New radio product
Freshly posted to my radio archives:
December 18, 2010 Lucas Zeise, columnist with Financial Times Deutschland, on why Germany is taking such a hard line on the eurocrisis • Jodi Dean, keeper of the I Cite blog and author of Blog Theory, on what digital culture is doing to our minds, our politics, and our society
The Jodi Dean interview is unusually good stuff. Consider this a twisting of your arm.
You are so right about the Jodi Dean interview, which was a “mind blower” that opened up completely new territory to me! I immediately ordered her new book, Blog Theory. Thanks for a great interview.
while hearing your Zeise interview a suggestion came to my mind; why not have a monthly economic roundtable with at least 2 international economists or economic commentators with whom you’d discuss in depth current domestic and international economic issues on your show? I think such a roundtable would be unique and very interesting because it would give the listener a multilayered perspective on economic issues.
Arm twisted. But, gee… A discussion of how shallow Facebook and Twitter can be, or of how ineffective point & click politics are (which could just as well have been a comment on remote controls and couch potatoes), or….
I’m sorry to be negative, and listened twice thinking I must have missed something. I remember that the “the heart says ‘whatever'” piece from a few months back was interesting. Even the Elizabeth Currid-Halkett interview on modern “celebrity” had something to say.
But a call to get off Facebook and get out in the street isn’t really very novel. Nor, as you point out, is it very much more effective.
I don’t know the back-story and details, but I kept waiting for mention of the use of social media in the last U.S. presidential election and other ‘get out the vote’ efforts. Here in Canada, various police forces have been tripped up by cell-phone videos posted on Youtube and talked about on Twitter and Fb. That’s not a million man march, but it’s not nothing, either. Nor is the fact that I read and hear the news from Europe differently, including what Lucas Zeise had to say, because you interviewed Yanis Varoufakis several times. And what I learn here I take back into my Basic Adult Education classroom to share with my learners.
Blogs and Facebook and such aren’t great – I know that. Everyone knows that. Information isn’t power: power is power. But information isn’t worthless, either.
Ok. I’m taking my arm back now. Best wishes for the New Year (such as it is).
Jodi Dean interview was fantastic, thank you so much. Don’t think I would have heard of her otherwise.
The German journalist was quite good – great to hear a sane voice about the European/German side of the neoliberal order.
Ms. Dean was a wise choice, but so much earnestness can get in the way of a discussion about large, real, and depressing matters. It’s not inhumane for a person to admit crushing and total defeat (the left yesterday, today, and tomorrow – sorry, kids), but probably not good for going in to work tomorrow to face young folks. Still, if the left would just laugh at how badly it has performed, how little social capital it owns, how much truth it possesses but cannot sell, we would all be able to find communication that is reality-based, not nostalgic bring-back-the-ghosts organizing for what?
I think Jodi Dean has a lot of good insights with her whole “communicative capitalism” shtick, but I really don’t know why you’re commending this as a spectacular interview. In this particular interview at least, a lot of what she has to say is imprecise, evasive, and, to be more plain, just not conveyed very well. I don’t find her rhetorical mix of watered-down post-Marxist academic jargon and klutzy populism very compelling either, although I haven’t the faintest idea of how typical this is of her.
With spirits blithe,
a bit of froth, a mite of mirth,
pith, kin and kith,
in Duluth, as well as Perth,
O 2011, come forth!
The current year, in throe of death,
as we do seek Nepenthe
from year of dearth and bloodbath,
the nation’s self-worth at nadir
via investor-tyrant’s plinth:
the scathing wreath of base, ill-gotten wealth.
With pained rebirth,
labor’s wrath, through actions lithe,
is new-year’s scythe:
to set forth belied truth,
soothe man via “peace on earth,”
yet lathe any bar to next path.
The discussion about Stuart Brand and ‘hippy’ libertarian philosophy reminded me of a debate around the WWII between Otto Neurath and his Unity of Science movement (and he was a former minister in the Bavarian Socialist Republic, and wrote papers on transitioning to a moneyless economy) and Howard Kallen. Neurath thought the sciences should be ‘orchestrated’ via an ‘encyclopedia’ of sorts, grounded in a common, agreed-upon vocabulary and conceptual framework. This was the way for science to progress the most along lines that would benefit humanity. Kallen argued that any such orchestration, indeed any such vocabulary, was totalitarian. So the sciences working like an orchestra, with a common musical notation and direction (i.e., all playing the same tune, with or without a conductor), which is what Neurath wanted, was totalitarian. Instead, the sciences, Kallen believed, should be like free jazz, with each player playing whatever they want however they want. The catch though for Kallen was that everyone had to adhere to the ‘American Idea’ (roughly, ‘freedom’) otherwise they were totalitarians in disguise. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Rand document was influenced by Kallen.
By the way, Hayek was negatively influenced by Neurath (he didn’t like him), and Neurath has a great book review/critique of ‘the Road to Serfdom’.
If any of you are interested in this topic, check out George Reisch’s ‘How the Cold War Transformed the Philosophy of Science’.
Liked the Dean interview. Over at Lenin’s Tomb, there’s a discussion about the “entrepreneurial dissent” and “leaderless, networked” protests emerging in response to the UK coalition govt’s privatization and austerity plans. Stewart Brand may have an acolyte in Aaron Peters…
While I appreciated Evans a real eye opener for me was the Cordelia Fine interview from a few weeks back. Of course, everyone knows that economics, while claiming to be a science, is suffused with ideology, which is to say, a systematic bias enabling elites to further accumulate wealth and power.
Less recognized along these lines the field of psychology, which also makes much of its pretensions to scientific status, is also suffused with ideology to its core.
Of course, Chomsky addressed the subject long ago in his essay Psychology and Ideology, but it was nice to see that Fine has updated the critique to take on the experimental psychologists who make much (literally and figuratively) of their multi million dollar MRI and ERP machines, “rigorous” statistical methodology, and spotless white lab coats.
All this is eyewash for what amounts to a trivial confirmation of largely trivial conventional wisdoms, e.g “boys and girls are different”. That’s the one Fine focusses on, but it would be hard to miss that the critique generalizes to include much of what goes on in the field.
Good call on the discussion at Lenin’s Tomb, Stephen. (I actually came across it independently, and then came back here to check on this thread.) You’re right, it does cover some of the same terrain as Dean, but much more capably than the interview with Dean, IMO. (To be fair to her, I haven’t read her book… she’s probably much better when writing than when speaking.) It looks like the subject of the relationship between neo-liberal informational capitalism and the “new” new social movements is one that Seymour will be exploring in depth for some time to come, to our great benefit.