XXIIVV

The whole place has been crafted, complete with faux-authentic food crates and coffee bean sacks, to recreate this farm-to-market experience that stopped existing a long time ago.

Symbols, signs, and simulations had become so all-encompassing, that it is not longer possible to distinguish the real and the symbol. Melancholy is the quality inherent in the mode of disappearance of meaning, in the mode of volitilisation of meaning in operational systems.

What we consider to be social reality is indefinitely reproducible and extendable, with the copy indistinguishable from the original, or perhaps seeming more real than the original.

The modern progress economy dealt in technological potential and progress, whereas the postmodern innovation economy dealt in windows of opportunity that open and close. No one cares about your product; we care about your adoption. No one cares about what your technology does; we care about what problems it solves for users, and how fast you can grow.

Production and the ideals of production have been so successful, that a new stage is reached, a stage that has a certain banality or triviality where the ideal disappears and becomes so commonplace that it does not have meaning associated with it.

Whoever must play, cannot play.
—James P. Carse, Finite and Infinite Games

When one weighed material comforts against something as ineffable, and unpriceable, as integrity, standing up for one's beliefs could seem like a utopian gesture—a moral luxury that was “admirable, perhaps, but quite pointless.” As Havel emphasized in his open letter to Husák, “We are all being publicly bribed.”

dread

commodity

Commodities are interchangeable goods, interchangeability improves trade, standardization, and scale.

When finished objects become commodities and break, they are easily replaced. When you break a chair, you buy another chair. We know well how to make one thousand chairs. But when a unique object breaks, we might mend.

To learn the skill of mending is to also gain the skill of building, to understand the very urge to build. If we never mend, we not only risk building less but building in perverse ways.

To mend is to comprehend a human scale problem, and without this understanding our creations become strange creatures. The more finished goods become commodities, the fewer opportunities an individual has to generate new creation. The ability to mass-produce removes the opportunity for the great many to learn to produce at all.


In the 1976 film Network, a newsreader about to lose his job threatens to kill himself on live TV. Ratings skyrocket, he gets his own talk show as a pundit, and his catchphrase “I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take this anymore!” goes viral.

Premium mediocre is food that Instagrams better than it tastes. Mediocre with just an irrelevant touch of premium, not enough to ruin the delicious essential mediocrity.

This curious world we inhabit is more wonderful than convenient, more beautiful than it is useful, it is more to be admired and enjoyed than used.
—Henry David Thoreau

recyclism

Cultural works, unlike software, are a consumer good, not a tool for use in production, or a producer's good. Producer's goods, as mentioned earlier, are the assets used in production, such as the tools and equipment required to produce consumer goods sold for profit. Capital demand is distinct from consumer demand. Capital demand is the demand for producer's goods; consumer demand is the demand for consumer goods.

Capitalism doesn't require that a profit be made on the production of capital goods because profits are made through the control of the circulation of consumer goods. Anything that decreases the cost of capital consequently increases the potential profit that can be captured through the sale of the goods.

Failure to understand the difference between capital demand and consumer demand propagates the myth that the success of free software can be a template for free culture. Under capitalism, only capital can be free. That’s why software can be free, but culture cannot be free without more fundamental shifts in society.

incoming(2): mirrors moloch