petej + choice   29

To Be, or Not to Be | by Masha Gessen | The New York Review of Books
But in speaking about immigrants we tend to privilege choicelessness much as we do when we are speaking about queer people or transgender people. We focus on the distinction between refugees and “economic migrants,” without asking why the fear of hunger and destitution qualifies as a lesser reason for migration than the fear of imprisonment or death by gunshot wound—and then only if that wound is inflicted for political or religious reasons. But even more than that, why do we assume that the more restricted a person’s choices have been, the more qualified they are to enter a country that proclaims freedom of personal choice to be one of its ideals?

Immigrants make a choice. The valor is not in remaining at risk for catching a bullet but in making the choice to avoid it. In the Soviet Union, most dissidents believed that if one were faced with the impossible choice between leaving the country and going to prison, one ought to choose exile. Less dramatically, the valor is in being able to experience your move less as an escape and more as an adventure. It is in serving as living reminders of the choicefulness of life—something that immigrants and most trans people do, whether their personal narratives are ones of choice or not.

I wish I could finish on a hopeful note, by saying something like: If only we insist on making choices, we will succeed in keeping darkness at bay. I’m not convinced that that’s the case. But I do think that making choices and, more important, imagining other, better choices, will give us the best chance possible of coming out of the darkness better than we were when we went in. It’s a bit like emigrating that way: the choice to leave rarely feels free, but choices we make about inhabiting new landscapes (or changed bodies) demand an imagination.
choice  migration  exile  transgender  refugees  immigration  dctagged  dc:creator=GessenMasha 
january 2018 by petej
The corruption of happiness | openDemocracy
Political hope must continue to lie in the idea that social and economic conditions are changeable, and, commensurately, that it is not up to us to tailor our minds, moods and bodies to circumstances which dominate us. The problem is that this argument can easily be bracketed as a form of idealism, which—in contrast to the advocates of 'talking cures'—doesn’t take everyday suffering seriously. The critique of positive psychology can end up being dismissed as a nonsensical defence of negativity.

The way to resist this is to insist on a political understanding of happiness and unhappiness, in which people are authorised to articulate and offer explanations for their feelings. This means understanding that some forms of unhappiness - such as a sense of injustice or anger - need hearing, not treating. This in turn requires careful nurturing and development of the institutions which facilitate voices to be heard. Happiness is welcome, but not if it requires people to "radically alter the way they are".
behaviour  happiness  neoliberalism  individualism  choice  management  psychology  politics  dctagged  dc:creator=DaviesWill 
may 2016 by petej
Evgeny Morozov | Don't believe the hype, the 'sharing economy' masks a failing economy | Comment is free | The Observer
"Given vast youth unemployment, stagnating incomes, and skyrocketing property prices, today's sharing economy functions as something of a magic wand. Those who already own something can survive by monetising their discomfort: for example, they can earn cash by occasionally renting out their apartments and staying with relatives instead. Those who own nothing, on the other hand, also get to occasionally enjoy a glimpse of the good life – built entirely on goods they do not own."
economy  sharing  technology  technoUtopianism  marketisation  commodification  cloudComputing  youth  unemployment  stagnation  politics  crisis  choice  dctagged  dc:creator=MorozovEvgeny  sharingEconomy 
october 2014 by petej
Join, or Die: Neoliberalism, Epistemontology, Social Harmony and the (Invisible) Invisible Hand - New APPS: Art, Politics, Philosophy, Science
"Join, or Die" seems to be far more indicative of the neoliberal imperative, shouted into the panopticon of our modern world and echoed off every wall by banks, political parties, corporations, families, nation-states, social groups and social media. I think it's consistent with James' Foucaultian-inspired insights to say that the post-9/11 neoliberal project determines even more than what Foucault conjectured contemporary notions of nation-state "sovereignty" determine. The sovereign nation-state determined "[who] to make live and [who] to let die," but neoliberal entities-- hardly ever nation-states anymore-- determine who to make live and who to make die. Because "living" is utterly unrecognizable except as an algorithmic variable by big neoliberal data, there is no "living" that is not "joining."

And there is no not-joining without dying.
neoliberalism  choice  markets  algorithms  JamesRobin  bigData  FoucaultMichel 
july 2014 by petej
Free to Choose A or B – The New Inquiry
"A/B testing, the method used in the mood-manipulation study, is a matter of slotting consumers into control groups without telling them and varying some key variables to see if it instigates sales or prompts some other profitable behavior. It is a way of harvesting users’ preferences as uncompensated market research. A/B testing enacts an obligation to choose by essentially choosing for you and tracking how you respond to your forced choice. It lays bare the phoniness of the rhetoric of consumer empowerment through customization — in the end companies like Facebook treat choice not as an expression of autonomy but as a product input that can be voluntary or forced, and the meaning of choice is not your pleasure but the company’s profit. If your preferences about Facebook’s interface compromise its profitability, you will be forced to make different choices and reap what “autonomy” you can from those.

That would seem to run against the neoliberal strategy of using subjects’ consciousness of “free” choice to control them. But as Laval and Dardot point out, “the expansion of evaluative technology as a disciplinary mode rests on the fact that the more individual calculators are supposed to be free to choose, the more they must be monitored and evaluated to obviate their fundamental opportunism and compel them to identify their interests with the organizations employing them.” Hopefully the revelation of the mood-manipulation study will remind everyone that Facebook employs its users in the guise of catering to them."
Facebook  socialMedia  manipulation  filtering  algorithms  communication  neoliberalism  choice  subjectivity  competition  power  control  unwagedLabour  unpaidLabour  digitalLabour  dctagged  dc:creator=HorningRob  research  experiment  unpaidWork 
july 2014 by petej
In the Name of Love | Jacobin
"Work becomes divided into two opposing classes: that which is lovable (creative, intellectual, socially prestigious) and that which is not (repetitive, unintellectual, undistinguished). Those in the lovable work camp are vastly more privileged in terms of wealth, social status, education, society’s racial biases, and political clout, while comprising a small minority of the workforce.

For those forced into unlovable work, it’s a different story. Under the DWYL credo, labor that is done out of motives or needs other than love (which is, in fact, most labor) is not only demeaned but erased. As in Jobs’ Stanford speech, unlovable but socially necessary work is banished from the spectrum of consciousness altogether."

"In masking the very exploitative mechanisms of labor that it fuels, DWYL is, in fact, the most perfect ideological tool of capitalism. It shunts aside the labor of others and disguises our own labor to ourselves. It hides the fact that if we acknowledged all of our work as work, we could set appropriate limits for it, demanding fair compensation and humane schedules that allow for family and leisure time.

And if we did that, more of us could get around to doing what it is we really love."
art  work  labour  love  DWYL  education  higherEducation  universities  academia  unpaidLabour  unpaidWork  unwagedLabour  Apple  JobsSteve  ideology  culture  privilege  elitism  precarity  creativity  class  overwork  postFordism  entrepreneurialism  individualism  choice  exploitation  lateCapitalism  dctagged  dc:creator=TokumitsuMiya 
april 2014 by petej
A PhD with your coffee? Barista serving your drink might be better educated than you are - Features - Health & Families - The Independent
"There is no more the concept of choice," she says. "When you find a position, you tend to stay there and be thankful that you found one. And that just isn't right."
Europe  UK  jobs  employment  recession  Spain  Greece  Portugal  youth  education  migrants  crisis  work  labour  choice  services  precarity  postFordism 
october 2013 by petej

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