amor mundi

Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Long Teaching Day

So, first up today, teaching in the City, early afternoon in my Homo Economicus course on English mannered comedy and political economy we're talking about "The Country Wife" and Collier's moral panic pamphlet about the Immorality of the Stage. Although there are definitely students who are engaging the material, five weeks in I'm a bit worried that the saucer-eyed contingent in this class is a bit too numerous for comfort. In class line readings randomly assigned as a provocation to discussion may be called for, we shall see. Later in the afternoon, in my survey of critical theory it's Freud day, which always puts me through the wringer, general themes, then the short "Fetishism" piece, then excerpts from the Schreber case study. Heavy. As always, I won't return home till quite late tonight, and as always blogging will be low to no. Hope all is well in your worlds.

Monday, October 05, 2015

Beware Libertechbrotarians Bearings Gifts: BIG Meets Bitcoinsanity

I've warned about the stealth neo-feudalization schemes libertechbrotarians advocate in the name of "basic income" in my short essay: A Neoliberalization of Basic Income Discourse? Here's a taste:
Right-wing forms of "basic" income advocacy reduce all too readily to visions of bare life without the rights, standards, and supports to ensure an actually legible scene of consent to the terms of everyday relations for the majority of the people. Game the minimum "sufficient" basic income into a state of near-precarity without recourse to any other pillars of equity-in-diversity and you've peddled feudalism as a universally emancipatory scheme -- in the drearily predictable right-wing manner.
Now, Behold!

