Newmedia on Sat, 1 Jun 2013 14:53:41 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Driverless cars, pilotless planes -- will there be jobs left fo...

> You claim that fundamental issues are
>  avoided, but most of the people who have written
> back in this thread say  the current unemployment
> problem is not produced by any technological  destiny.
> It is produced by the way technology is developed
> in an  abusive capitalist society. That's a fundamental
> issue, it's called  technopolitics. 
Huh? I think I know what ???techgnosis??? is but what  the hell is ???
technopolitics???? <g>
Sorry, but if people are saying  what you think they are (which, of course, 
isn't really saying anything), then  they are speaking out of blinding 
ignorance and the scandalous failure to  examine these issues.  
Of course we all live in "capitalist society" --  DUH!!  Someone please 
send an Adam Smith an email . . . !! 
But the nature of that society has undergone  massive changes in the past 
20+ years -- shifts that the LEFT understood and  anticipated in the 1960s -- 
which, unfortunately you wouldn't know by attending  the upcoming LEFTFORUM 
in NYC. 
It turns out that the *theme* of the event is  ECOLOGICAL mobilization (33 
years after the first Earth Day) . . . !! 
There are hundreds of panels plus the various  keynotes and it turns out 
that ZERO of them include the term "digital" or even  "technology" in the 
The closest that anyone will come to the steady  march towards 50% 
unemployment across the entire developed (i.e. not-yet  industrialized) economies 
will be one panel called "Labor Goes Online:  Technological Transformations in 
the Forms of Labor, Value, and 'Life  Itself'".
This panel is being chaired by CUNY's Tom  Buechele, who is affiliated with 
the sociology department's (which puts on the  conference) Center for the 
Study of Culture, Technology and Work -- which, as  best I can tell, was a 
brain-child of CUNY prof. Stanley Aronowitz and, for a  time, received some 
(mostly union?) funding. Now it seems to be defunct. 
The website for the Center speaks only of  "previous" studies, has links to 
journals that don't exist anymore and  highlights the 2008 Leftforum -- 5 
years ago . . . !! 
Aronowitz knows all about this *failure* by the  LEFT to deal with what is 
going on here.   
He was there when the left produced  the 1964 TRIPLE REVOLUTION *manifesto* 
which put CYBERNATION at the front  of the fundamental changes sweeping 
*capitalist* society. 
He even wrote (at least) one book about it --  "Post-Work: The Wages of 
So what is the *left* doing about all this  NOW?  Complaining about how 
capitalist society is "abusive" and pointing to  ???technopolitics??? . . . ?? 
You have given away the "secret" in your  reply.  As far as you (and most 
others on the left, apparently) are  concerned, discussion of the impact of 
technology on the economy and society  becomes a matter of talking about 
Which is, of course, *religious* language --  akin to "pre-destination" (of 
Protestant ethic fame) or even FATE (of "eastern"  religious fame) -- which 
is anathema to most, even though many agree we are now  "post-secular.??? 
The origin of your usage, presumably, is the  *fateful* decision in the 
1970's -- particularly in sociology, which is why the  *leftforum* is so 
clueless (and why Aronowitz is treated like a doddering relic)  -- is that 
thinking about technology automatically becomes the *thought-crime*  of 
"technological determinism." 
BULL-DADA . . . !! <g> 
The only ???criminals??? are those who refuse to think  through the 
implications of DIGITAL technology -- because there are *billions*  of lives at stake 
and they are fiddling as the proverbial Rome burns, while  blaming it all, 
like Nero, on someone else. 
Mark Stahlman
Brooklyn  NY

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