Thursday, February 21, 2013

posted elsewhere neatened up a bit.
A few suggestions:
A more critical understanding of characters such as Simon Sinek, Danah Boyd and Grant McCracken, and the role of futurism and anti-humanism in intellectual life, inside and outside the academy.

No discussion of Zero Dark 30 without context. If we can refer to race–as a “political technology” we should ask about performative reinforcement in the use of the terminology of machines. What kind of esthetic is manifest?

…can we talk about Palestine?
I read Arabs on the Arab spring, before I read anthropologists. Or I read Arab academics.

Aaron Swartz killed himself facing the risk of six months in a low security federal pen, because “data wants to be free”. Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails facing open ended sentences are on hunger strike, ready to die because people want to be free.

Palestinians are the next wave of civil right movement: shopkeepers, housewives and husbands. They’re leading themselves just as, in the past, American blacks, women and homosexuals led themselves. When forced to face real engagement Judith Butler became an articulate and plain spoken defender of Palestinians’ claims to basic civil equality. She defended liberalism when liberals who’ve attacked her refused to. That’s the important fact, not the theoretical gobbledygook that came before. Could it be that gobbledygook was emotionally necessary as a way to defend humanism in an anti-humanist age? Maybe “theory” as poetry kept humanism alive: the poetry of technocracy, fighting against itself.

We’re the products of our culture. Our language forms us. The rise of technology and the technological imperative has resulted in a culture of pseudo-objectivity and a language and culture of happy-faced pseudo-autism: the effaced, elided self.

Who watches the watchmen? Who naturalizes the naturalizers?
How about the end of arguments from an assumption of a stable self? Not the idea of instability by the fact of it.

How about a relentless assault on the moral, esthetic, and political foundations of geekdom.

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