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Cyber-tribalismo. There's hope for us yet.

27.07.10

 

 

The Digital Native does not rely on a single group but on several, each with a different degree of trust. The three concentric circles are : close friends and family as the core, a group of 20 to 30 pals whom they trust, and the “Facebook friends” of 200 or so, which acts as an echo chamber. Beyond these groups, behaviors such as elusiveness, temptation to trick and circumvent the social system will prevail.

(...)

More chilling: the group’s belief in its power to decide what’s credible and what’s not. Truth – at least perceived truth – seems to emerge from an implicit group vote, in total disregard for actual facts. If the group believes it, chances are it is “true”. When something flares up, if it turns out to be a groundless rumor, it’s fine since it won’t last (which is little consolation for the victim of a baseless rumor); and the news cycle waves are so compressed that old-fashioned notions such as reliability or trustfulness become secondary. Anyway, because they are systematically manipulated, the Digital Natives don’t trust the media (when they themselves are not the manipulators).

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O Capitalismo nunca toma banho duas vezes no mesmo rio

22.05.10

 

"However, markets are merely a more deliberate, developed and numerically explicit implementation of the natural methods of exchange that characterize all social groups. All societies have elaborate tagging and typing conventions to ensure that the appropriate exchanges take place. At the core of these social exchange systems are kinship systems that evolved over tens of thousands of years to support the stable exchange of goods and to form coalitions for defense and warfare. To decode the tagging conventions of kinship systems is to understand how a culture governs its primary exchange systems.

The "currency" of kinship-based exchange systems is a set of codified obligations and ritualized exchanges. The exchange between parties is not set by price but by fixed conventions and role relationships. In contemporary organizations such as corporations and bureaucracies, exchange systems are no longer governed by kinship tags, but by legal, professional, and operational tags that can also carry their own legal requirements  and privileges. Exchange systems are ubiquitous and fundamental to all forms of social organization.

Formal exchange systems and tags, however, tend to become dated, out of touch, and dysfunctional, Under such circumstances, informal systems ofter emerge from below and self-organize to fill the void. Such informal networks have their own rules and tags and are often not even acknowledged by the official organization. The challenge is to recognize that this is a natural process and that tagging systems are being invented and abandoned all the time. Rather thah fight this process, companies should capture it and cultivate it it to their desired ends."

 

John Henry Clippinger III

"The Biology of Business. Decoding the Natural Laws of Enterprise."

 

 

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"Violence That Art Didn’t See Coming" ou o fim do Feminismo Cristológico

28.02.10



But the landscape of unprovoked but premeditated female violence remains strangely unexplored. Women who kill are “relegated to an ‘exceptional case’ status that rests upon some exceptional, or untoward killing circumstance: the battered wife who kills her abusive husband; the postpartum psychotic mother who kills her newborn infant,” Candice Skrapec, a professor of criminology, noted in “The Female Serial Killer,” an essay included in the anthology “Moving Targets: Women, Murder and Representation” (1994).

Ms. Skrapec was writing at a time when Hollywood seemed preoccupied with women who commit crimes — in productions like “The Burning Bed,” the 1984 television film in which a battered wife finally sets her sleeping husband aflame, and “Thelma & Louise” (1991), in which a pair of women go on a outlaw spree after one of them is threatened with rape.

Both are essentially exculpatory parables of empowerment, anchored in feminist ideology. Their heroines originate as victims, pushed to criminal excesses by injustices done to them. The true aggressors are the men who mistreat and objectify them.

A decade or two ago this all made sense. The underworld of domestic abuse and sexual violence was coming freshly to light. And social arrangements were undergoing abrupt revision. The woman who achieved hard-won success in the workplace might well find herself, like the lonely stalker played by Glenn Close in “Fatal Attraction” (1987), tormented by the perfect-seeming family of the married man with whom she enjoys a weekend fling.

Much has changed since then, but the topic of women and violence — especially as represented by women — remains more or less in a time warp, bound by the themes of sexual and domestic trauma, just as male depictions of female violence are locked in the noir demimonde of fantasy, the slinky femmes fatales once played by Barbara Stanwyck and Lana Turner more or less duplicated by Kathleen Turner and Sharon Stone.

(...)

These conditions have been developing for some years now. But the most advanced narratives of female violence seem uninterested in them. There is, for example, Marina Abramovic, a pioneer of performance art who will be honored in a major retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in March, with 35 artists re-enacting five of her works. Ms. Abramovic, born in what was then Belgrade, Yugoslavia, first became a force in 1973 at the Edinburgh Festival, where she furiously stabbed a knife between her splayed fingers, bloodying 10 blades and tape recording the noises she made as she wounded herself. In 2002 Ms. Abramovic was still at it, exhibiting herself for 12 days in a downtown Manhattan installation, wordlessly moving among three raised platforms connected to the floor by ladders whose rungs were fashioned from large knives, their gleaming blades turned up.

There is also Karen Finley, whose avant-garde explorations of sexual violence put her in the middle of the federal arts-financing wars two decades ago. She is back onstage in “The Jackie Look.” Outfitted in bouffant and pearls, in imitation of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Ms. Finley stands at a lectern and delivers a monologue on the female body — at one point shedding copious tears — and on the indignities ritually inflicted on public women (Michelle Obama no less than Mrs. Onassis).

All this is stimulating in its way, but it feels curiously outmoded. Although Ms. Abramovic and Ms. Finley are both charismatic presences, their antennae seem to have rusted. They persist in registering the dimmed signals of a bygone time.

For this reason, perhaps, the most useful glosses on Dr. Bishop may come from the world of popular, even pulpish, art — for instance, crowd-pleasing movies like “Black Widow,”“Blue Steel,”“The Silence of the Lambs,”Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill” or even “Lost,” the ABC series. In all of them the hypothetical notion of empowerment gives way to the exercise of literal power. So too in crime novels written by women who specialize in the disordered or deranged mind. Genre art has its own limitations. But its strength is that it seeks to reanimate archetypes and is indifferent to ideological fashion.

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