<th id="Wzxa3"></th>
<noframes id="Wzxa3">
<progress id="Wzxa3"></progress>
<listing id="Wzxa3"><cite id="Wzxa3"><ins id="Wzxa3"></ins></cite></listing>
<th id="Wzxa3"></th>

A cage went in search of a bird

by Maria on November 18, 2019

Publishing here my afterword for “2030, A New Vision for Europe”, the manifesto for European Data Protection Supervisor, Giovanni Buttarelli, who died this summer. The manifesto was developed by Christian D’Cunha, who works in the EDPS office, based on his many conversations with Giovanni.

“A cage went in search of a bird”

Franz Kafka certainly knew how to write a story. The eight-word aphorism he jotted down in a notebook a century ago reveals so much about our world today. Surveillance goes in search of subjects. Use-cases go in search of profit. Walled gardens go in search of tame customers. Data-extractive monopolies go in search of whole countries, of democracy itself, to envelop and re-shape, to cage and control. The cage of surveillance technology stalks the world, looking for birds to trap and monetise. And it cannot stop itself. The surveillance cage is the original autonomous vehicle, driven by financial algorithms it doesn’t control. So when we describe our data-driven world as ‘Kafka-esque’, we are speaking a deeper truth than we even guess.

Giovanni knew this. He knew that data is power and that the radical concentration of power in a tiny number of companies is not a technocratic concern for specialists but an existential issue for our species. Giovanni’s manifesto, Privacy 2030: A Vision for Europe, goes far beyond data protection. It connects the dots to show how data-maximisation exploits power asymmetries to drive global inequality. It spells out how relentless data-processing actually drives climate change. Giovanni’s manifesto calls for us to connect the dots in how we respond, to start from the understanding that sociopathic data-extraction and mindless computation are the acts of a machine that needs to be radically reprogrammed.

Running through the manifesto is the insistence that we focus not on Big Tech’s shiny promises to re-make the social contract that states seem so keen to slither out of, but on the child refugee whose iris-scan cages her in a camp for life. It insists we look away from flashy productivity Powerpoints and focus on the low-wage workers trapped in bullying drudgery by revenue-maximising algorithms. The manifesto’s underlying ethics insist on the dignity of people, the idea that we have inherent worth, that we live for ourselves and for those we love, and to do good; and not as data-sources to be monitored, monetised and manipulated.
[click to continue…]

{ 6 comments }

The architecture of exclusion

by Chris Bertram on November 11, 2019

I have another piece on the LRB blog about the deaths of migrants in Essex recently. It was important to register a correction because early information about the nationalities of the dead was incorrect, but it also gives an opportunity to say something more about why migrants have to use people smugglers if they want to escape persecution or seek out opportunities in wealthy democracies.

{ 2 comments }

Sunday photoblogging: Montpellier courtyard

by Chris Bertram on November 10, 2019

Montpellier courtyard

{ 1 comment }

Oops

by Maria on November 9, 2019

Historic apologies get a lot of pushback, both from those who point out that saying sorry only happens when everyone who did it is dead, and nothing is ever learned, and from the fundamentally unapologetic amongst history’s apparent winners. Apologising for something you’ve just done or are about to do takes a lot more guts. But I’ve been wondering over the past couple of weeks whether Brexit negotiations with Ireland especially, and with the rest of the EU would have gone differently if at the beginning of major speeches, press conferences and working meetings the UK interlocutors had had a policy of starting with something like’

“We’re sorry. We know you didn’t ask for Brexit and that it harms you and costs you. We’re still doing it, but we acknowledge and are sorry about its unasked for consequences for others.”

And then getting on with the business of the meeting. Of course, to even conceive of acknowledging the harm and cost of brexit to others would require fundamentally different people to have been in charge. But even the act of saying this might have changed the understanding of those imposing their harms on the rest of us, and would certainly have done a lot to make other countries and institutions want to play nice. We’re emotional creatures, at the end of the day, and it’s more than just manners to acknowledge the harm we cause to others. The life you save just might be your own, etc. etc.

