Cybernetics, epistemological struggles, unwanted consequences?

Continental Drift


The world is big, the ocean is wide, and sometimes you hear of events you know you’ll miss and would like to have gone to some summer afternoon. Well, that’s how close I got to the Whole Earth exhibition at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin. Fortunately it’s possible to catch the lectures, here. For the catalogue, just click on the image above.

A conversation about it arose on Nettime, particularly about Fred Turner’s book From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism. I read the book when it came out, thought it was great and once met the author, whom I found worth listening to. However in the book and even more, in its reception, there is a kind of simplification or reduction of the counter-cultural moment, and therefore, of what cultural politics can achieve. This…

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MGM Grand and the Standard of Living


What’s better than having a grand time?  Having a grander time—at the newly renovated MGM Grand resort in Las Vegas.  A series of ads promotes the upgraded facilities and targets young professionals, stoking desires for luxury, excitement, and effortless sophistication.  One ad in particular sandwiches a somewhat diminutive male between two attractive women.  He gracefully carries a cocktail, a handy catalyst and potential excuse for the “grander euphoria” about to unfold.  Behind him, the piercing eyes of a sensual brunette confide in us.  Might we too join the party?

The marketing of casinos as sanctioned pleasure palaces is by no means new, nor is advertising that appeals to sexual fantasies.  “New rooms” and “New clubs” typify the spirit of Las Vegas, a city that continually reinvents itself or perhaps just doubles up in the form of “New experiences.”  Notice, however, the absence of gaming and gambling images in MGM’s new…

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Gentrifying the dharma: How the 1 percent is hijacking mindfulness

“Most of the workshops offer lifestyle and consumer choices that are meant to help people heal from the harm, emptiness and unsustainability associated with living under capitalism, but [they do so] without offering an analysis of where this disconnection comes from,” Amanda Ream, one of the disruption’s organizers, writes in a blog post for Tricycle Magazine explaining why she disrupted the conference. “The conference presents an evolution in consciousness of the wealthiest among us as the antidote to suffering rather than the redistribution of wealth and power.”

via Gentrifying the dharma: How the 1 percent is hijacking mindfulness –