A wacky survey of basic income conjoined to bitcoinsanity, digital-sharecropping, and Burning Man-style good vibes on a planetary scale, man, has been provided in what seems a sympathetic post from the Foundation for Peer-to-Peer Alternatives. Some highlights (and you must forgive my occasional incredulous irrepressible eruptions):
Greg Slepak, for instance, is the sort of Bay Area software developer who reads the Yelp reviews of homeless shelters to learn about their conditions.
[And we all know what "sort" of Bay Area software developer THAT is.--d]
“We cannot say with a straight face that we provide welfare to Americans,” he has concluded. “We don’t.”
[Actually, of course, we do, and to the extent that we do we make the world a better place -- and that we don't do enough is obvious and almost entirely because of the power simplistic libertopian rhetoric like his own in the hands of Republican anti-tax anti-welfare anti-commonwealth plutocrats.--d]
His response, of course,
[Of course!--d]
is software -- in particular, Group Currency, a specification for online currency systems that provide basic income-like
[To be clear, "like" here means: not really at all.--d]
distributions of funds to all their users. He believes that the technology underlying Bitcoin -- a database called a blockchain,
[Gadzooks, here they go again with the blockchain of fools.--d]
shared among its users without need for central authority -- makes this possible in ways that it wasn’t before. When based on a blockchain, money itself can be a shared resource. “For the first time in the internet’s history, mass ownership is possible,” Slepak says. “It gives individuals back their self-determination, back their dignity, back their freedom.”
[None of this is actually true in reality, of course, unless abetting fraud and arms sales and human trafficking is what you mean by "self-determination," and for an unusually high proportion of libertechbrotarian "Thought Leaders" from the good old days of the cypherpunks list to the present, that weirdly seems to be the case when a case is actually made beyond handwaving.--d]
... In San Diego, Alex Goodwin has more than just a schematic. The initial implementation of his idea, FairShare, is already up and running -- it uses a bot on Reddit
[Sounds Very Serious to me!--d]
to pass out portions from a stash of donated bitcoins. Payouts are still small,
[We call that an understatement, kids.--d]
but they’re there for the taking.
[Especially if you're on the take.--d]
Slepak considers the FairShare specification “vague,”
[The hell you say!--d]
but Goodwin wants to develop the project through practice, not theory. He takes as his motto an utterance of Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous inventor of Bitcoin: “We shouldn’t delay forever until every possible feature is done.” ... Perhaps the most eyecatching
digital basic income out there is the one associated with BitNation -- ”a collaborative platform for do-it-yourself governance” led by Susanne Tarkowski Tempelhof, a Swedish entrepreneur whose resume includes contracting stints in Afghanistan and Libya.
[Oh, "entrepreneur[ial] stints," were they?--d]
The idea is to use blockchain technology to provide opt-in, state-like
[There's that pesky "like" that doesn't mean like again.--d]
services free from the constraints of borders. Basic income is to be one of those services -- alongside pensions,
[Vaporware pensions are the BEST, y'all.--d]
marriage contracts,
[You provide the Elvis impersonator.--d]
and “contract enforcement”
[Pretend not to notice this is an endorsement of gangland warlordism and you too might be a future Thought Leader!--d]
-- though the program has fallen short of its initial $20,000 crowdfunding goal. Tempelhof is outright opposed to a basic-income scheme coming from a government.
[Of course she is. Anything from government is BAD, you know, democracy, rule of law, public goods, civil rights, all that jackboot stuff rich white sooper-businessmen can save us from like Ayn Rand sez.--d]
“At Bitnation
[Where's that, you ask? Everywhere, of course, and also nowhere.--d]
everything is done through voluntary means, rather than through forcing people through the use of -- or threat of -- violence,” she says.
[Since we all know real world "voluntary" contracts are never duressed by inequity, fraud, misinformation, blackmail, precarity! This is the classic and enabling "free enterprise" disavowal/delusion.--d]
“We believe voluntary participation is the only morally defendable way of doing things.”
[Just ask anybody who has voluntarily participated in wage slavery, not to mention human trafficking and serfdom.--d]
... For those wary of cryptocurrency,
[You know, Luddites and Statists who aren't riding the Wave of the Future.--d]
there are other ways to fund a basic income program that don’t require an act of Congress
[Being agin' the gu'ment does seem to be the main thing, after all.--d]
... the organization GiveDirectly turns donations into direct cash transfers in poor regions.
[Ah, to warlordism and serfdom we now add the selective supplemental of largesse and patronage from certain high-minded aristocrats. Another forward thinking futurological policy proposal from our cherished bleeding edge tech culture progressives!--d]
Follow the link for more in this vein. In case you are curious, my own sooper-statist-deathist-luddite "Pay-to-Peer" argument on this subject is here. Another taste:
I argue that the free creative content provision, collaborative problem-solving and editing, citizen journalism and criticism facilitated by peer-to-peer networks provides public goods the ongoing support of which more than justifies the provision of a universal basic income guarantee (BIG). I argue, further, that a long history of public subsidization of communications infrastructure (the post office, roads, telegraphy, telephony, WWW) and of public education to facilitate continental-scaled good governance among a well-informed citizenry since the founding era offers a congenial context for the comparable case for a public subsidization of "free time" for citizens in the expectation that enough of them would fill it with innovative problem solving and network maintenance that it would more than compensate the public investment.... In the absence of its public subsidization peer to peer collaboration is always accompanied by increasing precarity. Whenever and wherever peer-to-peer labor formations are celebrated (for their "open access," for their "flexibility," for their "resilience," for their "innovation"), but this celebration is not just as repeatedly and explicitly accompanied by the recognition that this provision of services and maintenance of public goods is almost certainly unpaid labor, then one must read such celebrations for what they are, as celebrations of exploitation. p2p means EITHER Paid to Peer OR it means Peers to Precarity. The politics are as stark as that, and the evidence of their urgency mounts by the minute.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

On Guns (Only) in America

While the scale and scope of gun-violence in the United States is exceptional, as compared to other industrial and at least notionally representative societies in the world, it seems to me that the American Constitutional system also provides for an exceptionally clear solution to the problem and one that illuminates a host of questions that are often incidentally but rarely insistently connected in discussions of the problem. All right, so guns…

At the outset, I am going to simply set aside as fundamentally unserious the prevailing misreading of the Constitution popular among so-called Second Amendment absolutists (most of whom are cynical shills for gun-lobby profiteers and the unwitting dupes of their mass-mediated echo chambers): If you do not believe that the Second Amendment sanctions individual ownership of nuclear weapons then you already concede the premise that there are weapons safety bans and regulations compatible with the Second Amendment.

