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Re: <nettime> Nobel laureate in economics aged 102 endorses the human ec
Brian Holmes on Wed, 23 Jan 2013 10:52:58 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> Nobel laureate in economics aged 102 endorses the human economy...

On 01/22/2013 08:15 AM, Newmedia {AT} aol.com wrote:

If you don't understand these cycles (and, importantly, the
subsequent work on the topic), can you really say that you have
read Schumpter? George Gilder, today's popularizer of Schumpeter,
insisted that the Dot Com bust was the result of excessive
"regulation." Wrong! If he had read and understood "Business
Cycles," he could not (honestly) make that claim.

Actually, Mark, I am such an incurable social-science geek that I am
currently reading Business Cycles, and reviewing the whole Science
Policy Research Unit literature on techno-economic paradigms which
Armin Medosch and I have been interested in for years. Concerning
Schumpeter, though, not only George Gilder has been his promoter:
there is a whole new crop of them now, singing the virtues of what
they call "disruptive innovation." The guru for this is Clayton
Christensen, the source is Schumpeter, the idea is that a new
technology plus a new business model can destroy an old sector and
promote a new one (that's creative destruction), and the juiciest
current target is none other than the university (cf. "The Innovative
University" by Christensen). The same concept is being bruited about
quite a bit in Silicon Valley circles, there is a kind of "Web 3.0"
push underway, a drive to restructure all service-providing industries
as I-phone apps, basically... And the question is: Does this represent
the longed-for foundation of a new expansionist wave? Or (more
likely in my view) just the agitated death throes of neoliberal

On 01/22/2013 09:22 AM, John Hopkins wrote:

> I prefer the more wholistic open-system sensibility of Bertalanffy
> and the Millers. This is no coincidence as my father was a senior
> systems analyst & engineer deep in the MIT-MITRE-DOD-RAND circuit
> between '41-'69 -- it seemed incumbent to move in another direction
> :-|

Seriously! Much of American culture in the 60s-70s felt the same way!

> (An aside -- the psychological state that such thinking imposed,
> workday-after-workday, beginning in 1940, and eventually subsuming
> huge numbers of (mostly) men engineers had/has a direct formative
> effect on the entire social fabric that we are part of now... on
> personal, family, community, and national levels)

It's hard to think about two things at once (and Lacan once remarked
that he was struggling to teach his students to count to three), but
anyway, it seems to me that the whole corporate-military mentality and
conceptual toolkit still underlies and conditions much of what seems
to be its opposite, namely the current information society. There
was a clear break between them in the 70s, and on a philosophical
level the command-and-control version of systems theory was replaced
by ecological models, whether wholistic a la Bertalanffy (or Bateson
for that matter) or the more fractal versions of complexity theory
(Prigogine and many others). Neoliberalism found its home in the
second ones because they promote the idea of bifurcations and
phase-changes and the like, and so the Schumpeterians can work with
that, disrupt it, whatever. But I agree with you, John, the old,
pyramidal, monolithic aproaches remain as the underwater part of the
iceberg, a kind of technopolitical unconscious...

best, Brian

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