Tag: Digital Capitalism

I’ve blogged in the past about The Great Disruptive Project. We should understand a company like Uber, at least in its earlier stages, as in part a moral project. By this I mean there is a vision underlying the company, a critique of the existing order associated with this vision and a commitment to changing […]

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 in normal sleazy lobbying and […]

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 in creating the byzantine corporate […]

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 that in 2016 there were […]

From Moneyland by Oliver Bullough pg 51: Nevis prospers by renting its sovereignty to rich people who believe America is over-litigious, that women get too much money in divorce settlements, and that lawyers lie in wait for the successful. These beliefs are widespread among the rich, and Moneyland has given them the power to do […]

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 any old oil company or […]

This short article by Bent Flyvbjerg and Alexander Budzier makes a powerful case that “IT projects are now so big, and they touch so many aspects of an organization, that they pose a singular new risk”. It reports on a project they undertook analysing 1,471 projects,  comparing their expected budget and performance benefits to the […]

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 for public or private investigators […]

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 arc stretching from the Philippines […]

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 their fame cycle, several actors […]

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 The Deplorables, a reference to […]

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 been constructed through the proliferation […]

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 appropriate description of the digital […]

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 serves as a new political […]