WHat Would Astra Taylor, Glenn Greenwald, You and We Do ?!


{ Note: We’re still processing these two astounding books. This is not a review, but some initial impressions. }

WHat Would Astra Taylor, Glenn Greenwald, You and We (and that bloke in a Congo mine ) Do ?!  – -  Part 1

Often the analysis we receive today about digital culture is as if you are being given a picture of atomic energy after yet another catastrophic spill…  And it’s a picture painted from inside the control room of a rickety spaceship that’s still running on dreams, contracts and promises made by evangelical nuclear physicists and investors. “   XLterrestrials

We had the extraordinary chance to ask Glenn Greenwald about the Cybernetic Regime while he was in town speaking about No Place To Hide. It was just a two or three liner question, not an interview… But the answer was, in our view, not up-to-speed with Astra Taylor’s new ingenious call-to-arms in The People’s Platform – Taking Back Power and Culture in The Digital Age.

But then Glenn has probably been just a Little Busy with reporting from ground zero of the military industrial netplex. Germany’s Die Zeit, which hosted his talk in Berlin, introduced him as “THE Most Important Journalist working today”. And we concur.

Even before the Snowden documents hit, rarely did a week go by without reading an article, dozens of tweets, and/or some other media referencing his dedicated fight for justice in the ubiquitous shadow of abuses by the imperialist tentacle reach. Reports which not only made us consistently smile w/ a renewed faith in journalism, but as if we were reading news now formatted w/ an Oscar Wilde-like wit that provided us with a global poetic solidarity in the struggles ahead.

The question : We were struck by the one part of your story, where you tell us that you did not really trust Edward Snowden’s story until you met him face-to-face in the Hong Kong hotel.  And at that point there was not a single doubt in your mind that he was anyone other than who he claimed to be! … Given all the situations we are now experiencing in a “Cybernetic Regime”, do you think that EVEN WITHOUT the NSA, GCHQ, Five Eyes, etc. we are getting ourselves into serious trouble with the heavy reliance our society puts on technological communications ?!

to be cont.

( the following text is under construction )

Greenwald began his answer by saying he was happy to receive a question that he hadn’t been asked before…and one that he hadn’t honestly had much time to think about.

He then proceeded to sound the usual optimism that the possibilities these tools give us are unprecedented. In a fairly lengthy reply.

Fine, no argument there. But we’ve got Astra Taylor’s broader digital culture analysis currently on the front burner… And later we showed Greenwald the book and suggested to him that he check it out.

Understandably he’s at the center of a shitstorm, and will be hard pressed to delve into all the socio-political dilemmas and angles that are also exploding as we speak.

And neither do we, frankly. But The People’s Platform has carefully laid out all the disconcerting and dismal realities of the state of digital culture, as it’s currently playing out, EVEN WITHOUT the complicating factors, agendas and the push of the national security frenzy.

Why there’s predatory capitalism, corporate cyberspace (land)grabs, the usual white male priviledge, depressing network theory in action, the worst consolidation of power we’ve ever seen in history … All brought to you at higher bandwidth via those “machines of loving grace”… and much much more…

We’ll try to point to some of Taylor’s key issues here. And actions she proposes. We’re still reading…  More coming soon !

Excerpt :

” In the Wealth of Networks Yochai Benkler proclaims, ” We can live a life more authored by our own will and imagination than by the material and social conditions in which we find ourselves.”

It’s an inspiring idea, but it’s not true. Material and social conditions have not given way to will and imagination. Neither the body nor its social context has become irrelevant. The disparities of the offline world have not been upended and we do not have equal access to the tools of creative production and capacity to attract an audience.

… While the internet offers marginalized groups powerful and potentially world-changing opportunities to meet and act together, new technologies also magnify inequality, reinforcing elements of the old order. Networks do not eradicate power: they distribute it in different ways, shuffling hierarchies and producing new mechanisms of exclusion. “


On The Internet, on one knows we are  ( a society of ) Hawks !? … and more known unknowns we already know :) … to come….


{ from the interwebz, with the funny tag: has science gone too far ? }

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