports, strange statues bought in some hidden jungle village, little rattles or drums bought high in the Andes, an old knock-about typewriter used for years in one country or another traveling: all these objects that were used by me or that used me? What of the film, pictures taken by family members, friends, office mates? Are all these traces of my body left in objects the truth of me? Is the self a tangible material thing that can be traced on old stone like an iconic image that some future being might discover on a fallen wall and think: “What sort of creature was this?”
In the old religions one had to lose one’s self to find it, to become in their terms – twice-born. But what does that mean? Do we gather up all the accumulated detritus of childhood, and early youth, work, friendships, lovers, enemies, etc. and slowly dissolve these in some acid bath of forgetfulness: and, then suddenly arise out of the ashes of this false past into the miraculous movement of a new life, renamed, born again into the newness of existence? What if one is an atheist, and a follower of the sciences, or more specifically, the neurosciences that tell us the self, the first-person-singular mechanism or function in consciousness that gives us the feeling of intentionality, purpose, will, power, decision-making – is itself an outmoded artifact of evolution, a mechanism that should now be superseded with the new truths that are telling us that everything we thought about our Self, Soul, etc. was not only a lie, but a small functional segment of the brain that has always lead us into false traps, illusions, mistakes and should now be sloughed off. But why? If we accept this truth? What then? What if it is true that all our thoughts, decisions, motives, etc. are done below the threshold of consciousness, and that these just happen to us rather than something we act on consciously? Do we just lie down before the great power of the blind brain and accept our defeat before its hidden computing powers, those endless functions and mechanisms churning away below the threshold that we will never have access too?
Even now these neuroscientists are laying the grounds for a new world view devoid of the human element of intentionality, human purpose, or human meaning: a post-intentional universe devoid of all the old mores, customs, philosophies, religions, norms, etc. that have guided human kind for millennia. What should we expect out of this? We know that very few will even know about this grand world of the neurosciences, that most will still be caught in their folk-images (as some call it) lost among the ideological worlds of their particular cultural mind meld. We have seen that the oligarchs, elites, corporations (Google), military (DARPA), etc. are investing billions in these new – shall we term it, transhumanist or posthumanist technologies and technics of the Great Convergence (NBIC) – nanotechnology (fibers, neurotubeules) , biotechnology (Terminator seeds, hybrid cloning), bioinformatics (information, pharmakon, data mining), and cybernetics/robotics ( non-human intelligence systems, AI, etc.). Why? What are these large institutions, bureaucracies, think tanks, academies, labs, etc. seeking?
We’ve seen the slow destruction of the older forms of the Industrial empires in the West as these have been dismantled into smaller, leaner, global systems spread across the vast borderless territories of a new organized empire of capital over the past 30 years. We’ve seen both Russia and China slowly incorporated into this global system to varying degrees while their more dangerous satellites Iran and N. Korea are reigned in with lucrative and bland immunological band aids. No one wants to push the destruct button quite yet. Yet, we see the battle for the remaining resources taking place in silence and off the grid to the mass-media propaganda systems in places like Africa, India, South America, etc. America realizes it is at the end of its great empire reach, that the cost of maintaining its empire is just not worth the cost in manpower or financial ruin. It realizes this path will lead to ultimate death internally and externally, so it is realigning its strategies to work within a multi-polar world of power, a balance of competing forces while still guarding its specific energy needs. While Russia and China are rebuilding infrastructure and working slowly to build its internal political and social systems over time. Both know they have time. And, they both know that Europe and America do not, so they work here and there to test the waters of these once powerful blocs.
Yet, we all watch silently as the climate begins to move toward that final plunge into the abyss of no return. Some of the more extreme views from certain climate observers is that we have about 20 years to act, that after this it will be far too late to even attempt change. In the first phase we see certain nations slowly trying to perform geoengineering projects to slow down the progress of global warming. But most scientists see this as an expensive gesture that came too late. Without detailing the bad news all I’ll say is that once the feedback-loops of warming come to the point of melting the global ice caps it will be only a matter of time for the great oceans to begin warming and melting the methane frozen at the bottom of all our oceans and releasing those gases into the atmosphere. Once this happens they give us to about 2080 to 2120 before the sixth great extinction finalizes its march on biological life on planet earth. Kaput! Humanity will at that time be at an end as a species.
