What Makes Life Worth Living

Author: Bernard Stiegler
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0745681948
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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In the aftermath of the First World War, the poet Paul Valéry wrote of a ‘crisis of spirit’, brought about by the instrumentalization of knowledge and the destructive subordination of culture to profit. Recent events demonstrate all too clearly that that the stock of mind, or spirit, continues to fall. The economy is toxically organized around the pursuit of short-term gain, supported by an infantilizing, dumbed-down media. Advertising technologies make relentless demands on our attention, reducing us to idiotic beasts, no longer capable of living. Spiralling rates of mental illness show that the fragile life of the mind is at breaking point. Underlying these multiple symptoms is consumer capitalism, which systematically immiserates those whom it purports to liberate. Returning to Marx’s theory, Stiegler argues that consumerism marks a new stage in the history of proletarianization. It is no longer just labour that is exploited, pushed below the limits of subsistence, but the desire that is characteristic of human spirit. The cure to this malaise is to be found in what Stiegler calls a ‘pharmacology of the spirit’. Here, pharmacology has nothing to do with the chemical supplements developed by the pharmaceutical industry. The pharmakon, defined as both cure and poison, refers to the technical objects through which we open ourselves to new futures, and thereby create the spirit that makes us human. By reference to a range of figures, from Socrates, Simondon and Derrida to the child psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott, Stiegler shows that technics are both the cause of our suffering and also what makes life worth living.

What Makes Life Worth Living

Author: Bernard Stiegler
Publisher: Polity
ISBN: 9780745662718
Format: PDF, ePub
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In the aftermath of the First World War, the poet Paul Valéry wrote of a ‘crisis of spirit’, brought about by the instrumentalization of knowledge and the destructive subordination of culture to profit. Recent events demonstrate all too clearly that that the stock of mind, or spirit, continues to fall. The economy is toxically organized around the pursuit of short-term gain, supported by an infantilizing, dumbed-down media. Advertising technologies make relentless demands on our attention, reducing us to idiotic beasts, no longer capable of living. Spiralling rates of mental illness show that the fragile life of the mind is at breaking point. Underlying these multiple symptoms is consumer capitalism, which systematically immiserates those whom it purports to liberate. Returning to Marx’s theory, Stiegler argues that consumerism marks a new stage in the history of proletarianization. It is no longer just labour that is exploited, pushed below the limits of subsistence, but the desire that is characteristic of human spirit. The cure to this malaise is to be found in what Stiegler calls a ‘pharmacology of the spirit’. Here, pharmacology has nothing to do with the chemical supplements developed by the pharmaceutical industry. The pharmakon, defined as both cure and poison, refers to the technical objects through which we open ourselves to new futures, and thereby create the spirit that makes us human. By reference to a range of figures, from Socrates, Simondon and Derrida to the child psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott, Stiegler shows that technics are both the cause of our suffering and also what makes life worth living.

For a New Critique of Political Economy

Author: Bernard Stiegler
Publisher: Polity
ISBN: 0745648037
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The catastrophic economic, social and political crisis of our time calls for a new and original critique of political economy – a rethinking of Marx′s project in the very different conditions of twenty–first century capitalism. Stiegler argues that today the proletarian must be reconceptualized as the economic agent whose knowledge and memory are confiscated by machines. This new sense of the term proletarian′ is best understood by reference to Plato′s critique of exteriorized memory. By bringing together Plato and Marx, Stiegler can show how a generalized proletarianization now encompasses not only the muscular system, as Marx saw it, but also the nervous system of the so–called creative workers in the information industries. The proletarians of the former are deprived of their practical know–how, whereas the latter are shorn of their theoretical practice, and both suffer from a confiscation of the very possibility of a genuine art of living. But the mechanisms at work in this new and accentuated form of proletarianization are the very mechanisms that may spur a reversal of the process. Such a reversal would imply a crucial distinction between one′s life work, originating in otium (leisure devoted to the techniques of the self), and the job, consisting in a negotium (the negotiation and calculation, increasingly restricted to short–term expectations), leading to the necessity of a new conception of economic value. This short text offers an excellent introduction to Stiegler′s work while at the same time representing a political call to arms in the face of a deepening economic and social crisis.

