"The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying, and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid diseases appear."
— Antonio Gramsci, The Prison Notebooks. (via bustakay)
I am of course split - between the Steigler and Hegelian-Marxist distrust of the spectacle, mass-consumption. From this position we can see that everything can be and has in some sense been commodified. The reduction of meaning, the replacement of authenticity with commodities bought and sold. Whilst this position takes a position founded on negation and critique there is another line which addresses this in an affirmative fashion…
"…. Since the 1950s, computer science and ICTs have exercised both an extrovert and and introvert influence, changing not only our interactions with the world but also or self-understanding. In many respects we are not standalone entities, but rather interconnected informational organisms or inforgs, sharing with biological agents and engineered artefacts a global environment ultimately made up of information, the infosphere. This is the informational environment constituted by all informational processes, services and entities, thus informational agents as well as their properties, interactions, and mutual relations. If we need a representational scientist for the fourth revolution , this should definitely be Alan Turin…” Floridi (2010)
(Plato ) “Now, what Socrates describes in Phaedrus, namely that the extiorisation of memory is the loss of memory and knowledge, has today become the stuff of everyday experience in all asepcts of our existance, and more and more often, in the feeling of our powerlessness, in not our impotence, indeed of our obsolescence - at the very moment when the extraordinary mnesic power of digital networlks makes us aware of the immensity of human memory, which appears to have become infintiely recoverable and accessible.
The spread of industrial hypomensic apparatuses causes our memories to pass into machines, in such a way that, for example, we no longer know the telephone numbers of those close to us - whilst the spread of spell checkers causes fear of the end of orthographic consciousness and the literary hypomensic knowledge of language…
Now this amounts to the everyday and perceptible aspect of what I would like to present her as a vast process of cognitive and affective proletarianization -and a vast process of the loss of knowledges: savoir faire, savoir vivre, theoretical knowledge, in the absence of which all savor is lost…” Bernard Steigler (2009/2010) p29/30
"As they become more affordable and application programming becomes easier with more sophisticated user interfaces, robots are making small-batch production economically more feasible, because line changeovers are much faster. Given that product life cycles are getting shorter and just-in-time manufacturing helps minimize the need for inventory, robotic flexibility and responsiveness are important benefits. And since many of the new robots have multiple arms, they can multitask with ease—and without losing focus. In the Netherlands, Philips uses 128 robots to make razors. The only humans are the nine workers who perform quality checks.
Robots can also do without lighting, heat, air conditioning, supervision, food, and bathroom breaks. As a result, ‘lights out’ manufacturing plants that offer significant cost and energy savings are emerging. At some factories, robots are even building other robots, producing about 50 robots per 24-hour shift and operating unsupervised for as long as 30 days at a time."
— The Rise of Robotics « Boston Consulting Group (via writingcapital)
In Jakob Burckhardt’s (mostly forgotten) ’Civilisation of the Renaissance in Italy it is said that at one time there were no fashions in the dress of Florence; individual taste was so well thought of that everyone preferred to invent a personal style of his own…’ (Stark)
"Well, we’re stuck with the word “sustainability” because it’s clearly something we have to strive for. But we had better be a little humble about it, because we Americans have not sustained anything for very long. And the stuff that we have sustained, we haven’t done it deliberately until the last few years. So this issue of sustainability requires a lot of careful thought about ways of work and kinds of materials and it’s a conversation that we’ve just begun. The thing that we’re most needing to sustain is the health of the ecosphere, which is a big job. It then divides itself naturally into the need to sustain local ecosystems. The great fact of our time is that while our conversation about sustainability is trying to get started, we’re destroying the health of the local ecosystems."
Wendell Berry (via azspot)