The Meaning of Macron

When I was reading your conversation, I couldn't help but in my mind begin to substitute the political parties with football clubs, and their managers for the candidates. Is Real still alive, now that Barca has taken a beating? Did we all underestimate Juventus? Will Chelsea trash Arsenal? Are we going to remember Guardiola as one of the greatest managers in history? Is the false nine on the verge of disappearing? And how will Bayern fare with Ancelotti?  Read more…

 

Ein Deutscher ist ein Mensch, der alles w├Ârtlich nimmt

Or, for those who don't understand their language: "A German is a person who takes everything literally." Even Adorno's famous dictum — "A German is a person who cannot tell a lie without believing in it" — is nothing more than a corollary.  Read more…

 

Kellyanne's World

 

The Spectacle is not a collection of images, but a social relation between people, mediated by the New York Times

A beautiful series of rumors, misunderstandings, falsehoods and lies: beginning with the popular thesis that The Society of the Spectacle "helped shape France's student protests and disruptions of 1968", a revolution of bookworms who knew to never judge "a thin book" by its "plain white cover", but always by the first paragraph of its first chapter, which, just like the famous intro of The Communist Manifesto that the author quotes alongside, provided much-needed "political praxis couched in high drama";  Read more…

 

February 14: Episode 7

If U.S. politics was a bad TV series (and it is), then today feels like Episode 7, out of 12.  Read more…

 

Ten Theses Less

When I saw the "10 Preliminary Theses on Trump", what made me feel uneasy was, mostly, a matter of form: that the "10 Theses" format seemed strangely anachronistic, inadequate for a phenomenon like Trump, and that of all the attributes one could have possibly picked, "preliminary" looked like the least appropriate choice for something written in late January 2017. The most famous (and most famously wrong) "N Preliminary Theses on Trump" text, Nate Silver's "Donald Trump's Six Stages of Doom", was published in August 2015, and that was the time when it was still possible — reasonable, as Nate Silver would argue — to think that "preliminary" might do. That has changed.  Read more…

 

January 30: Time To Wake Up

"The media always has taken Trump literally. It never takes him seriously." — Peter Thiel  Read more…

 

Russia? China? It's Minecraft you should fear, and bored teenagers!

[TL;DR: If this is already too long, forget it. But here's the bottom line: If you want to continue debating "foreign cyber warfare targeting Western democracies" without looking like an utter clown, you should read the articles linked below. Specifically (3), which is the most illuminating piece of investigative journalism I have read online all month, and (4), because instead of perpetuating myths about technology, it documents how stuff actually works.]  Read more…

 

January 23: Trump Question

So let me play the inverse of devil's advocate for a moment: Lets assume this is all on track. Market capitalism is coming apart, just like state capitalism around 1990. Ruthless financialization has finally broken the century-old bond between deterritorialization and reterritorialization, and what we're witnessing — in Brexit, in Trump — are simply the death throes of the reterritorializing forces, the moment when there is no more territory left, and not enough fuel. "Late capitalism" wasn't jargon, it was a correct attempt at periodization, all the time, and this is the end, a desperate final assault, of male white corporate oppression.  Read more…

 

Re: Cambridge Analytica

So far, the "imaginary product" is almost 100% vaporware. The great success of right-wing propaganda is not that the Trump campaign (or CA, SCL, the alt-right or the Russians) manipulated the U.S. election by means of fake news, big data, geo-location, micro-targeting and psychological warfare, but that they manage to make people believe that that's how they did it.  Read more…