Marcuse and ‘Technological Rationality’

As we move into an era of unchartered technological growth, it is helpful to revisit the theoretical framework of Herbert Marcuse, who posits that any debates around the organisation of technical resources must be prefaced with an acceptance that technology is simply the tool of ideology, whether established or revolutionary.  Born in Berlin in 1898, and […]

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Subversive Space: The Effectivity of Occupy Wall Street

To help contextualize the Gilets Jaunes protests in France, it is useful to return to an analysis of the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011 and the theories of Guy Debord and Henri Lefebvre to understand the effectivity of urban mobilizations that simplify the political space and creatively critique the dominant ideology.  The Occupy Wall […]

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3. Sights and Sounds of TWT 2018

In our third episode of The Special Relationship we review our trip to The World Transformed festival in Liverpool and consider how the sights and sounds of the conference highlighted the unique nature of the Corbyn movement. This podcast is still a work in progress. If you have any feedback or if you would like […]

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The Overton Window

‘The Overton Window’ is a concept named after its originator Joseph Overton, a former member of the US based free-market Think Tank the Mackinac Centre for Public Policy. It describes the acceptable parameters of public discourse within a particular society. Overton contended that the viability of a public policy depended on its position within or […]

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An Era of Mass Automation

A report from Price Waterhouse and Coopers (PWC) divides the impact of modern technology on the labour market into three distinct temporal sections. Firstly, the Algorithmic Wave, between our current moment and the ‘early 2020s’. This will see the ‘automation of simple computational tasks’ and will mainly impact ‘data-driven sectors such as financial services’ . […]

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The Jolly Roger

Marcus Rediker, in conversation with Fiona Jeffries in Nothing To Lose But Our Fear, deconstructs the symbolism behind the Jolly Roger pirate flag. The conventional narrative concerning the flag maintains that it was used to send: “a clear message: surrender or die. The symbolism worked. When the Jolly Roger went up, the men on the […]

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Are you living in a computer simulation?

In 2003 Nick Bostrom published a thought-provoking paper in Philosophical Quarterly entitled ‘Are you living in a computer simulation?’ The premise of the paper was that any one of the following statements must be correct. 1) the human species is very likely to go extinct before reaching a “posthuman” stage. 2) any posthuman civilisation is extremely unlikely […]

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