Once conceded, the question becomes a matter of just what gets banned and regulated according to objective determinations of harm and how best to implement these bans and regulations. I commend much of the suite of reforms familiar to gun control advocacy for well over a generation: universal background checks facilitated by waiting periods; elimination of egregious loopholes for gifts and gun-shows; refusing violent criminals, domestic abusers, certain emotionally distressed individuals from the use and possession of guns; banning of military style weapons and arsenals to private citizens; implementation of licensing regimes requiring periodic demonstrations of competence and awareness of safety rules and laws at least as strenuous as those already required of those who drive cars or operate other kinds of potentially dangerous machinery; compulsory purchase of insurance to defray the public costs of damage and disruption from gun use for all gun owners and users; sequestration of recreational shooting to public facilities with on-site storage of the weapons used in them; radical circumscription of destructiveness of weapons sanctioned for hunting; ongoing tracking of weapons and ammunition purchasing and public circulation; and so on. Again, I am going to simply set aside as fundamentally unserious, and usually as outright deceptive, the commonplace claims of gun activists and enthusiasts who declare such measures impractical or ineffective, inasmuch as nearly all of them have been demonstrated to be both practical and effective in real world practice.

None of this preliminary throat-clearing is the least bit original, of course -- important though it is to make these obvious points given the insistent ubiquity of their denial -- but nor is any of that the thrust of my post. For me, it matters that the Second Amendment guarantee of "the right of the people to keep and bear arms" is explicitly subordinated, both conceptually and grammatically (not to mention as a matter of the historical context of the harsh collective memory of military occupation by the British out of which the Amendment originated), of "a well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state." I regard the Amendment as an insistence that the military and police providing "the security of a free state" be accountable to and representative of -- and hence, "well regulated" -- of "the people" in whose name they act. This imperative is also expressed, of course, in the Constitutional establishment of civilian control over the military but it provides as well, in my reading, a firm Constitutional basis for contemporary demands not only for gun safety regulations but also for accountable, representative community-based policing in the United States.

It is not an accident that gun-control activism and Black Lives Matter movements to end violent, inequitable, unaccountable, non-representative, predatory white-racist policing practices are happening at one and the same time. These movements are structurally connected, and not only in their shared aspirations, but in the interdependence of the crises they would overcome: the suffusion of public space with guns in private ownership provides an official rationale or at least inevitable argumentative recourse for ever more militarized domestic policing practices.

This is far from the whole story, however. The incessantly reported and invoked defensive, even paranoid, psychology of public policing in a gun-suffused public space materializes, or more specifically embodies, the broader, inchoate, poisonously repressed defensiveness and paranoia occasioned by the demographic diversification, secularization, and planetization of an American public displacing the white supremacy long sited and secured by policing: For not only have the police historically policed white-supremacy in the name of civil order, but the police have historically been sited in the cultural state investing racially long-marginalized populations like the Irish, Italians, Polish, Latin Americans, and so on with at first and at best probationary "whiteness," whiteness provisionally secured while provisionally securing white-supremacy.

The defensiveness, especially, of white police who do not live in the communities of color they police is a performance of alienated occupation that rationalizes its violence through the paradoxically Janus-faced recourse to, on the one hand, an historical imaginary that treats these communities as themselves an invasive, occupying force on the body politic of White (sometimes denominated "Real") America -- yes, it is obscene to figure as an alien "invasion" the violent kidnapping and enslavement of people and subsequently as an alien "occupation" a people officially emancipated but then in fact ruthlessly subordinated by Jim Crow, terrorist lynching, share cropping and wage slavery, exclusion from Progressive era and then New Deal reforms creating the White American middle class, segregation through education and zoning and election practices, and mass incarceration -- but also, on the other hand, by recourse to a futural imaginary that treats these communities as the symptom and specter of a demographic reversal in which a majority minority America now threatens White-Supremacy-qua-Occupation with all of its dirty, ugly, guilty open secrets with the prospect of factual displacement and just reparations.

