Hi all,

Another very interesting thread indeed...

But the language is perhaps a little ( or highly ? ) inadequate to
grapple with the severity of our monstrous present and our dangerously
unstable futures. Perhaps if we try to get a little jump on all the
speculative nastiness, the toxic, racist and demented visions for the
hyper-industrialized mess being invested in, we might get better
analysis and paths for the emergency exits if we illuminate this
unwholesome merger of the Anthropocene and Technopolitics and The Grand
Guignol Lab of Living Subjects and call it:

Unicorn Moonshot Guineapigdom 

Or to keep it simple, as the XLterrestrials have tried numerous times:


Or somewhat less dramaticly as Lewis Mumford called it:

Authoritarian technics*


re: mRNA developments

One really shouldn't be surprised by these dismal achievements to " hack
the body" and " under the skin surveillance" as neoliberal pet and
technology soothsayer Yuval Harari calls it. A bit of a futurist
(strip)tease that Yuval ! Definitely a significant mega-corp invention
in that it appears to open up huge new markets and techno-colonialist
territories on the bio-molecular front. We can probably expect all sorts
of unpredicted mayhem to come from these profiteering and proprietary
agendas + directions...  quite similar to the horrors achieved by the
previous corporate age of petro-chemical global dumpster fires.

One of the new elements that Brian raised is that A.I. was a big part of
mRNA developments. That would be interesting to know more about how
those industries have merged and what sort of kind of trajectories they
have planned for an increasingly privatized and commodities-reoriented
and globalized Health Care now in the mangling grip of the Data Gold
Rush ...

What abominations will be in store without reigning in, regulating or
abolishing all the corporate tech madness + social experimentation ! 

In a quick search...

A major percentage of Google/Alphabet's venture capital flows went into
Health Industries... Deep Mind Health, Calico, Editas, Verily, etc.


If we wanna know what attempted storms and disruptions may be coming,
might be a good idea to follow how the vulture krapital flies.


Perhaps it is important to know there is hardly anything even remotely
Green New Deal-like ahead without confronting the new Guineapigdom game
( and its financialization. See Romain Felli's "The Great Adaptation" on
Verso. ) that has now become acceptable to the general public ... even
among an intellectual left ? ... b/c apparently the wealth-shovelling
corporate techno-fix model was so successful at handling the planet's
most lethal health crises ;)

respex !


p.s. And extra thanks for Eveline's post...

it does seem that love will be required and central for re-orienting
ourselves back into ecological balance, humanity, justice and habitat
for all !


“Let us fool ourselves no longer. At the very moment Western nations,
threw off the ancient regime of absolute government, operating under a
once-divine king, they were restoring this same system in a far more
effective form in their technology, reintroducing coercions of a
military character no less strict in the organization of a factory than
in that of the new drilled, uniformed, and regimented army. During the
transitional stages of the last two centuries, the ultimate tendency of
this system might be in doubt, for in many areas there were strong
democratic reactions; but with the knitting together of a scientific
ideology, itself liberated from theological restrictions or humanistic
purposes, authoritarian technics found an instrument at hand that has
now given it absolute command of physical energies of cosmic dimensions.
The inventors of nuclear bombs, space rockets, and computers are the
pyramid builders of our own age: psychologically inflated by a similar
myth of unqualified power, boasting through their science of their
increasing omnipotence, if not omniscience, moved by obsessions and
compulsions no less irrational than those of earlier absolute systems:
particularly the notion that the system itself must be expanded, at
whatever eventual cost to life."

- Lewis Mumford ( 1895-1990 )

