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. …
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…
Birth-strikers¹ are a group of people who believe it is immoral to have children because children contribute to climate change, and climate change is going to fuck the planet.² The birth-strikers have started a procreative rebellion; they refuse to reproduce until the climate crisis is averted.
Though they have been around for a while, you have probably heard about the birth-strikers in recent weeks. In particular, The Guardian love this shit. Extinction Rebellion dumped 200 litres of artificial blood on the ground outside 10 Downing St to symbolise the ‘death of our children’ from climate change; some of them did…
“Nobody ever goes broke overestimating the rage and misogyny of the average American male” — David Foster Wallace, Consider the Lobster.
The most depressing moment¹ of the COVID-19 economic crash so far occurred on Thursday 09/10/20 at approx. 2130h on the homepage of the USA’s eight-most popular website,² PornHub.com, where, in the upper-right corner of the page, above one of those dreamlike, slightly schizotypal ads for new pornography w/ hyper-quick cuts of heaving, quivering flesh, and below the heading HOT PORN VIDEOS IN THE UNITED STATES, one could find a video called Fucking my stepson for stimulus check.
There’s a scene in Armando Iannucci’s Death of Stalin where Krushchev et al. lament the loss of their leader. ‘A great reformer,’ they say. Despite their praise, all of them are terrified. Deviating from the party line means death, after all.
For those who don’t get it, this scene relies on what we call irony. Both the Soviet parvenus and the audience know Stalin was a tyrant. His ‘reforms’ primarily involved the conversion of living people into dead people — ‘liquidating’ them, to use their chilling euphemism. ‘A great reformer’ indeed.
On the 24th and 25th of September, The Australian…
writer for realtime CEO, the startup and noteworthy. politics, philosophy, economics.