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 Post subject: tech/calc criticism
PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:06 pm 
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rough draft.
B. CRITICAL PERSPECTIVE:
The technologisation (or the calculation) of the political identity, use, purpose, aptitude, or danger of any given individual or group of individuals (or subject or subjects) is the means by which that subject is quantified and thus codified. Once ANY individual is given value, the ability to take that value away is the logical next step, inherent to this process of evaluation. Technologisation (or calculatory thought) is the process by which we assign a functional worth to a human being – Martin Heidegger made this term infamous in his book “Being and Time”. Calculation of the worth of an individual is essential to the ideas of caste systems such as in India and inherent in Hinduism, and has been used in the past as a method of justifying a net negative worth in such instances as the use of Agent Orange in Vietnam. In short, technologisation involves the calculation of the net worth or the value of any given subject.


C. LINKS: 1. The Gov links because of:
a. Terror talk / Labeling
i. “terrorist” / “freedom fighter”
ii. “War on Terror”
iii. Claiming a country’s actions are terrorist
iv. Negative perception of someone / something
b. “put [Americans, Citizens, Legal citizens] first”
i. Borders talk
ii. “Illegal Alien”, etc.
iii. Help certain people first (as being better than others)
iv. Nat’l identity (see “Other” b.)
v. Nationalism (patriotism even)
c. “Other”; otherization
i. Using the word “other”
ii. Identifying someone / some group as being “different” or “outside” normativity – nat’l identity and those not a part of it.
iii. Humanitarian assistance
iv. Class – politics – etc.
v. ”Universal morality”
d. Security
i. “Need…security” (desire for security)
ii. Any attempt to create or transform something into something that is capable of being securable.
iii. Desire for safety, with security and/or protection being the conclusion
iv. Paranoia / Fear / playing on old fears
e. Imperialism / colonialism / power
i. Middle east mediation
ii. Iran sanctions
iii. “Third World Country”
iv. “Undeveloped country”
v. Hegemony
f. Technology / Technologisation
i. Replacing people with technology
ii. Non-human safety standards (such as automated things)
iii. Calculating the worth of anything technological as compared to the cost of keeping it “free” (for example, music [songs] are put into categories [tracks, genres] by which we are able to value or devalue individual “blocks” of reality).


2. Internal links:
a. X (terror talk, colonialism, etc) is inherently motivated by an “us” vs. “them” mentality. Once a “them” or an “other” is labeled, thus begins the process of valuing and evaluating that “other” or that subject in comparison to the interests of everything that is not the subject.
b. Now valued, the value of that other or of that subject becomes the standard unit of currency for the political arithmetic of the State – which now has the ability, the rationale and the justification to calculate the net worth of the subject in question.
c. Once rendered calculable, units of account are necessarily submissible not only to valuation but also to devaluation. The value of the subject thus marginalize (or at the very least codified) is calculated by the State or by those in power or in control.
d. Devaluation can extend to the point of counting as nothing – the heap paradox is no such paradox. Once devalued slightly we justify complete and total devaluation of the subject.


D. Impacts:
1 Violence! (Structural)
a) Those who are different or entrenched in the equivalent of a “lower-class” are the first to be dehumanized – we have a couple of warrants for this:
i. People from any kind of situation that can be viewed as different ARE – Jews in Germany, the Japanese in the US during WWII & Chinese in the US during the Gold Rush.
ii. The poor are viewed as less than everybody else – aid is rendered in an attempt to “normalize” people less fortunate than ourselves.
b) Structural Violence stemming from dehumanization causes and justifies more deaths than any other atrocity in human history:
i) Sweden: in 1976, according to a study done by Kohler & Alcock, Sweden had the lowest amount of structural violence, the least inequality in income and living standards, and the lowest discrepancies in death rates and life expectancy in the world. When they compared Sweden to other countries, they found that 18 million deaths a year could be attributed to the “structural violence” to which the citizens of all the other nations were being subjected.
ii) According to the same study, about 100,000 deaths a year come from armed conflict. Comparing this frequency of deaths from structural violence to the frequency of those caused by conflict, such as WWII, Vietnam, and even a hypothetical nuke exchange between the US & Russia, it is clear that not even war can begin to compare with structural violence which continues YEAR AFTER YEAR AFTER YEAR AFTER YEAR.
iii) In other words, every 15 years, on the average, as many people die because of relative poverty brought up on by dehumanization inherently stemming from an “us” vs. “them” mentality as would be killed by the Nazi genocide of the Jews over a 6-year period. This, in effect, is the equivalent of an ongoing, unending, and accelerating, thermonuclear war, or genocide, perpetrated on the weak and poor every year of every decade, throughout the world.


E. Alternative: 1. Reject the Gov!
a) Disengage: Rather than engage in a constant appeal to act and intervene, vote Opp to refuse the Gov’s metaphysical griphold over the earth and its population.
b) Solvency: To resituate politics via rejection of the other team is to re-think the limits of the political and to open new possibilities for politics beyond the exclusionary, technologizing and self-destructive politics of the modern nation-state. Only out of refusing the Government’s calculations of life as standing-reserve can we find new possibilities for the earth.

2. Rethink
a) Reject in favor of ethical rethinking: Vote Opp to refuse complicity with these politics and to beckon new considerations of what it means to dwell in the world and to open ourselves to a new ethical regard for others.
b) Solvency: Against the genocidal logic of world ordering and its foundations, we should re-awaken our political imaginations through a critical re-evaluation of the relationship between “Human Being” and “Being”. Such a gesture is not simply a rejection of politics of security, order, the will to control, and fear of an “other”; it is also a profoundly affirming move toward a way of Being-in-the-world that accepts the globe as being a contiguous unit or organism.


