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"The End of Capitalism"
Lewis Lapham and Lynn Parramore
[This is the second installment of "The Influencers," a six-part interview series that Lynn Parramore, the editor of New Deal 2.0 and a media fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, is conducting for Salon. She talked to Lewis Lapham, the former longtime editor of Harper’s and the founder of Lapham’s Quarterly, about the nature of American-style capitalism — its beginning, its historical manifestation and, possibly, its end.
Q: Historically, what do you see as the dominant characteristics of America?
A: It’s faith in the spirit and mechanics and moral value of capitalism. It is a country of expectant millionaires. You have the notions of risk, of labor put to a productive use, deferred pleasure — ideas that come out of our Puritan ancestry. And Puritans, by the way, were also venture capitalists. The plantation in Plymouth, and then in Massachusetts Bay, was intended to bring money to its investors in London.
Capitalism is the promise — it’s the bet on the future. It’s the hope of a new beginning over the next ridge of mountains, around the next bend in the river. It gives the common man a chance. That’s in the Declaration of Independence: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The original wording was: life, liberty and property. But happiness and property were almost synonymous in the Calvinist mind!
Pirate Bay Down, Police Raids Across Europe
Police in up to 14 countries carried out raids against suspected
file-sharing servers this morning.
According to file-sharing news site TorrentFreak, the bulk of police
action seems to have taken place in Sweden.
Swedish Internet service provider ISP, which hosts both The Pirate Bay
and whistle-blowing site WikiLeaks, earlier denied rumours of a police
raid, saying that officers had visited them to ask questions over two
"There Is No Information, Only Transformation"
An Interview with Bruno Latour
By Geert Lovink and Pit Schultz
[From Hybrid Workspace, Documenta X, Kassel, August 16, 1997]
Bruno Latour (Paris) is a philosopher, specialized in the anthropology of
science and technology. He is a professor at the Centre of the Sociology
of Innovation at the l'Ecole Nationale Superieure des Mines de Paris.
He is called "one of today's most acute, if idiosyncratic, thinkers about
science and society." Amongst his books, published by Harvard University
Press, one can find "We have never been modern", "Aramis, or the love of
technology" and "The Pasteurization of France". His Documenta lecture can
be seen or heard at: http://www.mediaweb-tv.de/dx/0816/gaeste_frame.html
Geert Lovink: At the moment there are two concepts of the computer: an
abstract, computational machine, based on mathematics and language.
Opposed to this we have the future computer as an image processing device,
an interactive television set. How do look at this distinction between the
language based machine versus the image based medium?
Bruno Latour: I do not believe that computers are abstract. There is a very interesting article, 'On the Origin of Objects' by a computer philosopher called Brian Cantwell-Smith, in a book about digital print.
He made the comment that the fact that there is (either) 0 and (or) 1
has absolutely no connection with the abstractness. It is actually
very concrete, never 0 and 1 (at the same time). The distinction you
suggested is slightly misleading. The origin of this (distinction) is
lying in the notion of information. There is only transformation.
Information as something which will be carried through space and time,
without deformation, is a complete myth. People who deal with the
technology will actually use the practical notion of transformation. From
the same bytes, in terms of 'abstract encoding', the output you get is
entirely different, depending on the medium you use. Down with
information. It is a bad view on science and a bad rendering of
contemporary critique of images, all this fight against the
What’s Left: Materialist Responses to the Internet
Forum Building Digital Commons and Collaborative Communities
29th–30th October 2011, Barcelona, Catalonia & Online
Building Digital Commons and Collaborative Communities is a new initiative aiming to bring together individuals, collective and organizations from different Free and Open Collaborative Communities, Digital Commons Initiatives and Researchers in the area to identify ways to support and learn from each other and collaborate in order to promote together digital commons.
Swiss Author p.m. Introduces New Edition of His Anarchist Classic, "bolo'bolo"
7 PM Saturday, June 25, 2011
Bluestockings Bookstore, 172 Allen Street, New York City
The Swiss author p.m. will introduce the new "30th Anniversary Edition" of his anarchist classic text, "bolo'bolo," published by Autonomedia.
Art Gangs: Protest and Counterculture in New York City
Release party @ ABC No Rio // Tues May 17 6-8pm
ABC No Rio 156 Rivington Street
Art Gangs is a survey of several recent well known artists’ organizations in New York City which rose to prominence between 1969 and 1985, a period of political challenge and institutional change within the art world. In 1969 New York City artists formed the Art Workers Coalition to pressure the Museum of Modern Art for artists' rights and to take a stand against the Vietnam War. Over the next fifteen years, successor organizations continued political action on issues from cultural equity to U.S. foreign policy, and refined the modes of cultural activism. These groups developed new art exhibition spaces, new styles of exhibition, and collective ways of working. Today's diverse and politically conscious contemporary art world is deeply indebted to their example.