So who really cares about a Name, anyway, after such knowledge? Yet, I wonder, even with such knowledge should we sit back, let it happen; or, should we instead seek ways to resist such pessimism, seek a way to resist the inertia of our world capitalist system and forge a new social subjectivity: a way to afford ourselves if not a new optimism, then at least a new hope. I began rereading Ernst Bloch’s three volume The Principle of Hope, which explores among other things the need to keep hope alive even in the midst of the darkest ages of humanity. As Slavoj Zizek remarks:
Ernst Bloch provided a detailed and systematic account of such an open universe—opened up toward its future, sustained by the hope of redemption, joy, and justice to come. He analyzed this dimension of hope in all its scope, from “low” kitsch romances through political and economic liberation up to religious extasis. In our “postmodern” cynical constellation, he reminds us that denunciation of ideology is not enough: every ideology, even the most horrifying Nazism, exploits and relies on authentic dreams, and to combat false liberation one should learn to discern in it the authentic utopian core.1
Maybe we need to address the authentic utopian core of our present era that seems so bent toward accelerating into a mindless machinic future that portends only one thing: a world without us… Is this really the inhuman, posthuman, transhuman future we’re all seeking? Are or we seeking something much more refined, more complex and full of affirmation and transmutation, even metamorphosis. What Gilles Deleuze once called (after Nietzsche) the separation of the last man, the reactive man, from that other being who is immanent to our very movement into the future: a being whose destruction of the established values, divine and human, that once constituted nihilism will offer us a way forward. Beyond all values divine or human is the trans-nihilist, which is not so much the creation of that which overcomes the human as it is the constitution within us all of the conditions whereby the human overcomes itself and is overcome by that which immanent to its blind brain in which the beast becomes the eternal return of the Child. An openness to the future and each other that allows for actual change to take place. Is this now hope enacted? A resistance against the last men, the men of this global system of corruption that would feed on us like zombies, mindless and without forethought? A resistance against a system of death, a thantropics, a world that offers instead of love, the power of transhuman immateriality in which humans are enhanced, transmuted by genetic, nanotech, biotech, cybertech, robotech to the point that they merge with their technics beyond recourse to the older molds of flesh and blood life. A resistance against economics of mindless machines, cyborg or informags, in which humans become nothing more that military analysts in an neverending war of money and power over the remaining resources of the planet. A resistance that finally escapes politics and philosophy and actually acts from the knowledge and power of the immanent becoming of the production of life itself. A resistance in which humans begin to touch what is no longer human in themselves and affirm even this. A resistance that becomes pure affirmation…
1. (2013-11-25). The Privatization of Hope: Ernst Bloch and the Future of Utopia, SIC 8 ([sic] Series) . Duke University Press. Kindle Edition.
