Noumena deFanged: Ray Brassier’s toothless critique of Nick Land

The Real Movement

180694754Ray Brassier’s take on Nick Land is jaw-droppingly silly for someone whose Wikipedia entry touts him as “one of the foremost philosophers of contemporary Speculative realism interested in providing a robust defense of philosophical realism in the wake of the challenges posed to it by post-Kantian critical idealism, phenomenology, post-modernism, deconstruction, or, more broadly speaking, “correlationism”.”

You would think with those sorts of credentials he could understand Land’s argument at least at the level of a recent entrant to university.

But you would be disappointed.

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Technology, Diverse Empowerment & Slavish Dependency

I keep in mind, ever since 9/11/2001, that all systems fail, that is all except pain receptors in the human body. All technology, all systems are designed to operate within certain environmental tolerances for a specified period of time. Stress those tolerances and snap, crackle, pop: system down. Makers are stressing those tolerances every day because they want what they build to exceed one or more of them. Hackers are stressing them to find the limits and gearheads make it their business to know the factors. Consumers and those wishing to consume are just trying to get a ride in the boat, trusting souls. For a maker and hacker and gearhead, I am all three depending on the target, I want to experience the balance. I create for my consumers to the level of their expertise to enable them to do what I do with my 20 year headstart. That’s a product; that’s the enablement, the empowerment, the new economy. I could make them slavishly dependent but I choose not to. I want the product to educate as well. I want its guts to be transparent, so that when it fails, all can see how to fix it. This is a principle of integrity that can easily be ignored. It is disrespectful at best, and coercively entrapping and enslaving at bottom. It is the Muzak that cannot be switched off. It is ultimately the company town, the slave plantation whose master rejects the liberating cotton gin. And yet in human skill and nurtured talent is the ability to remain free of such all encompassing systems. When they fail, it is what humans must fall back on anyway. So we should always be mindful of what skills and talents and abilities we give up for the convenience and empowerment of technology.

via Technology, Diverse Empowerment & Slavish Dependency – Cobb.

‘Mango, Mango!’ A Family, a Fruit Stand, and Survival on $4.50 a Day

Longreads

Douglas Haynes | Orion | Summer 2014 | 22 minutes (5,391 words)

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Morning

“It’s like this here every day,” Dayani Baldelomar Bustos tells me as her dark eyes scan the packed alley for an opening. People carrying baskets of produce on their heads press against our backs.

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The Consciousness of Trees

The part that appears above ground lasts only a single summer. Then it withers away. When we think of the unending growth and decay of life and civilizations, we cannot escape the impression of absolute nullity. Yet I have never lost a sense of something that lives and endures underneath the eternal flux. What we see is the blossom, which passes.

via Erel Shalit: The Consciousness of Trees.