> Message: 1
> Date: Mon, 24 Oct 2022 11:00:44 +0200
> From: Felix Stalder <fe...@openflows.com>
> To: nettime-l@mail.kein.org
> Subject: Re: <nettime> Technopolitics of the future
> Message-ID: <94640de4-3b95-ef3a-18dc-7e0a10310...@openflows.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8; format=flowed
> On 20.10.22 23:18, Brian Holmes wrote:
>> I recall speculation on the list about whether a new technopolitical
>>  paradigm would ever take form. Would there be economic growth again?
>>  Would innovation return? Could global capitalism really develop new
>>  forms of self-regulation? Or is it stalked by entropy and decline? I
>>  think the discussion suffered from too much emphasis on computers
>> and finance as the drivers of change - leading to the conclusion
>> that, if Silicon Valley has already done its thing, if Meta is no
>> more than The Matrix Reloaded, then history must be over.
> I don't think the conclusion was that 'history is over'. Rather the
> venture-capital, consumer-facing, attention-economy model which
> organized an important part of the innovative capacity over the last 40+
> years, had exhausted itself. Indeed, innovation in in Silicon Valley has 
> almost come to a stand still. Our phones, laptops, social media apps etc 
> are more or less the same than five years ago. In response, lots of 
> VC-capital is funding blockchain technologies, which, so far, have 
> proven completely useless. A real dead-end.
> It seems that the computing infrastructure that has been built out over
> the last 30 years -- global connectivity and data centers -- is turning
> into commodity services for other enterprises. Much like manufacturing
> in the 1980s and 1990s. On a global scale, it kept growing, yet it
> turned into a flexible, on-demand infrastructure. In this line, Google
> is moving closer to the model of Foxconn, as a commodity provider of AI
> and data analytic services. Hugely profitable, but the social direction
> of the use of its capacities is determined by others.
> The pandemic showed that quite clearly. Silicon Valley firms profited
> substantially by providing commodity infrastructure but little
> innovation. Zoom, which saw its stock price rise 5-fold during the
> pandemic, is now back to pre-pandemic levels. The innovation that would
> have embodied the logic of consumer-data focused Silicon Valley the
> most, contact tracing via smart phones, failed completely, due to poor
> data and modelling (turns out, epidemiological-relevant proximity is
> hard to measure and model) and popular resistance (surveillance!).
> On the other hand, as Brian notes, the most significant techno-political
> event was the development of the mRNA vaccines. First, because it
> provided the single-most effective social response to the pandemic (e.g.
> compared to China's Zero-Covid approach). Second, because it embodied a
> new techno-political model (large-scale, publicly-funded, basic
> research, public investment and coordination, extremely profitable
> private enterprises), and a new set of conflicts, both within the 
> countries at the center of the development (anti-vaxxers in the US and 
> Europe) and geopolitically (neo-colonial distribution based on patents &
> manufacturing/logistical capacity).
> Does this provide a blue-print for a somewhat social-democratic Green
> capitalism, as Brian seems to suggest? I'm not so sure. Mainly for four
> reasons.
> First, so far, all of this has been debt-financed, which works obviously
> better in a low-interest environment. Unless a Piketty-style taxation of
> wealth can be instituted, a key component of a new technopolitical
> paradigm is missing (I think the US Democrats know this, but can
> implement only the tiniest of steps, the European social-democrats
> (outside Spain) don't even try it).
> Second, the vaccines provide a somewhat unusual case of technopolitical
> innovation, because there were no incumbents that had already sunk
> trillions into soon-to-be outdated infrastructures that they wanted to
> profit from a few decades longer. There is a war in Europe disrupting
> energy supplies, and Germany does not even manage to institute a speed
> limit on its Autobahn (despite popular support). Thus, the question is,
> to what degree are democratic institutions still capable of expressing
> "the will of the people"?
> Third, there is this point that Amitav Gosh raised in the interview I
> posted earlier:
>> The Left ? and here I?m also talking about the Greens ? made the
>> decision some time ago to move towards a technocratic centre. They
>> started doing all this wonkery and addressing policy to establish
>> their credentials as serious politicians and administrators. Of
>> course, it?s necessary to be serious about administration and
>> governance. But the problem appears when you leave out the political
>> impulse. The danger of technocracy is that you cannot tap into the
>> general discontent with the political class because you are
>> completely identified with the political class.
> https://www.greeneuropeanjournal.eu/the-colonial-roots-of-present-crises/
> I think this helps to explain the anti-vaxxers. If vaccines -- a simple, 
> drop-in, no-need-to-make-any-changes-in-your-personal-life solution 
> provided for free -- cannot be sold on a technocratic argument, then 
> what can? On a larger scale, in Italy, as Alex Foti noted, after every 
> technocratic government, the far right won the next election, to the 
> point that you have now prime minister who traces her political line 
> directly back to fascism.
> Forth, the geopolitical distribution of costs are extremely uneven. The 
> nationalistic right is absolutely clear about this and welcomes 
> neo-colonialism. I think it was Musk who said that the US always invaded 
> countries if it needed its resources and that it would (and should) do 
> the same with respect to Lithium.
> I agree with Brian, that social democratic green new deal, for all its 
> internal contradictions and short-comings, is the only available 
> paradigm within which such questions can even be raised as problems. 
> Authoritarian approaches would call this simple "reality" that needs to 
> be managed in an us-vs-them, zero-sum logic.
> None of this is written in stone. As far as "we" -- ie cultural 
> producers -- are concerned, the third point I raised, the poverty of the 
> technocratic approach, is the most immediately relevant, and amendable, 
> one.
> After all, I agree with Brian that there is nothing less at stake than 
> to determine what the "pervasive artificialization of the environment" 
> actually entails. In the first instance, it indicates, in my view, that 
> there is now a collective awareness of the reality of the Anthropocene. 
> And this is a massive shift on collective awareness over a very short 
> period. It makes a wide-range of previously unthinkable  politics possible.
> all the best. Felix
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