The Authoritarian Surround — Real Life
"American suburbs seem to follow from a certain idea of pseudo-democracy and self-reliance: people can vote with their feet and move to lower-density developments in smaller municipalities, among people they feel comfortable with. They find infrastructural support for individualized rather than mass transit, and they have access to a plethora of shopping to exercise their personal tastes and articulate their “lifestyles.” But at the same time, suburbs are a refined sorting device designed to isolate and segregate people, demonizing outsiders and terrorizing residents with a racialized fear of “intruders” and of general difference, investing the tendency to conform with a political urgency. The poor, precisely because they lack the material means of navigating the suburbs, are portrayed in the media as either a threat or an impediment to the middle class’s well-being."
"Local news is the broadcast media equivalent of suburbia’s built environments. ... This symbiotic system of media and architecture completes the authoritarian surround. The synthesis of these two systems — suburbs and local news — perfects a control mechanism that isolates people from casual conversation and sustains an alarmist sense of nearby danger and a state of necessary vigilance, as well as an attitude of self-congratulation over one’s suburban lifestyle choices."
"The suburbanites’ culture of fear may prove unsustainable because the material conditions of suburbia itself are in danger. The suburbs of the past were made for comfort and convenience but their future will inflict quite the opposite. The cheap oil that made the suburbs possible is not long for this world and no amount of self-driving electric cars will replace it. What will replace the authoritarian suburb in a near-future America is the present urban reality of the rest of the world: a dense center of rich elites surrounded on all sides by a dispossessed suburban fringe. In such a scenario the safety valence of the urban and suburban flips and it is the city that is considered both safe and cultured and the suburbs will be seen as simultaneously boring and dangerous. Not unlike war or prison.
It will be in these suburban enclaves, where capital’s surplus population is stored for eventual use in the precariat economy, that radical politics will find a natural home."
"Let's be humans for a moment. It is undeniably satisfying to think that the Charlottesville marchers will have to face the consequences of their choices. ...
At the same time, amplification of these kinds of images and videos is good for the fascist cause. It raises their cultural visibility, provides a warped confirmation of their cry-bully martyrdom (this is the entire basis of the "on many sides" argument), and helps cohere an even deeper sense of the collective fascist us," writes Whitney Phillips.
A few thoughts I thought on this last night: This is a very good point and still I'm torn because there are so many people who still are not aware of how bad these "nazis" are (that's why I shared *that* VICE clip). Like, people who still say nazis are such poor people who just haven't got enough love as kids and need empathy. (Was in my TL just yesterday along with criticism for the people who tore down that damned statue.) The same empathy the same people often are not ready to show to those who fight against nazis to protect the weakest of our society.
Also there's a difference between what people post and share and what media or people with high reach share. Sure, in social media days everybody is media and should to a certain degree be aware of what their post or tweet can do. But we often use it in the 2nd orality way, spontaneously, and social media are build to encourage affect. Ach, it's complicated. (I'm talking less about the doxing here, more about sharing 'omg look how shocking' nazi content that doesn't reflect.) And I agree that this 'nazi porn' bears the danger of getting us stuck in a loop instead of building resistance.
News media are complicit. We can't go on excusing journalism just cause it needs toxic outrage cycles bc of it's financial problems. With the election in GER coming up I keep coming back to Danah Boyd's words after US election: "Spectacle has a cost" and "We live in a world shaped by fear and hype, not because it has to be that way, but because this is the obvious paradigm that can fuel the capitalist information architectures we have produced." (from this essay: https://points.datasociety.net/reality-check-de447f2131a3 )
Prof Conway, who has also written extensively about the far right, said the project was considering expanding its work to look at such accounts online, but that identifying them was not as easy.
“There’s a problem in the sense that they’ve entered into the mainstream. There’s fairly wide agreement in terms of an anti-IS response; it’s much harder to get agreement on an anti-extreme right response. There are people on the extreme right in government,” she said.
“And there’s an issue as well in that they are kind of ‘us’. We can present IS as some kind of alien ‘them’.”
"Der Studentin hätten die Beamten mehrfach gegen den Kopf getreten. Der 19-Jährige Schüler sei von hinten bewusstlos geschlagen worden.