To make much the same point from a different vantage, there is nothing the least bit paradoxical in the fact that some of the first accomplishments of the gun control movement were occasioned by practical interventions and protests of violent white-racist policing on the part of the Black Panthers that took the form of Black bodies Open-Carrying defensive weapons while the consummation of gun-activism today is represented by the spectacle of White bodies Open-Carrying threatening weapons, usually in public spaces where people of color make their homes or are otherwise encouraged to feel welcome. Open-Carry, today, is a political movement to countermand ongoing American diversification by suffusing public space with white-racist patriarchal terror, and in this it is directly connected to the terrorist work of lynching as an historical maintenance of white-supremacy.

By way of conclusion, allow me to take yet another step back for an even wider contextualization of the issue at hand... Gouverneur Morris was a Founding Father who has not quite remained a household name. He wrote the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States, which insists that liberty is secured through the promotion of general welfare, and he was one of the few delegates who was explicitly opposed to slavery (by the way, he was also a strong public advocate for the building of the Erie Canal to transform New York into a modern global industrial commonwealth -- on the basis of a proto-Keynesian pre-Rooseveltian understanding of stimulative public investment as general welfare in line with the thinking of another abolitionist Founding Father, Alexander Hamilton). Meanwhile, a much more famous Founding Father, Thomas Jefferson, wrote the Declaration of Independence, which delineates instead an individualist conception of liberty, and he was an apologist for slavery now notorious for his exploitation and abuse of slaves.

Of course, the assertively individualist, agrarian-feudalist "democracy" of Jefferson -- that is, individualist in the form of a distraction from or outright denial of social interdependence; that is, democracy in the form of plutocratic, slave-holding anti-democracy -- has long held ideological sway over the American public imaginary, especially in moments when Americans seek to rationalize their avowed democracy with their anti-democratic sins and crimes. (Given this blog's usual preoccupation with reactionary "tech" discourse and corporate-militarist futurology, allow a parenthetic reminder of the special indispensability of these Jeffersonian formulations to neoliberal venture-capitalist "tech culture" from the California Ideology, to Barlow's so-called Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, to the abiding metaphor of the Electronic Frontier.) But whatever the rhetorical priority of the Jeffersonian formulation of liberty it is the Constitutional Morrisonian formulation of liberty that has primary legal standing. And of these historically competing American ideologies of liberty, it is the Constitutional version that also seems to me by far the most philosophically sound, practically sustainable, and authentically American.

Just as the historical emergence and consolidation of the American "free enterprise" was predicated on the quintessentially unfree system of chattel slavery, so too the ongoing ideology of free enterprise depends on fantasies of voluntary contracts the terms of which are too often actually duressed by the unequal knowledge, unequal precarity, and unequal access to cultural and infrastructural affordances of the participants in the contract as also the eventual profitability of free enterprise depends on socializing the risks and costs of enterprises while privatizing their benefits.

There is a direct connection between the historical fantasy of the historically American individualist who disavows his dependencies on the ritual and material artifice of slavery, wage slavery, and unpaid domestic labor and the present-day fever dream of the white-racist patriarchal "Real American" individualist for whom the Open-Carried weapon is the ruggedizing cyborg shell that disavows interdependence to "stand its ground" on an American Homeland geography resonating with the history of native American genocide, slavery, sex-panics, anti-immigration mobs, drug-war hysteria, postwar militarism, and post-9/11 security state insecurity. The feudal Jeffersonian conception of possessive individualist liberty resonates still in the "Castle Doctrine" so cherished by gun culture, in which the individual and his gun is figuratively transformed into a feudal castle "standing its ground" on an anarchic terrain of lawless warlords -- and, no doubt, damsels in distress -- the all too familiar imaginative recourse of Confederate slave-masters of whom Jefferson was a precursor and market libertarian ideologues for whom Jefferson remains a paragon.

