Follow

Capitalism rewards innovation (sometimes), but consistently punishes robustness.

Capitalism tends towards tiny margins. Systems will be stretched to the absolute limits daily and are completely incapable of coping with anything beyond that.

Robustness include redundancy and spare capacity. No robust system can compete in the 21st century free for all of unregulated capitalism.

Meanwhile, neoliberalism demands that every system essential for human life be removed from governments and given over to capitalism. We call this democracy, but it seems more like a Divine Right of Oligarchs.

Some of the most innovative, outside the box, exciting, trans-disciplinary places to work and do research in the post war period were US weapons labs.

Norbert Wiener's concept of cybernetics comes from this milieu.

This shows:

1. State bureaucracies can afford high degrees of freedom and creativity when motivated to do so.

2. Public ownership can be both robust and flexible - when so motivated.

3. Internet utopianism, which also stems from this milieu, was always inherently doomed because the power mechanics of the military industrial complex were never made explicit, let alone examined, challenged or removed. This was hidden in plain sight, but it was hidden. (Especially from the Gen Xers who bought into it wholesale.)

@celesteh also in Europe the research centres of the nationalised PTT (Post, Telegraph and Telephone) administrations, the technical departments of public service broadcasters (there was a lot of crossover between the two) and research labs of other public infrastructure utilities carried out much the same functions..

@celesteh Are you up for elaborating more on point 3 re internet utopianism? As an Oregon Trail kid I expect I've inherited some of this, and I'm not sure I've examined it clearly enough. I get how MIC funding influenced early Internet development, but I'm having trouble connecting the dots to Internet utopianism. Maybe I just don't understand that term?

long 

@epilanthanomai

A lot of late Gen Xers / early millenials, myself included, got drawn into this. We had the idea that the internet would set us free. If only everyone could talk to each other, peace and love would necessarily follow

This is a neoliberal ideology in that it holds that there's no such thing as ideology. If people have disagreements, it's only because they haven't understood each other or have specific material interests for which there can be found a compromise. And since this vision included the idea of a post-scarcity society, those problems can be easily solved if not now, then soon

Us, the online, are a vanguard, leading the way. We are the smartest people in the room. We should be put in charge of everything because we know the internet and the internet is the future, it is everything. We transcend all borders through cyberspace and often in physical space. If you've known and looked up to anybody that keeps a passport and a change of underwear in their backpack (because you never know!), that's a signal of this kind of thinking

Not everything about it is bad, but the major flaws are that it has no concept of ideology or of any form of intersectionality. There is no class, no race, no gender. We're pure electrons and anybody making noise about those outdated concepts Doesn't Get It. There was also some dodgy ideas about the New Economy which was somehow post-capitalism but still with profit

long 

@celesteh Oof, I used to have a lot of this. The years (and especially transition tbqh) have worn the edges off a lot of it, but I don't think I'm really examined it carefully as a thing. Thanks for typing this up.

long 

@epilanthanomai

I'm reading a book about it. _From Counterculture to Cyberculture_ by Fred Turner.

Like Jon Rosman's _The Men Who Stare at Goats_ it talks about how California hippie culture was very much part of the military industrial complex.

@celesteh yup... Resilience and efficiency are in direct opposition. Fragility is strongly linked to efficiency.

"Lean" processes amount to, how can we make this as fragile as possible before it breaks under normal operation?

Sign in to participate in the conversation
LGBT.io

We are a Mastodon instance for LGBT+ and allies!