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


June 23, 2011

Since the Dawn of Time: A Series


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May 24, 2011

Disobedience affirms the order it ostensibly contests

Jodi Dean, in Disobedience? Really?: In this setting of the decline of symbolic efficiency, what can we make of democratic disobedience? It’s not simply that the bad guys occupy the transgressive position, breaking the law, it’s that there is no difference between obedience and disobedience. A recent book exemplifies this point with respect to the last decades of financial malfeasance in the US: ‘the best way to rob a bank is to own one.’ Another way to put it, there’s nothing left about disobedience. The rich and powerful have already swept that possibility away. Or, their illegality and corruption, their use

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May 6, 2014

The Conquest of Cyberspace: Thoughts on Astra Taylor's The People's Platform

Who can forget Oolon Colluphid’s trilogy of philosophical blockbusters1 Where God Went Wrong, Some More of God’s Greatest Mistakes and Who is this God Person Anyway? If I was going to write a book, it would be along these lines—not about God, but about the Left. Of all the ways the Left has gone wrong (at least recently), the centerpice would be the Internet and the social and economic transformations that it has brought about. I don’t mean to point fingers. In fact, it would be partly autobiographical, an exercise in self-criticism, because like many others, I was convinced that network technologies

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March 3, 2011

This is the Totalitarian Procedure

Mary Anne Rothenberg in The Excessive Subject: A New Theory of Social Change: The premise (not the fact) that groups are formed by way of total emulation rather than contingent identifications serves the interest of repressive social groups such as the army. Why? Because the differences in identification (different unary traits) are occulted by the fantasy that the different members of the group lose their differences. That is, the members of the group are enjoined to become identical (the unifying-one), when in fact the mechanism of identification at work serves to particularize them (the countable-one): this gap is crucial to the ongoing

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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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