"It may be a gross distortion of what Baudrillard actually was trying to say, but I find it useful to think of Big Data and predictive analytics every time Baudrillard starts talking about simulation and deterrence. We are “deterred” or steered into certain ranges of behavior by the way reality is mediated to us (“simulation”) based on predictive analytics, recommendation engines, filter bubbles, and so on. In “The Masses: The Implosion of the Social” Baudrillard describes this with unusual clarity:


This is our destiny, subjected to opinion polls, information, publicity, statistics: constantly confronted with the anticipated statistical verification of our behavior, absorbed by this permanent refraction of our least movements, we are no longer confronted with our own will. We are no longer even alienated, because for that it is necessary for the subject to be divided in itself, confronted with the other, contradictory. Now, where there is no other, the scene of the other, like that of politics and society, has disappeared. Each individual is forced despite himself into the undivided coherency of statistics. There is in this a positive absorption into the transparency of computers, which is something worse than alienation.

To me that sounds a lot like the combination of social media and Big Data: surveillance and quantification produce the self as a set of statistics, a manipulatable data object. Baudrillard says this is “worse than alienation”; in the past, I’ve called this condition “postauthenticity.” Rather than capturing “our own will,” it circumvents it; it predicts what we want without our willing anything. Even if the prediction is initially wrong, preferential placement in the platform, and the efficacy of the subsequent feedback loops can make it so, as David Auerbach points out in this essay on the recent Facebook and OKCupid experiments. Postauthenticity (social media plus Big Data) makes our will superfluous.”

During my comps reading (especially while looking at Franco Berardi and Tiziana Terranova) I started to realize how important certain under-regarded Baudrillard texts are, especially In the Shadow of the Silent Majorities, which Horning re-examines here in terms of social media.

Anecdotally, I remember that I initially joined Facebook in 2006 in order to better communicate with people in a seminar class I was taking about art in the 80s. In that class, we read Baudrillard’s “The Ecstasy of Communication,” (which remains astonishing, IMO) and it seemed impossible to me that he could be talking about anything other than the internet, especially the phenomenon of the FB Newsfeed that I had just been introduced to.

Then there’s Warby Parker, as in Warby Parker Presents Beck Song Reader, a sunglasses company whose chunky, bohemian frames look like the kind of things an Upper West Side intellectual might have worn during the 1960s or ’70s. Proceeds from the album go to 826 National, a nationwide nonprofit committed to helping school-aged kids with creative and expository writing, co-founded by Dave Eggers, who, is also the founder of McSweeney’s. At some point describing the project becomes a Russian nesting doll of branding and attribution, brought to you by someone in conjunction with someone else for the benefit of yet someone else. Between Parker, McSweeney’s, Wes Anderson, and the album’s lineup itself, Song Reader crystallizes the maturation of the white indie set to the new ruling class—an arc traced by Beck’s own career. This is a world of people who are mellow, organized, emotive within reason, a little retro and graced with just a zest of modernity.
Well, there sure is a whole lot of surplus or excess wealth out there, only it’s a surplus that’s misrecognized as individually rather than socially produced and that in turn is appropriated by an infinitesimally small fraction of the population. And then on the other hand here are all these artists with huge student loans to repay, struggling to survive, their creativity narrowed by necessity, their art as surplus folded back into scarcity. They have zero chance for commercial sales and no more government support to turn to. Rather than the N.E.A. they have to hit up today’s Medici-like mega-patrons like the Warhol Foundation, or they simply turn to each other through crowdsourced funding and community supported art schemes. That’s a pretty tense situation. And pretty interesting. All these people walking around, in all these different places, saying, “I just want to do things for their own sake.” I have no problem with that whatsoever. More artists out in the world thinking that, in a society able to create such incredible wealth, more people should be able to spend their time freely, doing whatever it is they want to do.
The way that Boltanski and Chiappello talk about the new labor is much like how Robert Morris talked about his new artwork in ‘66. It’s not that the artwork is less important, it’s just less self-important. And that’s the new labor management idea: you transcend categories as your different contexts ask you to be different things. That’s a parallel between business literature and artworld discourse. The free agent and the social practice artist are both talked about as transcending categories, and the problem is—there are those people who get paid handsomely, who make a great living off doing that: hedge fund managers, venture capitalists. They’re the people that do precarity well and win at it, but it’s the same system that produces the people who don’t do so well. The hedge fund manager does a million different things and on the other side so does the person who works twelve different jobs in order to make one paycheck and has to be available 24/7 in case Walmart wants them to work the late shift or over the weekend. It’s precarity. Individuals who transcend categories are not only part of the system, they’re at the center of it. Then you’re not talking about the institution in the same way. In an information world, the institution is not brick and mortar. It’s discourse, it’s connections, it’s networks and moving around certain data in terms of its valuation—whether it’s hot or not or passé. If the old discourse about the old institution was about objects, if you came to terms with the institution by thinking about the context around objects, then the new primary unit is the subject, and you have to talk about the context around the subject.

