biopower   39

Keene plans to stay green at solid waste facility | New Hampshire
City councilors on the finance, organization and personnel committee recommended a biofuel generator to replace the methane gas generator that now powers Keene’s solid waste facility.
UnionLeader  generation  Biopower  solararray  keene 
november 2016 by eversourcenh
Foucault: Critical Theory of the Police in a Neoliberal Age | Andrew Johnson -
Abstract: In Discipline and Punish the police is a state institution isomorphic with the prison. In his Collège de France lectures, Foucault unearths a ‘secret history of the police’ where greater attention is paid to public health, social welfare and regulating the marketplace than investigating and arresting criminals. This broad overview of Foucault’s writings on the police exhibits a‘splintering-effect’ in his modalities of power. To resolve this apparent contradiction, a nominalist reading that conflates Foucault’s divergent paradigms of  power results in a more multifaceted history and a ubiquitous mode of power with diverse and precise techniques. There are strengths and weaknesses in Foucault’s theory when applied to modern neoliberal police. Foucault should not be employed for one-dimensional criticisms of modern police or as an analytical cure-all.
biopower  discipline  Foucault  governmentality  neoliberalism  police 
may 2016 by aljavieera
Birth of Thanaticism | Public Seminar
"I don’t know why we still call it capitalism. It seems to be some sort of failure or blockage of the poetic function of critical thought.

Even its adherents have no problem calling it capitalism any more. Its critics seem to be reduced to adding modifiers to it: postfordist, neoliberal, or the rather charmingly optimistic ‘late’ capitalism. A bittersweet term, that one, as capitalism seems destined to outlive us all.

I awoke from a dream with the notion that it might make more sense to call it thanatism, after Thanatos, son of Nyx (night) and Erebos(darkness), twin of Hypnos (sleep), as Homer and Hesiod seem more or less to agree.

I tried thanatism out on twitter, where Jennifer Mills wrote: “yeah, I think we have something more enthusiastically suicidal. Thanaticism?”

That seems like a handy word. Thanaticism: like a fanaticism, a gleeful, overly enthusiastic will to death. The slight echo of Thatcherism is useful also.

Thanaticism: a social order which subordinates the production of use values to the production of exchange value, to the point that the production of exchange value threatens to extinguish the conditions of existence of use value. That might do as a first approximation.

Bill McKibben has suggested that climate scientists should go on strike. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its 2013 report recently. It basically says what the last one said, with a bit more evidence, more detail, and worse projections. And still nothing much seems to be happening to stop Thanaticism. Why issue another report? It is not the science, it’s the political science that’s failed. Or maybe the political economy.

In the same week, BP quietly signaled their intention to fully exploit the carbon deposits to which it owns the rights. A large part of the value of the company, after all, is the value of those rights. To not dig or suck or frack carbon out of the ground for fuel would be suicide for the company, and yet to turn it all into fuel and have that fuel burned, releasing the carbon into the air, puts the climate into a truly dangerous zone.

But that can’t stand in the way of the production of exchange value. Exchange value has to unreel its own inner logic to the end: to mass extinction. The tail that is capital is wagging the dog that is earth.

Perhaps its no accident that the privatization of space appears on the horizon as an investment opportunity at just this moment when earth is going to the dogs. The ruling class must know it is presiding over the depletion of the earth. So they are dreaming of space-hotels. They want to not be touched by this, but to still have excellent views.

It makes perfect sense that in these times agencies like the NSA are basically spying on everybody. The ruling class must know that they are the enemies now of our entire species. They are traitors to our species being. So not surprisingly they are panicky and paranoid. They imagine we’re all out to get them.

And so the state becomes an agent of generalized surveillance and armed force for the defense of property. The role of the state is no longer managing biopower. It cares less and less about the wellbeing of populations. Life is a threat to capital and has to be treated as such.

The role of the state is not to manage biopower but to manage thanopower. From whom is the maintenance of life to be withdrawn first? Which populations should fester and die off? First, those of no use as labor or consumers, and who have ceased already to be physically and mentally fit for the armed forces.

Much of these populations can no longer vote. They may shortly loose food stamps and other biopolitical support regimes. Only those willing and able to defend death to the death will have a right to live.