The Morrisonian Preamble to the Constitution endorsed the crucial premise of the Jeffersonian Declaration that "Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed" with the frame "We the People… in order to form a more perfect Union… ordain and establish this Constitution." After the conspicuous failure of the radically minarchist "Articles of Confederation," Morris proceeds with his fellow delegates to institute a federal form for that just and consensual government (as Jefferson hesitated to do in principle but then did with gusto in his Presidential practice, of course). Against the individualist spontaneism of the Declaration and failed Articles, the Morrisonian Preamble elaborates the public constitution of the Union from which alone can flow the "blessings of liberty," the "establish[ment] of justice… domestic tranquility… common defense… and [the] promot[ion of] general welfare." It is not until the Fourteenth Amendment ensuring birthright citizenship and universal equitable recourse to the administration of justice in principle that the Constitution doctrinally admitted (as, needless to say, it has never fully or consistently managed to do in actual practice to this day) the third plank in the uniquely American conception of liberty, that America is a nation of immigrants and the exercise of its liberty is invigorated by the diversity of its stakeholders.

It is no surprise that gun culture is connected so regularly with the politics of white-supremacy, nor that self-described patriots and even law enforcement personnel allied with this gun culture are connected so regularly with nullification strategies and secessionist rhetoric and hostility to birthright citizenship. In their specifically American form, racist white supremacy and libertarian spontaneous order are of a piece historically, culturally, and conceptually. Understanding these connections is indispensable to resisting them here, but doing so also provides uniquely American resources for hope. Just as feminist and anti-racist work are both clarified and strengthened by grasping their intersectionalities, so too gun safety advocacy and community policing work and Black Lives Matter movements are clarified and strengthened by grasping theirs. Gun safety activism both practically and intellectually facilitates activism against the drug war, the school to prison pipeline, the abuse-to-prison pipeline, for-profit prisons, police militarization, bloated military budgets, and for community policing reform, structural racism education, work to expose and end sexual violence, and all and each for the others as well.

None of the preceding is offered up to imply that the aristocratic Gouverneur Morris was without great faults any more than to deny that the radical Thomas Jefferson had his strengths, but the distinction I have drawn between them is meant to highlight an early and abiding contest between negative and positive, private and public conceptions of liberty that help elaborate connections between gun control, community policing, immigration politics today that clarify stakes and identify allies. Gun safety regulation "in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity" is also a struggle to clarify and implement the American Constitutional conception of a positive liberty indispensably indebted to accountable/consensual governance, public investment in common goods, and the critical, creative, constructive dynamism of stakeholder diversity. American gun violence today is an exceptional outrage, as our solution to it tomorrow could provide an exceptional illumination to ourselves and our posterity.

Pot Shot

A nice side effect of pot legalization is that once the issue is off the table there will be little left to distract everyone from the realization that US-style "libertarians" are all just assholes.

Thursday, October 01, 2015


The Gun-Nut Prom

In the aftermath of every mass shooting in America -- a dance of death all smug prayers and crocodile tears and no solutions.

And I have to add, that while those who advocate gun control wring our hands over the inevitable inaction that follows upon these tragedies time after time the appalling truth is that mass shootings are now occasions for gun lobby ACTION to disseminate insane "only guns stop guns" rhetoric, demolish all vestiges of gun safety regulations, and whomp up hysteria to sell more guns, to multiply private arsenals, to normalize open-carry to suffuse all public space with white-racist masculinist terror.

The Stench of Libertopia

Every mass-shooter a gun-ruggedized individualist.
Every mass-shooting a bloody realization of the fever dream of lawless liberty.

Don't You Dare Politicize

If you are not politicizing, educating, agitating and organizing against gun violence you are collaborating in gun violence.