{ 18 comments }

My colleagues put together a free MOOC that gives an introduction to the relationships between economic inequality and democracy (in particular political equality). I saw them working very hard over the months – it’s a hell of a lot of work to make a MOOC, even more so if you do this as a voluntary add-on to your regular work. Hence I’d like to salute them for their efforts, and share this with you since I’m a big fan of all things open access. I do not doubt that this will be interesting for people who are new to this question – which does not include most of the readers of this blog since we’ve been discussing these issues here repeatedly. But if you know people who might be interested, do let them now. There is no required background, and the MOOC is offered for free. More information below the fold.
[click to continue…]

{ 1 comment }

Gee Monbiot writes movingly about how the habit of Britain’s (well, mostly England’s) upper middle and upper classes of sending their children to boarding school from the age of seven onward causes profound emotional damage and has created a damaged ruling class. He’s not the first to notice this. Virginia Woolf drew a very clear line between the brutalisation of little boys in a loveless environment and their assumption as adults into the brutal institutions of colonialism. It’s long been clear to many that the UK is ruled by many people who think their damage is a strength, and who seek to perpetuate it.

I was at a talk last week about psychoanalysis and The Lord of the Flies. The speaker convincingly argued that much of what happens in that story happens because most of the boys have been wrenched from solid daily love before they were old enough to recreate it. It’s a pretty compelling lens to see that novel through and it reminded me of a teaching experience from a couple of years ago.

I was teaching a post-grad course on politics and cybersecurity and did a lecture on the Leviathan and how its conception of the conditions that give rise to order embed some pretty strong assumptions about the necessity of coercion. Basically how if you’re the state and in your mind you’re fighting against the return of a persistent warre of all against all, your conception of human behaviour can lead you to over-react. Also some stuff about English history around the time of Hobbes. I may have included some stills from Game of Thrones. During the class discussion, one person from, uh, a certain agency, said that yes, he could see the downside, but that Hobbes was essentially how he viewed the world.

Listening again to the tale of sensible centrist Ralph, poor, benighted (but actually very much loved by his Aunty and from a solid emotional background) Piggy, the little uns, and the utter depravity of it all – and also having fotten the chilling final scene where the naval officer basically tells Ralph he’s let himself down – something occurred to me.

Lord of the Flies is many people’s touchstone for what would happen if order goes away, even though we have some good social science and other studies about how, at least in the short to medium term, people are generally quite altruistic and reciprocally helpful in the aftermath of disaster. Lord of the Flies is assumed by many to be a cautionary tale about order and the state of nature, when in reality it’s the agonised working out of the unbearable fears of a group of systematically traumatised and loveless children.

Lord of the Flies isn’t an origin story about the human condition and the need for ‘strong’ states, though we treat it as such, but rather is a horror story about the specific, brutalised pathology of the English ruling class.

{ 89 comments }

Sunday photoblogging: Istanbul, Topkapi Palace, the harem

by Chris Bertram on November 3, 2019

Istanbul - Topkapi Palace, The Harem

{ 4 comments }

What, if anything, is neoliberalism?

by John Quiggin on November 2, 2019

The comments thread on my WTO post raises the much-argued question of whether the term “neoliberalism” has any useful content, or whether it is simply an all-purpose pejorative to be applied to anything rightwing. O

In this 2002 post from the pre-Cambrian era of blogging, at a time when I aspired to write a book along the lines of Raymond Williams’ Keywords, I claim that neoliberalism is a meaningful and useful term, which isn’t to deny that it’s often used sloppily, like all political terms.

Some thoughts seventeen years later

First, this definition refers to the standard international use of the term, what I’ve susequently called “hard neoliberalism”, represented in the US by the Republican Party. I subsequently drew a distinction with “soft neoliberalism”, which corresponds to US usage where the term is typically applied to centrist Democrats like the Clintons. I’d also apply this to Blair’s New Labour, although, as stated in the post, there were points at which Blair and Brown drifted back in the direction of traditional social democracy.

