Posts filed under ‘politics’
The Lulz (iPad autocomplete already contains the phrase Lulz in capitals no less) have become the celebrity hackers that Hollywood will one day throw into our future as the past. They are at times an almost perfect imitation of what hackers from The Wachowskis would act like (google the dudes who made the matrix), in fact the fiction of the hacker, the past Hollywood imagined appears to have infiltrated the present, remember hackers? Remember all those 2600 kids and wanna be 2600 kids like me backorficing each other while over irc arguing on the merits of if or if not hackers actually dressed, acted, or even bore a similarity to the actors in that film?
I do. I also remember a little irc server, set up on the back of a bank’s mainframe, or what the dude claimed was a discarded unix server from a bank, to get on it you just had to know. I was kinda lucky at that time because I was in the rom scene so I had an fserve serving up rooms which i played in slow motion on an ancient Macintosh. It could manage super nes rooms with a little effort. I don’t think my teenage brain ever registered rom hacking as illegal, neither did it occur to me that flash rom carts were just now coming-out and folks were downloading game boy games to game boys, puerto rican sys ops were flirting with 14 year old girls, and we head no idea what the names on the channel that owned the server were up to. Joining the servers other channel was an experience in waiting as the seemingly always on nicks stood there in silence like the arbiters of a kafka story, working their way to some goal far away from the social scene. If you started joking you could stay. Those chatrooms disappeared for me after high school. Computers moved on, games became isos and burnable (I ruined a ps one with an ancient soldiering iron and a mod chip one summer while my mom lived with “friends” between houses) I got einhander to work with out a mod chip and was elated as was I by that square Enix fighting game that I absolutely loved for some reason. My mom’s temporary house came with a big tv and all those lights from square’s games still impress me. The world was abuzz with the dawn glow of the Internet age, anything was piratable, napster and gnutella were downloading music, my college Internet connection introduced me to high speed connections, content was free and piling down the internets like lemmings in the sea. I had video games up to my knees, sega Saturn, dreamcast, psx, neo geo Roms, I played darkstalkers alone in my dorm room, I got a slim sony viao and broke it in a matter of days. The iPod came, and I had music, never used iTunes, I left college, I moved in alone to an apartment. I went broke, I ended up in Asia. That’s when I found the chatrooms again.
Well that’s how I remember hackers ending.
“Trickle down economics… sees the fundamental problem as a crisis of confidence. That no doubt is part of the problem; but the failure of confidence is because the financial markets made some very bad loans. That’s not just a matter of imagination or perception. It’s reality” link
It’s interesting that so much of libertarian economic theory relies on a kinda bluff. Ya know as long as people think you’re the best… etc. The Government bailing out finance companies shouldn’t restore confidence in them, if anything it means that the same people who made incredibly bad loans are still working at those companies…
Mr. Stiglitz goes further to point out that regardless of what bail out plan the finacial companies recieve, the U.S. economy is based on borrowing, housing prices still have a lot of room to fall, and the millions in devalued houses will have to cut their spending regardless of how their mortage is restructured.
Did Delueze accidentally give us the beginnings of an argument against democracy? While e-democracy movements have existed for years along with of course mathematical critiques of voting systems and the simple feeling that it’s just all a popularity contest. Their words, ‘political elite’ and their anti-idealism viewpoint points to a world in which amatuer law drafters might be able to realize their political desires directly and idealist revealed for their reliance on going against the nature of humanity. But similarly, Democracy is repression, of our own viewpoints for those of the majority, is it possible to design a government with a plurality of different laws and viewpoints? Is it possible to have different groups realizing and living in their own values, but sharing a land mass? It’s not terribly far from what’s here now, but the actual admission of it might change things.
This is an olde isssue, here is Howard Rheingold on how the internet is changing democracy, and Daniel Hillis’ thoughts on how it all works, I might add that Mr. Hillis makes a good point, that the limitation of choices might actually make acceptance of the outcome of an election more acceptable, by forcing people into polarized camps (regardless of how close those two camps might be).