At Any Rate He Noticed It

"Freud democratized genius by giving everyone a creative unconscious." -- Phillip Rieff

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Drip, Drip

I find it truly surreal when political pundits "report" on the damaging drip, drip of the Clinton e-mail nontroversy... as if their reports themselves are not all the faucet there is.

Long Teaching Day

Later this morning I'm on my way to the City, where in Homo Economicus first off we're reading Aphra Behn's The Rover (a rather different take on the Restoration rake) and also taking up Carole Pateman's "The Sexual Contract." Later in the afternoon in my critical theory survey we are talking about Benjamin's "Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproducibility" and the Culture Industry chapter from Horkheimer's and Adorno's Dialectic of Enlightenment.  These two canonical numbers are treated as conversational, and little supplements like A Short History of Photography and the Culture Industry Reconsidered are allowed into the mix at opportune moments. As usual, night will have long fallen by the time I'm home, so blogging will be low to no.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

"Let Them Eat Ads!"

Mark Zuckerberg addresses the UN, and declares universal targeted advertising harassment of the poor a global priority:
By giving people access to the tools, knowledge and opportunities of the internet, we can give a voice to the voiceless and power to the powerless. We also know that the internet is a vital enabler of jobs, growth and opportunity. And research tells us that for every 10 people connected to the internet, about 1 is lifted out of poverty.
Mobilizing the world to get everybody on Facebook would bestow the blessings of fine-grained surveillance, digtal-sharecropping, and zero-comment participatory digirocracy to all the people of earth. And "we know" how awesome that is because "research tells us" so. You know, for the poor! Incidentally, Mark Zuckerberg wouldn't do too shabbily either with a few billion more subscribers to his crappy network, yaknow what I mean?

(Hey, guess what, for every ten people who live in societies with a living wage, universal public education and healthcare, and long-term unemployment benefits and social security ALL TEN are lifted out of poverty. But, what the fuck, let's just get Mark Zuckerberg a billion more customers for his shitty software app instead.)

Friday, September 25, 2015

The New and Emerging Legal Framework for the Regulation of Medical and Recreational Marijuana in the State of California

At the end of the 2015 session, in fact in its final hours, California legislators passed a number of bills to clarify the terms of the nearly twenty year old Compassionate Use Act, Proposition 215, and regulate medical marijuana in the State. AB 266, AB 243, and SB 643 are on their way to Governor Jerry Brown, who is expected to sign them. The new regulatory framework has real problems and reasonable critics, but it represents an advance -- and is all the more significant in light of the proposed ballot initiatives to legalize, regulate, and tax recreational marijuana use by adults, more or less like alcohol has been since the end of its Prohibition, as well as to provide protections against discrimination for those who enjoy the therapeutic and recreational uses of marijuana.

Coinciding with the passage of the new regulatory framework, California's Attorney General Kamala Harris has prepared the following title and summary of the chief purpose and points of the proposed measure, Initiative 15-0039
The clarity and forcefulness of the wording seem to me strongly to suggest support of such an initiative at this time. The language -- and some further analysis -- is available at the California MCLR (The Marijuana Control, Legalization & Revenue Act) 2016 website:

MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Legalizes marijuana under state law. Creates commission to regulate and license marijuana industry. Applies general retail sales taxes to marijuana, unless medical or dietary exemptions apply. Permits excise taxes on certain marijuana sales, up to 15% of retail price, and storage, up to 10% of wholesale price. Prohibits discrimination based on marijuana use. Bars marijuana testing for job applicants and employees, or penalizing employees for off-duty use, unless they are in safety-sensitive occupations. Permits local regulation of marijuana businesses, including ban or cap with voter approval. Exempts medical marijuana collectives from licensing and local zoning. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Net reduced costs ranging from tens of millions of dollars to potentially exceeding $100 million annually to state and local governments related to enforcing certain marijuana-related offenses, handling the related criminal cases in the court system, and incarcerating and supervising certain marijuana offenders. Net additional state and local tax revenues of potentially up to several hundred million dollars annually related to the production and sale of marijuana, most of which would be required to be spent for specific purposes such as education, public safety, and drug abuse education and treatment.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Tech Progressive, So Regressive.


