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The Conversation #59 – Charles Hugh Smith

We’re in an era of over­lap­ping crises, and I think that’s what makes it sort of unique. We’re aware of the finan­cial aspect, which is sort of expo­nen­tial increase in debt. We’re also aware that ener­gy, the cost is going up because we’re reach­ing to deep­er and more expen­sive reserves of ener­gy, at least fos­sil fuels. So that’s anoth­er if not cri­sis then um… Well, actu­al­ly it is a cri­sis, because the world we’ve con­struct­ed is based on cheap fos­sil fuels.

The Conversation #56 — Aengus Anderson and Micah Saul at SXSW
A Sheep in Wolf's Clothes: The Myth of Disruption

As the show advanced, we real­ized that there are a lot of peo­ple real­ly real­ly wor­ried about the future, and they’re wor­ried about big, big things. We’re talk­ing things like inequal­i­ty. We’re talk­ing things like over­con­sump­tion of resources and envi­ron­men­tal col­lapse. Social col­lapse. Community break­down. General feel­ings of pow­er­less­ness against mas­sive sys­tems. And this seems to be uni­ver­sal.

Disposable Life: Slavoj Žižek

Under cap­i­tal­ism, the prob­lem is not there are evil peo­ple here and there. The prob­lem is the basic log­ic of the sys­tem as it was devel­oped by Zygmunt Bauman and many oth­ers. Some peo­ple even claim that if you look in a non­hu­man­i­tar­i­an way just at the pure log­ic of today’s glob­al cap­i­tal­ism, you arrive at a ratio even some peo­ple claim of 2080%.

Disposable Life: Richard Sennett

In the world of labor and work, the phrase dis­pos­able life” refers to a new wrin­kle in neolib­er­al cap­i­tal­ism. And that wrin­kle is that it’s cheap­er to dis­pose of work­ers in Europe and America than it’s ever been in the past.

Disposable Life: Max Silverman

My approach to the ques­tion of dis­pos­able lives is this: In an age of late cap­i­tal­ism, advanced tech­nol­o­gy, and mass media, are lives eas­i­er to dis­pose of now than in the past? And my response is, unfor­tu­nate­ly, yes it is eas­i­er now. And this isn’t sim­ply because of the tech­nol­o­gy that is avail­able today that sim­ply wasn’t avail­able in the past.

Virtual Futures Salon: Beyond Bitcoin, with Vinay Gupta

Blockchain is in that space where we still have to explain it, because most of the peo­ple have gone from not hav­ing it around to hav­ing it around. But for kind of the folks that are your age or a lit­tle younger it’s kind of always been there, at which point it doesn’t real­ly need to be explained. It does how­ev­er need to be con­tex­tu­al­ized.

Virtual Futures Salon: Dawn of the New Everything, with Jaron Lanier

So here’s what hap­pened. If you tell peo­ple you’re going to have this super-open, absolute­ly non-commercial, money-free thing, but it has to sur­vive in this envi­ron­ment that’s based on mon­ey, where it has to make mon­ey, how does any­body square that cir­cle? How does any­body do any­thing? And so com­pa­nies like Google that came along, in my view were backed into a cor­ner. There was exact­ly one busi­ness plan avail­able to them, which was adver­tis­ing.

The Conversation #49 — Scott Douglas

People think that the Civil Rights Movement and all big epochal move­ments involve con­science, and they do. They also involve con­scious­ness. I mean, you can’t strug­gle against what you’re unaware off, right? The Klan as the icon­ic car­ri­ers of vio­lence, the Bull Connor of the icon­ic south­ern white male resis­tance, George Wallace the icon­ic neopop­ulist racist. You know, these were his­toric fig­ures in myth and real­i­ty. But we wouldn’t get to what they rep­re­sent­ed till much lat­er.

Postcapitalism

Neoliberalism is bro­ken. The eco­nom­ic mod­el of the last thir­ty years. It worked for a bit, dragged the bot­tom two thirds of the world’s pop­u­la­tion up the income scale dra­mat­i­cal­ly, facil­i­tat­ed the tech rev­o­lu­tion. But it’s stopped work­ing.

Evgeny Morozov Keynote at Internetdagarna 2015

If you look at the appeal that Silicon Valley has to a lot of us, and to a lot of pub­lic insti­tu­tions espe­cial­ly, I think you can under­stand that the rea­son for that appeal is very sim­ple. They can offer ser­vices that work, that work in a very effec­tive man­ner, and that are offered more or less either very cheap or are most­ly offered for free.

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