Former director of DARPA and Google exec, Regina E. Dugan smiles as she tells us about the new invasive biotechnologies for tattooing and biomedical pharmaceuticals that will allow Google or other agencies to implant invasive sensors/tracking devices to monitor citizens 24/7 for securitization. She is wearing one of the devices and then produces a pill that she describes in detail as having pulsating electronics that can be picked up by GPS satellite, etc. What else is Google planning down the pipe? She even hints that one of the marketing ploys is to target teenagers and young people using the tattoo’s as if in an act of rebellion against their parents. Such Technologies will allow a big Other (Authority) to monitor every step taken in a 24/7 timeframe as well as uploading other types of data to a centralized datamining facility to be manipulated, massaged, and transformed for use by marketers, law enforcement, academia, etc. Is this the future of our technocontrol society? Will corporations enforce our daily pill for access to information? Instead of a token that is slid into one’s computer, one wears it either on one’s person as a tattoo, or as an ingested pill that provides a secure 24/7 access to any and all information in the GoogleMind. Google seems to be at the forefront of our Brave New World of surveillance and control society. Aldous Huxley in a later set of essays The Brave New World Revisited remarked:
In my fable of Brave New World, the dictators had added science to the list and thus were able to enforce their authority by manipulating the bodies of embryos, the reflexes of infants and the minds of children and adults. And, instead of merely talking about miracles and hinting symbolically at mysteries, they were able, by means of drugs, to give their subjects the direct experience of mysteries and miracles—to transform mere faith into ecstatic knowledge. The older dictators fell because they could never supply their subjects with enough bread, enough circuses, enough miracles and mysteries. Nor did they possess a really effective system of mind-manipulation. In the past freethinkers and revolutionaries were often the products of the most piously orthodox education. This is not surprising. The methods employed by orthodox educators were and still are extremely inefficient. Under a scientific dictator education will really work—with the result that most men and women will grow up to love their servitude and will never dream of revolution. There seems to be no good reason why a thoroughly scientific dictatorship should ever be overthrown.1
The next time your boss offers you a pill with a smile, or your child comes home from school with a whimsical tattoo on her wrist, think about Regina E. Dugan of Google and politely say “No thanks, control is not an option!”
A follow up on the Proteous Digital Pill: http://money.cnn.com/2012/08/03/technology/startups/ingestible-sensor-proteus/index.htm and http://proteusdigitalhealth.com/
More details on the EES Chip tattoo: http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/31046/title/Next-Generation–Electronic-Skin/
For those that want the longer version of the above that also goes into the darker Transhumanist agenda behind the Google world-view go here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4Q7sT2Kk88
1. Huxley, Aldous (2014-01-09). Brave New World Revisited (Kindle Locations 1485-1492). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.
Of course John Michael Greer and the Arch Druid Report have been mainstay for those who keep up on peak oil and the future of industrial society for a while now. I may not agree with his pagan revivalism but he does have some worthy things to say. A couple posts (here and here) begin describing a worrisome figure of darkness that we might all take stock of: the figure of Fascism that seems to be resurfacing under altered forms in our time. Neither Left nor Right the fascism of our era is taking up those in the center: the excluded, disaffiliated, and marginalized who have no voice in the political structure of our time. In the first post he gives a short background to the term and its history. Then offers a warning:
If a full-blown fascist movement of what was once the standard type were to appear in America today, it’s a safe bet that nobody except a few historians would recognize it for what it is. What’s more, it’s just as safe a bet that many of those people who think they oppose fascism—even, or especially, those who think they’ve achieved something by spraypainting “(expletive) FACISM” on a concrete wall—would be among the first to cheer on such a movement and fall in line behind its banners.
In the second post after lambasting both Left and Right he points us to those at the center who are now situated outside of politics altogether, and who have no voice in its institutions and not only that but resemble the same situation that one finds in pre-Weimer Germany just before Hitler took over.
In Italy before and during the First World War, and in Germany after it, democratic institutions froze up around a series of problems that the political systems in question were unwilling to confront and therefore were unable to address. Every mainstream political party was committed to maintaining the status quo in the face of a rising spiral of crisis that made it brutally clear that the status quo no longer worked. One government after another took office, promising to make things better by continuing the same policies that were making things worse, while the opposition breathed fire and brimstone, promising fierce resistance to the party in power on every issue except those that mattered—and so, in both countries, a figure from outside the political mainstream who was willing to break with the failed consensus won the support of enough of the voters to shoulder his way into power.
“When fascism succeeds in seizing power”, he tells us, ”it’s not a right-wing movement, or for that matter a left-wing one. It seizes the abandoned middle ground of politics, takes up the popular causes that all other parties refuse to touch, and imposes a totalitarianism of the center. That’s the secret of fascism’s popularity—and it’s the reason why an outbreak of full-blown fascism is a real and frightening possibility as America stumbles blindly into an unwelcome future.” He tells us he’ll continue this with future posts…(here and here).
