Nature is not natural and can never be naturalized — Graham Harman

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Greece: NO is better by far than YES

One of the great risks if the Greek public votes yes — that is, votes to accept the demands of the creditors, and hence repudiates the Greek government’s position and probably brings the government down — is that it will empower and encourage the architects of European failure. The creditors will have demonstrated their strength, their ability to humiliate anyone who challenges demands for austerity without end. And they will continue to claim that imposing mass unemployment is the only responsible course of action.

What if Greece votes no? This will lead to scary, unknown terrain. Greece might well leave the euro, which would be hugely disruptive in the short run. But it will also offer Greece itself a chance for real recovery. And it will serve as a salutary shock to the complacency of Europe’s elites.

Or to put it a bit differently, it’s reasonable to fear the consequences of a “no” vote, because nobody knows what would come next. But you should be even more afraid of the consequences of a “yes,” because in that case we do know what comes next — more austerity, more disasters and eventually a crisis much worse than anything we’ve seen so far. --- Paul Krugman

Friday, July 3, 2015

The Fish

Not ready to talk about this yet.


"We Don't Know What Percentage"

This is the new right wing tactic: "We don't know what percentage is caused by humans." Actually we do. Quite precisely.

Pretty much 100% of it. (Animated graph.)

"We don't know what percentage" buffs the "skeptical" image. The patina of an intelligent lack of certainty.

Just before this, it was "I'm no scientist," which appeals to anti-intellectualism ("I'm not one of those nerds") and effects humility.

What will it be next? Let's anticipate, defang, and prevent.


"Climate Change Skeptic"

Can we stop using this phrase to refer to denialists?

A skeptic is someone who doubts something. Not someone who doesn't believe in something.

Skepticism sounds clever (because it alludes to a philosophical position). Global warming denial is not clever.

"Skeptic" sounds like "I have read and assessed and evaluated and carefully parsed." Global warming denial doesn't read.


Thursday, July 2, 2015

...and at least the NSA is good for something

Like showing Merkel was aware that they were saddling Greece with absurd debt.

Stop This Austerity Nonsense

I'm glad it's not just me. How long does a zombie concept based on an error in an Excel file have to stagger on destroying everything in its path before we put a stop to it?

The Last Night

...and speaking of Campagna, if you haven't read this, then you might want to, a lot. It's so lucidly written, and it shares a lot with some of my more recent thoughts. If you look you'll see that there is a new, really well done way of writing left prose. I was blown away by Bifo's new book (pun not intended, oops).

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Suicide and Economics

...economics being how you organize your enjoyment. And if it's only organized anthropocentrically, you are limiting it already, right? Anyway, I had written that thing about what Juncker so insensitively said to Greece--given that the actual suicide rate has skyrocketed since “austerity” (which sounds so serious, like the way a sadist looks so serious). Anyway, I had literally just read a sentence or two in Bifo's book Heroes. Have you read it yet? It's really really nice. Anyway, Foxxconn--the factory where the Apple stuff etc. happens and where there is a very large number of suicides. The company tried to prevent the suicides by--guess what--cutting off compensation payments to the families. Their propaganda about it? “Life is precious”--aka you can't even kill yourself, your life is precious to us, we own you.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Key Lime Pie

Every book has a slice of something really delicious in it that when it finally enters you, just makes you feel so good. I just had that moment, and my next book is done, haha--I mean I haven't written it yet, but the key lime pie slice that is the basic “idea” (not even quite the right word, it involves a movement of emotion and a flavor) is there. Federico Campagna I'm looking at you :)

"Don't Commit Suicide [Greece] just because you are afraid of death [austerity]: Jean-Claude Juncker

“Instead, allow us to turn you into zombies.”

Why Greece Should Exit

To understand why I say this, you need to realize that most — not all, but most — of what you’ve heard about Greek profligacy and irresponsibility is false. Yes, the Greek government was spending beyond its means in the late 2000s. But since then it has repeatedly slashed spending and raised taxes. Government employment has fallen more than 25 percent, and pensions (which were indeed much too generous) have been cut sharply. If you add up all the austerity measures, they have been more than enough to eliminate the original deficit and turn it into a large surplus.

So why didn’t this happen? Because the Greek economy collapsed, largely as a result of those very austerity measures, dragging revenues down with it.

And this collapse, in turn, had a lot to do with the euro, which trapped Greece in an economic straitjacket. Cases of successful austerity, in which countries rein in deficits without bringing on a depression, typically involve large currency devaluations that make their exports more competitive. This is what happened, for example, in Canada in the 1990s, and to an important extent it’s what happened in Iceland more recently. But Greece, without its own currency, didn’t have that option. --Paul Krugman

In other words, stop the sadistic German death spiral now.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Please Leave the Euro Now, Greece

acceding to the troika’s ultimatum would represent the final abandonment of any pretense of Greek independence. Don’t be taken in by claims that troika officials are just technocrats explaining to the ignorant Greeks what must be done. These supposed technocrats are in fact fantasists who have disregarded everything we know about macroeconomics, and have been wrong every step of the way. This isn’t about analysis, it’s about power — the power of the creditors to pull the plug on the Greek economy, which persists as long as euro exit is considered unthinkable.
So it’s time to put an end to this unthinkability. Otherwise Greece will face endless austerity, and a depression with no hint of an end.
--Paul Krugman

Friday, June 26, 2015

Victor Mazón and Martin Howse

You just ripped it up, my friends, in Espacio X in back of the Cathedral here in Mexico City. Both in different ways were exercises in tuning electromagnetic waves, louder, louder, and louder, sounding out the objects in the room, and the room--one of those objects being us, the listeners, as the sound became more and more physical, giving up its pressure wave status onto the surfaces, and indeed beneath the surfaces, of one's body.

I have never seen a laser fired at a pile of dirt on a custom made tone generator before. I have never seen water poured on a laser fired at a pile of dirt on a custom made tone generator before. I have never seen a sparkler lit underneath a laser etc etc. Martin...

And Victor, the frog in the slowly boiling water. If I had detected that level of infrasound at that volume spontaneously, round a corner, I would not have gone around that corner. But somehow you kept me in the room as the volume went up and up.

Mind you--I'm quite well trained. I reckon we were up at about 110 decibels. My Bloody Valentine goes over 120 on a regular basis, and I'm pretty sure that midsection of “You Made Me Realise” hits about 130. People were throwing up, running out of the room, clutching their ears--and they were already wearing earplugs. The decibel scale is logarithmic, so 130 is way way more than 120. It's why I wrote this essay called “Beauty Is Death.”

Somehow I got that same feeling from Mazón's Subcutáneo. Death around the corner, quietly throbbing: physical disintegration not imminent but about to be looming, like realizing you are possibly falling towards a black hole that is still quite far off.

Howse's Substrate was an alchemical translation-interpretation of objects by objects by objects...a nonstop pile of resonating physicality. Wow.

Baffler, Pope, Morton

Thanks to those who found this and told me. I pay so very little attention to how my stuff is circulating so I'm really glad to find this interesting piece on the Pope's rather extraordinarily Franciscan encyclical. Somehow Ornette Coleman makes it in there, and that's interesting, because Björk had shared with me Derrida's interview of him to inspire us in the last few days of our project.

The Alpha Wolf: Another Human Projection

...and another reason to thank Cliff, purveyor of fine links.