Menu Home

Repoliticising tech mythology

On the subject of the collapse of the tech mythology, a wonderful Slate headline succinctly conveys the significance of what is taking place: Facebook is a normal sleazy company now.  As Siva Vaidhyanathan puts it, “Facebook is now just another normal sleazy American company run by normal sleazy executives, engaged […]

Digital technology and facilitating corruption

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the relationship between digital technology and contemporary finance, including the vast off-shore facets of its existence and the shadow markets which (as I understand them) traverse onshore and offshore, even breaking down the distinction between the two. An interesting example of this concerns the logistical challenge involved […]

An industry for creating dynasties

From Moneyland by Oliver Bullough pg 101. As he points out, the logical end result of this is the creation of dynasties so that privilege persists and grows, as opposed to slowly diminishing over generations. Wealth-X, a consulting company that maps the movements of the super-rich as if they are wildebeest, calculates […]

The collapse of the tech mythology

There’s a wonderful piece in the Atlantic talking about the accumulating scandals through which “the tech industry has gone from bright young star to death star”, with increasing public knowledge leading to a recognition that “Silicon Valley companies turned out to be roughly as dirty in their corporate maneuvering as […]

The Vertigo of (Accelerated) Corruption

I’m utterly gripped by Oliver Bullough’s Moneyland and its account of the meta-country being built through the ability of global elites to escape national jurisdictions, facilitated by an army of lawyers, accountants and wealth managers. One of the most incisive themes concerns the acceleration of this corruption and the difficulty which it creates […]

How corruption makes history  

From Moneyland, by Oliver Bullough, pg 7: It may seem like this question is specific to Ukraine and its former Soviet neighbours. In fact, it has a far wider significance. The kind of industrial-scale corruption that enriched Yanukovich and undermined his country has driven anger and unrest in a great […]

The political economy of viral stars 

There’s a lucid account in Crystal Abidin’s Internet Celebrity of how eyewitness viral stars, briefly famous for their recorded reactions to an event, generate money for a whole range of unconnected actors. From 772-792: Eyewitness viral stars present an interesting form of internet celebrity in that at every stage of […]

The ideas industry and funding the new right

While Tommy Robinson has been denied a visa for his planned Washington visit, it seems he’s off to Australia for a speaking tour with Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes: Robinson is set to visit Australia in December for a five-city speaking tour with the Vice co-founder Gavin McInnes. The pair call themselves […]

Is this what techno-fascism will look like?

In recent months, there has been increasing media coverage of the terrifying network of reeducation camps in which the Chinese government has interned hundreds of thousands of the Uighur people. This is only one part of a broader system of social control in which what Timothy Grose calls a ‘virtual custody’ has […]

a DDoS attack on the human will  

This is the provocative phrase which James Williams uses to describe the attention economy on pg 87 of Stand Out of Our Light: Uncritical deployment of the human-as-computer metaphor is today the well of a vast swamp of irrelevant prognostications about the human future. If people were computers, however, the […]

Fascism and the liberal imagination

There’s a provocative argument on pg 81-82 of Žižek’s Like a Thief in Broad Daylight concerning the role of fascism in the contemporary liberal imagination. The invocation of the epochal enemy emerging from outside the political sphere allows the antagonism within it to be suppressed: The demonized image of a fascist threat clearly […]