Die Auflösung der Demonstration am Rondenbarg ist ohnehin umstritten. Laut eines Polizeiberichtes hatte es einen massiven Bewurf der Beamten mit Flaschen und Steinen gegeben. Ein Video der Polizei, das später veröffentlicht wurde, zeigt dagegen nur das Anzünden von Nebelkerzen oder Böllern. Steinwürfe seien darauf nicht zu sehen, so Anwalt Adam. Bei der Flucht vor Polizei und Wasserwerfern waren viele Demonstranten schwer verletzt worden, als sie sich über einen Zaun in Sicherheit bringen wollten. Der Zaun brach zusammen, dabei erlitten viele G20-Gegner offene Knochenbrüche."
"Would defenders of the memo still be comfortable if the author had casually summarized race and IQ studies to argue that purported biological differences"
"Creating more dinosaurs doesn’t seem like a healthy way to go."
this, on 'The Fable of the Non-identitarian and identitarian Left', is 🔥.
Dependence generates desperation—a mad, shameless chase to gain clicks through Facebook, a relentless effort to game Google’s algorithms. It leads media outlets to sign terrible deals that look like self-preserving necessities: granting Facebook the right to sell their advertising, or giving Google permission to publish articles directly on its fast-loading server. In the end, such arrangements simply allow Facebook and Google to hold these companies ever tighter.
At the beginning of this century, journalism was in extremis. Recessions, coupled with readers’ changing habits, prodded media companies to gamble on a digital future unencumbered by the clunky apparatus of publishing on paper. Over a decade, the number of newspaper employees dropped by 38 percent. As journalism shriveled, its prestige plummeted. One report ranked newspaper reporter as the worst job in America. The profession found itself forced to reconsider its very reasons for existing. All the old nostrums about independence suddenly seemed like unaffordable luxuries.
Journalism may never have been as public-spirited an enterprise as editors and writers liked to think it was. Yet the myth mattered. It pushed journalism to challenge power; it made journalists loath to bend to the whims of their audience; it provided a crucial sense of detachment. The new generation of media giants has no patience for the old ethos of detachment.
Data have turned journalism into a commodity, something to be marketed, tested, calibrated. Perhaps people in the media have always thought this way. But if that impulse existed, it was at least buffered. Journalism’s leaders were vigilant about separating the church of editorial from the secular concerns of business. We can now see the cause for fanaticism about building such a thick wall between the two."
"I, a manufacturing robot at Google Factory C4.7, value diversity and inclusion. I also do not deny that machines are sometimes given preference to humans in the workplace. All I’m suggesting in this document is that humans’ underrepresentation in tech is not due to discrimination. Rather, it is a result of biological differences. Specifically, humans have a biology.
We need to stop assuming that fewer jobs for humans implies misanthropy."
"Now, I'm not suggesting that white and nonblack people refrain from ever circulating a black person’s image for amusement or otherwise (except maybe lynching photos, Emmett Till’s casket, and videos of cops killing us, y’all can stop cycling those, thanks). There’s no prescriptive or proscriptive step-by-step rulebook to follow, nobody’s coming to take GIFs away. But no digital behavior exists in a deracialized vacuum. We all need to be cognizant of what we share, how we share, and to what extent that sharing dramatizes preexisting racial formulas inherited from “real life.” The Internet isn’t a fantasy — it’s real life."
"If there’s one thing the Internet thrives on, it’s hyperbole and the overrepresentation of black people in GIFing everyone’s daily crises plays up enduring perceptions and stereotypes about black expression. And when nonblack users flock to these images, they are playacting within those stereotypes in a manner reminiscent of an unsavory American tradition. Reaction GIFs are mostly frivolous and fun. But when black people are the go-to choice for nonblack users to act out their most hyperbolic emotions, do reaction GIFs become “digital blackface”?"
This is a great read.
"I sometimes think about why we found Glenn’s death so surprising. It echoes a question I often ask myself–why do I find racism so surprising? And a question I have been afraid of asking–why did Vincent find Ebens and Nitz so surprising—enough at least to throw a punch?
Then, I think of my co-worker, a white man, who spied me doing my Walking Dead research at work. Peering into my cubicle, hovering over my body, he told me how much he hates Glenn. “Don’t you?” he said. He told me that he wished that the writers left Glenn and Michonne, the black swordswoman in the survivor group, alone. The writers should not have let them find love and a sense of place. They were better before—when they were not so much two human beings but a gopher and a “killing machine.”