Second, the discussion of how the right (in Europe and Australia) is shifting away from neoliberalism towards “the older and more fertile ground of law and order and xenophobia” seems as if it could have been written today. These processes take a long time to work themselves through.

As a corollary, the idea of Trump as a radical break with the past is unsustainable. There’s been a qualitative change with Trump and the various mini-Trumps, but the process was well underway before this new stage.

Finally, my characteristic overoptimism shows up in various places.

[click to continue…]

{ 88 comments }

Not everyone who is a sceptic about the benefits of migration is a nativist. On the contrary, many progressive opponents of migration cite the harm that is done when people leave poor countries to make better lives in wealthy ones. The grounds for their opposition vary, but two particulary common reasons given are climate change and brain drain. Here, for example, is Rupert Read, philosopher and Extinction Rebellion spokesperson, writing in The Ecologist in 2014:

There must be absolutely no compromise whatsoever on the humanity and rights of immigrants, and on our responsibility to welcome and help to integrate those who are here. But we ought to accept the power of the reasoning that shows that a high level of immigration leads to significant problems – here, abroad, and in the future. It …increases ?net environmental footprint – people migrating here whether from Estonia or East Africa suddenly jump their footprint dramatically: this is bad news of course for all things ecological / for future generations.

Other writers, two numerous to mention here, are worried about “brain drain” and the decision of wealthy professionals to take their skills, often developed at the state’s expense, to rich countries when there are so many people locally who need doctors, nurses, teachers and hedge-fund managers. [click to continue…]

{ 23 comments }

Arrogance destroyed the World Trade anisation …

by John Quiggin on October 27, 2019

… what replaces it will be even worse. That’s the (slightly premature) headline for my recent article in The Conversation.

The headline will become operative in December, if as expected, the Trump Administration maintains its refusal to nominate new judges to the WTO appellate panel. That will render the WTO unable to take on new cases, and bring about an effective return to the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT) which preceded the WTO.

An interesting sidelight is that Brexit No-Dealers have been keen on the merits of trading “on WTO terms”, but those terms will probably be unenforceable by the time No Deal happens (if it does).

{ 100 comments }

LA - Downtown reflections

{ 1 comment }

39 migrants found dead in Essex, England

by Chris Bertram on October 24, 2019

Yesterday morning, 39 migrants, now revealed to be Chinese nationals, were discovered dead in a transport container in Essex, England. Politicians were not slow to give their opinions about who was responsible, even though it is on ongoing murder investigation. I have a short piece on this case at the London Review of Books blog.

{ 25 comments }

On seeing Astra Taylor’s What is Democracy?

by Chris Bertram on October 22, 2019

I went to see occasional Timberite Astra Taylor’s remarkable film What is Democracy? last night. It takes us from Siena, Italy to Florida to Athens and from Ancient Athenian democracy through the renaissance and the beginning of capitalism to the Greek debt crisis, occupy and the limbo life of people who have fled Syria and now find themselves stuck. It combines the voices of Plato and Rousseau with those of ordinary voters from left and right, Greek nationalists and cosmopolitans, ex-prisoners, with trauma surgeons in Miami, Guatemalan migrants in the US, with lawmakers and academics, and with refugees from Syria and Afghanistan. All the while it poses the questions of whether democracy is compatible with inequality and global financial systems and the boundaries of inclusion.

Some of the testimonies are arresting: the ex-prisoner turned barber who tells us of his nine years in a US prison of a hunger strike when the authorities tried to take the library away and of his problems adjusting to life of the outside, to being around women, and the fact that he’s denied the vote. And all the time he’s telling you this with attention and passion he’s clipping a customers beard, which adds a note of tension. We hear from trauma surgeons who tell us of the levels of violence in Miami – so much blood that the city is used for training by medics from the US military – and the shock of cycling from one neighbourhood to the next and experiencing swift transitions from opulence to utter destitution. We hear from a young Syrian woman who relates how she had to leave Aleppo after her mother was wounded by a stray bullet in her own home and whose idea of democracy is a country where she can lie safely in her bed. [click to continue…]

{ 17 comments }

People's vote march- London 19 October 2019

From yesterday’s march.Tragically, the UK now is probably the member state with largest group of people who are enthusiastic about being part of the EU, and are critically aware of its shortcomings (as this placard tells us). Not a great photograph, but a record of an event. [Dipper and Stephen are banned from commenting on my threads.]

