Posted inGeneralMediaTech

The cyber-war(s) being fought right under our noses

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Time magazine invariably has very clever, multi-faceted covers, the latest one being no exception. It shows the White House – the American president’s residence and workplace, all in one – being slowly but surely devoured by Saint Basil’s Cathedral, with its red brick walls and colourful onion domes, which stands on the Red Square and […]

Posted inMediaTech

The illusions of Facebook

No. of comments: 6

At the recent South African Communication Association conference at the Afda campus in Cape Town I was astonished at the level of naïveté about the use of Facebook on the part of academics and students alike. On the one hand there were those who regard it as a mere tool for communicating with friends and […]

Posted inMediaNews/Politics

Under fire SADC media must build alliances with citizens

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The recent release of veteran journalist and editor Bheki Makhubu from a Swaziland jail should have been a momentous occasion for media freedom and freedom of expression activists in southern Africa. Instead, it has turned out to be a missed opportunity to inspire confidence, re-energise practitioners and consumers alike, and call the bluff on repressive […]

Posted inEqualityGeneral

Crime, capital and economic apartheid

No. of comments: 3

In the book Blank: Architecture, Apartheid and After (edited by H Judin and I Vladislavic; David Philip Publishers, Cape Town 1998), Lindsay Bremner’s contribution, “Crime and the emerging landscape of post-apartheid Johannesburg” (pp. 48-63) uncovered the roots of racial segregation in the origins of Johannesburg as a gold mining camp in 1886. During the apartheid […]

Posted inGeneral

Travels through Schizoville

No. of comments: 15

On a recent trip to the Netherlands we had a first-hand experience of what Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari mean when they claim that the typical “malady” of today is schizophrenia — what Ian Buchanan calls “an everyday schizophrenia in which the absurd is simply ‘how things are’ ”. Once you have been alerted to it, […]

Posted inMediaTech

Welcome to the new Middle Ages

No. of comments: 21

In the 1970s the famous semiotician and novelist Umberto Eco published a collection of essays titled Travels in Hyperreality, in which he elaborated on a variety of interrelated topics, such as wax museums, holographic representation and our evident fascination with the Middle Ages. In fact, he argued, although we think of ourselves as modern (or […]

Posted inGeneralNews/Politics

Living in present-day South Africa

No. of comments: 43

I don’t believe in generalisations when it comes to experience, except in the natural sciences. In fact, philosopher Hans Reichenbach, in The Rise of Scientific Philosophy, goes so far as to claim that “generalisation” is what is distinctive about science – in the language of the philosophy of science, it is science’s “demarcation criterion”. Because […]

Posted inMediaNews/Politics

When fact imitates fiction: The Snowden case

No. of comments: 14

In the history of (especially moral) philosophy, a recurrent theme involves the tension between the affirmation of so-called “free will” on the part of humans, and its denial, or what is called (a variety of) “determinism”. Without going into too much detail, it seems to me safe to say that most philosophers have favoured free […]

Posted inBusinessEquality

The age of the indebted, mediatised, securitised and depoliticised

No. of comments: 16

In Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s latest book Declaration (Argo Navis, 2012) — although, probably given its brevity (just over a hundred pages) compared to the books comprising their trilogy (Empire, Multitude and Commonwealth), they refer to it as a “pamphlet” — they articulate the global crisis of the present era in terms of four […]

Posted inGeneral

Actually, we can solve our crime problem

No. of comments: 21

By Niki Moore At 4am on Thursday morning I woke up to find a shadowy stranger standing next to my bed, bending over my bedside table. The figure was silhouetted against the streetlight coming in from my window — an unfamiliar male shape with a rucksack in his back — and I sat up in […]

Posted inGeneral

Drones: Panopticism intensified

No. of comments: 25

Panopticism has just been ramped up a few notches. Panopticism is a Foucaultian concept (employed in Discipline and Punish) that encapsulates the paradigmatic condition of our society, namely that there is a pervasive tendency to subject all social life to modes of surveillance and judgement for purposes of disciplining the populace and ensure its economic […]