My App Isn’t Luca
At the risk of speaking for the reader, haven’t we all been depressed this year? Don’t at least some of our old projects seem suddenly pointless? The pandemic, economic collapse, and political turmoil of today strip away our hopes for tomorrow. Forced to reflect on the meagerness of “our own persons,” aren’t we all now philosophers and queers? And isn’t it terrible?
About the fossil industry's heavy PR battle to make recycling look as it could 'solve' plastic and about how from the beginning in the 90s it was clear that recycling plastic couldn't be done in a financially safe way. I think in Germany, the supposedly champion of waste separation, it's a sad 5.6% per cent that really gets recycled. This piece is interesting because it shows how the image of plastic was built and fought about over the years.
Blood-freezing final sentence: "Analysts now expect plastic production to triple by 2050."
Endlich Zeit gehabt, diesen feinen Text zu lesen, der schon seit Tagen in einem Tab bei mir offen steht und mir die "Material Girl"-Melodie in den Kopf zaubert. Und der Frage nachgeht, ob Aliens nicht wohl eher mit Ratten, Fledermäusen oder Viren Kontakt aufnehmen würden als mit Menschen, wenn sie die Erde mal ins Visier nehmen.
Die Corona-Krise als Möglichkeit für einen neuen Blick; dadurch, dass sie komplexe Abhängigkeiten und Verflochtenheiten sichtbar macht. Abrechnung mit Dualität Kultur/Natur und der Exzeptionalität des Menschen, oder wie Bini Adamczak schreibt: "Anthroponarzissmus."
"Die Corona-Krise hat das Potenzial, andere Bilder zur Verfügung zu stellen. Auch sie ruft zunächst eine fundamentale Abhängigkeit in Erinnerung, jedoch eine, die direkt unter die Haut geht. Auf drei Ebenen: Erstens sind die Menschen nicht nur durch ihre Daten, Waren und Währungen miteinander verbunden, sondern weltweit auch durch ihre Körper. Zweitens sind sie nicht nur untereinander verbunden, sondern auch mit nichtmenschlichen Tieren, zumindest mit dem Schuppentier, das sie fast ausgerottet hatten und das nun als Übergangsstation zwischen Mensch und Fledermaus gedient haben dürfte. Und drittens, das ist vermutlich die irritierendste Erkenntnis, sind die Menschen und Tiere verbunden über Viren."
Ich mag auch das Bild von Viren als Zombies - als philosophischer Grenzfall an der Grenze von Lebewesen und Nicht-Lebewesen, und: "Ein Wesen, das nicht unabhängig Lebewesen sein kann." Da denk ich auch an A Zombie Manifesto: The Nonhuman Condition in the Era of Advanced Capitalism von Embry und Lauro, die dort den Zombie als das einzig konsequente posthumane Wesen ausarbeiten (semi-ironisch aber respektvoll an Haraways Cyborg Manifesto angelehnt): Auflösung des sich seiner selbst bewussten Subjekts in ein Schwarm-Unbewusstsein.
Und hier find ich auch Haraway gut, in diesem Sympoeisis / Symbiont:innen-Aspekt, den Bini Adamczak hier aufgreift, mit all den zahllosen ggs Abhängigkeiten und Verflochtenheiten von Menschen und Nicht-Menschen. Haraway findet mir da bloß zu wenig zu Perspektiven für politischer Handeln zurück, was Bini Adamczak aber schon tut.
Just brilliant. I have just finished reading Staying With The Trouble and was really disappointed and Sophie Lewis analysis is just the best analysis.
"There is a long tradition of white people thinking they can read their way out of trouble."
A good and long read analysing the boom of antiracist reading.
"Dr. Tufekci is the only person I’ve ever spoken with who believes that the modern age began with Zapatista Solidarity."
A brilliant long read: A travelogue and reflection by Elvia Wilk on growing up as "field kid", the child of anthropologists, on growing up being consciously privileged, on how "Family dynamics became part and parcel of the research." https://www.thewhitereview.org/feature/kids-in-the-field/
McKenzie Wark reviews Void Bitches by Porpentine Heartscape:
"If trans writers have an affinity for the disaster of the world, maybe it’s because our bodies are a disaster already. Now that the whole planet has some kind of dysphoria, maybe it’s our time to shine.
