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Thursday, February 28, 2002
posted by raaka

The emphasis on theory is one of the major differences between European and American political mechanics. Europeans (Negri is Italian) like to start with a theory and turn it into reality—community bike programs started as theories to address cheap public transit. Americans like starting with reality and turning it into a theory—e.g. "Bush Doctrine". Not surprisingly, most American reviewers dismissed the book as unrelentingly theoritical.

in rebecca's pocket

In Europe, a different approach [from risk analysis] has taken hold. When Germany, for example, discovered in the 70's that its beloved forests were suddenly dying, there was not yet scientific proof that acid rain was the culprit. But the government acted to slash power-plant emissions anyway, citing the principle of Vorsorge, or 'forecaring.'

Soon, Vorsorgeprinzip – the forecaring, or precautionary, principle – became an axiom in German environmental law. Even in the face of scientific uncertainty, the principle states, actions should be taken to prevent harms to the environment and public health.

[:: comment! :]

Wednesday, February 27, 2002
man, the moon is HUGE tonite!

powerful ordeal :)

[:: comment! :]

Tuesday, February 26, 2002
music!

stories :)

[:: comment! :]

Monday, February 25, 2002
thirst for justice (conspiracy!)

the onion a.v. club (movies :)

[:: comment! :]

Sunday, February 24, 2002
escaping the iron cage, or, subversive rationalization and democratic theory by andrew feenberg

A great deal of 20th century social thought has been based on a pessimistic view of modernity that achieved its classic expression in Max Webers theory of rationalization. According to Weber, modernity is characterized by the increasing role of calculation and control in social life, a trend leading to what he called the iron cage of bureaucracy. Human beings enslaved by a rational order have become mere cogs in the social machinery, objects of technical control in much the same way as raw materials and the natural environment. While this view is overdrawn, it is true that as more and more of social life is structured by technically mediated organizations such as corporations, state agencies, and medical institutions, the technical hierarchy is increasingly identified with the social and political hierarchy.

charisma, crowd psychology and altered states of consciousness by charles lindholm

Crowd psychology therefore unites Durkheim and Weber by placing an ecstatic and convulsive charismatic at the center of a receptive group. The state of torpor that Weber saw in tradition is here understood as the somnambulistic trance that precedes charismatic involvement in a state of collective effervescence. The moral quality of crowd participation and charismatic excitement is now also reversed. Where Durkheim portrayed the vitality of society arising from communal experiences of unity, and where Weber hoped for the arrival of a transformative new prophet who could break open the iron cage of instrumental rationality, crowd psychology gives us frightening imagery of both groups and leaders; imagery that points not toward the church and the prophet, but toward Nazism and Hitler. As Le Bon prophetically writes, as a consequence of the erosion of traditional bonds of kinship, ethnicity and religion that kept the regression to mass consciousness at bay, "the age we are about to enter will in truth be the ERA OF CROWDS" (1952:14).

[:: comment! :]

Saturday, February 23, 2002
writing (via ptypes)

Ascent towards universality.

Actualizes what is latent in mind.

The subjective becomes objective.

Writer feels part of a community.

temperament and disposition (10,000 maniacs)

something is out of reach

something he wanted

something is out of reach

he's being taunted

something is out of reach

that he can't beg or steal nor can he buy

[:: comment! :]

Friday, February 22, 2002
lego mecha (thanks carey!)

glossary of the humanities (under construction :)

(Burke 1945: xv) 'We shall use five terms as generating principle of our investigation. They are: Act, Scene, Agent, Agency, Purpose. In a rounded statement about motives, you must have some word that names the act (names what took place, in thought or deed), and another that names the scene (the background of the act, the situation in which it occurred); also, you must indicate what person or kind of person ( agent ) performed the act, what means or instruments he used ( agency ), and the purpose . Men may violently disagree about the purposes behind a given act, or about the character of the person who did it, or how he did it, or in what kind of situation he acted; or they may even insist upon totally different words to name the act itself. But be that as it may, any complete statement about motives will offer some kind of answers to these five questions: what was done (act), when or where it was done (scene), who did it (agent), how he did it (agency), and why (purpose)' .

[:: comment! :]

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