The a**hole certainly isn’t on any endangered species lists. Quite the opposite, in fact. We’re seeing a population explosion. So we have to ask — Are we living in the Age of the A**hole?
Der Chronicle of Higher Education in einem superunterhaltsamen Text über den Philosophen Aaron James und seine Theorie über Arschlöcher. Der Mann hat eine ziemlich schlüssige These aufgestellt, warum das Arschloch an sich so gut in unsere Gesellschaft und in die heutige Zeit passt, im Gegensatz etwa zum Drecksack, Wichser, Scheißkerl oder dem Depp.
James argues for a three-part definition of assholes that boils down to this: Assholes act out of a deep-rooted sense of entitlement, a habitual and persistent belief that they deserve special treatment. (Nunberg points out that use of the phrase “sense of entitlement” tracks the spread of “asshole”—both have spiked since the 1970s.) How to distinguish an asshole from a scumbag, a jerk, a prick, or a schmuck? Assholes are systematic. We all do assholeish things, but only an asshole feels fully justified in always acting like an asshole. As James puts it, “If one is special on one’s birthday, the asshole’s birthday comes every day.”
To put meat on the bones of his theory, James names names. He was loath to do it. “I don’t see my job in life being the asshole police,” he says. But after a few pages of throat clearing—”We happily admit that any examples are properly controversial … we stand ready to update and revise”—he walks us through the “teeming asshole ecosystem.” There is the boorish asshole, who willfully flouts basic standards of decency (Rush Limbaugh and Michael Moore); the smug asshole, who is certain of his intellectual superiority (Richard Dawkins, Larry Summers, and Bernard-Henri Lévy, whom James describes as “a caricature of the intellectual asshole”); the asshole boss (think Michael Scott on television’s The Office); the royal asshole (Henry VIII); the corporate asshole (Steve Jobs); the reckless asshole (Dick Cheney); the self-aggrandizing asshole (Cheney again, also Ralph Nader).
There are many species in the asshole kingdom.
Aaron James Theorie der Arschlöcher gibt’s auch seit ein paar Wochen als Buch, hab’ ich mir grade bestellt und auf meinen Kindle schicken lassen. Weil ich ja sonst nix zu lesen hab’.
In the spirit of the mega-selling On Bullshit, philosopher Aaron James presents a theory of the asshole that is both intellectually provocative and existentially necessary.
What does it mean for someone to be an asshole? The answer is not obvious, despite the fact that we are often personally stuck dealing with people for whom there is no better name. Try as we might to avoid them, assholes are found everywhere—at work, at home, on the road, and in the public sphere. Encountering one causes great difficulty and personal strain, especially because we often cannot understand why exactly someone should be acting like that.
Asshole management begins with asshole understanding. Much as Machiavelli illuminated political strategy for princes, this book finally gives us the concepts to think or say why assholes disturb us so, and explains why such people seem part of the human social condition, especially in an age of raging narcissism and unbridled capitalism. These concepts are also practically useful, as understanding the asshole we are stuck with helps us think constructively about how to handle problems he (and they are mostly all men) presents. We get a better sense of when the asshole is best resisted, and when he is best ignored—a better sense of what is, and what is not, worth fighting for.
Tolles Fotoprojekt namens Suburbia Gone Wild (Website läuft bei mir nicht im Chrome/Mac, allerdings im Firefox) von Martin Adolfsson, der seit ein paar Jahren die Mittelklasse ehemaliger Entwicklungsländer dokumentiert – indem er die Musterhäuser in den Vorstädten fotografiert. Fertighäuser als Metapher auf die Mittelklasse ist nun nicht neu – siehe als prominentes Beispiel „American Beauty“ – zeigt hier aber auch sehr schön, wie unglaublich austauschbar, glatt und leer diese manufaktierte Mittelklasse zumindest äußerlich ist.
Within the past two decades we’ve seen a huge shift in the balance of economic power. Countries that didn’t have a middle class 20 years ago have seen a rapid transformation from an agricultural economy to an industrial-based economy, so much so that a sizable percentage of the population now belongs to the middle class. How does that affect the social groups who have been able to benefit the most from the economic boom? How does that influence one’s identity when the change is so rapid?
Schönes Ding, sucht sich grade Finanzierung für einen Bildband auf Kickstarter:
For the past six years I’ve been photographing model homes built for the newly minted upper middle class in emerging economies around the world. The model home works as a 1:1 scale “no assembly required” model for the potential home buyer that is fully decorated up to and including family photos of John Kerry. The project has been described as a combination of positively amusing and awkwardly eerie, a document of a telegenic standardization that increasingly reflects the constructed world of The Truman Show.
I’ve used model homes as a vehicle to describe the economic and cultural homogenization that is now occurring in many developing countries. The work includes every continent (except Australia) and more specifically the suburbs of Bangkok, Shanghai, Bangalore, Cairo, Moscow, Johannesburg, São Paulo and Mexico City.
