Everyday HybridityDr Paul O'Connor
"We already have - thanks to technology, development, skills, the efficiency of our work - enough resources to satisfy all human needs. But we don’t have enough resources, and we are unlikely ever to have, to satisfy human greed.
— Zygmunt Bauman"
"His acts provided a factual foundation to our suspicions of being monitored and controlled – their lesson is global, reaching far beyond the standard US-bashing. We didn’t really learn from Snowden (or Manning) anything we didn’t already presume to be true. But it is one thing to know it in general, another to get concrete data. It is a little like knowing that one’s sexual partner is playing around – one can accept the abstract knowledge, but pain arises when one gets the steamy details, pictures of what they were doing …"
An interesting opinion piece about recent events. He makes many key points, highlighting not so much the surprise, but the humiliation of proof surrounding global surveillance. The embarrassment he duly notes is both that of the surveillor and the surveilled.
Zizek rounds of his commentary by calling for a global network to respond to the likes of Snowden, rather than the stand-off played out between the U.S. and Russia in this particular case. It responds to broader issues of globalization. As Bauman notes we find people seeking local solutions to globally generated problems. It seems the next step, and it is both unclear and precarious, is finding global solutions, to local problems, with global origins.
"The key message is that through our fears of being left out and excluded, we have gleefully taken the responsibility of our own monitoring—always available, always able to be monitored. Perhaps the more subtle theme of the book is that we, too, whilst being watched, are also always watching."
I just finished submitting my review of the Bauman and Lyon book for CSR. I thought I would include these final comments here as they are just so topical in the light of the Snowden affair and continued revelations of the U.S. and U.K. government, and NSA.
One thing I mention in the review is that the book doesn’t talk a great deal about how the same technologies are being used to cast critique back at, and undermine, governments, businesses, and individuals that are doing the surveillance. This has been picked up nicely in Cyborgology with the humorous subversion of online surveillance. The ludic tweets they note, force the issue that although we remain complicit in using these technologies, we also know what is going on. Resistance through play, like Axel Foley and the Banana in the tailpipe!
"The messages addressed from the sites of political power to the resourceful and the hapless alike present ‘more flexibility’ as the sole cure for an already unbearable insecurity - and so paint the prospect of yet more uncertainty, yet more privatization of troubles, yet more loneliness and impotence, and indeed more uncertainty still. They preclude the possibility of existential security which rests on collective foundations and so offer no inducement to solidary actions; instead, they encourage their listeners to focus on their individual survival in the style of ‘everyone for himself, and the devil take the hindmost’ - in an incurably fragmented and atomized, and so increasingly uncertain and unpredictable world."
"Our lives, whether we know it or not and whether we relish the fact or bewail it, are works of art."
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