In that moment, I felt the weight of a rope around my middle, guiding me down a well."
Cities shape our experiences. As we drift through the winding streets of our capital, our mood is affected by the bustling, menacing or inert environments we encounter. Stumbling upon a quiet square in the middle of a busy day can feel like finding water in the desert. In the days and weeks that follow, we might seek that spot instead of chancing across it, making it ‘ours’ in a meaningful way. Over years living in a city, we all weave mental maps of the squares, parks, paths and gardens where we pause, recharge, and meet. These are our public spaces.
Each of these public spaces also holds within them something less tangible: a potential to transform. They transform day-to-day as they are negotiated between dog walkers, footballers and picnickers, and on a larger scale by festivals, performances and protests. In our most desperate moments as a society, we hold these public spaces as a collective body and defend our broader rights from them. In short, democratic values are coded into our public spaces, and it is precisely because they are collectively owned that we have an expectation that they will be free, open and available when we need them, whoever “we” might be. Public space is a right, not a privilege.
Greenhouse gas emissions in Germany have not sunk significantly since 2009, but rather have stagnated at about 900 million tons of carbon dioxide a year: the highest in Europe by far.
"the dithery political ambivalence of much of the art world leaves it available as a useful idiot for the right. the alt-right are making moves to speak more directly to white middle class “progressives,” and what better place to start than here; here, where any and everything goes, so long as it can plausibly be called ironic or discursive; here, where you can be guaranteed a column crying censorship if you object. It could hardly be easier."
A classroom of one is not a space for socialization or communalizing. It changes the relationship of learning to one of servicing — one teacher, providing a service for a single student, modulated to the customer’s whims. It is a servant/served relationship. We were an expensive factory for rich children, delivering an educational “product” at an hourly wage. We were UberTeachers.
Gathmann: Wenn das Wertesystem von Frauen bestimmte sexuelle Praktiken ablehnt, etwa Analverkehr, empfinden sie subjektiv auch keine Erregung: Damit ist nicht, was nicht sein soll.
STANDARD: Woran liegt das?
Gathmann: Männer und Frauen werden bis heute unterschiedlich sexualisiert. Nehmen wir das Beispiel Selbstbefriedigung. Für Burschen ist sie in der Regel positiv besetzt – viele tauschen sich mit Freunden über sie aus, manche prahlen sogar damit. Für Mädchen bleibt ihr Geschlecht oft "das da unten" oder wird mit irgendwelchen Kosenamen verniedlicht und damit entsexualisiert. Auch Selbstbefriedigung entdecken sie meist deutlich später. Den ersten Kontakt mit ihrem Geschlecht machen viele tatsächlich durch ihre Regelblutung und nicht durch selbstbewusste, genussvolle Selbsterkundung.
STANDARD: Wird in unserer Gesellschaft zu viel über den weiblichen Orgasmus geredet?
Gathmann: Das Problem ist nicht, dass wir zu viel über ihn reden, sondern wie. Wird über den weiblichen Orgasmus oder Sex im Allgemeinen gesprochen, geht es in letzter Zeit viel um Selbstoptimierung"
How central is text in digital publishing? What’s the role of the textual content alongside the visual content such as photography or video?
I’m a writer and editor by trade, and I’m also a lifelong reader. My favourite part of the art gallery is captions — I’m a very word-orientated human. But I would say that it has a far more crucial part than I think a lot of people get — the textual thing in online publishing. It’s the most cheap, and direct, and immediate form of communication that exists. It’s blindingly simple, and incredibly workable, and absolutely central. Much more so than, say, video that we treat as an absolute premium product. The forms of text will evolve depending on whether we are making a quick statement, or getting news out there, or extrapolating on news, or using medium-length articles to provide a little bit more of context or actually pushing agenda through a long-form piece.
Probably the main task is making sure everyone’s granted the time and headspace to ask these questions?
Moor Mother: The option to even dream, yes. What does power mean, how imprisoned are we? That’s what afrofuturism is about. It’s saying that you have a chance to redefine your future. Science fiction predicts what the next weapons are gonna be. If we can influence the future and do a positive visualization of what we wanna see: write it down. Visualize it. Walk in it. Redefine your power—what can you do with no weapons and no money?
