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The coming army of American demagogues

There’s an interesting extract in this Guardian article about the growing civil war in the Republican party, concerning the adoption of Trump’s tactics by aspirant politicians within the party: Trump’s refusal to support McCain and Ryan comes exactly one week before Ryan faces a primary challenge from the businessman Paul […]

Against craft capitalism 

An important reminder by Douglas Rushkoff in Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus. From loc 198-212: For many of us, the current system, however convoluted, is better than nothing, and changing to one in which we must create real value is frightening. Most people are not cultural creatives capable of […]

The Lived Reality of Work in Tech Firms

From Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus, by Douglas Rushkoff, loc 72-86: A few weeks later, there was nothing to smile about. Protesters in Oakland were now throwing rocks at Google’s buses and broke a window, terrifying employees. Sure, I was as concerned about the company’s practices as anyone, and […]

It’s not you, it’s capitalism

This essay on Medium has reminded me of my idea to write a short satirical self-help book, addressing individual problems as social and economic issues:   If I am struggling financially it is because the financial system is morally corrupt. This truth is a mantric elixir — repeat it to yourself every time […]

Isomorphic Inequalities

One of the things I like about Bauman is his sensitivity to what I’ve come to think of as isomorphic inequalities. In Wasted Lives he contrasts the enforced ghetto with the voluntary ghettos of the super-rich. In Globalization he contrasts the enforced mobility of the migrant* with the elective mobility […]

Rich nations as entropy hubs 

From Pg 43 of Zygmunt Bauman’s Wasted Lives. Could any recommend an analysis of the ecological impact of digitalisation? I assume it intensifies the longstanding trend Bauman discusses here: Rich nations can afford a high density of population because they are ‘high entropy’ centres, drawing resources, most notably the sources […]

A capitalism-friendly version of social mobility

A really enticing analysis by Evgeny Morozov of the “eventual depoliticization of extremely political and contentious issues by wrapping them up in the empty, futuristic language of technology and innovation”. Silicon Valley increasingly dominates the discursive representation of our global future, with the amelioration of social problems limited to a […]

The Politics of an Uncertain Future

The rise of the robots is a recurrent theme of popular culture. Robots are often seen as a threat, heralding the prospect of human beings being replaced by their creations, perhaps to the extent of being deemed useless by them and attacked. Underlying this fear is the reality of automation: technology being […]