Just read this on Mind Hacks…. looks like Google is becoming an AI company; and, with Ray Kurzeil and other AI and transhumanist theoreticians at the helm what should we expect in the future from Google? Just looking at the $3.2 Billion dollar investment in Nest Labs alone, not to speak of all the other companies it has bought up lately one wonders just what “deep learning” and the future of data mining holds out for our freedom? One of the investors from DeepMind told the reporters at technology publication Re/code two weeks ago that Google is starting up the next great ”Manhattan project of AI”. As the investor continued: “If artificial intelligence was really possible, and if anybody could do it, this will be the team. The future, in ways we can’t even begin to imagine, will be Google’s.”
Kurzeil says that his main job mission is to offer an AI intelligence system based on natural language “my project is ultimately to base search on really understanding what the language means. When you write an article you’re not creating an interesting collection of words. You have something to say and Google is devoted to intelligently organising and processing the world’s information. The message in your article is information, and the computers are not picking up on that. So we would like to actually have the computers read. We want them to read everything on the web and every page of every book, then be able to engage an intelligent dialogue with the user to be able to answer their questions.” Continuing, he says, “Google will know the answer to your question before you have asked it. It will have read every email you’ve ever written, every document, every idle thought you’ve ever tapped into a search-engine box. It will know you better than your intimate partner does. Better, perhaps, than even yourself.” Who needs Big Brother when you have Google in your head? And, with Google in collusion with DARPA initiatives, who is to say what military and securitization issues will arise from such systems of intelligence? (see Google dominates Darpa robotics…) Will the WorldMind 1.0 be the militaries secret initiative to take over control not only of all information on the web, but of those hooked into its virtual playpen of false delights? Instead of “dropping out” like my fellow hippies did in the sixties, maybe we should soon think about unplugging, disconnecting, and cutting the neurocircuits that are being rewired by the global brain? Or is it already too late?
Orwell wrote of NewsSpeak… which in our time is becoming ”GoogleSpeak” your friendly Avatar of the information highway. What next? A little smiley faced icon on your car google visor, iPhone, or thinkpad, an avatar that follows you everywhere 24/7 chattering away about this or that… all the while smiling as it also relays your deepest medical, social, private or intimate informatics messages to the NSA or any of a multiple other cyberagencies for data crystallization and surveillance recon. Oh, the wonders of the control society… blah, blah, blah…. the naturalization of security in our age: GoogleSpeak is your friend, download her now! Or, better yet, let GoogleMind(tm) back up your brainwaves today, don’t lose another mindless minute of your action filled life: let the GoogleMeisters upload your brain patterns to the Cloud…
“If an AI model can determine your emotional makeup (Facebook’s posts on love certainly betray this intent), then a company can select from a pool of possible ad copy to appeal to whatever version of yourself they like. They can target your worst self — the one who’s addicted to in-app payments in Candy Crush Saga. Or they can appeal to your aspirational best self, selling you that CrossFit membership at just the right moment.
In the hands of machine learning models, we become nothing more than a ball of probabilistic mechanisms to be manipulated with carefully designed inputs that lead to anticipated outputs.” And, quoting Victor Frankl, he continues: ““A human being is a deciding being.” But if our decisions can be hacked by model-assisted corporations, then we have to admit that perhaps we cease to be human as we’ve known it. Instead of being unique or special, we all become predictable and expected, nothing but products of previous measured actions.” In this sense what Deleuze once described as the “dividual” – “a physically embodied human subject that is endlessly divisible and reducible to data representations via the modern technologies of control” is becoming naturalized in this new world of GoogleSpeak. Just another happy netizen of the slaveworlds of modern globalism where even the best and brightest minds become grist for the noosphere mill of the praxelogical GoogleMind(tm).
The most radical suggestion arising from this direction of thought is the insistence on the reality of the present moment and, beyond that, the principle that all that is real is so in a present moment . To the extent that this is a fruitful idea, physics can no longer be understood as the search for a precisely identical mathematical double of the universe. That dream must be seen now as a metaphysical fantasy that may have inspired generations of theorists but is now blocking the path to further progress. Mathematics will continue to be a handmaiden to science, but she can no longer be the Queen.
