Slava Gerovitch: From Newspeak to Cyberspeak: A History of Soviet Cybernetics (2004)

30 May 2009, dusan

In this book, Slava Gerovitch argues that Soviet cybernetics was not just an intellectual trend but a social movement for radical reform in science and society as a whole. Followers of cybernetics viewed computer simulation as a universal method of problem solving and the language of cybernetics as a language of objectivity and truth. With this new objectivity, they challenged the existing order of things in economics and politics as well as in science.

The history of Soviet cybernetics followed a curious arc. In the 1950s it was labeled a reactionary pseudoscience and a weapon of imperialist ideology. With the arrival of Khrushchev’s political “thaw,” however, it was seen as an innocent victim of political oppression, and it evolved into a movement for radical reform of the Stalinist system of science. In the early 1960s it was hailed as “science in the service of communism,” but by the end of the decade it had turned into a shallow fashionable trend. Using extensive new archival materials, Gerovitch argues that these fluctuating attitudes reflected profound changes in scientific language and research methodology across disciplines, in power relations within the scientific community, and in the political role of scientists and engineers in Soviet society. His detailed analysis of scientific discourse shows how the Newspeak of the late Stalinist period and the Cyberspeak that challenged it eventually blended into “CyberNewspeak.”

Published by MIT Press, 2004
ISBN 0262572257, 9780262572255
383 pages

Key terms:
newspeak, Norbert Wiener, dialectical materialism, Soviet Union, machine translation, Moscow University, John von Neumann, structural linguistics, Stalin, Stalinist, information theory, Roman Jakobson, servomechanisms, Andrei Markov, Cold War, Andrei Kolmogorov, Liapunov, entropy, Pavlovian, BESM

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PDF (updated on 2012-7-25)

David Harvey: A Brief History of Neoliberalism (2005)

30 May 2009, dusan

Neoliberalism–the doctrine that market exchange is an ethic in itself, capable of acting as a guide for all human action–has become dominant in both thought and practice throughout much of the world since 1970 or so. Writing for a wide audience, David Harvey, author of The New Imperialism and The Condition of Postmodernity, here tells the political-economic story of where neoliberalization came from and how it proliferated on the world stage. Through critical engagement with this history, he constructs a framework, not only for analyzing the political and economic dangers that now surround us, but also for assessing the prospects for the more socially just alternatives being advocated by many oppositional movements.

Published by Oxford University Press, 2005
ISBN: 0199283273, 978-0199283279
254 pages

Key terms:
neoliberal, neoconservative, accumulation by dispossession, South Korea, capital accumulation, chaebols, Argentina, Keynesian, monetarism, foreign direct investment, Indonesia, World Bank, Margaret Thatcher, Mexico, TVEs, capitalist, Chile, Taiwan, Mont Pelerin Society, nomic

google books

PDF (updated on 2012-12-20)

Jacques Rancière: The Future of the Image (2007)

30 May 2009, dusan

A leading philosopher presents a radical manifesto for the future of art and film

In The Future of the Image, Jacques Rancière develops a fascinating new concept of the image in contemporary art, showing how art and politics have always been intrinsically intertwined. Covering a range of art movements, and thinkers such as Foucault, Deleuze, Adorno, Barthes, Lyotard and Greenberg, Rancière argues that contemporary theorists of the image are suffering from religious tendencies. He suggests that there is a stark political choice in art: it can either reinforce a radical democracy, or create a new reactionary mysticism. For Rancière there is never a pure art: the aesthetic revolution will always embrace egalitarian ideals.

Published by Verso, London, 2007
ISBN: 1844671070, 9781844672974
160 pages

Review (Robert Porter)
Review (Brian Dillon)

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PDF (Index missing; updated on 2012-7-14)

Agnes Ivacs and János Sugár (eds.): Buldózer: Médiaelméleti antológia (1997) [Hungarian]

28 May 2009, dusan

220 pages anthology of contemporary media theory in Hungarian.
Published in October 97 by Media Research Foundation.
edited by: Agnes Ivacs and Janos Sugar
in cooperation with: Diana McCarty, Geert Lovink and Pit Schultz
biographical notes by: Diana McCarty
layout: Balazs Boethy using Heath Buntings graphic
ISSN: 1417-6033

Introduction by Janos Sugar (English)
Preface by Geert Lovink (English)
Gilles Delueze – Postscript on the Societies of Control
Thomas Pynchon – Is it O.K. to be a Luddite?
Tjebbe van Tijen – Ars Oblivivendi
Bruce Sterling- The Brief History of the Internet
Richard Barbrook – Andy Cameron – Californian Ideology
Manuel De Landa – Markets and Antimarkets
closing debate of MetaForum 3
Felix Stalder – Financial Networks
Matthew Fuller- Spew- Excess and Moderation on the Networks
Critical Art Ensemble – Net Realities – Utopian Promises
Data Trash an interview with Arthur Kroker by Geert Lovink
Janos Sugar – Paradigm Shift Interruptus
Pit Schultz – The Final Content
Geert Lovink – A Push Media Critique
Alexei Shulgin – Art, Power, and Communication
Calin Dan – Journey through a Data Room
David Garcia / Geert Lovink – ABC of Tactical Media
Miklos Peternak – In Medias Res – The Man without Interface
Lev Manovich – Digital Reality
Hans-Christian Dany – Schizos Still Wanna Have Fun
Michael Heim – Anxieties
Attila Kotanyi – Is There Any Media Criticism That Isn’t Suicidal?
Gabor Bora – AI Service
Alpar Losoncz – Digitalization of Borders
Erik Davis – Technoculture and the Religious Imagination
Peter Lamborn Wilson – Net-Religion – War in Heaven

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Michael J. Shapiro: Cinematic Geopolitics (2008)

27 May 2009, dusan

In recent years, film has been one of the major genres within which the imaginaries involved in mapping the geopolitical world have been represented and reflected upon.

In this book, one of America’s foremost theorists of culture and politics treats those aspects of the “geopolitical aesthetic” that must be addressed in light of both the post cold war and post 9/11 world and contemporary film theory and philosophy. Beginning with an account of his experience as a juror at film festival’s, Michael J. Shapiro’s Cinematic Geopolitics analyzes the ways in which film festival space and both feature and documentary films function as counter-spaces to the contemporary “violent cartography” occasioned by governmental policy, especially the current “war on terror.”

Influenced by the cinema-philosophy relationship developed by Gilles Deleuze and the politics of aesthetics thinking of Jacques Ranciere, the book’s chapters examines a range of films from established classics like the Deer Hunter and the Battle of Algiers to contemporary films such as Dirty Pretty Things and the Fog of War. Shapiro’s use of philosophical and theoretical works makes this cutting edge examination of film and politics essential reading for all students and scholars with an interest in film and politics.

Published by Routledge, 2008
ISBN 041577635X, 9780415776356
180 pages

Key terms:
Okwe, Deer Hunter, Dirty Pretty Things, fog of war, war on terror, El Salvador, Road to Guantanamo, Critique of Judgment, Gilles Deleuze, Jacques Ranciere, biopolitical, Cold War, Afghanistan, geopolitical, Fahrenheit 9/11, John Cassady, Iraq, Vietnam War, Predator Drone

google books

PDF (updated on 2012-9-7)

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