ESSAYS
  • THE INTERNET DIDN’T KILL COUNTERCULTURE—YOU JUST WON’T FIND IT ON INSTAGRAM (CAROLINE BUSTA)
  • To be truly countercultural in a time of tech hegemony, one has to, above all, betray the platform which may come in the form of betraying or divesting from your public online self.
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  • THE UMAMI THEORY OF VALUE: AUTOPSY OF THE EXPERIENCE ECONOMY (NEMESIS)
  • “Advanced consumers” became obsessed with umami and then ran around trying to collect ever-more-intensifying experiences of it. Things were getting more and more delicious, more and more expensive, and all the while, more and more immaterial. Umami is what you got when you didn’t get anything.
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  • SELF-DESIGN, OR PRODUCTIVE NARCISSISM (BORIS GROYS)
  • The desire of the other’s desire is permanently haunted by the possibility of mankind’s final disappearance—the physical death of human spectators after the metaphysical death of God.
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  • THE DOWNWARD SPIRAL: 2020 (DEAN KISSICK)
  • “What will I be when I grow up?" Trecartin´s character asked in 2007. "A production company.”
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  • SOCIAL LIVE (HANNAH BLACK)
  • ... structured by the demands of profit, violent, strange, funny, awful, beautiful, full of desire and the alienation of desire … everything that the world is. There is no technology, and there never will be a technology, that does anything more than mirror, reproduce and at most concentrate and intensify the social relations in which it was produced.
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    FEED
  • BIG TECH TURNS ITS LOBBYISTS LOOSE ON EUROPE, ALARMING REGULATORS (ADAM SATARIANO)
  • In Europe, the companies are spending more than ever, hiring former government officials, well-connected law firms and consulting firms. They funded dozens of think tanks and trade associations, endowed academic positions at top universities across the continent and helped publish industry-friendly research by other firms.
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  • ASTROTURFS OF OFFENSE - AGENCY OF SHIFTING UNCERTAIN SITUATIONS (NEW MODELS)
  • Levine argues that the modern fear is no longer one of crowds so much as the presence of people who haven’t yet surrendered their autonomy to a collective—or rather, those who have but to a collective directed by an outside force whose motivations are not publicly transparent (as in astroturfing). Complicating this is the fact that the people who comprise astroturfing efforts often do hold shared beliefs; what's perceived as egregious is that they are funded by veiled outside sources such as nonprofits or individual wealth.
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  • TURN ON, TUNE IN, COP OUT (STEVEN WARWICK)
  • As we watch world events unravel largely through a media gaze, where social media tycoons profit from outrage, and Jeff Bezos is poised to become the world’s first trillionaire, we have to ask ourselves how to think toward collective solutions and agency, making sure those most vulnerable from dropping out of the system not by choice are not neglected and, when possible, avoiding lining the pockets of the 1 percent, who are locked up safely away in a fallout shelter, selfishly dropping out from any responsibility towards humanitarian crises.
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  • INVISIBLE ENEMIES (GEOFF SHULLENBERGER)
  • Reports that merely debunk false claims fail to grasp why people are willing to trespass, damage property, and risk arrest as a consequence of their beliefs.
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    AESTHETICS
  • THE LANGUAGE OF THE NEW BRUTALITY (NINA POWER)
  • We need to think much more carefully about the word-images that surround us, to make distinctions between the way violence is described and presented, and not think that all images are equally interchangeable. We need to remember all the words and ways of speaking we have forgotten, and note the way in which certain words, such as “cuck,” come to dominate our ways of speaking and thinking.
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  • WILL THE MILLENNIAL AESTHETIC EVER END?
  • Investigating the undying tyranny of terrazzo. The millennial aesthetic promises a kind of teleology of taste: as if we have only now, finally, thanks to innovation and refinement, arrived at the objectively correct way for things to look. If you simultaneously can’t afford any frills and can’t afford any failure, you end up with millennial design: crowd-pleasing, risk-averse, calling just enough attention to itself to make it clear that you tried.
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  • THE TWENTY-FIRST-CENTURY “LEISURE” CLASS
  • How did such a prosaic choice of action, so subtle and ostensibly innocuous, become an amplified sign of class? Throughout time, mat- ters of seeming practicality have evolved into symbols of status. In Vic- torian England, the displaying of medicines in the parlor was a sign that one could afford to see a doctor and buy medicine. In pre-Revolutionary Paris, the use of candles was rare and expensive, yet even when access to light (and later electricity) became more democratized, the lighting of candles at dinnertime remained a sign of taste and breeding.3 The same is true for the use of cloth napkins when paper napkins would do (and eliminate the hassle of laundering).
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LLIST 2020