Theory After Theory

Author: Jane Elliott
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136827412
Format: PDF, Docs
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This volume argues that theory, far from being dead, has undergone major shifts in order to come to terms with the most urgent cultural and political questions of today. Offering an overview of theory’s new directions, this groundbreaking collection includes essays on affect, biopolitics, biophilosophy, the aesthetic, and neoliberalism, as well as examinations of established areas such as subaltern studies, the postcolonial, and ethics. Influential figures such as Agamben, Badiou, Arendt, Deleuze, Derrida and Meillassoux are examined in a range of contexts. Gathering together some of the top thinkers in the field, this volume not only speculates on the fate of theory but shows its current diversity, encouraging conversation between divergent strands. Each section places the essays in their contexts and stages a comparison between different but ultimately related ways in which key thinkers are moving beyond poststructuralism. Contributors: Amanda Anderson, Ray Brassier, Adriana Cavarero, Eva Cherniavsky, Rey Chow, Claire Colebrook, Laurent Dubreuil, Roberto Esposito, Simon Gikandi, Martin Hagglünd, Peter Hallward, Brian Massumi, Peter Osborne, Elizabeth Povinelli, William Rasch, Henry Staten, Bernard Stiegler, Eugene Thacker, Cary Wolfe, Linda Zerilli.

Acting out

Author: Bernard Stiegler
Publisher: Stanford Univ Pr
ISBN: 9780804758680
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Acting Out brings together two short books (the autobiographical I>How I Became a Philosopher and To Love, To Love Me, To Love Us) by Bernard Stiegler, the fruit of the discipline he developed in prison and of the passion he brings to his political, philosophical, and technical diagnoses of contemporary life.

Technics and Time The fault of Epimetheus

Author: Bernard Stiegler
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 9780804730419
Format: PDF, ePub
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What is a technical object? At the beginning of Western philosophy, Aristotle contrasted beings formed by nature, which had within themselves a beginning of movement and rest, and man-made objects, which did not have the source of their own production within themselves. This book, the first of three volumes, revises the Aristotelian argument and develops an innovative assessment whereby the technical object can be seen as having an essential, distinct temporality and dynamics of its own. The Aristotelian concept persisted, in one form or another, until Marx, who conceived of the possibility of an evolution of technics. Lodged between mechanics and biology, a technical entity became a complex of heterogeneous forces. In a parallel development, while industrialization was in the process of overthrowing the contemporary order of knowledge as well as contemporary social organization, technology was acquiring a new place in philosophical questioning. Philosophy was for the first time faced with a world in which technical expansion was so widespread that science was becoming more and more subject to the field of instrumentality, with its ends determined by the imperatives of economic struggle or war, and with its epistemic status changing accordingly. The power that emerged from this new relation was unleashed in the course of the two world wars. Working his way through the history of the Aristotelian assessment of technics, the author engages the ideas of a wide range of thinkers--Rousseau, Husserl, and Heidegger, the paleo-ontologist Leroi-Gourhan, the anthropologists Vernant and Detienne, the sociologists Weber and Habermas, and the systems analysts Maturana and Varela.

A Life Worth Living

Author: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198039273
Format: PDF
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A Life Worth Living brings together the latest thought on Positive Psychology from an international cast of scholars. It includes historical, philosophical, and empirical reviews of what psychologists have found to matter for personal happiness and well-being. The contributions to this volume agree on priciples of optimal development that start from purely material and selfish concerns, but then lead to ever broader circles of responsibility embracing the goals of others and the well-being of the environment; on the importance of spirituality; on the development of strengths specific to the individual. Rather than material success, popularity, or power, the investigations reported in this volume suggest that personally constructed goals, intrinsic motivation, and a sense of autonomy are much more important. The chapters indicate that hardship and suffering do not necessarily make us unhappy, and they suggest therapeutical implications for improving the quality of life. Specific topics covered include the formation of optimal childhood values and habits as well as a new perspective on aging. This volume provides a powerful counterpoint to a mistakenly reductionist psychology. They show that subjective experience can be studied scientifically and measured accurately. They highlight the potentiality for autonomy and freedom that is among the most precious elements of the human condition. MOreover, they make a convincing case for the importance of subjective phenomena, which often affect happiness more than external, material conditions. After long decades during which psychologists seemed to have forgotten that misery is not the only option, the blossoming of Positive Psychology promises a better understanding of what a vigorous, meaningful life may consist of.