I am embarrassed to admit my own complicity in the emergence of the technoprogressive term now current in some circles of neoliberal tech talkers and "Thought Leaders." Interested readers will note the appropriated arguments and even phrases in the wikipedia entry for technoprogressivism, alluded to in the 2014 robocultic transhumanist Technoprogressive Declaration, all from my own Technoprogressivism: Beyond Technophilia and Technophobia, published nearly a decade before that Declaration. I realized quite soon after writing that rather programmatic piece that its formulations were being taken up in stealth-reactionary futurological "tech" circles seeking to sanewash eugenic, libertarian, neoliberal, digi-utopian, greenwashing, facile reductionist and determinist views about technodevelopmental politics. I soon came to believe that the susceptibility of my formulations to these deceptive and tech-propagandistic appropriations was a product of my own under-interrogated use of the term "technology" in the piece as monolithic and extricable from and hence apparently substitutable for politics in ways that facilitated what I now recognize as a host of familiar reactionary futurological gestures -- the naturalization of elite incumbent interests as a-political, the substitution of marketing norms and forms for modes of reflection and analysis, the treatment of wish-fulfillment fantasies as scientific predictions, the investment of such speculation with transcendental significance, and the transformation of these discourses into subcultural formations, identity movements and consumer fandoms. For a recent and concise elaboration of the critique eventuating in part from experience of the techno-transcendental appropriation of my early efforts I recommend Futurological Discourses and Posthuman Terrains.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Long Teaching Day

Spending the day in the City, mostly cooped up in trains and classrooms. Afternoon, Etherege's The Man of Mode and a little Raymond Williams. Later on, an introduction to Marx.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Clinton Collapse Collapsing

My Queer ProseTheses

Somebody stumbled upon and recommended quite an old post of mine, Technology Is Making Queers Of Us All, and it has gotten more readers over the past day than it has had over several years preceding. I want to point out that the blog-post was a re-post of an earlier publication which in turn was the summary of my MA Thesis from earlier still, that is to say, folks reading that post are reading something written by me when I was scarcely half my present age. I don't disavow the piece, but I wouldn't write it again... it testifies to the irrational exuberance of an earlier time, the nineties, and of an earlier me in the time of my adventuring. I have written many pieces since on queerness: That should come as no surprise since I came to California to study with one of my great heroes Judith Butler in the years between then and now and learned a thing or two in the process, and as my queer politics have changed since I was a Queer National then and have moved on to focus on environmental justice and democratic socialism since, all the while offering up avid witness and teaching to the gendered political vicissitudes of these last two decades. Some of my later writings on these are archived here: Queer Manifestations. Especially relevant to those who appreciate that early Queer-Tech piece might be: "Post-Gender" or Gender Poets? and Don't Be Too Quick to Identify Transhumanist Politics With Transsexual Politics and The Parade Passes By.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Indistinguishable From Tragic

The Valley of the Silly Con is a magical place where zeros get marketed as ones.

Everybody's Fed Up!

Evil Is Dumb

Now we see, for conservatives prove it time after time, that Dark Helmet was deluded: Evil will never triumph, because evil is also dumb.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Nature's Artiface: Negative Liberty, Spontaneous Order, and Reactionary Tech

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Long Teaching Day

Early this afternoon in the City in "Homo Economicus" we are reading Fontenelle, Hobbes, and some poetry by Rochester. Later in the day, in my undergraduate survey of critical theory, we are taking up Nietzsche, On Truth and the Lie, a little Gay Science, and then digging deep into Ecce Homo. If past is prologue I won't be home till nine tonight or so. Tuesdays tire me out.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Power to Persuade Posts BIG Piece

Australia's "Power to Persuade: Creating and Implementing Public Policy Cross-Sectoral Debates" has republished a piece from a few months ago, A Neoliberalization of Basic Income Discourse?