- Lee Smolin, Time Reborn: From the Crisis in Physics to the Future of the Universe
What if everything we’ve been taught about time, space, and the universe is not just wrongheaded, but couched in a mathematics of conceptual statements (theorems) that presumed it could map the totality of reality in a one-to-one ratio of identity? This notion that mathematics can ultimately describe reality, that there is a one to one identity between the conceptual framework of mathematics and the universe – the Cartesian physicist – or, you may know him under the epithet of String theorist – will maintain that those statements about the accretion of the universe which can be mathematically formulated designate actual properties of the event in question (such as its date, its duration, its extension), even when there is no observer present to experience it directly. In doing so, our physicist is defending a Cartesian thesis about matter, but not, it is important to note, a Pythagorean one: the claim is not that the being of accretion is inherently mathematical – that the numbers or equations deployed in the statements (mathematical theorems) exist in themselves. What if all those scientists, philosophers and mathematicians who have pursued this path had in fact taken a wrong turn along the way. This is the notion that Lee Smolin an American theoretical physicist, a faculty member at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, an adjunct professor of physics at the University of Waterloo and a member of the graduate faculty of the philosophy department at the University of Toronto puts forward in his new book Time Reborn: From the Crisis in Physics to the Future of the Universe.
Saw this on Synthetic Zero. Got to love Lovelock, he pulls no punches and tells it how it is. We’re all doomed, forget about sustainability, green, Rousseauean returns to nature, etc. It’s just stupid now… 50 years ago maybe, but now we’re too late. Better build liferafts than castles in the air…
“Lovelock believes global warming is now irreversible, and that nothing can prevent large parts of the planet becoming too hot to inhabit, or sinking underwater, resulting in mass migration, famine and epidemics. Britain is going to become a lifeboat for refugees from mainland Europe, so instead of wasting our time on wind turbines we need to start planning how to survive. To Lovelock, the logic is clear. The sustainability brigade are insane to think we can save ourselves by going back to nature; our only chance of survival will come not from less technology, but more”
Until recently I believed complete collapse of the world’s industrial economy would prevent runaway greenhouse and therefore allow our species to persist a few more generations. But in June 2012 the ocean of evidence on climate change overwhelmed me, and I no longer subscribe to the notion that habitat for humans will exist on Earth beyond the 2030s. We’ve triggered too many self-reinforcing feedback loops to prevent near-term extinction at our own hand…
Originally posted on synthetic_zero:
Update: please note that The Guardian piece linked below is from 2008
Was James Lovelock the first credible scientist to go public with his acceptance of the coming catastrophes of climate change, economic collapse and massive food and water shortages? How many of his colleagues will follow as recognition grows of an end not yet arrived?
After a slight introduction Negri tells us that Williams and Srnicek return us to a Communist discourse for today. They offer a return of revolutionary thinking, a “new movement” in form – a discourse of power against power, biopolitics against Biopolitics. Theirs is a return to an emancipatory vision that takes as the basic subversive premise the notion of the “One divided into two”.
Negri sees in this a accelerationist move a return that would force a renovation of the operaista tradition with its notions of an “inside-against” refrain. In this tradition the concept of a hands-on investigation of class compostion came to the fore. It provided a detailed analysis of the real conditions of workers that is necessary to validate an analysis of contemporary capitalism, as well as its potential sites of struggle; only thus can the conceptsof immaterial and affective labour be useful politically. As Negri remarks: “The process of liberation may not be accelerating capitalist development, without however (this is important) confusing “acceleration speed”: because here the acceleration has all the characteristics of a device-engine, an experimental process of discovery and creation, within the space of possibilities determined by capitalism itself.” He also sees the need for the revitalization of the concept of “trend” within Marxian analysis and its insistence on “spatial analysis of the parameters of development” aligned with such notions as territorialisation and/or deterritorialization from Deleuze and Guattari.