Notes from the Library

Mon, 21 Jul 2014

Philosophers who work outside of academia | New APPS (part 1 of 3)

I can't see how they can be happy being part of the corporate machine. Only one of them has a first sector job. Their work might be fun but is that really enough to distract them from the soul-crushing reality of the meaninglessness of most corporate toil? Moreover, why are they willing to be so distracted?

Anyone who works with computers learns to fear their capacity to forget. … [M]emory is strictly binary. There is either perfect recall or total oblivion, with nothing in between.

[…]

The offline world works like it always has. I saw many of you talking yesterday between sessions; I bet none of you has a verbatim transcript of those conversations. If you do, then I bet the people you were talking to would find that extremely creepy.

[…]

The online world is very different. Online, everything is recorded by default, and you may not know where or by whom. If you've ever wondered why Facebook is such a joyless place, even though we've theoretically surrounded ourselves with friends and loved ones, it's because of this need to constantly be wearing our public face. Facebook is about as much fun as a zoning board hearing.

(source)

Did North Korea Kidnap an American Hiker? | Outside Online

With Chinese complicity.

On Self-Respect by Joan Didion

Noam Chomsky: America’s corporate doctrine of power a grave threat to humanity | Salon (original)

Chomsky argues that corporate interests dictate US foreign policy in a very strong sense. It is not that corporate and humanitarian interests unite behind international action, but that any humanitarian story is purely to keep the citizenry quiet. Presumably this is true of other great powers, and it's only because the US is the world's only superpower that historically significant interventions in the name of corporations are almost always down to the US.

He tries to link this to Snowden's revelations. That part is less convincing.

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