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)

Fetishism (14) equivalence and difference (pre-introduction)

"…Our global network is all about you…" The advert informs us, in an ambivalent dialectical gesture that assumes the reader knows that information can have no meaning in the spectacle, which they probably do not.   
Francois Jullien on the universal

Francois Jullien on the universal

The Lady visits Sir Gawain in his bed chamber

The Lady visits Sir Gawain in his bed chamber

system-specific universalism -

To be affirmative towards the mass and social media then, we can perhaps say that it believes, from its pole of sovereignty, that its keeps society in a state of uncertainty. The media generates an everyday willingness to be “prepared for surprises and disruptions…. ”   The mass and social media  then belong within the "accelerated auto-dynamic of other function systems such as the economy, science and politics, which constantly confront society with new problems". It is worth noting how and why the media supplanted religion and the priesthood as thejuridical pole of sovereignty. How could it not given that its predecessor, (no matter what religion)  is always reaction…
"…Just as in other function systems, the precondition for the differentiation of a particular function system of society is a special code. Differentiation means the emergence of a particular subsystem of society by which the characteristics of system formation, especially auto-poetic self-reproduction, self-organisation, structural determination, and along  with all these, operational closure itself are realised. In such a case, we are not simply dealing with a phenomenon which a distinguished observer can distinguish. Rather, the system distinguishes itself. Analysis of the system of the mass media thus occurs at the same level of analysis as the economic system, the legal system, the political system etc. of society, and is concerned  with paying attention to comparability, despite all differences….” ( Luhmann - The reality of the mass media)
the reality of the mass media… Constructivist, systems, anti-transcendental.. Irresistible

the reality of the mass media… Constructivist, systems, anti-transcendental.. Irresistible

Tags: luhmann

Luhmann, risk, constructivism and the end of falsification in research projects…

The risk of a research project lies especially in the initial hypothesis proving untenable, or even this finding proving impossible to determine with any degree of certainty. This risk comes to a dramatic head because science is expected to produce new knowledge and for this reason assessments of the truth value of new developments diverge strongly…. It is typical to see protection against this by designing research in any case to generate with a high degree of probability data worth reporting. The refutation of hitherto accepted knowledge can also count as a research success, especially  if it has to do with knowledge of great theoretical import,.  …. These  considerations of risk management within science modify the thesis that the risk of scientific research lies in not discovering the truth.  If, however, we look not at individual projects but at larger research context, we realize that science cannot very well live by self-criticism or falsification alone, for this would rapidly exhausts all suitable store of knowledge. In the long run sustainable truths must continuously be generated, and the risk run by certain research complexes or entire disciplines lies not in not being able to do just that…. Luhmann (2008) Risk - And Science

fetishism (13) nihilism…

In these notes on (commodity) fetishism the starting point has been where Marx speaks of social relationships which are taken to be things, objects, the fetishism of commodities. But here we are speaking not of simple commodities but of human relations as commodities. Relations as things.  Accepting that “…this fetishism of commodities has its origins… in the peculiar  social character of the labor that produces them…” In the society we have lived in this has been reproduced in all aspects of our society, from the products traveling in the slow network of container ships to the concepts zooming around on the fast networks. In the attempt to avoid this understanding - which assumes that the modernity is liquid, that within capital everything that is solid will melt… It seems to me that the clearest example of this tendency of fetishized concepts to zoom around is nihilism….
Nihilism, the devaluation of all values, is for many thinkers the most important consequence of modernity and thus post-modernity. What is fetished here is the very notion of values for what is avoided by those most invested in nihilism is the central issue of responses  to political economy… all that is solid melts into air….Perhaps then we can name one or two fetishised responses to the present and recent past - the first one is nihilism, the varieties of this particular fetishism in its contemporary postmodern form, touched on here are those delineated by Deleuze and Lyotard.  Both at their most Nietzschean and at their most liberal.. Initially nihilism was proposed not simply as a matter of belief, and nor could it be reduced to a mere doctrine. Nietzsche understood Western culture to be inherently nihilistic, and understood  nihilism as the historical process shaping the fate of the West, a process In which the highest values devalued themselves. Values which he understood as having historically (its the 19th Century) provided Europe with its aim and purpose but which  had lost their binding power and force… leaving human lives lacking direction or truth, life as nothing beyond its empty self perpetuation.  Deleuze reads this as follows "…thus we can see that the relation between nihilism and transmutation is deeper than was initially suggested. Nihilism expresses the quality of the negative as a ratio cognoscendi of the will to power;  but it cannot be brought to completion without transmuting itself into the opposite quality, into affirmation as ratio essendi of this same will… destruction  becomes active at the moment when, with the alliance between reactive forces and the will to nothingness broken, the will to nothingness is converted and crosses over to the side of affirmation…” (from Deleuze- Nietzsche 1983). 
 In the specific context being drawn out here the concept of affirmation is fetishised within the nihilistic turn, within which it is accepted that to say ‘nihilist’ in the affirmative sense of the above is imagined as being meaningful. To resolve the nihilistic crisis at the heart of western culture is to complete the turn and reproduce the positive role of nihilism in a philosophy of affirmation, an affirmative life. In the process avoiding the alternative which is the nihilistic descent into passivity, the will to nothingness. To be specific, both affirmation and passivity are aspects of nihilism. It is not surprising that Deleuze presents creativity/the creator as the destroyer of nihilism through the use of the fetishised taxonomy of Nietzsche’s characters (aristocrat, artist etc), These conceptual personae are assumed to be the way out of the radical passivity, the  will to nothingness of nihilism. Nihilism is negated, values are destroyed… ‘Destruction as the active destruction of the man who wants to perish and to be overcome announces the creator’… destruction of all known values is the trail of the creator…’ (Deleuze Nietzsche) Here then affirmation is defined in otherwords not as nihilism but as its resolution… Creativity is the other fetishised term which interests me in this ideology and discourse - ‘creativity’, both elitist and foolish, it is the initial moment when, through its very fetishisation, the discourse enables the rightwing to appropriate the text. The third fetishised term here is values….  In our times nihilists tend to follow Lyotard’s related approach, seeing nihilism as creating new persona…. semioticians, scientists … and placing them in new institutions, theories and situations. The simplest way to understand Lyotard’s focus on nihilism is in the difference between the signifier and what it represents/signifies, between the philosophical representation and the thing represented. The division holds the material sign away from its meaning, hence the drift from the material,  to sensation and affect and finally to meaning and understanding. This trajectory is a phantasm, never a complete process. For science is always a work in process, and meaning has no origin. For Lyotard it is a small step to suggest that science maintains a devaluation of matter (and affect) in favour of understanding and that it is a nihilism because in denying matter in favour of understanding they are  following a line which can never end. Lyotard defines the task of understanding as nihilistic. This misunderstanding of science as nihilism has haunted us throughout recent decades, haunted by the death, extinction and where probability ends. 
Do I need to speak of the elitism of nihilism, which begins with the original Nietzschean critique of egalitarianism, from the recognition that value presumes inequality and that equality must undermine value. Even whilst equality is according to this a form of nihilism, not all nihilisms are egalitarian. It is this latter which is referenced in the resolution of nihilism proposed above.  Nihilism as such then is a way of avoiding the necessity of socialism as a pure critique of the capitalist mode of production… And yet the absence of those who do not exist in this affirmative moment, those who are nothing, makes this look like a pathetic gesture, trapped in the sign system, between the theoretical and religious representation and what is represented. Everyday life is excluded, implicitly defined as nothing… nihilism as fetish.