Aldous Huxley’s “Impersonal Forces”

 

“Impersonal forces over which we have almost no control seem to be pushing us all in the direction of the Brave New Worldian nightmare; and this impersonal pushing is being consciously accelerated by representatives of commercial and political organizations who have developed a number of new techniques for manipulating, in the interest of some minority, the thoughts and feelings of the masses.” – Aldous Huxley, Preface to A Brave New World

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”

Via Happy Birthday, Aldous Huxley: A Rare, Prophetic 1958 Interview by Mike Wallace | Brain Pickings

http://theyellowbrickroadfreeblog.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/mind-control-theories-and-techniques-used-by-mass-media/

More slaves today than at any point in human history

“There are more slaves today than at any point in human history – 27 million worldwide. The best numbers on the subject reflect that 1-1.2 million children are trafficked every year, and 100,000 human trafficking victims are currently in the United States. After drug dealing, human trafficking (both sex trafficking and trafficking for forced labor) is tied with the illegal arms industry as the second largest criminal industry in the world today, and it’s the fastest growing. 80% of trafficking victims are women and girls. “

http://www.alternet.org/investigations/there-are-now-more-slaves-any-point-human-history

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The Power of Networks

A new video from the lovely RSA Animate team, this time on the Power of Networks.  

Introduced me to the concept of “Rhizome“:

Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari use the term “rhizome” and “rhizomatic” to describe theory and research that allows for multiple, non-hierarchical entry and exit points in data representation and interpretation. In A Thousand Plateaus, they oppose it to an arborescent conception of knowledge, which works with dualist categories and binary choices. A rhizome works with planar and trans-species connections, while an arborescent model works with vertical and linear connections. Their use of the “orchid and the wasp” is taken from the biological concept of mutualism, in which two different species interact together to form a multiplicity (i.e. a unity that is multiple in itself). Horizontal gene transfer would also be a good illustration.

As a model for culture, the rhizome resists the organizational structure of the root-tree system which charts causality along chronological lines and looks for the original source of “things” and looks towards the pinnacle or conclusion of those “things.” A rhizome, on the other hand, is characterized by “ceaselessly established connections between semiotic chains, organizations of power, and circumstances relative to the arts, sciences, and social struggles.” The rhizome presents history and culture as a map or wide array of attractions and influences with no specific origin or genesis, for a “rhizome has no beginning or end; it is always in the middle, between things, interbeing, intermezzo.” The planar movement of the rhizome resists chronology and organization, instead favoring a nomadic system of growth and propagation. In this model, culture spreads like the surface of a body of water, spreading towards available spaces or trickling downwards towards new spaces through fissures and gaps, eroding what is in its way. The surface can be interrupted and moved, but these disturbances leave no trace, as the water is charged with pressure and potential to always seek its equilibrium, and thereby establish smooth space. – Wikipedia