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Re: <nettime> Evgeny Morozov and the Perils of "Highbrow
John Young on Mon, 20 Oct 2014 18:33:18 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Evgeny Morozov and the Perils of "Highbrow

There is a correlation between the rise of publicity (public relations and
advertising) and diminution of quality standards and enforcement. So
much that quality control, like privacy policy, is a publicity gambit not
the actual performance.

In the architecture and engineering design fields the growing influence
of publicity over genuine quality is endemic, as seen in the giant
compensation of CEOs, stars and award winners, whose main role
is to garner commissions, loveshack clients, lecture and media
headtalk,underwrite ghost-written philosophies of "public interest"
approaches to the healthy, safe and well-being of the physical
environment. Not alone are politicos, university and hospital
and social service and spy heads are reaping the benefits of
press relations offices essential to fabricate celebrity as
top produce.

A corollary is the increasing short life span of the newly built
environment, so short, repairs are necessary well before completion
and continue for the diminished period of durability promised by
the rainmakers and quality assurance teams. Repair and
maintenance are giant industries to patch what designers
and builders (writers,editors and publishers) no longer do as
well as advertised and publicized. Instead, as problems
arise, the budgets for legal and PR defenses are kicked
in, which in turn have become giant industries aided and
abetted by giant judicial and penal systems.

The biggest beneficiary of diminished quality and greater
publicity is the insurance industry. About 27% of the cost
of construction is for insurance for all the parties involved,
much of it aimed at those blame shifting among the
parties. Nobody completes work, profit is taken instead.
The await claimants of the killed and injured by shoddy
design and work, gambling that failures will be excused
as "standards of the industry," acts of god, or caused
by someone with more insurance, worse lawyers and
less adapt public relations. Civil courts are jammed
with years long waits while miscreants remain well
ahead of injustice actuaries being deliberately slowed
by SEC, DoJ, SCOTUS, FISC and the hundreds of
state, municipal and arbitration featherbed institutions
where office tenure assures snails prevail.

Still, fixing things, physical and intellectual, is an ancient
practice. Standards are meant to be ignored after garnering
attention. Repair and maintenance are the premier usefulness
of all of use, along with finding fault, fingerpointing, ridiculing
pretention, attacking celebrity while angling for it usually by
artful disavowal.

In Germany the "Culture of Repair" has received attention,
and has promise to counter the abysmal record of the new
(especially news media) if it is not overtaken by the
cocaine of publicity, melodramatizing never-ending war,
terrorism and ISIS wannabes pushing an imaginary glorious
ancient religion of perfection, so perfect it appears written
by ANSI to curate embalming the never-rotting lilies of
Cezanne and comparable of entablature incisions (adverts
mandatory in recycled historicist piles as with the rollcall
of donors along the Metropolitan's stairway, the gyp board
printed stars of the New Museum, no gyp board pun please).

MOMA Big Art lilies and literary Masterpiece Theaters,
prefaced by names of donors, Debbie and Mel, Koch
and Soros, Nobel and Booker, Pritzker and Pulitzer,
Snowden and Manning, Greenwald and Morozov,
Omidyar and Bezos, this is it, publicity is our secular
faith, don't defy it except to get more of it as precursed
by runts on top of giants.

But do watch for falling buildings and infrastructure
(World Trade Center), terrorists, disease, backstabbing,
rep bashing, tenure dying on the vine, and treachery of
pulp intellectualism (as if there were any other).

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