{ 38 comments }

No true war is bad?

by John Quiggin on October 13, 2019

On Facebook, my frined Timothy Scriven pointed to an opinion piece by classics professor Ian Morris headlined In the long run, wars make us safer and richer It’s pushing a book with the clickbaity title War! What is it Good For? Conflict and the Progress of Civilization from Primates to Robots.”. Timothy correctly guessed that I wouldn’t like it.

Based on the headline, I was expecting a claim along the lines “wars stimulate technological progress” which I refuted (to my own satisfaction at any rate) in Economics in Two Lessons”. But the argument is much stranger than this. The claim is that war, despite its brutality created big states, like the Roman empire, which then delivered peace and prosperity.

For the classical world at 100 CE or so, the era on which Morris is an expert, that argument seemed pretty convincing. As the famous Life of Brian sketch suggests, Roman rule delivered a lot of benefits to its conquered provinces.

The next 1900 years or so present a bit of a problem, though. There have been countless wars in that time, and no trend towards bigger states. On the contrary two or three dozen states (depending on how you count them) now occupy the territory of the former Roman Empire.

You could cut the number down a bit by treating the European Union as a new empire, but then you have an even bigger problem. The EU was not formed through war, but through a determination to avoid it. Whatever you think about the EU in other respects, this goal has been achieved.

Morris avoids the problem by a “no true Scotsman” argument. He admits in passing that the 1000 years of war following the high point of Rome had the effect of breaking down larger, safer societies into smaller, more dangerous ones, but returns with relief to the era of true wars, in which big states always win. That story works, roughly, until 1914, when the empires he admires destroyed themselves, killing millions in the process.

After that, the argument descends into Pinker-style nonsense. While repeating the usual stats about the decline in violent deaths, Morris mentions in passing that a nuclear war could cause billions of deaths. He doesn’t consider the obvious anthropic fallacy problem – if such a war had happened, there would not be any op-eds in the Washington Post discussing the implications for life expectancy.

[click to continue…]

{ 71 comments }

nhà cái tặng tiền miễn phí 2020| dang ky nhan tien ca cuoc mien phi| các nhà cái khuyến mãi| game vua quay hũ| game slot doi the cao 2020| web/trang cá độ bóng đá hợp pháp| slot dịch sang tiếng việt| nhà cái tặng tiền cược miễn phí tháng 9 2020| game slot đổi thưởng uy tín 2020| luật rút bài baccarat| mẹo chơi bài baccarat| kinh nghiem choi bai baccarat| các game quay hũ| máy đánh bạc slot machine| tien cuoc bong da mien phi| cách tính tài xỉu trong baccarat| thua bài baccarat| game cá cược bóng đá miễn phí| thể loại/loại hình cờ bạc| bedava iyi oyunlar| game bài casino| nhà cái tặng tiền miễn phí | cách tính bài baccarat| forum baccarat viet nam| macau baccarat tournament| cá cược| khuyến mãi tiền cược miễn phí | đăng ký tài khoản nhận tiền cược miễn phí| casino mien phi| cách chơi bài baccarat| dien dan baccarat| game slot đổi thưởng ios| nhà cái lô đề uy tín nhất| ứng dụng cá độ bóng đá| vì sao chơi baccarat luôn thua| máy đánh bạc slot machine| trò chơi slot| đường dây đánh bạc trực tuyến| bí quyết chơi thắng baccarat| nhà cái tặng tiền cược miễn phí tháng | nhà cái tặng tiền cược miễn phí 2020| http://qrcponh.tw http://gcbwtsj.tw http://mcqgu2f.tw http://nruhaet.tw http://imkjpnq.tw http://nfjwkj.icu