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Re: <nettime> Facebook's perfec spam laboratory.
Ed Phillips on Mon, 21 Jan 2013 09:47:35 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> Facebook's perfec spam laboratory.


I'm glad you wrote this. I desperately need durable, succinct, and
extensible ways to think about the social. I need to preserve the
tensions between the classical poles.

I especially like the way that you have condensed Mauss below to one
very rich paragraph. And I love this sentence: "To be human we must be
concerned with our individual self-preservation and we must learn to
belong to each other in society." That seems to me durable, succinct,
and rich. To belong to each other.

I also very much like this: "There is no point therefore in socialists
demonizing markets. We have to bring out the humanity in them that is
obscured, marginalized and repressed by bourgeois institutions."

I agree wholeheartedly with that statement. It is very difficult
to get a clear view of just what the hell is going on. One way of
starting to talk about it might be:

A very real social infrastructure is obscured by a dominant religion
that sees entrepeneurialism and free enterprise in rent seeking
and bureaucratic stagnation. Perhaps during the naive phase of
capitalism, such secular prayer was merely sentimental and not so
obviously hypocritical and false. Schumpy and others put a fork in
naive capitalism in the early 20th. Without a respect for the history
of markets, my previous statements would not make sense. On the one,
official hand, we have an increasingly farcical secular prayer that
celebrates a reality that is no longer there.

On another hand, we have resistance to the prevailing symbols of
authority and to the dominant secular religion. The reality underneath
and behind the secular religion is also obscured by analysis that
takes the idealizations of the sales effort for the real thing or the
thing itself. I'm thinking of David Harvey here as one of the best who
still falls for the idealizations of secular prayer. However, due to
the scarcity of my capacity, I do not at this moment have a specific
example from his texts. One simple thought experiment would be to just
call to mind where most critical commentary on markets gets the basis
for its critique from: mostly from the business booster press or from
the think tanks of the institutions of secular prayer.

Contempt for the study of the oligopoly as it really is, and laziness
or blindness seems to mar so much commentary. We get the idealizations
of the sales effort and we get denunciations of those idealizations
as if they were true. But rarely do we get an honest look at what the
hell is really going on. I'm no exception to that rule, given the
scarcity of my time and my capacity both; I often rely on caricature
and secular prayer as if it were truth. However, I am catching myself
and calling myself to account as much as I can.

I really find your work helpful and useful, Keith, and I'm immensely
grateful for what I have been able to take in of the work you have
done. A path to durable understanding starts with respect, and for
me the path involves quite a bit of struggle to find the time, the
space, and the capacity to understand. I'm also immensely grateful for
these interchanges on this little forum that a couple of peopled named
nettime a few years ago. Just this little space means something to me.

I'm not on facebook because I do not have the time and because I'm
already overwhelmed as it is. I'd be sorely lacking in humility and in
generosity of spirit if I imagined what that experience is like for
any user. I navigate nettime for example in my own way; I must and
do grant the respect to other people that they navigate the tensions
of communication in their own rich ways. Schumpy comments somewhere
in his overwhelming econ analysis on the need that thinkers have to
reduce their interlocutors to caricature. I only ask, "How rich is
the caricature, how much does it at least grant respect to the worthy
aspects of an opposing view."

I respect the machinery of secular prayer. I don't have sufficient
time to read all the propaganda and caricature. I'm rather looking
for the durable and the truthful. I try to see across the impressive
caesuras that might otherwise blind me. The frames are there: nettime,
facebook, wild internet, twitter. But what of the durable (the
aphorisms, the thought experiments, parables, essays) formulations
that might allow access to truth? They are there as well, and they are
so much more important and more enduring. A thing of beauty is a joy

I think your earlier remark(and I read it and thought about) is very
important: the "whole world joining in on the dance" (euripedes) is
awaiting Africa. That, to my mind, is an interesting thought that
points to something quite meaningful and true. It is of value. It is

Your remarks on Mauss are also very important and the thoughts
will endure, whatever the covering cherub. I hope others read your
compressed statements closely.

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