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


June 23, 2011

Since the Dawn of Time: A Series


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December 15, 2011

Photoshopping the Occupation

By now, everyone with an interest in OWS has seen the Pepper Spraying Cop meme. On seeing these images, I wondered if they were mocking the protestors, and looking at the reaction on the internet to the meme, I wasn’t the only one who had that reaction. But something more interesting may be going on. The forums on SomethingAwful.com have long been a source of internet memes, and they predate better known sites like 4chan and Reddit. Wikipedia credits it with helping to spread the All Your Base Are Belong To Us meme, and 9/11 Tourist Guy, and also claims that

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July 11, 2011

Capitalist Futures

You can learn a lot from the future of capitalism by asking capitalists. It sounds obvious, but many radical European media studies types who embrace the disruptive force of the internet in roughly the same terms as the average Silicon Valley venture capitalist haven’t thought about it. For example, this series of videos of an interview with John Hagel (author of The Power of Pull, co-chair of the Silicon Valley Center for the Edge). A few things I thought were interesting: The conventional view of the success of India and China’s manufacturing sector is wage rate arbitrage - they pay their

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April 11, 2011

Disengagement is a Luxury

Earlier today I tweeted this link: User-friendliness and fascism - where the conflict between Mac and PC is mapped on to the standard left-right political frame. Macs usually stand for left countercultural values, partly because them simply wrapped themselves in appropriate imagery, but also more substantively. Frankfurt School philosophers argued that technology was a tool of social control and domination, disciplining users by forcing them to adopt practices in conformity with inflexible requirements encoded in the design of the tool. Apple’s emphasis on the intuitive nature of its products can be read as a response to this critique - an intuitive,

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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

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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

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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

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