petej + culture   1510

Post-Authenticity and the Ironic Truths of Meme Culture
What I’ve sought to argue in this essay, then, is that we are indeed living in an a strange, surface-centric moment in popular, digital culture right now — where the original ‘essence of things’ has indeed become somewhat unfashionable (or just less entertaining). Social and media technologies, optimised for the diffusion of highly emotive, reaction-generating content, encourage a rapid trade in attention-grabbing ideas, over slower-burning systematic, contextualised thinking.

Yet, even as ‘authenticity’ as a claim and as an aesthetic feels outdated, deeper forms of ‘realness’ in our communications still persist. People are still seeking to communicate their deepest personal truths: their values, hopes and fears with each other. Through sharing media, we’re still creating community.

Nonetheless, the kind of truth in play is changing form: emotional and moral truths are in ascendance over straightforwardly factual claims. Truth becomes plural, and thereby highly contested: global warming, 9/11, or Obama’s birthplace are all treated as matters of cultural allegiance over ‘fact’ as traditionally understood. “By my reckoning, the solidly reality-based are a minority, maybe a third of us but almost certainly fewer than half,” Kurt Andersen posits. Electorates in the US and Europe are polarising along value-driven lines — order and authority vs. openness and change. Building the coalitions of support needed to tackle the grand challenges we face this century will require a profound upgrade to our political and cultural leaders’ empathic and reconciliation skills.
Internet  news  media  misinformation  fakeNews  communication  TrumpDonald  PetersonJordan  boyddanah  trust  truth  authenticity  technology  fashion  culture  post-authenticity  identity  digitalIdentity  performance  stress  anxiety  competition  socialMedia  youth  memes  dctagged  dc:creator=OwensJay 
april 2018 by petej
No Alternative — Real Life
"Online interactivity has been limited to a few large sites oriented toward advertising and shopping. Scrolling through your feed — the word itself conjures a pig’s trough — feels more like flipping through channels than surfing the web of yore. What once seemed like the birth of an interactive and participatory new media environment has shifted to an ostensibly more consumer-friendly (and more scrutinized) method of watching television, and today’s cultural critics, rather than condemn television, help us use our high-speed connections to select which shows to “binge” on."

"But the rush back into the arms of establishment media seems like another kind of problem. It speaks to another simple solution, that the solution to Trump’s careening demagoguery is a return to the neoliberal technocracy and its officially sanctioned ideologies. It is a desire for a narrower world where corporations promise to, once again, produce a stable sense of shared reality through mass culture. If the world cannot be better, it can at least be predictable, the way television was. The new alternative is no alternative, again."
Internet  culture  subcultures  alternative  subsumption  irony  irreverence  transgression  consumerism  socialMedia  identity  control  alt-right  fakeNews  misinformation  media  newspapers  NewYorkTimes  WashingtonPost 
january 2018 by petej
Silicon Valley Is Turning Into Its Own Worst Fear
There’s a saying, popularized by Fredric Jameson, that it’s easier to imagine the end of the world than to imagine the end of capitalism. It’s no surprise that Silicon Valley capitalists don’t want to think about capitalism ending. What’s unexpected is that the way they envision the world ending is through a form of unchecked capitalism, disguised as a superintelligent AI. They have unconsciously created a devil in their own image, a boogeyman whose excesses are precisely their own.

Which brings us back to the importance of insight. Sometimes insight arises spontaneously, but many times it doesn’t. People often get carried away in pursuit of some goal, and they may not realize it until it’s pointed out to them, either by their friends and family or by their therapists. Listening to wake-up calls of this sort is considered a sign of mental health.

We need for the machines to wake up, not in the sense of computers becoming self-aware, but in the sense of corporations recognizing the consequences of their behavior. Just as a superintelligent AI ought to realize that covering the planet in strawberry fields isn’t actually in its or anyone else’s best interests, companies in Silicon Valley need to realize that increasing market share isn’t a good reason to ignore all other considerations. Individuals often reevaluate their priorities after experiencing a personal wake-up call. What we need is for companies to do the same — not to abandon capitalism completely, just to rethink the way they practice it. We need them to behave better than the AIs they fear and demonstrate a capacity for insight.
SiliconValley  technology  artificialIntelligence  culture  capitalism  hubris  regulation  libertarianism 
december 2017 by petej
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