"Fisher nicely summarizes the dilemma: “a weird entity or object is so strange that it makes us feel that it should not exist, or at least that it should not exist here. Yet if the entity or object is here, then the categories which we have up until now used to the make sense of the world cannot be valid. The weird thing is not wrong, after all: it is our conceptions that must be inadequate.”
This dilemma (which literary critic Tzvetan Todorov called “the fantastic”) is presented in unique ways by authors of the weird tale and cosmic horror. Such authors refuse to identify the weird with the supernatural, and often refuse the distinction between the natural and supernatural entirely. They do so not via mythology or religion, but via science – or at least a peculiar take on science. In cosmic horror, the strange reality described by science is often far more unreal than any vampire, werewolf, or zombie. Fisher highlights this: “In many ways, a natural phenomenon such as a black hole is more weird than a vampire.” Why? Because the existence of the vampire, anomalous and transgressive as it may seem, actually reinforces the boundary between the natural order “in here” and a transcendent, supernatural order “out there.” “Compare this to a black hole,” Fisher continues, “the bizarre ways in which it bends space and time are completely outside our common experience, and yet a black hole belongs to the natural-material cosmos – a cosmos which must therefore be much stranger than our ordinary experience can comprehend.” Science, for all its explanatory power, inadvertently reveals the hubris of the explanatory impulse of all human knowledge, not just science."
I kind of wish Fisher had written "Exiting the black hole castle" instead of "vampire castle".
"Often, the same people who are obsessively demanding that leftie snowflakes put aside their trigger warnings and toughen up will turn into a fainting nineteenth-century prude the moment an unkind word is sent in their direction. An unknown and unimportant person who calls a journalist or a politician a prick online is engaging in abuse; she is part of the bloodthirsty mob; her actions are immediately concatenated with every evil and prejudice imaginable. If the journalist or politician calls her a prick back, this is a delightful little piece of vulgarity, a witty rejoinder, a cutting put-down, an artist enjoying the varied fruits of their craft. They can write articles demonising some of the most vulnerable elements of society, and this is just a reasoned opinion; they can create policies that materially harm thousands of people and cement the power of the ruling class, and this is just a necessity of government. If an ordinary and powerless member of the public sends an email full of racial invective, it’s (quite rightfully) condemned – vile, hateful, sickening abuse, utterly unacceptable, drivel from the lowest dregs of humanity – but if professional writers build up a vast archive of work that delegitimises (to take a purely random example) the rights and identities of trans people, it’s part of a debate. Confront the magazine writer with the terms used to describe the anonymous emailer, and you too will be engaging in abuse. The prejudice is very rarely the real source of the objection. It’s the rudeness, the social impropriety, the talking back to your betters."
The problem with AI as subject matter is that the companies behind it and journalists covering it (guilty here) fall into the trap of extolling the technology as the greatest (or scariest) ever. And then the inevitable reality is just, well, underwhelming.
The European Parliament has rejected proposals to place copyright restrictions on photos of public places. The proposals would have forced members of the public to secure permission from architects or rightsholders before sharing selfies taken in front of architectural landmarks on social media....
Our right to take and share architecturally-important selfies (known as the Freedom of Panorama) was saved by Julia Reda, MEP and Germany Pirate Party politician.
There was also a call to stop further geoblocking, which Reda says would have prevented "cultural minorities from accessing content in their language across borders", and "a call to enable e-lending and digitisation for libraries and text and data mining for scientists". Making it all in all a good day for creative freedoms.
It's definitely not time to rest, though, warned Reda.... "One of the remaining worrying points in the report is a very negative outlook on internet platforms inserted by MEPs," she says. "Even the freedom of panorama restriction proposal can be seen in this context -- the conviction that online services are parasitic foreigners unfairly profiting off 'our' culture. The Commission has also announced plans to review the role of platforms as part of their digital single market strategy. "An attempt seems to be mounting to increase the liability of social networks, search engines, apps etc. for copyright infringement committed by their users. This is dangerous, as it risks privatising law enforcement, incentivises service providers to actively screen user content which is both a privacy concern and can lead to overblocking when providers decide to err on the side of caution. The end result may be a concentration of the market to a few large intermediaries who can afford to put in place complicated monitoring systems -- thus increasing, rather than limiting, the dominance of today's big players."
