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

Monday, September 03, 2012

"you gotta start somewhere"

Everybody reading Amor Mundi this weekend became quite exercised rat-for-tatting Robot Cultists, and in response to somebody's assertion in the midst of the scrum that "you gotta start somewhere" I find myself re-surfacing for a moment for a gasp of air. Indeed, you gotta start somewhere.

How about starting with real problems and real solutions? Off the top of my head here, how about re-electing Obama, helping Democrats retain the Senate and regain the House, support a second stimulus restoring public sector jobs and rebuilding infrastructure and investing in renewables, pushing from the States to amplify ACA to Medicare for All, supporting the Dems when they bring up comprehensive immigration reform and EFCA and push back the Teahadis inevitable shrieks of Mexican invasion and socialism, using massive grassroots resistance a la Occupy and Anonymous to push for comprehensive election and campaign finance reform to strengthen democracy and push back plutocracy, amplifying the demand for common sense gun regulations and public repudiation of the organized gun-nut freakout that would follow, ending the war on drugs, raising the taxable cap on Social Security to end the bs talk of insolvency, raising taxes on the richest and on cap gains, introducing a digital transaction fee to disable global monetary speculative fraud, more money for science and critical thinking and civics education, more money for medical research (funny, I doubt any will go to fund Robot Cult scams, I wonder why that is?) and space exploration to inspire the world, provide access to contraception and clean water in the overexploited regions of the world, forgiving student loan and IMF debts, supplementing an elected parliament to the United Nations General Assembly, shifting the focus of planetary governance from the WTO to the ILO, and on and on and on.

It's equally nonsensical to waste time worrying now about the specters of nanogoo, mean robo-gods/ clone/ designer baby/ revived cryo-slave armies of the night (They Saved Hitler's Brain!) as it is to waste time masturbating over fantasies of nanobotic sooper-abundance, friendly post-parental robo-gods, sexy sexbots or techno-immortalism. These are just the distractions and symptoms of deceptive advertizing discourse hyperbolized beyond recognition, the anxieties played on by pimple-kreme ads and the fantasies played on by anti-aging kreme ads but mobilizing the fear and the greed to the level of religiosity, get-rich-quick amplified into techno-transcendence, driven by the fears occasioned by real problems but disavowing them, deranging their terms, welling them up as symptoms instead, standing in the way of organized solutions, rendering us ever more beholden to the elite-incumbent interests that benefit from the worst problems and provide the endless churn of gizmo-fetishes keeping this joyless ritual minuet of sleepers in motion.

There are real problems and real solutions that beset us if we educate, agitate, and organize on the basis of actually existing stakeholders and resources and techniques and get past all the promotional and self-promotional deception and hype suffusing our public life from consumer advertizing and corporate think tanks and religious fundamentalists and the unholy chimeras of these like the Robot Cult.

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