States of Shock

Author: Bernard Stiegler
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0745681352
Format: PDF, Mobi
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In 1944 Horkheimer and Adorno warned that industrial society turns reason into rationalization, and Polanyi warned of the dangers of the self-regulating market, but today, argues Stiegler, this regression of reason has led to societies dominated by unreason, stupidity and madness. However, philosophy in the second half of the twentieth century abandoned the critique of political economy, and poststructuralism left its heirs helpless and disarmed in face of the reign of stupidity and an economic crisis of global proportions. New theories and concepts are required today to think through these issues. The thinkers of poststructuralism Lyotard, Deleuze, Derrida must be re-read, as must the sources of their thought, Hegel and Marx. But we must also take account of Naomi Klein's critique of Milton Friedman and the Chicago School and her account of the 'shock doctrine'. In fact, argues Stiegler, a permanent 'state of shock' has prevailed since the beginning of the industrial revolution, intensified by the creative destruction brought about by the consumerist model. The result has been a capitalism that destroys desire and reason and in which every institution is undermined, above all those institutions that are the products par excellence of the Enlightenment the education system and universities. Through a powerful critique of thinkers from Marx to Derrida, Stiegler develops new conceptual weapons to fight this destruction. He argues that schools and universities must themselves be transformed: new educational institutions must be developed both to take account of the dangers of digitization and the internet and to enable us to take advantage of the new opportunities they make available.

Captive Audience

Author: Susan P. Crawford
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300167377
Format: PDF
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Ten years ago, the United States stood at the forefront of the Internet revolution. With some of the fastest speeds and lowest prices in the world for high-speed Internet access, the nation was poised to be the global leader in the new knowledge-based economy. Today that global competitive advantage has all but vanished because of a series of government decisions and resulting monopolies that have allowed dozens of countries, including Japan and South Korea, to pass us in both speed and price of broadband. This steady slide backward not only deprives consumers of vital services needed in a competitive employment and business market—it also threatens the economic future of the nation. This important book by leading telecommunications policy expert Susan Crawford explores why Americans are now paying much more but getting much less when it comes to high-speed Internet access. Using the 2011 merger between Comcast and NBC Universal as a lens, Crawford examines how we have created the biggest monopoly since the breakup of Standard Oil a century ago. In the clearest terms, this book explores how telecommunications monopolies have affected the daily lives of consumers and America's global economic standing.

Make the Impossible Possible

Author: Bill Strickland
Publisher: Broadway Business
ISBN: 0385520557
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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“Success is the point where your most authentic talents, passion, values, and experiences intersect with the chance to contribute to some greater good.” --Bill Strickland According to MacArthur Fellowship “genius” award winner Bill Strickland, a successful life is not something you simply pursue, it is something that you create, moment by moment. It is a realization Strickland first came to when, as a poor kid growing up in a rough neighborhood of Pittsburgh, he encountered a high school ceramics teacher who took him under his wing and went on to transform his life. Over the past thirty years, Bill Strickland has been transforming the lives of thousands of people through the creation of Manchester Bidwell, a jobs training center and community arts program. Working with corporations, community leaders, and schools, he and his staff strive to give disadvantaged kids and adults the opportunities and tools they need to envision and built a better, brighter future. Strickland believes that every one of us has the potential for remarkable achievement. Every one of us can accomplish the impossible in our lives if given the right inspiration and motivation to do so. We all make ourselves “poor” in one way or another when we accept that we are not smart enough, experienced enough, or talented enough to accomplish something. Bill Strickland works with the least advantaged among us, and if he can help them achieve the impossible in their lives, think what each of us can do. Among Bill Strickland’s beliefs: People are born into this world as assets, not liabilities. It’s all in the way we treat people (and ourselves) that determines a person’s outcome The sand in the hourglass flows only one way. Stop going through the motions of living--savor each and every day. Life is here and now, not something waiting for you in the future. You don’t have to travel far to change the life you’re living. Bill grew up in the Pittsburgh ghetto, four blocks from where he came to build one of the foremost job training centers in the world. He now speaks before CEOs and political leaders, church congregations and civic leaders. You only need to change your thinking to remake your world. Through lessons from his own life experiences, and those of countless others who have overcome their circumstances and turned their lives around, Make the Impossible Possible shows how all of us can build on our passions and strengths, dream bigger and set the bar higher, achieve meaningful success and help mentor and inspire the lives of others.