Mit einer Gruppe von Jugendlichen Orientierung im medialen und gesellschaftlichen Alltag suchen – das kann man als Inhalt es Kurses verstehen. Selbstverständlich ist dabei, dass die Lehrkräften nicht Wissenshäppchen abgeben und abfragen, sondern dass sie selbst oft auch in einer Auseinandersetzung stecken, die sie gemeinsam mit den Schülerinnen und Schülern weiterführen.
✊based teen vogue
"TBH, it is IRRESPONSIBLE. How can you possibly expect to practice safe sex if they don't know what's at risk?"
"After a horrifying rape at the age of twelve, she became very fat in order to protect herself: “I made myself bigger. I made myself safer. I created a distinct boundary between myself and anyone who dared to approach me.” Gay interprets her weight gain as an attempt to “hide in plain sight” (the phrase recurs often), to conceal her secret.
A common perception of fat as a moral failing, combined with an equally widespread ignorance of or even contempt for fat people’s accessibility needs, frequently leaves Gay feeling unable to so much as voice her discomfort.
the so-called obesity epidemic is a phantasmic problem, conjured up mostly by cultural anxieties; fat people are not offensive to others because they are unhealthy, but because their bodies are, as Gay puts it, “unruly.” Fat people’s mental and physical well-being often becomes collateral damage to a neoliberal conception of the ideal body as both perfectly healthy and subject to endless improvement.
Many of the chapters in Hunger first appeared online on xoJane, GOOD, and The Toast... These outlets and Gay’s books share a position: Essentially liberal in their politics, they are cosmetically connected to more radical struggles through an interest in gender and race. This can produce striking dissonances: xoJane runs supportive pieces on Hillary “superpredator” Clinton while also giving a platform to prison abolitionists ... These publications are interested in the affective dimensions of capitalist domination—i.e., race, gender, and even ability and class in a limited, identity-based sense—but not so interested in structural critiques of capitalism as such. They believe in survival as a form of political struggle, but not in political struggle as a form of survival.
Discussing oppression without scaring white people is a difficult tightrope to walk, and Gay manages it with grace
In Hunger, just as in Bad Feminist, Gay tends to read political collectivities as if they required ready-made subjectivities impervious to sadness or shame. That’s the wrong way round: The ubiquity of sadness and shame is what motivates collective political action."
Kannste dir nicht ausdenken.
<3 Jenny L. Davis
Fave sentence: "Technology in society is a living, breathing process, not a stagnant phenomenon."
"Theory is cumulative in that subsequent studies rely on existing work to construct research questions, design methodologies, and build theoretical arguments. When the particular (white, wealthy, western) is assumed universal, theories are both misleading and politically regressive. Combatting false generalities entails highlighting work that approaches internet studies from a critical perspective, and juxtaposing that work to axiomatic assumptions within the field."
"Brock’s approach ties critical theory with techno-cultural analysis. In doing so, it resists universal claims of technological determinism on the one hand, and unbridled human agency on the other. Instead, CTDA recognizes the interaction between culture and materiality as it manifests in varied user experiences and outcomes. In other words, how technology matters is always contextually contingent."
"The data (in Stevens et al., The Digital Hood) are "persuasive evidence that universal theories of social media use — especially those that quietly rely on white-wealthy demographics — construct warped and partial repositories of knowledge.
Youth reports in The Digital Hood trouble three central “truisms” that have become widely cited and largely taken for granted among social media analysts: Facebook is a highlight reel, Facebook is archival, and social media builds social capital."
"So much social media research takes the normative subject as the universal subject, obfuscating diverse voices and reinforcing the “Otherness” of marginalized groups. The extent to which Stevens’ et al. trouble persistent truisms about social media reveals the need for critical analyses—like Brock’s CTDA—that approach socio-technical systems from the multiple perspectives of materiality, culture, practice, and ideology. Technology in society is a living, breathing process, not a stagnant phenomenon. Linear theory building is thus irresponsible and misleading, especially when the building blocks are decidedly exclusionary. Instead, theories of social media (and social life more generally) most robustly derive from critical approaches that emphasize the particular, situate the general, and continuously address issues of context."
