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Re: <nettime> The $100bn Facebook question: Will capitalism survive 'val
John Hopkins on Sun, 11 Mar 2012 12:05:19 +0100 (CET)


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Re: <nettime> The $100bn Facebook question: Will capitalism survive 'value abundance'?



Hallo Ana

Dear John I am not sure if we are talking in parallell ways. When
I am talking potlach I am talking from an anthropologist view (I
am a trained anthropologist) and we are definitely talking about
exchanges both in the symbolical view and in the physical form.

I understand that much of anthropological is involved in seeing
the world from that material/semiotic split. I'd recommend a
reading of Leslie White's (anthropologist) work (one source here:
http://www.jstor.org/stable/663173 - "Energy and Evolution of
Culture") and maybe White, L.A., 1975. "The concept of cultural
systems: a key to understanding tribes and nations", Columbia
University Press.

If exchange has no perceived or real value to enhance individual or
tribal viability, it cannot be sustained. Potlatch exchange is rooted
in real (energy) viability questions which only later became somewhat
(only partially) 'symbolic'.

And as you were referring to real people in 'virtual' sweatshops, the
expenditure of life-time which is correlated to life-energy, is not
virtual at all -- it takes a certain minimum amount of calories to
maintain a living body for a day, regardless of activity and when the
day is done, whether you are a wall st. banker or a ditch-digger, you
cannot get that day back. Virtuality is only the situation where some
sensory/energy inputs to the body are attenuated, it does not erase
the energized presence and negentropic energy consumption necessary
for any and all life...

The most gifts exchanged were not included in the tribe's economy
but were burned in a very ritualized ceremony at the end of the
exchange festival.

Which particular tribal grouping are you speaking of? Of course
there are many varying customs, but if viability is threatened, you
can be sure that burning was not an option. Burning (destruction)
of reserves can only take place in a glut / energy reserve excess
situation. Okay, sure, when the perceived 'sacrifice' will bring more
'stuff' sooner than later, people who were locked into a set of tribal
religious rules would do so, but if starvation becomes endemic, you
can be sure that those gods so faithfully invoked would be quickly
removed from their position of power! (a 'reversal of perspective:
http://tech-no-mad.net/blog/archives/7458 !!)

cheers,
John





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