And that’s just in the over-developed world. Hundreds of millions now live in danger of rising seas, desertification and other metabolic rifts. Everyone knows this: those populations are henceforth to be treated as expendable.

Everybody knows things can’t go on as they are. Its obvious. Nobody likes to think about it too much. We all like our distractions. We’ll all take the click-bait. But really, everybody knows. There’s a good living to be made in the service of death, however. Any hint of an excuse for thanaticism as a way of life is heaped with Niagras of praise.

We no longer have public intellectuals; we have public idiots. Anybody with a story or a ‘game-changing’ idea can have some screen time, so long as it either deflects attention from thanaticism, or better – justifies it. Even the best of this era’s public idiots come off like used car salesmen. It is not a great age for the rhetorical arts.

It is clear that the university as we know it has to go. The sciences, social sciences and the humanities, each in their own ways, were dedicated to the struggle for knowledge. But it is hard to avoid the conclusion, no matter what one’s discipline, that the reigning order is a kind of thanatcisim.

The best traditional knowledge disciplines can do is to focus in tightly on some small, subsidiary problem, to just avoid the big picture and look at some detail. That no longer suffices. Traditional forms of knowledge production, which focus on minor or subsidiary kinds of knowledge are still too dangerous. All of them start to discover the traces of thanaticism at work.

So the university mast be destroyed. In its place, a celebration of all kinds of non-knowledge. Whole new disciplines are emerging, such as the inhumanities and the antisocial sciences. Their object is not the problem of the human or the social. Their object is thanaticism, its description and justification. We are to identify with, and celebrate, that which is inimical to life. Such an implausible and dysfunctional belief system can only succeed by abolishing its rivals.

All of which could be depressing. But depression is a subsidiary aspect of thanaticism. You are supposed to be depressed, and you are supposed to think that’s your individual failing or problem. Your bright illusory fantasy-world is ripped away from you, and the thanatic reality is bared – you are supposed to think its your fault. You have failed to believe. See a shrink. Take some drugs. Do some retail therapy.

Thanaticism also tries to incorporate those who doubt its rule with a make-over of their critique as new iterations of thatatic production. Buy a hybrid car! Do the recycling! No, do it properly! Separate that shit! Again, its reduced to personal virtue and responsibility. Its your fault that thanaticism wants to destroy the world. Its your fault as a consumer, and yet you have not choice but to consume.

“We later civilizations… know too that we are mortal,” Valery said in 1919. At that moment, after the most vicious and useless war hitherto, such a thing could appear with some clarity. But we lost that clarity. And so: a modest proposal. Let’s at least name the thing after its primary attribute.

