Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All
Friday, May 08, 2015
Long Teaching Day
And last teaching day... until summer term begins at Berkeley. This morning we will briefly survey some pieces on digital humanities -- in which structural racism and a vulnerability to promotional hype reveal limitations in the latest Very Serious academic engagement with networks, and we will also talk a bit about connections between social/relational aesthetics and social software, between participatory art/curation and vacuous participation in net-utopian discourse, on "design" discourse as reactionary politics framed as aesthetics. In my graduate survey of critical theory we return to the distinction of literal from figurative language, recall that fetishes are structured like figures that field false facts -- and embrace the fetishism of all facticity. The larger narrative beginning in the tale of Marx Nietzsche and Freud as foundational figures moving from philosophy into post-philosophical discourses inaugurating critical theory as critiques of fetishism, then re-oriented in the biopolitics of post-war UN-internationalism in Arendt, Fanon, and Foucault, finally culminates in planetarity in Spivak as dis-figuration, culture as translation, classrooms as laboratories for convivial praxis, a repudiation of digital globalism and founded in racist/sexist stratifications and an embrace of sustainability as responsibility to others in a futural we that is here but yet to be. I end with thoughts on the radicalism of King's beloved community (which does not apply non-violence but re-constitutes what counts as violence, which does not know how to love everyone in advance but solicits everyone -- including beings that are not yet understood as "people" -- into a companionate responsibility in which love is made possible). A mile high stack of grading then awaits. My class on the patriarchal construction of philosophy against rhetoric in classical Greece/Rome -- and possibly the last-minute addition of a class on argument as compulsion/interrogation of compulsion -- begins at Berkeley in just two weeks. No rest for the weary, bills have got to be paid. Union updates likely sporadically to follow -- that situation is getting hairy. Today, tho, blogging will probably be low to no.