It’s a ludicrous idea, I know, but one reads in these times with a measure of delirium."
"Assembling these three attributes together — transness, class, trauma — marks a situation where void bitch characters do their best to live as disaster kittens in a crashing world. This world is a Philip K. Dick novel with the cladding of Japanese anime."
"Contact tracing is made of people and there isn't an app for world-historical level of care work it requires," as Dan Greene said on Twitter.
"Successful contact tracing involves patiently helping people recall with whom they have interacted in the preceding weeks and assessing the risk associated with each of these interactions.
Most problematic, however, is assuming that locating people is all that contact tracing requires. To succeed, contact tracing programs require that people trust the entity to whom they are reporting. Trust is built on empathy, patience and the ability to help someone who has just been exposed to a life-threatening disease. Human contact tracers need to guide a rattled parent to think through who their child might have played with at a neighborhood potluck a two weeks ago or an undocumented immigrant find support and care should they fall ill. They also need to understand and help people marshal the resources they will need to sustain a 14-day quarantine after they have been exposed. Thus, contact tracing hinges on deeply human exchanges. There is no app for that.
Digital technologies do have a role to play. They will be crucial to successful contact tracing programs. But they must be intentionally built to assist, rather than replace the people in the health care loop vital to success."
"If neoliberalism is a proactive ideology, solutionism is a reactive one: it disarms, disables and discards any political alternatives. Neoliberalism shrinks public budgets; solutionism shrinks public imagination. The solutionist mandate is to convince the public that the only legitimate use of digital technologies is to disrupt and revolutionise everything but the central institution of modern life – the market."
"We are all solutionists now. When our lives are at stake, abstract promises of political emancipation are less reassuring than the promise of an app that tells you when it’s safe to leave your house. The real question is whether we will still be solutionists tomorrow.
Solutionism and neoliberalism are so resilient not because their underlying ideas are so good but because those ideas have profoundly reshaped institutions, including governments. The worst is still to come: the pandemic will supercharge the solutionist state, as 9/11 did for the surveillance state, creating an excuse to fill the political vacuum with anti-democratic practices, this time in the name of innovation rather than just security."
"A “post-solutionist” politics should begin by smashing the artificial binary between the agile start-up and the inefficient government that limits our political horizons today. Our question should not be which ideology – social democracy or neoliberalism – can harness and tame the forces of competition better, but rather: what institutions do we need to harness the new forms of social coordination and innovation afforded by digital technologies?"
"They run it with just one goal in mind: keep the micro-targeting going, and micro-payments flowing. As a result, little thought has gone into building digital technologies that would produce macro-level anonymous insights about collective behaviour of non-consumers. The digital platforms of today are the sites of individualised consumption, not of mutual assistance and solidarity."
"Exercising power is not just about effectively achieving particular outcomes or doing what “works”; it’s also deciding the parameters for how those ideas will be defined. It’s about preserving certain interests over others and reasserting the value of certain people over others."
"Exercising power is not just about effectively achieving particular outcomes or doing what “works”; it’s also deciding the parameters for how those ideas will be defined. It’s about preserving certain interests over others and reasserting the value of certain people over others. We need only look at how medical resources are currently being distributed and the demographics of vulnerability to the virus to see how that plays out. These problems extend beyond the violation of civil liberties, beyond intrusive data collection considered as an abstract harm, beyond the much-lamented tradeoffs between public health and personal privacy. Rather, they reflect structural biases in how governance is conducted and how society is organized — and for whose benefit.
Casting “critical” perspectives on the pandemic in privacy-vs.-public-health terms perpetuates a false dichotomy that was repeatedly debunked post-9/11, when it was “national security” doing the heavy lifting."
"We need more transparency, more accountability, and, most important, more humanity in how the response is planned and implemented."
There are good points in Bratton's 18 Lessons From Quarantine Urbanism but the blind spot is political, social and care work/aspects.Without patience for that it runs danger of either getting stuck in theory or evoking a longing for a top-down technocracy.
Totally forgot to post this: Kevin Rogan plays at Miéville in this essay about how Corona lockdowns don't cause but make an urban class disparity that has always existed more visible. "Kimmelman has confused cities — which are carefully maintained spatial systems of exploitation just as much as places to live — for an abstract community of which everyone is an equal member. The “social community” has not collapsed, because it didn’t exist in the first place."
