"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)

Appropriation, Alienation…

Rahel Jaeggi rewrites the concept of Alienation in non-essentialist terms, in doing this she reuses this old and lovely concept to show its linkage to current and ongoing  ethical and thus political concerns…  
"…The idea of Alienation contains two different but intertwined diagnoses. On the one hand the idea of a loss of power, which we experience when alienated, in relation to ourselves and to a world that has become alien to us: alienated relations are those in which we are dis-empowered as subjects; on the other hand, the diagnosis of a loss of meaning, which characterizes a world that appears alien to us, as well as our relation to the world and  to ourselves. An Alienated world is a meaningless world, that is not experienced as a meaningful whole. Thus alienation refers at once to both  heteronomy - having ones properties determined by an other - and the complete absence of essential properties or purposes; moreover, it seems to be one of the  main points of the phenomenon described as alienation that bin these two  problems - power’s being turned into impotence and the loss of meaningful involvement in the world - are intertwined…"  Rahel Jaeggi (2014). 
This notion of alienation interests me because without it I have limited concepts to deal with friends who argue for extinction and loss except the oppositional binary pair optimism/pessimism - alienation it seems to me gives us a concept that frees us from such notions.  
"The concept of appropriation refers to a comprehensive conception of practical relations to self and world. It includes a broadly understood capacity of knowing and dealing with oneself: having access to or command over oneself and the world. This can be explicated as the capacity to make the life one leads, or what ones wills and does; in other words, as the ability to realize oneself in what ones does." Rahel Jaeggi (2014)
The concept of appropriation in this context  refers to a specific relationship between the world and self.  Between individuals and objects, what does this relationship look like ? Appropriation assumes that something is not merely passively taken up but actively worked through  and assimilated. In other words within Jaeggi’s understanding - appropriating a role means more that we have identified with it,  "something we appropriate does not remain external to ourselves” In short then we can say then that the relations of appropriation are charecterised by specific features: it is a form of practice, a way of relating practically to the world.  The appropriative relation is one of penetration, assimilation and internalisation, processes in which what is appropriated and which appropriates in turn are altered, structured and formed. 

inforgs in the spectacle

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)

The spread of industrial hypomnesic apparatus.. (aka Spectacle)

(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)

Robots…

Deen Freelon’s list of data collection tools — 12th September 2014

(Source: swissshard)

emergentfutures:

GM Takes Google Glass on a Test Drive

General Motors is test driving Google Glass as part of its research into how wearable information technology could help productivity in its sprawling car factories.
The auto maker has three pairs of the high-tech glasses that it has been testing since late last year at its Orion Assembly plant in Lake Orion, Mich., the Warren Technical Center in Warren, Mich., and at information-technology operations around the Detroit area.
“We’re really just experimenting, trying to find different uses for it,” Cathy Clegg, GM’s North America manufacturing president, said Tuesday at an industry conference in Traverse City, Mich.


Full Story: WSJ

emergentfutures:

GM Takes Google Glass on a Test Drive

General Motors is test driving Google Glass as part of its research into how wearable information technology could help productivity in its sprawling car factories.

The auto maker has three pairs of the high-tech glasses that it has been testing since late last year at its Orion Assembly plant in Lake Orion, Mich., the Warren Technical Center in Warren, Mich., and at information-technology operations around the Detroit area.

“We’re really just experimenting, trying to find different uses for it,” Cathy Clegg, GM’s North America manufacturing president, said Tuesday at an industry conference in Traverse City, Mich.

Full Story: WSJ

the invention of fashion…

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)

You Americans….

(via notational)