Listening to the Trash Future team describe CulturePulse.ai and the digital twin profile created for entire populations seems very very reminiscent of “The Red Men” by Matthew de Abaitua which didn’t get the attention it deserved but was quite prescient.
https://trashfuturepodcast.podbean.com/e/waltz-with-the-sims/ (minute 23 and on)
Elements from the book such as the corporation known as “Monad” (!) and robotic public service utilities called “Dr. Easy” are looking back from our current hellscape period a bit too on the nose.
See Dr. Easy act in this short film: https://vimeo.com/68368877
Given the current developments around the German debt brake, I think it’s good to refer to this bit about German financial politics and Adam Tooze’s initial prediction (FT, Zeit) that Christian Lindner as finance minister would not be good.
Fragment from around 45:00 clipped below:
“We got quite a lot of shit for doing that actually. Not entirely popular with my German colleagues. ‘Nicht zum Volkskörper zugehörig’ is a phrase that was used. ‘Wie trauen sie sich ein solches Urteil zu.’ Not belonging to the body politic of Germany. How dare you make a judgement like that. We don’t have any reason to regret it. We were clearly right.
I don’t think about the Roman Empire that much, but when I do it’s great to have it be because of Mary Beard who in this podcast (from the mark) talks about Zuckerberg’s fascination with August and how leadership then and now has not changed that much.
I can stop thinking about the Roman Empire, but this piece that draws an analogy between the Fall of the Romans and the End of Twitter is long overdue to be shared and still really good.
Over at twitter this dance was happening but with weirdo right wingers. They were always mad because no one likes them because they are hateful, stupid, and have absolutely no rizz. Because they only know other weirdo right wingers IRL, however, they were convinced that there was some sort of nefarious plot to dunk on them online and they wanted to know when Twitter would acknowledge them, the biggest victims known to man. At the head of this was, of course, your man there Elon who is mad that he isn’t funny. He became convinced that there was an army of bots or something making fun of him and he demanded to know why twitter was letting people be mean to him. “You say that you want weirdo right wingers to be on this site and yet! You allow people to be very mildly mean to them!!!!! Even when they are the richest man on the planet! So much for free speech, etc.” Anyway, he accidentally got forced to buy twitter for too much money because he is quite stupid, and now here we are.
It’s hard to believe that it’s going to cost €1.6B for Germany to hook up ChatGPT to their beloved fax machines.
Life before there were mobile phones and internet was really totally different and simple and laid back. I got a bit of this but I think I got my first iBook during university and my first iPhone shortly after I got out of university.
Tooze talking for five minutes about the difference between European and American academic traditions. Excuse the low quality but my WordPress has a 2MB file limit.
That is what we were training people to do to write essays which had powerful attack, big full body and a conclusive finish and ideally you’d have a student who could make a whole bouquet of different essays across 5-6 exam papers, 3 essays per paper, 15 different essays and what you would want is a student who could really modulate across that range of essay writing types.
And another one:
The formula of British economics, French politics and German philosophy is the tried formula for making Marxists and that’s basically —though that’s not my politics— that’s basically the frame within which I understand comprehensive intellectual engagement with modernity. It requires those three elements:
You need to have a sophisticated political grip
You need to have a philosophy of history which in the German sense of course comes from Hegel
You have to understand capitalism otherwise you’re stuck