Cryptocurrency Might be a Path to Authoritarianism -Ian Bogost

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McKenzie Wark vs Nick Land

When Ken says nonsense like “Us knowledge-institution types may prove more adaptable than he thinks” he kind of gives the game away but still worth a read.
“I think Land really was on to something when he pushed geotrauma to its cosmic limit, where “the runaway becoming of such infinite plasticity that nature warps and dissolves before it…” (627) The very interesting writing of Reza Negarastani branches off here. The Land of the noughts pushed this very far: everything since the big bang exploded into subatomic particles has been a huge mistake, each organizational form arising, from atoms to molecules to cells to eukaryotes to vertebrates to human social forms is a reaction to the trauma spilling out of the previous level of organization. A list to which one could add the trauma of the Anthropocene. “Runaway geosmear through seismo-climactic linkage…. Ice-sheet melt meets sea-floor lift.” (483) Positive feedback loops provoke geotrauma, and have done so repeatedly. Land is precociously aware of where this is headed. Or he was, before some less interesting turns distracted this knight of the death drive.”
rest @

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Cybernetic Fantasies of Value -Seb Franklin

“In January 1951, R. S. Hunt–a British technical editor and former chemist without any university degree or diploma–sent a manuscript titled “Two Kinds of Work” to the mathematician Norbert Wiener, who did not read it. Hunt’s manuscript promises to “put metaphysics within the scope of physics.” And it claims to do so by making “such quantities as beauty, virtue and happiness,” as well as all manual and intellectual labor tasks, intelligible as electronic circuits. In other words, Hunt’s text anticipates the wildest fantasies of digital culture and the concepts of affective and immaterial labour associated with post-Fordism.
“Two Kinds of Work” is centred on a concept that Hunt names “G-energy.” This force, Hunt argues, “defies the second law of thermodynamics” by moving material systems from less to more probable states. In other words, it represents all processes that give form or pattern. The ‘discovery’ of G-energy, Hunt insists, necessitates a radical new ontology; humans, nonhuman animals, machines, materials, and concepts all hold and transmit G-energy, and are thus connected in networks of exchange. Hunt’s formulation predicts the current methodological formations of matter and bodies as vital networks. But crucially, Hunt’s underlying motivations are not philosophical but economic: G-energy is for him the essence of value, a ‘natural’ phenomenon that is represented by money. It is what employers are really paying for when they think they are paying for time.
By reading “Two Kinds of Work” in the light of current theoretical concerns, this talk identifies historical and conceptual connections between theories of digitality and value.”

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landing sites @ballardian

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acceleration, ubiquity & constancy of radical disjunctures

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Mapping precariousness by Angela Mitropoulos

“The first part of a chapter, titled “Encoding the Law the Household and the Standardisation Of Uncertainty,” for an edited volume on mapping precariousness.
Lots on social cartography, the history of labour market and related statistics (such as GDP) in France and beyond, Pitrou’s solidarités familiales, neo-Platonist phenomenology, Rosa Luxemburg versus Friedrich Hayek, complex systems theory, Alfred Korzybski, Laurent Thévenot, Bachelard and classification. In many ways, this is me foregrounding the methodological aspects that informed earlier debates/writing on the topic — and why that topic became increasingly one about the metrics of risk and uncertainty.
preprint @
All maps involve subtractions from complexity—a condition that is both crucial for readability and, at the same time, a procedure that tends toward essentialism and obsolescence. Moreover, maps were, and are, anticipatory. If not quite the performance, then the script. According to Harley’s notations in the margins of cartographic history, “lands [were] claimed on paper before they were effectively occupied.” That is, “maps anticipated empire. Surveyors marched alongside soldiers, initially mapping for reconnaissance, then for general information, and eventually as a tool of pacification, civilization, and exploitation in the defined colonies” (2001, 57). As logical systems, maps are therefore not so much representational artifacts as propositions (Wood 2010, 41). This is especially so where mapping links laws and objects by encoding the defined properties of the latter in such a way that they are amenable to normative statements. This is why the history of the map is also the history of the concept of precariousness. […]”

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if what you want is jobs for everyone, you are still the enemy

if what you want is jobs

for everyone, you are still the enemy,

you have not thought thru, clearly

what that means


if what you want is housing,

industry (G.E. on the Navaho reservation)

a car for everyone, garage, refrigerator,

TV, more plumbing, scientific

freeways, you are still

the enemy, you have chosen

to sacrifice the planet for a few years of some

science fiction Utopia, if what you want


still is, or can be, schools

where all our kids are pushed into one shape, are taught

it’s better to be ‘American’ than black

or Indian, or Jap, or PR, where Dick

and Jane become and are the dream, do you

look like Dick’s father, don’t you think your kid

secretly wishes you did


if what you want

is clinics where the AMA

can feed you pills to keep you weak, or sterile

shoot germs into your kids, while Mercke & Co

grows richer

if you want

free psychiatric help for everyone

so that the shrinks

pimps for this decadence, can make

it flower for us, if you want

if you still want a piece

a small piece of suburbia, green lawn

laid down by the square foot

color TV, whose radiant energy

kills brain cells, whose subliminal ads

brainwash your children, have taken over

your dreams


degrees from universities which are nothing

more than slum landlords, festering sinks

of lies, so you too can go forth

and lie to others on some greeny campus



THE ENEMY, you are selling

yourself short, remember

you can have what you ask for, ask for


rest @

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