About

I write about technology, psychoanalysis, philosophy, design, ideology & Slavoj Žižek.

Appreciation

June 17, 2011

Hipster Runoff

I love HRO. For Carles, nothing exists in the world but memes, lifestyles, self-expression and cultivating a ‘relevant’ personal brand. He takes these imperatives to the extreme in a grotesque display of the futility and nihilism of late capitalist consumer culture.

Carles overidentifies with it, self-immolating in it in protest. The rest of us maintain a false inner distance from this ruling ideology, pretending that our self-cultivation has a more noble, meaningful purpose.

Colloqium

Related Posts

August 5, 2014

The Cult of Sharing

The sharing economy’s marquee startup Airbnb recently unveiled a new brand identity and positioning to help propel its international expansion. Airbnb’s new wordmark and logo nicknamed “the Bélo” is said to have been the culmination of a year-long process, including a cross-cultural analysis to ensure their identity would be understood around the world. Exhaustive branding efforts are unusual among pre-IPO Silicon Valley companies. For years they’ve leaned on primary colors, gradients and rounded fonts, default signifiers of fun and friendliness that negate the staid formality of the more conventionally-minded business world, attempting no greater meaning than “this is not your father’s

Read more →
February 1, 2015

The Symbols of the Corporate Saints: On Ethical Consumerism

You’re awakened by the ring of your smart phone beside you. You open your eyes and smile, secure in the knowledge that the manufacturer made a sincere effort to minimize the use of conflict minerals during its construction. You opted into your local power utility’s green program, so the electricity powering your device comes from more costly, but renewable sources. You rise from your pillow and pull back the organic cotton sheets. You slept on an organic mattress that’s free of flame retardant chemicals. It cost four thousand dollars, but you care about what comes in contact with your body. In

Read more →
February 13, 2014

Left Activism Goes Corporate: A Detour Through the Raw Food Underground

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 them to serve a different agenda. The truth is that activists’ words don’t have to be twisted at all to be used to support free markets and capitalism because although the phenomenon of left-wing rhetoric concealing a right-wing agenda seems to a speciality of tech startups, it’s also a feature

Read more →

Recent Popular Posts

February 13, 2014

Left Activism Goes Corporate: A Detour Through the Raw Food Underground

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 20, 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

Read more →
January 26, 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

Read more →