This is the era of the rule of thanaticism: the mode of production of non-life. Wake me when its over."
capital  capitalism  porperty  well-being  2015  mckenziewark  civilization  society  consumerism  death  thanaticism  latecapitalism  neoliberalism  thanatos  jennifermills  thatcherism  billmckibben  climatechange  economics  politics  politicaleconomy  exchangevalue  privatization  space  biopower  thanopower  gamechanging  socialscience  knowledge  disciplines  non-knowledge  humanities  universities  highered  highereducation 
october 2015 by robertogreco
Mayor's Report/Aug. 2015 - Berlin Daily Sun
The PILT agreement between the city and Burgess BioPower calls for increasing payments every year for the next 18 years. With Jericho Wind Power starting to pay taxes next year, we will be able to pay for this huge project without raising taxes to make the bond payments. In fact, if you look at all the work we've done within the city the last two years, most of the revenues have come from Burgess Biopower. We are very fortunate that the voters some years ago supported those of us who had the vision and the courage to build a better Berlin. We aren't close to being finished, but where would we be without the $1.3 million that Burgess is paying all city departments this year alone!
berlindailysun  paulgrenier  berlin  Burgess  biomass  Biopower  jericomountain 
september 2015 by eversourcenh
Court issues default judgment against Laidlaw - Berlin Daily Sun
The owner of the Burgess BioPower plant has won a $140,000 default judgment against Laidlaw Biopower and CEO Michael Bartoszek. Judge Andrea Johnstone, of U.S. District Court in New Hampshire, also awarded Newco Energy/Berlin Station interest and legal costs.
berlindailysun  lawsuit  Burgess  Biopower  biomass 
november 2014 by eversourcenh
In Berlin, biopower plant adds up to jobs |
With eight contractors working on the various parts of the $275 million project, employment at the site is up to 225 workers, including management. That number, according to site manager Carl Belanger, should get up to 300 in August. Union Leader 7/9/2012
Biopower  industry  from delicious
july 2012 by eversourcenh
5% of Burgess Biopower project is done
5% of Burgess Biopower project is done pg1
Berlin Reporter 02/15/2012
NPT  Biopower  from delicious
february 2012 by eversourcenh
Details of Oct. 6 Berlin Station ground-break released
Details of Oct. 6 Berlin Station ground-break released. Front page
PSNH analyzing optionsto restore Smith Hydro Page A8
The Berlin Reporter, September 28, 2011
Biopower  hydro  from delicious
september 2011 by eversourcenh
The Associated Press: Bachmann criticizes black farmer settlement
Racism: M. Bachmann on black farmers exemplifies Foucault's #biopower notion i.e. 'The 'Others' took what's yours'
biopower  race  racism 
july 2011 by aljavieera
biopower seminar
ucsb grad seminar on biopower
foucault  biopower 
july 2011 by aprildurham
Peak Energy: Biomimicry: Are Humans Smarter Than Sea Sponges ?
most comprehensive article/blog that summarizes all about biomimicry, including examples and diagrams
biopower  biomimicry  energy  termites  termite_mounds  sea_sponges  solar_energy  solar  wind  turbine  whales  cradle_to_cradle  fans  diagrams  images 
october 2010 by alivingarchitecture
"Neuroscience, power and culture": a special issue of History of the Human Sciences
As noted in the excellent H-Madness blog, the most recent issue of History of the Human Sciences is guest edited by Scott Vrecko and devoted to “Neuroscience, Power and Culture,”—a set of issues that we often cover on Somatosphere.  The contributors include a number of current and former members of LSE’s BIOS research center. 

Here are the titles and abstracts of the articles:

Scott Vrecko, Neuroscience, power and culture: an introduction

In line with their vast expansion over the last few decades, the brain sciences — including neurobiology, psychopharmacology, biological psychiatry, and brain imaging — are becoming increasingly prominent in a variety of cultural formations, from self-help guides and the arts to advertising and public health programmes. This article, which introduces the special issue of History of the Human Science on ‘Neuroscience, Power and Culture’, considers the ways that social and historical research can, through empirical investigations grounded in the observation of what is actually happening and has already happened in the sciences of mind and brain, complement speculative discussions of the possible social implications of neuroscience that now appear regularly in the media and in philosophical bioethics. It suggests that the neurosciences are best understood in terms of their lineage within the ‘psy’-disciplines, and that, accordingly, our analyses of them will be strengthened by drawing on existing literatures on the history and politics of psychology — particularly those that analyze formations of knowledge, power and subjectivity associated with the discipline and its practical applications. Additionally, it argues against taking today’s neuroscientific facts and brain-targetting technologies as starting points for analysis, and for greater recognition of the ways that these are shaped by historical, cultural and political-economic forces.
Joelle M. Abi-Rached and Nikolas Rose, The birth of the neuromolecular gaze

The aim of this article is (1) to investigate the ‘neurosciences’ as an object of study for historical and genealogical approaches and (2) to characterize what we identify as a particular ‘style of thought’ that consolidated with the birth of this new thought community and that we term the ‘neuromolecular gaze’. This article argues that while there is a long history of research on the brain, the neurosciences formed in the 1960s, in a socio-historical context characterized by political change, faith in scientific and technological progress, and the rise of a molecular gaze in the life sciences. They flourished in part because these epistemological and technological developments were accompanied by multiple projects of institution-building. An array of stakeholders was mobilized around the belief that breakthroughs in understanding the brain were not only crucial, they were possible by means of collaborative efforts, cross-disciplinary approaches and the use of a predominantly reductionist neuromolecular method. The first part of the article considers some of the different approaches that have been adopted to writing the history of the brain sciences. After a brief outline of our own approach, the second part of the article uses this in a preliminary exploration of the birth of the neurosciences in three contexts. We conclude by arguing that the 1960s constitute an important ‘break’ in the long path of the history of the brain sciences that needs further analysis. We believe this epistemological shift we term the ‘neuromolecular gaze’ will shape the future intellectual development and social role of the neurosciences.
Nicolas Langlitz, The persistence of the subjective in neuropsychopharmacology: observations of contemporary hallucinogen research

