Thursday, 6 September 2012

doctor pangloss, I presume

The ever engrossing and a sure bet for a good take-away to ruminate on, Boing Boing, recently presented two brief and chilling tracts about the echo chamber of communication and some dismal reflections on the realities draped by economic cheerleading. Boy, this was some bleak stuff, presented in a way that was hard to refute or not be disheartened.

Both made some arresting assertions that only seemed truer on dissection, memorable and ready to be unpacked or walked back like the collection of pensรฉes. Without being shrill or dogmatic, the first article offered the axiom that one's smart phone is basically a tracking device that allows one to place calls. I only ever use that app that allows one to hear and speak to people over any given distance and that other app that allows one to see the time of day, but the interview goes on to illustrate what systems are already in place to limn a complete dossier of anyone and how the idea that one has nothing to hide is smug and irresponsible, since communications are interconnected and false assumptions are made and errant words can unintentionally become artillery for anyone in our network. The second article is a virtual bucket-list of 21 facts from economist Ian Welsh that bespeak trembling and revolution. Among other truths, austerity is defined as the opportunity for venture-capitalists to acquire assets usually not up for sale, that wage-earners are beholden to the company store and are unlikely to escape (although that disbelief is what sustains even the worst of markets) and that resistance is futile for those regimes who would dare oppose the conditions levied on the public by corporate interests. Both are definitely worth the read, despite the discomfort and disillusion that may result.