A BLOG of PHILOSOPHICAL REFLECTIONS & SPECULATIONS

Adam Curtis on Self-organizing systems

Published on Monday May 30th, 2011

Adam Curtis in How the ‘ecosystem’ myth has been used for sinister means

What the anti-cuts movement has done without realising is adopt an idea of how to order the world without hierarchies, a machine theory that leads to a static managerialism. It may be very good for organising creative and self-expressive demonstrations, but it will never change the world.

At the end of Biosphere 2 the ants destroyed the cockroaches. They then proceeded to eat through the silicone seal that enclosed the world. Through collective action the ants worked together and effectively destroyed the existing system. They then marched off into the Arizona desert. Who knows what they got up to there.

Colloqium

Readers of this post have also read

July 14th, 2011

A World of Disorderly Notions

"A world of disorderly notions, picked out of his books, crowded into his imagination"…

Read more →
June 15th, 2011

All True Thought Contains a moment of Paranoia

Martin Jay in The Dialectical Imagination: [Horkheimer and Adorno] argued that... paranoia was not simply a delusion. In its denial of the merely given, its mediation of immediacy, paranoia transcended a naive positivist understanding of the world. Thus, all true thought contained what might be called a moment of paranoia. In fact, in projecting its internal fears and desires onto an…

Read more →
January 10th, 2011

Uncommitted Sins

Oscar Wilde in The Critic as Artist: After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own. Music always seems to me to produce that effect. It creates for one a past of which one has been ignorant, and fills one with a sense…

Read more →

Recent Popular Posts

February 13th, 2014

Left Activism Goes Corporate

One of the most tedious features of the Silicon Valley Hype Machine is its endless repetition of progressive sounding marketing slogans about democracy and freedom, all while promoting a pro-business agenda. But it's too easy to read this as a sinister corporate ploy to co-opt the language of activists and twisting…

Read more →
December 20th, 2013

Civility: A Distance That
Brings Us Together

Just in time for the holidays, Apple's marketing department released Misunderstood, an ad about a surly teenager absorbed in his iPhone in the midst of scenes of his family's idyllic Christmas togetherness. But he surprises everyone when he reveals that the whole time he was making a touching video for everyone to document their familial bliss, moving them to tears. A…

Read more →
January 26th, 2014

Ten Parenting Lessons
I Learned from Franz Kafka

Here's an adage which I think is true: every theory of parenting is implicitly a theory of society. It follows that even if you aren't a parent now, nor ever intend to be one, if you're interested in society and culture, you ought to be interested in the topic because the problems that we parents face (or believe we face) is…

Read more →