Gonzo Strategies of Deceit: An Interview with Joaquin Segura

I am interested in the nature of power and the rise and fall of totalitarian ideological and political apparatuses nowadays. But I guess, going even further, I’m essentially fascinated by the fissures and contradictions that have made these structures spectacularly crumble to the ground. I do believe extreme ideologies have played a crucial role in the globalization of socio-political crisis. In the end, our world is nothing more than a fading monument to all things gone wrong—the inspiring triumph of failure, in every sense. I see this as an exciting parable. And of course, it is an undeniable fact that the US, through their influence in world economy, international policies and general attitude towards the rest of the planet is the largest structure waiting to collapse. I think we are all secretly awaiting that moment of splendor, even americans. It’ll be disastrous and as nasty as it can get, but it will also be liberating and incredibly inspirational. Not just because it’s the US but because it’ll prove that absolutely everything is susceptible to fall. And not only that, most importantly, it would confirm that radical change may actually be possible and not just one more of the unfulfilled promises modernity has left us to struggle with on our own.

via Gonzo Strategies of Deceit: An Interview with Joaquin Segura | Schultz | continent..

The Hacker Ethic of Work


In recent David Graeber’s book called “The Utopia of Rules” the well known American anthropologist explores what he calls “Capitalism’s secret love affair with bureaucracy.

The book, released in February, seems more a natural evolution of Graeber’s thought about capitalism and the world of modern management: indeed he already touched the topic of corporates and large organizations in 2013 thanks to a short but incredibly profound essay called “On the phenomenon of bullshit shit jobs”. The essay was focused on explaining how the conservative power of modern capitalism is exercised through false incentives. Graeber spoke bluntly of the world’s largest organization, the corporations, as an army of workers:  “basically paid to do nothing, in positions designed to make them identify with the perspectives and sensibilities of the ruling class (managers, administrators, etc) – and particularly its financial avatars – but, at the same…

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Ataraxiom – the Philosophy of Ataraxia as an Axiom


meme – ataraxiom

noun;  hybrid of “ataraxia” (Ἀταραξία “tranquility”)+ “axiom“.


~<{{will be seriously challenging to modern ‘skeptics’ and people of faith alike! }}}>~



Ataraxia is the entelechy (inner purpose and inherent end) of philosophy – or at the least of the philosophies of Epicurus the materialist and Pyrrho the skeptic alike. Depending on your view, ataraxia is the goal or at least the result of philosophy and the physical sciences.

In Pyrrho’s skepticism, nothing is known with certainty and there seems to be no way to ever come to certainty. There is no rock-bottom reality as far as we can perceive. Since everything would have to be proved by everything else, all argument is either circular or a chain that hangs from nothing and never ends. In other words, if we start with any positive statement, such as “I…

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Franco “Bifo” Berardi: What comes next?

Dr. Rinaldi's Horror Cabinet


Franco “Bifo” Berardi inherited from his friend Felix Guattari a way of seeing through the façade, or in the old parlance – seeing through the appearances and into the singular truth of our age. The old world of the bourgeoisie and proletariat classes that defined the Marxian dialectic of history are no more, and along with their disappearance the marginal critique that has sustained the Left for a hundred or more years is of little use either.

The older society of the bourgeoisie was based upon an ethical foundation that made it imperative that the upper tiers become responsible to their workers, while the workers felt an obligation toward each other in forming a solidarity based on trust and sociality. The upper tiers of society still held onto the vestiges of a hierarchical relationship based on national and civic values, while workers still shared both work and leisure time and…

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Fat Tails And Nonlinearity

Our focus here is on nonlinearity. Many complex systems, including markets, have critical points where small incremental condition changes lead to large-scale effects. Researchers in both the physical and social sciences have known about these critical points for a long time; so much so that terms like phase transition and tipping point have slipped into our day-to-day language. Still, critical points throw a monkey wrench into our mostly linear cause-and-effect thinking.

Critical points help explain our perpetual surprise at fat-tail events: We don’t see them coming because the state change is much greater than the perturbation suggests. Water does not undergo a dramatic change as it drops from 35 to 33 degrees Fahrenheit, but two degrees of additional cooling changes its state from liquid to solid. Likewise, large changes can occur in markets without visible manifestation in asset price change, while small additional changes can flip the price switch.

Critical points are also important for proper counterfactual thinking. For every critical point we do see, how many were lurking but never triggered? Like water temperature dropping to 33 degrees and again rising, there are likely many near misses in the markets that elude our detection.

via Michael Mauboussin: Fat Tails And Nonlinearity.

the courage of hopelessness

The Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben said in an interview that “thought is the courage of hopelessness” – an insight which is especially pertinent for our historical moment when even the most pessimist diagnostics as a rule finishes with an uplifting hint at some version of the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. The true courage is not to imagine an alternative, but to accept the consequences of the fact that there is no clearly discernible alternative: the dream of an alternative is a sign of theoretical cowardice, it functions as a fetish which prevents us thinking to the end the deadlock of our predicament. In short, the true courage is to admit that the light at the end of the tunnel is most likely the headlight of another train approaching us from the opposite direction. There is no better example of the need for such courage than Greece today.

via Slavoj Žižek on Greece: the courage of hopelessness.