The room of the modern person is stark, but in its simplicity it exudes wealth and sophistication. There is just an iPad and a simple bed or futon. None of the old-time accouterments, which signified intelligence, artistic interest, or a curiosity about the world, are evident. There are no magazines, books, or records anywhere. Just perhaps some high priced toiletries in the bathroom. Everything she needs is on the iCloud.

How long before we’re convinced that hands, arms, legs, and appendages are just bothersome?

The cyber-lords have already convinced us that maps, paper, pens, and even push buttons are somehow incredibly inconvenient and clumsy, leaving us scraping and pawing like drooling bug life on their flat digital dildos. Google’s search engines and applications have likewise taught us to refrain from using our apparently out-of-date and hopelessly inefficient brains.

What’s next? Giving up all thought, consciousness, history, and agency.

Hoarders are the only thing standing between these incomprehensibly rich, all-controlling, indecent, digital super-despots and the complete destruction of any alternative consciousness — and indeed any non-official history or interpretation of the world.

All Power to the Pack Rats | Jacobin

Ian Svenonius in Jacobin!

From food trucks to marijuana, the Reason report shows millennials are in favor of people doing their thing without state interference, but these are not the future capitalists the surveying foundations were hoping for. American millennials can’t possibly trust the government, but we still believe in a social safety net that takes care of everyone. This combination of libertarian and socialist values unnerves the major parties and unimaginative commentators, but it’s a logical response to the last 15 years. We’ve seen what happens when people don’t have anything to fall back on but the market, as well as what happens when the government feels entitled to know everything about everyone, and we don’t want either.

baberainbow
baberainbow:

Dummy Mix 218 // Babe Rainbow | Dummy
I made a mix for Dummy. Please enjoy.
Tracklist:
01. John Cage recorded at the Anthony d’Offay Gallery, London, in 1989 02. Trust Blush (demo) 03. TCF ae3f3c9a1faf1d1f7288d16148703afb8b3e66f0afdf049217e6193b268 04. Andy Stott Dark Details 05. Joane Skyler Foam 06. Lubomyr Melnyk The Eastern Horn (For 2 Pianos And 3 Contrabass) [Excerpt] 07. Wim Mertens Gentlemen of Leisure 08. Arthur Russell In Light Of The Miracle 09. Pender Street Steppers Openin Up 10. Arca Manners (Blend) 11. Konk Your Life 12. Heartbeat(s) Hocus Pocus (feat. Angelina Lucero) 13. Liquid Liquid Locked Groove (In) 14. Brian Eno & Robert Fripp Altair 15. Outkast Da Art Of Storytellin’, Pt. 1 16. Oneohtrix Point Never He She 17. Ricky Eat Acid God puts us all in the swimming pool 18. Avro Pärt My Heart’s In The Highlands 19. Nick Krgovich Constant Craving (k.d. lang cover) 20. Lana Del Ray Born To Die (Clams Casino Remix Instrumental) 21. Ensemble Economique Everything I Have, I Give To You 22. The Microphones Instrumental 23. Dan Mangan & Amy Millan Chances Are (Instrumental) 24. John Cage recorded at the Anthony d’Offay Gallery, London, in 1989

nice

baberainbow:

Dummy Mix 218 // Babe Rainbow | Dummy

I made a mix for Dummy. Please enjoy.

Tracklist:

01. John Cage recorded at the Anthony d’Offay Gallery, London, in 1989
02. Trust Blush (demo)
03. TCF ae3f3c9a1faf1d1f7288d16148703afb8b3e66f0afdf049217e6193b268
04. Andy Stott Dark Details
05. Joane Skyler Foam
06. Lubomyr Melnyk The Eastern Horn (For 2 Pianos And 3 Contrabass) [Excerpt]
07. Wim Mertens Gentlemen of Leisure
08. Arthur Russell In Light Of The Miracle
09. Pender Street Steppers Openin Up
10. Arca Manners (Blend)
11. Konk Your Life
12. Heartbeat(s) Hocus Pocus (feat. Angelina Lucero)
13. Liquid Liquid Locked Groove (In)
14. Brian Eno & Robert Fripp Altair
15. Outkast Da Art Of Storytellin’, Pt. 1
16. Oneohtrix Point Never He She
17. Ricky Eat Acid God puts us all in the swimming pool
18. Avro Pärt My Heart’s In The Highlands
19. Nick Krgovich Constant Craving (k.d. lang cover)
20. Lana Del Ray Born To Die (Clams Casino Remix Instrumental)
21. Ensemble Economique Everything I Have, I Give To You
22. The Microphones Instrumental
23. Dan Mangan & Amy Millan Chances Are (Instrumental)
24. John Cage recorded at the Anthony d’Offay Gallery, London, in 1989

nice