Tag Archives: technology

When work becomes inhuman, and when competition ruins relationships

Some time ago I wrote a piece on Shoshana Zuboff‘s recently published The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, and already other signs are beginning to appear that this invidious phenomenon is spreading in the workplace too, as surveillance of workers to ensure optimal productivity. In a recent edition of TIME magazine (‘When humans become robots‘; July…

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5G: Exacerbating interconnectedness?

From the point of view of complexity theory, or chaos theory, if you like, everything is interconnected. ‘Chaos’ is here regarded as just a very complex variety of ‘order’, unlike in earlier times — the ancient Greeks, for instance, opposed chaos’ and ‘cosmos’ (order), as most of us do in our daily lives. In Deleuzoguattarian…

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So you think that Orwell’s ‘1984’ could only happen under a political dictatorship? Think again!

Many people — especially those who still read novels — will know George Orwell’s 1984, with its depiction of the brainwashing society of Big Brother, of Newspeak (the language designed to inhibit critical thinking), the Thought Police, and constant surveillance of every citizen, monitoring their behaviour (lest they should exhibit signs of discontent, or worse,…

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Popular art and the homogenisation of viewing subjects globally

The global hype around the HBO television series, Game of Thrones (GoT), which ended with what was apparently generally perceived by fans as an anticlimax of sorts, made me reflect once again on the pertinence of the intellectual work of that indomitable French thinker, Bernard Stiegler, for grasping the way that contemporary electronic technology is…

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Should one question technology’s drive for dominance?

In a sense, the titular question, above, is redundant. Technology is, after all, already dominant — a claim that hardly needs to be substantiated with evidence; it is there for everyone to perceive on a daily basis. Not that the objects of ‘perception’ are self-evident in any straightforward way. In social reality a good deal…

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Notre Dame, spirituality and technology

The recent devastating fire that nearly destroyed the more than 800 year-old Parisian Gothic cathedral, Notre Dame, has put something important in perspective. One could not but notice that the shock caused by this event was not restricted to Paris, or even France, which one might have expected. Understandably, Parisians have always loved this architectural…

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A question of balance…

Two days ago my partner and I went on a whirlwind visit to Gauteng and North-West Province – flying to Johannnesburg and driving from there in a rented car to the Potschefstroom campus of North-West University, where I had been invited to participate in a debate on the question: ‘Is God still necessary for morality?’…

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Metaphors (as models), and our own ‘networked’ existence

In The Prison-House of Language (Princeton University Press, 1972) Fredric Jameson opens the Preface with the following thought-provoking remark (p. v): The history of thought is the history of its models. Classical mechanics, the organism, natural selection, the atomic nucleus or electronic field, the computer: such are some of the objects or systems which, first…

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How (virtual) ‘speed’ has changed our way of life

Paul Virilio is a very important, if unusual, thinker. An architect and philosopher, his work has transformed the way people think about the relationship between speed (or acceleration), visuality (or visual culture), technology, the military, and the distinctive mode of existence of people in the early 21st century. This is how Virilio expresses the links…

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‘Beyond Humanism’ in Wroclaw, Poland

We are in the beautiful and ancient city of Wroclaw, Poland (the former Breslau, in German), at the 10th International ‘Beyond Humanism’ conference, where theorists of post- and transhumanism come together (in a different country) every year. It is the third of these inter- and multidisciplinary conferences that we have attended, and as before, the…

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