Tech

Why we need a politics of ‘spirit’ not consumption

Most people reading this are probably wondering what a “politics of spirit” could possibly mean. After all, it seems like an oxymoron to juxtapose “politics” and “spirit”. I would agree with that, at first sight anyway. Until you read Bernard Stiegler’s transfixing book, The Re-Enchancement of the World, subtitled: The Value of Spirit against Industrial…

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Gelernter: A dissenting voice in the field of artificial intelligence

The relationship between the human mind and body is something that has occupied philosophers at least since the father of modern philosophy, René Descartes, bequeathed his notorious “dualism” to his successors. For Descartes the mind was a different “substance” compared to the body – the former was a “thinking substance” and the latter an “extended…

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Social media has made us lonelier and more neurotic than ever before

I am guilty of posting some of those “Look at my life” statuses, the “I am so witty” tweet and the occasional “My food is calorific” Instagram post. But frivolousness aside, why is it that we live in a world where we’re more likely to put up a Facebook status about self-harm than actually talk…

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This is not all that Gyna sapiens (‘thinking woman’) is capable of

How the human species – Gyna and Homo sapiens (thinking woman and man), supposedly – have come down in the world. It does not take a genius to grasp this, although I daresay most geniuses would not waste their time with evidence supporting my statement, above; they probably have better things to do. What I’m…

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The genesis of ‘uncontrollable societies’

What could “uncontrollable societies” – a phrase that probably strikes fear into the hearts of every member of technocratic governments the world over – possibly mean? To explain it is no easy task, because it entails abstract thinking and conceptualisation not often required of individuals in our technologically oriented society today. The intertextual reference of…

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Why Idols SA is so important to Gareth Cliff and Naspers

Idols SA is a chimera of sorts. For some people it’s wish fulfilment at its best — the chance to be South Africa’s next great singer or just that person who got their 15 seconds on television. It’s a delightful bit of escapism, providing the opportunity to laugh at the poor souls that enter the…

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How the university can recuperate itself

In my previous post I wrote about the question raised by Bernard Stiegler on the pervasive stupidity characterising global societies today, and the failure of universities to live up to their historical task under present circumstances. The latter amount to what Stiegler calls “hyperindustrial” society, that is, a society in which it is not only…

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The ‘stupidifation’ of our societies and failure of universities

It may come as quite a shock to learn that, contrary to what we are constantly told through the media, we actually live in the age of the systematic “stupidification” and infantilisation of society. What, I can hear most readers say with exasperation and indignation — we live in the age of information, of “knowledge…

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The aeronautics behind SAA’s unprofitability

Let me just say it straight up — neither President Jacob Zuma nor SAA board chairperson Dudu Myeni are to be blamed for the operational unprofitability of SAA. South Africans are currently rallying together in the #ZumaMustFall campaign, which was in part triggered by the removal of Nhlanhla Nene as finance minister, allegedly due to…

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Idoru: Gibson’s astonishing glimpse of virtual reality’s future

William Gibson — creator of Neuromancer, among other gripping sci-fi novels — has arguably delved even further into the latent possibilities, or what Gilles Deleuze called virtualities, of the information revolution, in his quotidian dimension-surpassing novel, Idoru (Penguin 1996), one of the so-called Bridge trilogy. So much so that Peter Popham in the Independent commented…

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