There’s a little spot up Chareon Krung 8 here in Bangkok that keeps nagging at me. It’s far from me home and inconvient to get to, yet I walk there all the time. It’s an electronics market nudged underneath a bridge. It’s organized in such a means that it seems to cater to age, it starts with remote controled vechiles, moves over the video games, and then end with a small camera shop and a mall for magic the gathering. Strolling it, is like gazing at my childhood in layers, I began with remote control submarines, moved into video games, briefly moved into photography, and then bottomed out into Magic (yeah, I started playing again recently). But it certianly wasn’t the intention of the builders to organize their market in such a manor, it’s simply that it retains a memory of mine in form that gives it meaning, that makes it worth an 8+ stop subway ride and a 30 minute walk just to play Magic. It’s this variance that makes Architecture hard to sculpt into the intentional meaning that film or books have, it lacks a linear narrative and compiles meanings like soil’s layers. Prem Chandavarkar has a pretty good paper here on making architecture meaningful. Such problems don’t just vex the architect, but the media builders of today, after all narratives are quickly dissemenating into multiple stories, perhaps what we should focus on is how space expresses meaning and how to make buildings like that market, perhaps not fully functional, but instead meaningful.
Idea: could you turn a level from Doom or Quake into an actual room? What would it mean if the virtual became real? and how uneventful would it seem stripped of aliens and demons? What would we be suggesting if such a situation existed? Why do we spend so much time exploring barren landscapes on computers that in real life hold little interest to us?
Ironically, uber-sincere right wing Christian cartoonist Jack Chick is banned in Thailand. Religious parody laws perhaps?
All from Desert Islands and Other Texts 1953 – 1974
by Gilles Deleuze
“Literature is the attempt to interpret… the myths we no longer understand”
“Literature is the competition of misinterpretation”
“God knows his people, the hardworking honest type, by their beautiful properties, and the evil doers, by their poorly maintained, shabby property.”
“The example of an institution like the State, it will be objected, does not have a tendency to which it corresponds. But it is clear that such institutions are secondary: they already presuppose institutionalized behaviors, recalling a derived utility that is properly social. In the end, this utility locates the principle from which it is derived in the relation of tendencies to the social. ”
“Oppression becomes apparent when laws bear directly on people, and not on the prior institutions that protect them.”
“It’s just like theology [capitalism]: everything about it is quite rational if you accept sin, the immaculate conception, and the incarnation. Reason is always
a region carved out of the irrational-not sheltered from the irrational at all, but traversed by it and only defined by a particular kind of relationship
among irrational factors. Underneath all reason lies delirium, and drift. <b>Everything about capitalism is rational, except capital or capitalism.”</b>
“Today’s capitalist of technocrat does not desire in the same way a slave trader or a bureaucrat from the old Chinese empire would have. When people in a society desire repression, for others <i>and for themselves</i>; when there are people who like to harass others, and who have the opportunity to do so, the ‘right’ to do so, this exhibits the problem of a deep connection between libidnal desire and the social field.”
“In contrast to other societies, the regime of capitalism is both public and inadmissible.”
“If the left were ‘reasonable’ it would be satisfied with vulgarizing economic and finacial mechanisms… Instead, they keep talking about ‘ideology.’ Ideology has no importance here: what matters is the organization of power, i.e. the way in which desire is already in the economic, the way libido invests the economic, haunts the economic and fosters the political form of repression.”
“[Ideology] It’s a perfect way to ignore how desire works on the infrastructure, invests it, belongs to it, and how desire thereby organizes power: it organizes the system of repression… We’re saying: there is no ideology, the concept itself is an illusion.”
“Christinaity has never been ideology. It is a very original, specific organization of power which has taken diverse forms from the Roman Empire through the Middle Ages, and which was able to invent the idea of an international power. It’s far more important than ideology.”
One from Guattari:
“It’s always the same old trick: a big ideological debate in the general assembly, and questions of organization are reserved for special committees… the real problems are precisely the problems of organization, never made explicit of rationalized, but recast after the fact in ideological terms.”