A beautiful Corona read by Teju Cole.
"They would say they were unbothered by the relative lack of physical contact between themselves and others but then would, at the mere sight of a curtain resting on a window sill, burst into tears."
"When she discovered that all the citizens of Reggiana were refugees, recent arrivals from elsewhere, she knew she had come to the right place. The city had been rapidly constructed, everyone coming in at almost the same time; the founding myth said that between the city’s establishment and its peak population, hardly a full season had passed. This collective newness meant that learning the culture of Reggiana was itself central to the culture of Reggiana."
"No one gathered in the churches or synagogues, no one assembled in the temples or mosques, the schools were empty, the shops remained shuttered, the people stayed home. But the inhabitants of Reggiana were deeply interconnected, and all their civic and social life was conducted within domestic walls. In each house in the city was a means of communication. Families from all over the city reached each other from these humble enclosures; businesses large and small were operated from kitchen tables and bedrooms; lovers, ex-lovers, and future lovers engaged in all the stratagems by which desire could be cultivated in the absence of the beloved’s body.
There are particular forms of knowledge possessed by those who have had to rebuild their reality."
"We raise this issue out of concern for the way "contact tracing apps" are being proposed without taking into account the complexity of the social. The current discussions present only two options for living: one of surveillance and the other of confinement. We demand the possibility to imagine something else for future cohabiting."
"Mr. Prosser sagte: “Sie hatten ja durchaus das Recht, zu geeigneter Zeit Vorschläge und Proteste zu äußern.”
“Zu geeigneter Zeit?” schimpfte Arthur. “Zu geeigneter Zeit? Zum ersten Mal habe ich was davon gehört, als gestern ein Arbeiter bei mir aufkreuzte. Ich fragte ihn, ob er zum Fensterputzen gekommen wäre, und er sagte, nein, er sei gekommen, um das Haus abzureißen. Natürlich hat er mir das nicht gleich gesagt. Nein, erst hat er ein paar Fenster geputzt und auch noch fünf Pfund dafür verlangt. Dann erst hat er mir’s gesagt.”
“Aber Mr. Dent, die Pläne lagen die letzten neun Monate im Planungsbüro aus.”
“O ja. Als ich davon hörte, bin ich gestern Nachmittag gleich rüber gegangen, um sie mir anzusehen. Man hatte sich nicht gerade viel Mühe gemacht, die Aufmerksamkeit darauf zu lenken. Ich meine, dass man’s jemandem gesagt hätte oder so.”
“Aber die Pläne lagen aus…”
“Lagen aus? Ich musste schließlich zuerst in den Keller runter…”
“Da werden sie immer ausgehängt.”
“Mit einer Taschenlampe.”
“Tja, das Licht war wohl kaputt.”
“Die Treppe auch.”
“Aber die Bekanntmachung haben Sie doch gefunden, oder?”
“Jaja”, sagte Arthur, “ja, das habe ich. Ganz zuunterst, in einem verschlossenen Aktenschrank, in einem unbenutzten Klo, an dessen Tür stand: Vorsicht, bissiger Leopard!”"
Criminalisation is not an evidence-based response to public health issues. In fact, the use of the criminal law most often undermines public health by creating barriers to prevention, testing, care, and treatment – for example, people may not disclose their status or access treatment for fear of being criminalised. It can also lead to ill-informed ‘trial’ by social and news media, and to a myriad of human rights violations, from arbitrary arrests and detentions to unfair trials (or no trials at all under new emergency measures) and harsh prison sentences. This can also lead to the spread of infections and communicable diseases in prisons and is of particular relevance in the context of COVID-19, which reveals, once again, the need to address overcrowding and other poor healthcare and sanitation conditions that are all too common in prisons and other closed settings.
"Warum kann man die Misere in den USA nicht kritisieren, ohne zugleich einen Kniefall vor der gigantomanischen Polizeioperation in China zu machen? Mit dem Lob für »Chinas Erfolg« wird alles in eins geworfen: das Land, die KPCh, Polizei, Bevölkerung und Klasse. Wie kann gerade Mike Davis so etwas schreiben? Niemand muss zwischen »dem Westen« und »China« wählen, auch und erst recht nicht, wenn es um das Coronavirus geht!"