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View Article  Wallace Stevens: The Snow Man
The Snow Man

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.   more »
View Article  A Review of Dipesh Chakrabarty's "Provincializing Europe" by Amit Chaudhuri (London Review of Books)
(recycled): Dipesh Chakrabarty's book "Provincializing Europe" is an important theoretical study of colonialism and its legacies in India. While [many] works outline the atrocities and dleterious effects of colonialism abound, Chakrabarti, one of the founder-members of the Subaltern Studies movement in Indian (and world) history tells the story from the lesser known side of the strategies used by Indians (in colonial Kolkata) for making an "alternate habitation" of modernity - i.e. adapting it to their own uses. In doing this, he also makes a number of important theoretical points about cultural situatedness and conditions for effective cross-cultural dialog. This review, taken from the London Review of Books is by Amit Chaudhuri, a well-known younger Indian novelist and commentator.   more »
View Article  Darshan Day Message: Justice! (Heehs case stayed by Orissa High Court)

As reported by the Hindu, Justice A. S. Naidu of the Orissa High Court has stayed proceedings in a criminal case against Peter Heehs in the court of the subdivisional magistrate, Cuttack. This means, for those unfamiliar with legal terminology, that the case has been taken from the hands of the magistrate, and that all proceedings in the case have been halted until the matter is disposed of by the High Court. In addition the High Court has quashed (nullified) an order that had been passed by the subdivisional magistrate. The fact that the case in the lower court was stayed even before the magistrate was given a chance to hear it shows that the High Court found it to be fundamentally unsound in law

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View Article  Within the limits of capitalism, economizing means taking care - Bernard Stiegler

Over the past ten years, society as a whole (in industrialized countries and in developing countries), because of a spectacular drop in costs in the field of the electronic technologies of the fabrication of materials as well as transactions and duplications of data, acquires new practical, but also analytical and reflexive competencies, through the spread of digital apparatuses giving access to functionalities hitherto reserved to professional actors – these functionalities were hitherto organised by the industrial division of labor (and by everything coming with it, thus for example the law of intellectual property). These functionalities are those of the social networks.

This socialisation of innovation calls more and more often on social forms of apprenticeship that would appear to be self-organising and to elude the usual processes of the socialisation of innovation described as “descending” (piloted by the research/development/marketing complex: it constitutes what is more and more often called “ascendant” innovation. Ascendant innovation is a structural break with the organisation of social relations in the industrial world based on the oppositional couple production/consumption. It is founded on motivations oriented toward consistencies, that is, toward objects of what the Greeks and the Romans called skholè and otiumi, which are very specific objects of attention: the objects of knowledge (know-how, art of living, the disposition to theory, that is, to contemplation).

Digital technologies, where the technologies of information, communication and telecommunications converge and tend to amalgamate, and on the basis of which a sector of communicating objects called “internet objects” is developing, form a new technological milieu, reticulatory and relational in nature, belonging to what Simondon called an “associated technico-geographical milieu,” reconfiguring what he also called the process of psychical and collective individuation, and transforming into technologies of the spirit what hitherto has functioned essentially as technologies of control.


This is why the dynamics induced by the technological protocol of reticulation IP must be described as the effects of a process of psychical, collective and technical individuation the likes of which have never existed before. As poor and disappointing as the social-digital networks appear to us, most of the time, they bring together, henceforth, hundreds of millions of psychical individuals in a processes of collective individuation that can sometimes be evaluated as rich and inventive – if we recall on line video games, the network Second Life, Facebook, MSN, Skyblogs, etc. But we must also include collaborative platforms like Wikipedia, the open source communities in the field of software development with the Linux system, and so many other variegated initiatives that have taken off in the world – collaborative spaces of teaching, cooperatives of knowledge, and so on.


This is not to say that these technologies cannot serve the cause of the short-circuiting of transindividuation. All attentional technologies (and this digital technologies of transindividuation belong to the group of attentional technologies) are pharmacological to the strict extent that, as technologies of the formation of attention, they can be reversed and upturned into technologies of the deformation of this attention, and short-circuit this attention, that is, exclude it form the process of transindividuation and signification: they can always produce dissociation.

This is the context that ought to spur the European Union to elaborate a new industrial model, based on what I call with my friends in the association Ars Industrialis, an industrial politics of the technologies of spirit – that is, of sublimation – as the only sustainable libidinal economy. It is only on this condition that Rifkin’s proposition can supply a basis of subsistence (and a basis for a bio-politics conceives at the level of the biosphere) for a new politics of existence: a noopolitics susceptible of reversing and overcoming the deadly logic of psychopower. The actual question, for Europe as for the rest of the world, is whether it can invent with America and the other major industrialised countries, a European way of life where economizing means taking care.

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