Archive (Page 3 of 6)

Religion and World Politics part 7
ISIS and the 4th Principle

In the hey­day of Islamic thought, of Islamic phi­los­o­phy, of dis­qui­si­tions about the mean­ing of Islam and its place in the world of knowl­edge, in the 13th cen­tu­ry, the thought of great Islamic thinkers also was that God and his text con­sti­tut­ed a first prin­ci­ple. All else was con­tin­gent upon this first prin­ci­ple. Second, third, prin­ci­ples, etc. were con­tin­gent.

Religion and World Politics part 6
The Advent of Al-Qaeda

Our tale begins in Afghanistan with the Soviet inva­sion in 1979. This came out of a blue sky, mil­i­tary speak for there were no clouds, there were no warn­ings. But sud­den­ly the Soviets invad­ed the coun­try in sup­port of a Soviet-inclined gov­ern­ment. But a gov­ern­ment which aroused huge resent­ments and resis­tance on the part of many many peo­ple in Afghanistan.

Religion and World Politics part 5
The Siege of Mecca and Its Treacherous Consequences

If the 1979 Iranian rev­o­lu­tion was a turn­ing point in late 20th cen­tu­ry his­to­ry, what fol­lowed set the scene for a series of betray­als and revivals of the sort that the Western world could not have envis­aged.

Religion and World Politics part 4
The Problems of Resacralization on the Path to a Post-Secular World

When you try to ana­lyze the resacral­iza­tion of the sec­u­lar state sys­tem, there are many mis­takes that schol­ars par­tic­u­lar­ly in the West make. They assume that resacral­iza­tion is sim­ply sec­u­lar­ism plus the sacred added on. As if the sys­tem was still con­ceived in the same way, even it wish­es to behave in a dif­fer­ent way. But what in fact is going on is frag­men­tary, a mix­ture.

Religion and World Politics part 3
The Problems of Desacralization on the Path to a Post-Secular World

To sec­u­lar­ize the state is not sim­ply a mag­i­cal oper­a­tion that hap­pens at the wave of a hand. You’ve got to desacral­ize the state.

Religion and World Politics part 2

When we look back at our his­to­ry here in Europe, we often cel­e­brate the roman­ti­cized ver­sion of that his­to­ry and for­get the import that that roman­ti­cism often cloaked. For instance when we have films, when we read the books of Alexandre Dumas, par­tic­u­lar­ly The Three Musketeers, all we see are three (plus one) swash­buck­ling, sword-bearing gen­tle­man usu­al­ly of an exquis­ite hand­some­ness. And there’s an evil car­di­nal, Cardinal Richelieu, lurk­ing in the back­ground. But the idea that France was just like this for no appar­ent rea­son is some­thing that we nev­er real­ly real­ly inves­ti­gate.

Religion and World Politics part 1

We’re look­ing at reli­gion as an orga­nized and above all insti­tu­tion­al­ized sys­tem of beliefs. The orga­ni­za­tion par­tic­u­lar­ly of tex­tu­al or oth­er record­ed teach­ings that form the basic faith frame­work of the reli­gion, and the insti­tu­tion­al­iza­tion which polices those teach­ings, polices the extent, the lim­its, and above all the inter­pre­ta­tion of what those texts might mean.

Sleepwalking into Surveillant Capitalism, Sliding into Authoritarianism

We have increas­ing­ly smart, sur­veil­lant per­sua­sion archi­tec­tures. Architectures aimed at per­suad­ing us to do some­thing. At the moment it’s click­ing on an ad. And that seems like a waste. We’re just click­ing on an ad. You know. It’s kind of a waste of our ener­gy. But increas­ing­ly it is going to be per­suad­ing us to sup­port some­thing, to think of some­thing, to imag­ine some­thing.

The Things of the Internet
Reflections on Object Culture and Internet Culture

The Internet meme frame­work is a use­ful way to under­stand a cer­tain range of object pro­duc­tion, a cer­tain sort of infor­mal pro­duc­tion that com­bines net­worked modes of pro­duc­tion sim­i­lar to shanzhai or the hat print­ing, with the glob­al reach of the Internet and glob­al ship­ping ser­vices as well. The abil­i­ty to move bits and atoms with just as much ease and effi­cien­cy.

Evgeny Morozov on Silicon Valley Solutionism

There is this bias in soci­ety that as long as you have more infor­ma­tion things are auto­mat­i­cal­ly bet­ter because you have more knowl­edge. It’s a bias that goes all the way back to the Enlightenment.