Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Data-Driven Life - Foucault's Biopower

Excellent article by Gary Wolf which owes a great deal to Kevin Kelly's "Quantified Self" Foucault could see the deeper implications of our race to intimately know ourselves. To take control of our own data. We are being turned into the instruments of our own control.
Our entire lives are now being managed by ourselves, which seems good doesn't it. Government collates and quantifies citizens (biopolitics) but this extends beyond government, much as government hands most social infrastructure to private companies. Companies will increasingly demand our consent and contract for every civic provision. Our privacy and data for their services. While this wears a compelling face for the classic neoliberal subject with the illusion of individual mastery and freedom, this is nonetheless becoming compulsory. Foucault's Biopower in Deleuze's Societies of Control.
This also illustrates the 'irrationality of rationality' in Weber's 'iron cage of rationality'. Increasingly, we record our lives rather than living them.

ISTAS 2010 @ UOW - robotics, cyborgs, ethics

Wish I was there! University of Wollongong this week hosts the IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society. Keynote speakers include:

Professor Kevin Warwick "Cyborg 1.0, Cyborg 2.0 and the Future (Q&A)"

Dr Roger Clarke "The Challenge of Cyborg Rights"

Professor Gordon Wallace "Nanotechnology: Will it revolutionise health care?"

Professor John Weckert "In Defence of the Precautionary Principle"

Professor Rafael Capurro "Ethical Aspects of ICT Implants in the Human Body"

Dr Mark Gasson "Human Enhancement: Could you become infected with a computer virus?"

Amal Graafstra "Social-Technical Issues Facing the Humancentric RFID Implantee Sub-culture"

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Farewell Frontier : The Internet As a Western

Farewell Frontier for iPad                                                            

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Friday, June 4, 2010

The Bechdel Test for Women in Movies

Screenwriters: Think back over the scripts you’ve written, and ask yourself three questions about each one:

  1. Are there two or more female characters with names?
  2. Do they talk to each other?
  3. If they talk to each other, do they talk about something other than a man?

This is the Bechdel test, first articulated by cartoonist Alison Bechdel and amended by others over the years.1 You’d think it would be a very low bar to climb over. You’d be surprised.

As noted in the video, this doesn't indicate that a movie is bad or anti-feminist or anything, just that film has developed around formulae like these. Mind-blowing as you look through the list of films and think of others like it.

This is new to me - but i'm very glad to see it! Also very depressed about the results, but hey, let's look on the bright side. .. .. ..

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Clarke and Dawe on the US oil spill - Peter Black's Freedom to Differ

Center for a Stateless Society: Find Your Philosophy Quiz

Thanks for completing the quiz!

How you scored:

60% Economic Leftist(Economic Leftist / Economic Rightist)
3% Statist(Anarchist / Statist)
75% Anti-Militarist(Anti-Militarist / Militarist)
85% Socio-Cultural Liberal(Socio-Cultural Liberal / Socio-Cultural Conservative)
40% Civil Libertarian(Civil Libertarian / Civil Authoritarian)

Many quizzes designed to identify your ideological commitments are available online. We catalogued some of them in the announcement for this one. But most of them fail to distinguish among diverse kinds of positions — ones related to war and peace, economic freedom, society and culture, civil liberties, and state power. A single-axis ("left" vs. "right") categorization of people's beliefs obscures many important distinctions. But even two-axis charts, like The Political Compass and the one used to represent results on The World's Smallest Political Quiz lump clearly different kinds of positions together.

On-line political quizzes are particularly tough for anarchists: there's often no way to distinguish between believing that a given state of affairs is desirable and believing that someone should bring it about by force — say, using state power. Thus, the typical online quiz makes it impossible to distinguish between people who oppose particular goals and people who oppose using the state to achieve those goals.

The C4SS Find Your Philosophy Quiz is an experiment designed to help make the distinctions between views about goals and views about ways of reaching those goals more clear and to enable anarchists to understand and highlight both their similarities with and differences from statists who may be their allies, adversaries, or conversation-partners. It’s designed to help place you along five separate spectra: Economic Leftist/Economic Rightist; Civil Libertarian/Civil Authoritarian; Socio-Cultural Liberal/Socio-Cultural Conservative; Anti-Militarist/Pro-Militarist; and Anarchist/Statist. There are 106 questions here, which aim to do so with a fine degree of granularity.

The Quiz is a work in progress. We welcome your feedback, and we look forward to working with you to improve its value as an analytical and educational tool. This is version 1.0, and you can leave feedback in the comments on the quiz announcement post.

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Hmm. Might not be the best fit for the Center for a Stateless Society! My anarchism is a bit broke. It can be hard to separate what I'd like from what there is. Fun quiz though sometimes obviously framed. A real challenge to write otherwise though!

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