What’s truly exceptional about our predicament is how the state of exception has escaped the confines of the detention centre and occupied Main Street. For the first time in human history, the entire world is in a universal state of exception for exactly the same reason.
The COVID crisis is a layer on top of a turn towards authoritarianism coming out of the 2008 economic crisis. At the same time, new opportunities for national and global solidarity are emerging. What might those solidarities look like?
Photographer: Andrew Seaman | Source: Unsplash MeMe and YouMe The Buddha, peace be unto him, is famous for declaring there’s no self. Strictly speaking, he denied the existence of an abiding, permanent self, especially the metaphysical Atman of Brahmanical Hinduism. We are born, we grow into adulthood and then we pass away. Some think we restart that […]
Photographer: James Lee | Source: Unsplash If you read or watch any mainstream media source that deals with facts instead of imaginary threats, you will notice the constant invocation of two civilizational threats: automation and climate change. This is mainstream media btw, not leftie radical sources; you know we are in a genuine crisis when hunks […]
Photo by Clark Tibbs on Unsplash Startup Thinking I have a firm leg in the doom and gloom camp. My friends alternate between sending images of the burning Amazon and pictures of Amazon — the company, not the lungs of the planet — replacing all jobs with robots. Not that I mind; all that misery gives my optimist brain something […]
Photographer: Fabian Blank | Source: Unsplash Man is the measure of all things. So sayeth Protagoras, ancient scientist. If you’re the religious kind you might condemn Protagoras for idolatry, for only God has the measure of all things. Or if you’re William Blake, you might condemn Isaac Newton for succeeding at the task. Newton By William […]
A Map of Utopia I remember Reagan saying to Gorbachev “Tear down this wall.” Sorry, that’s fake news. Or at least white lie news. There’s no way I could have heard a live conference in West Berlin in 1987. It was probably past my bedtime in Delhi. I also have a memory of reading it in […]
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash Everyone says we live in a knowledge society. What they really mean is we live in a knowledge economy, where knowledge is a source of profit. You can see the workings of the knowledge economy in the ubiquity of two terms: innovation and intellectual property. What does it even […]
Academia plays several roles in modern society. Professors educate the not-so young, advance the frontiers of knowledge and act as critical mirrors of the larger culture. Neoliberal academia has reduced all of these functions to the furtherance of economic activity. That new goal is enforced with metrics that track those narrow concerns. In this new […]