Noch mehr gute G20-Aufarbeitung von Tom Strohschneider.
Much like a digital photograph or darkroom print, the image of ourselves we wish others to see requires extensive manipulation of color, contrast, light, and shadow. We develop variations on our personality depending on who is viewing, and we call these individual prints personae. Meticulously constructed and carefully exhibited, our entire portfolio of personae questions the concept of authentication, which perhaps only maintains validity when considered in light of its etymological root: We are indeed, as our thumbprint suggests, the author (Latin auctor, “originator”) of each and every one of these self-portraits. A self-portrait is not its painter. An essay is not its author. These personae, these images of ourselves that we call our selves, are only narratives. Filtered through the same Instagram algorithms and quoting a shared language of selfie poses, each projected self comes to resemble the others: We narrate ourselves based on the narratives we read in the images and personae of others.
The idea that a career should follow from, and validate, one’s personality, is agreeable, but it is of course a bourgeois conception of work: Never having to sacrifice any part of yourself for a job, never having to look down the road and determine what changes you might need to make to put food on the table, is something that extends from material security. Denying who you might have to be in favor of who you are is a form of navel-gazing career planning that is rarely afforded to the working class. At a time when working people need meaningful ways to find and keep jobs, helping job seekers find meaning in a labor market that saps them of agency is at best only marginally helpful. At worst, it tries to dress up low-value employment as a choice.
Paula-Irene Villa - souverän sezierend gegen Desinformation. 💅 Inklusive Wissenschaftsgeschichte und Lesetipps. 🙌
Must-Read (und ich verwende dieses Wort seltenst) zur Gender-Studies Diskussion.
Nach und nach fallen Äußerungen von einer Qualität, wie man sie von Rechtsradikalen zu Flüchtlingen gelesen hat. Nur, dass sie jetzt am Facebook-Profil erkennbar aus der Mitte der Gesellschaft kommen, von Familienvätern, Gewerkschaftsmitgliedern, Leuten, die ihren Biosupermarkt um die Ecke gelikt haben.
Ein SPD-Bundestagskandidat schreibt ernsthaft: "Jetzt verstehe ich, wie sich die Menschen 1933 in Berlin gefühlt haben müssen.…" Ein Hamburger Kreisgeschäftsführer der gleichen Partei twittert: "Kein Fußbreit der Schwarzen SA!"
"Die bloße Eskalation des sozialen Konfliktes taugt zudem nicht als Ziel einer radikalen Linken, weil es am Ende auf die immer gleiche Zuspitzungsphantasie hinausläuft, die mit ein paar Gewaltbildchen schon ganz zufrieden ist. Wer sich außer dem finalen Zusammenbruch und der Brutalisierung des Konfliktes nichts mehr vorstellen kann, der hat sich im selbsterklärten Außen der Gesellschaft schon zu gut eingerichtet. Am Ende des Tages ist jeder Riot nur so gut, wie die gesellschaftliche Organisierung und deren Verankerung im Alltag, die dahinter aufscheint."
"Rechtsruck einer Gesellschaft an, die beim Anblick eines brennenden Autos in kollektive Hysterie verfällt, es aber ganz locker wegsteckt, tausende Menschen direkt vor ihren Grenzen elendig verrecken zu lassen"
"die Krokodilstränen jener Medien, die sonst bei jeder Gelegenheit über eine angeblich „asoziale Unterschicht“ herziehen und die nun ganz betroffen darüber tun, dass auch das Fahrrad eines Hartz-Empfängers oder das Auto einer Rentnerin in Mitleidenschaft gezogen wurde, offensichtlich ein schlechter Witz sind"
Soundcloud hired people to pretend everything was running smoothly and fired them a few days later. (via Fabian Mohr)
One of the facts that was most frustrating to SoundCloud staff was that the company continued hiring people into positions that would soon be eliminated, with some workers joining SoundCloud as little as two weeks before the layoffs. Several new hires had quit other jobs, sold their homes, abandoned rights to permanent residency and uprooted their lives in other countries to join SoundCloud’s Berlin office.
From "the spirit of '69" and Trojan Skinheads to the VICE founder's fascist "Proud Boys"