At the mercy of whatever obscure algorithmic forces now dictate our lives, many of us recently watched new Netflix film, The Social Dilemma. Enraptured by our irascible gods — postmodern deities whose digital powers make a mockery of self-determination, autonomy, free will, the Enlightenment project at large, etc. — we all consumed a film wherein tech evangelists proselytise for approx. 90 mins about the evil technologies they created. …
The Australian government’s lockdowns and COVID-Zero policies have saved many lives, yet they cost our economy tens of millions of dollars a day. With all the uncertainties surrounding the pandemic’s future, can our current approach continue? This article looks at the health and economic implications of Australia’s policies.
It is late August 2021 and over half of all Australians have been forced into lockdown. After nearly a year and a half of the COVID pandemic, most citizens of NSW, Victoria and the ACT are once again confined to their houses; other states are prepared to enter snap lockdowns if a…
The following is the second of a two-part essay on Kanye West’s music and politics. The first part is about the politics underlying his 2020 presidential platform; this part is about his evolution from a cultural star of neoliberal America to an advocate for right-wing politics.
For most of his career Kanye West has been a blend of two things: a Christian artist and a profound contradiction. A man often rent between faith and sin, Kanye’s best work balances on a thin wire dividing guilt and unashamed transgression. This we have known since his very first recordings where Kanye began…
The following is the first of a two-part essay on Kanye West’s music and politics. This part is about the politics underlying his 2020 presidential platform; the next is about his evolution from a cultural star of neoliberal America to an advocate for right-wing politics.
‘…we are sick. We are sick. Abortion culture, sex culture, capitalism. We are sick. We as a people, as a, not just an American society, the world, we are sick, and we are keeping ourselves sick, we’re all responsible… We all play a part of it. …
As Vintage’s resident ‘erratic Marxist’, Yanis Varoufakis recently had the opportunity to pen an introduction to their new reprint of the Communist Manifesto. There, he expounds on the nature of great manifestos. To succeed, a manifesto ‘must speak to our hearts like a poem while infecting the mind with images and ideas that are dazzlingly new.’ It must open our eyes to possibilities for progress, while it reveals how we have acted as the accomplices of stagnation. And most importantly, it must resound with ‘power of a Beethoven symphony,’ inspiring ‘humanity to realise its potential for authentic freedom.’
In recent years, it has been widely reported that the illness known as ‘depression’ has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. A 2020 report by the National Center for Health Statistics tells us that in 2018, an ‘estimated 7.2% of American adults had a major depressive episode in the past year’, while between 2015–2018, 13.2% of adults had used antidepressants in the thirty days preceding the survey. …
Written for RealTimeCEO
Today, finance and economics have nothing to do with one another.
I deliberately open with this ridiculous statement, because financial markets in the last 12 months have behaved in ridiculous ways. In 2020, the real economy in the USA shrank significantly; yet, financial markets boomed. Some commentators have said that these trends defies logic and reality; others see how it mirrors the history of markets after the GFC. Either could be right; all we know, however, is that we must understand it immediately.
We’ll start with a brief history of our present situation — the COVID-19 lockdowns…
‘Technological inevitability is the mantra on which we are trained, but it is an existential narcotic prescribe to induce resignation: a snuff dream of the spirit.’
- The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, p. 516.
Of the many threads that comprise Shoshana Zuboff’s excellent book, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, we must consider most deeply her comments on the ideology of inevitabilism: the belief that technological progress, even if it is catastrophic for the planet, inimical to effective human life, or disastrous for society at large, cannot be allayed, prevented or reversed.
For us, a discussion of this ideology is imperative…
To the kid,
Who saw halogen floors
With no generational flaws,
& the chemical lights
At delirious heights,
& the patented airspace
Felt olfactory engage,
& was a smear of light
Slicked on marmoreal smooth,
Flattened, 2D, under the rape of spectacle,
Solely receptacle but thrilled to be there.
The intention was: bedazzled kid.
Feel the air-conditioning under your skin, marrowchill,
See the world, butcher-like:
Time and mind,
Spirit pressed into
The hands of suppliers.
Of course, you asked Mom to go back next Sunday,
For the trembling rendition…
As our leaders look to repair our economies after the COVID-19 crash, a wild new way of economic thinking has surged to prominence: modern monetary theory, or MMT for short. MMT’s supposedly radical ideas for money creation and government spending have caused fear and confusion. ‘It’s dangerous,’ we hear. ‘We’ll end up like Zimbabwe!’ we’re told. Debt crises, financial ruin — or, perhaps, the chance for a better future. All this angst is intriguing. So, let’s take a closer look at MMT.
The rise of MMT started after the global financial crash in 2008. As Netflix’s film The Big Short…