The elimination of subjectivity through brain research and the replacement of so-called ‘folk psychology’ by a neuroscientifically enlightened worldview and self-conception has been both hoped for and feared. But this cultural revolution is still pending. Based on nine months of fieldwork on the revival of hallucinogen research since the ‘Decade of the Brain,’ this paper examines how subjective experience appears as epistemic object and practical problem in a psychopharmacological laboratory. In the quest for neural correlates of (drug-induced altered states of) consciousness, introspective accounts of test subjects play a crucial role in neuroimaging studies. Firsthand knowledge of the drugs’ flamboyant effects provides researchers with a personal knowledge not communicated in scientific publications, but key to the conduct of their experiments. In many cases, the ‘psychedelic experience’ draws scientists into the field and continues to inspire their self-image and way of life. By exploring these domains the paper points to a persistence of the subjective in contemporary neuropsychopharmacology.
Linsey McGoey, Profitable failure: antidepressant drugs and the triumph of flawed experiments

Drawing on an analysis of Irving Kirsch and colleagues’ controversial 2008 article in  PLoS [Public Library of Science] Medicine on the efficacy of SSRI antidepressant drugs such as Prozac, I examine flaws within the methodologies of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that have made it difficult for regulators, clinicians and patients to determine the therapeutic value of this class of drug. I then argue, drawing analogies to work by Pierre Bourdieu and Michael Power, that it is the very limitations of RCTs — their inadequacies in producing reliable evidence of clinical effects — that help to strengthen assumptions of their superiority as methodological tools. Finally, I suggest that the case of RCTs helps to explore the question of why failure is often useful in consolidating the authority of those who have presided over that failure, and why systems widely recognized to be ineffective tend to assume greater authority at the very moment when people speak of their malfunction.
Nikolas Rose, ‘Screen and intervene’: governing risky brains
This article argues that a new diagram is emerging in the criminal justice system as it encounters developments in the neurosciences. This does not take the form that concerns many ‘neuroethicists’ — it does not entail a challenge to doctrines of free will and the notion of the autonomous legal subject — but is developing around the themes of susceptibility, risk, pre-emption and precaution. I term this diagram ‘screen and intervene’ and in this article I attempt to trace out this new configuration and consider some of the consequences.
Jonna Brenninkmeijer, Taking care of one’s brain: how manipulating the brain changes people’s selves
The increasing attention to the brain in science and the media, and people’s continuing quest for a better life, have resulted in a successful self-help industry for brain enhancement. Apart from brain books, foods and games, there are several devices on the market that people can use to stimulate their brains and become happier, healthier or more successful. People can, for example, switch their brain state into relaxation or concentration with a light-and-sound machine, they can train their brainwaves to cure their Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or solve their sleeping problems with a neurofeedback device, or they can influence the firing of their neurons with electric or magnetic stimulation to overcome their depression and anxieties. Working on your self with a brain device can be seen as a contemporary form of Michel Foucault’s ‘technologies of the self’. Foucault described how since antiquity people had used techniques such as reading manuscripts, listening to teachers, or saying prayers to ‘act on their selves’ and control their own thoughts and behaviours. Different techniques, Foucault stated, are based on different precepts and constitute different selves. I follow Foucault by stating that using a brain device for self-improvement indeed constitutes a new self. Drawing on interviews with users of brain devices and observations of the practices in brain clinics, I analyse how a new self takes shape in the use of brain devices; not a monistic (neuroscientific) self, but a ‘layered’ self of all kinds of entities that exchange and control each other continuously.
Scientific_Research  Pharma  Neuroscience  Foucault  Psychiatry  Bioethics  Biopower  Risk  from google
march 2010 by neuromusic

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