Overview of the K:
Links:

<whatever your links are> creates a dichotomy: us (US citizens, whites, etc) and “them” (Mexicans, Africans, blacks, etc). This “them” or “other” is categorized: that act of categorization is what is used to justify our impacts. The act of codification is a precursor to valuation and devaluation – once we’ve given value to one category, we’ve taken it away from the other, and vice-versa: and once this happens, we’ve given ourselves the moral equivalent of Divine Right to commit any and every atrocity to the category that is viewed as less than ourselves.

Impacts:

These atrocities, now justified by the Gov’s rhetoric, are bad on two levels: first, the fact that they are JUSTIFIED. That means that, even if NO violence or death occurs because of the Gov’s advocacy or representations, violence and death are MORALLY AGREEABLE and in some instances DEEMED MORALLY UPRIGHT. Second, when we look at this moral dichotomy in the past and in the ongoing present, we find that it affects over 18 million people a YEAR. To put that into context, structural violence allows the equivalent of the deaths of the entire United States population (as of October 2010) every 17 years.

Alternative:

1. Reject the Gov, which is rejecting the politics of fear, security, and world-ordering. This is critical in order to break free from the categorizing mindset that is inherent in the discourse found in the PMC. Not only does it solve for the K, but it allows for the redemption of the round: THE REDEMPTION OF THE ROUND CAN BE FOUND IN USING THE BALLOT AS A TOOL TO RECONSTRUCT DISCOURSE.

2. Rethink our ethical obligations to the world. Once we start to view the world as an organism of which we are a continual and inherent part, we no longer can arrive at any justification for violence or death to anyone based on differences with ourselves, because we will no longer give any weight to these differences when it comes to humanity or simply human relations.

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 Post subject: Re: tech/calc criticism
PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:55 pm 
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"Reject the gov" is not an alt. How else specifically should we talk about politics, if not by making the technological calculations that are criticized in this K? Point E mentions "new possibilities for politics beyond the exclusionary, technologizing and self-destructive politics of the modern nation-state" - what are those possibilities?

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 Post subject: Re: tech/calc criticism
PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 5:23 pm 
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Halogen wrote:
"Reject the gov" is not an alt. How else specifically should we talk about politics, if not by making the technological calculations that are criticized in this K? Point E mentions "new possibilities for politics beyond the exclusionary, technologizing and self-destructive politics of the modern nation-state" - what are those possibilities?

that's specified in alt #2 - a Reject alt is fairly common though. but yeah, I made sure to have a non-simple "reject" alt.

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 Post subject: Re: tech/calc criticism
PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 9:55 pm 
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All the alt #2 says is "rethink" and "critically re-evaluate". After gov's philosophy has been rethought and put into a form that doesn't link to the K, what would it look like?

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 Post subject: Re: tech/calc criticism
PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 11:10 pm 
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Halogen wrote:
All the alt #2 says is "rethink" and "critically re-evaluate". After gov's philosophy has been rethought and put into a form that doesn't link to the K, what would it look like?

@ the end of the 2nd alt: it is also a profoundly affirming move toward a way of Being-in-the-world that accepts the globe as being a contiguous unit or organism.

also, look at the overview for the 2nd alt.

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 Post subject: Re: tech/calc criticism
PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 12:42 am 
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You're not saying anything meaningful. Either give a concrete picture of what the world would look like if your alternative was accepted, so that there's something to debate, or win the argument that it's impossible to describe something that's never been tried, so demanding a concrete alternative is a rhetorical trick meant to hide the impacts of the K. Then you still have to give a good explanation of how someone would "unlock" new modes of action that wouldn't cause the impacts outlined in the K.

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 Post subject: Re: tech/calc criticism
PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 1:16 am 
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Sorry for the double post, but this is more of a substantive contemplation of the K shell than a quick reply to a mistake that's being made.

First off, it seems to me that you are drawing from (and confusing) several philosophical influences that don't play nicely with each other. There are at least 3 for starters - the criticism of technological thinking comes from late Heidegger (by way of McWhorter's interpretation of A Question Concerning Technology), the arguments about otherization are sort of a [censored] offshoot of Levinas' ethical writing, and the idea of commodifying and devaluing people largely parallels Agamben's arguments about the state of exception. Unfortunately, while Agamben was influenced by Heidegger and you can harmonize their thinking to a limited extent, Levinas and Heidegger's writings are basically impossible to reconcile (indeed, policy debaters often cite Levinas for arguments against Heidegger).

If you want to make ontological arguments about the technologization of relations between beings and how attempts to manage these relation commodify people and make them targets for oppression or outright extermination, Heidegger-by-way-of-McWhorter is likely to provide some very good material. McWhorter released a new edition of Heidegger and the Earth last year (2009); I found the first edition both interesting and very useful for debate and would recommend the second edition highly.

If you want to make ethical arguments about the responsibility of people and societies toward the Other, I would suggest reading Levinas and avoiding Heidegger's writings as a major source of argumentation on the subject. Again, the two thinkers are basically impossible to reconcile in theory and were impossible to reconcile in person. I cannot point you to anything particularly useful on this front, because I lack even limited familiarity with the relevant literature.

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