Ein Jobcenter in Osterode bietet eine De-Qualifizierung für Akademiker. Zu finden ist das Angebot auf Seite 25 des Programmes (PDF) der Kreis-Volks„hochschule“ Osterode. Das ganze läuft unter dem Stichpunkt „Bewerbungscoaching“ und ich versuche mir grade bildlich vorzustellen, wie sowas aussieht. „Angepasste Kleidung und gezielte Verhaltensänderungen [machen] echte Männer.“ I don’t even.
Ein akademischer Abschluss oder gar eine Promotion kann beim Zugang zu bestimmten Berufen, beispielsweise als Bauhelfer, eine große Einstellungshürde sein. In diesem Kurs versuchen wir, durch Erlernen eines zielgruppenspezifischen Vokabulars, angepasste Kleidung und gezielte Verhaltensänderungen auch aus promovierten Geisteswissenschaftlern wieder echte Männer zu machen. Ein entsprechender Kurs für Frauen ist in Vorbereitung – nähere Infos sind in der KVHS-Geschäftsstelle erhältlich.
Kurs 01.0413 – Intensivkurs, Ab 01.04.2013, Mo.-Fr., 09:00-16:00, 0 € / 40x / 320 UStd.
[update] Der „Kurs“ soll am 1. April 2013 stattfinden, hier hat man anscheinend nen Aprilscherz schonmal vorproduziert, was jetzt auch nicht so richtig formvollendet ist. Aber reingefallen bin ich trotzdem und zutrauen würde ich’s ihnen immer noch. Na gut. Nice one. Narf.
Ich habe Steven Johnsons „Where Good Ideas come from“ gelesen und „The Innovators Cookbook“ ebenfalls, und sein neues Buch „Future Perfect – The Case for Progress in a networked Age“ werde ich definitiv ebenso lesen. Einer der wenigen Leute, die Techno-Optimisten sein können, ohne in Jubel-Utopismus zu verfallen. Brainpickings hat ein Review, Snip von Amazon:
New York Times bestselling author Steven Johnson’s Future Perfect makes the case that a new model of political change is on the rise, transforming everything from local governments to classrooms, from protest movements to health care. Johnson paints a compelling portrait of this new political worldview — influenced by the success and interconnectedness of the Internet, but not dependent on high-tech solutions — that breaks with the conventional categories of liberal or conservative thinking.
With his acclaimed gift for multi-disciplinary storytelling and big ideas, Johnson explores this new vision of progress through a series of fascinating narratives: from the “miracle on the Hudson” to the planning of the French railway system; from the battle against malnutrition in Vietnam to a mysterious outbreak of strange smells in downtown Manhattan; from underground music video artists to the invention of the Internet itself.
At a time when the conventional wisdom holds that the political system is hopelessly gridlocked with old ideas, Future Perfect makes the timely and inspiring case that progress is still possible, and that new solutions are on the rise. This is a hopeful, affirmative outlook for the future, from one of the most brilliant and inspiring visionaries of contemporary culture.
Amazon-Partnerlink: Future Perfect: The Case For Progress In A Networked Age
Tolles Öko-Experiment in Minecraft: WordworksExperiment hat eine abgeschlossene Map mit limitierten Ressourcen erstellt und die Leute auf einem Server darauf losgelassen. Die Folgen: Bäume und Gras waren bald Mangelware, es bildeten sich Clans und eine archaische Tausch-Ökonomie, dazu Raub, Mord und Totschlag um die verbleibenden Rohstoffe. Am erfolgreichsten setzten sich in diesem Szenario die skrupellosesten durch oder wie ein Redditor kommentiert: „the biggest dicks reap the rewards“. Durch den Text muss man sich wegen suboptimaler Formatierung etwas durchquälen, aber sehr spannend, das ganze.
In a very coordinated experiment 30 players spent 2-5 hours playing in a 350×350 world trapped in bedrock. To keep everything fair the server was only running when everyone was available to play. These screenshots come from 2 months after the experiment started. […] The players were unaware of what I was testing; they went into the server with the following rule: “Never leave the bedrock walls”. Some players realized the challenge at hand immediately, but most were unaware of how devastating the consequences of their actions would be.
3 weeks into the expirment flowers were gone forever, sand was deplete making glass rare and hard to replace, and obsidian was un-minable for most players due to a lack of diamond. The players resorted to war to find diamonds. The four clans raided each other bases and griefed each other. This war went on for a few days and The Axe had lost their castle completely. The Brotherhood had to rebuild a very broken town. The Dwarves took minimal damage due to their underground sub-systems and the difficult nature to destroy caves. The Merchant’s Guild took no damage because they won over their fights with complex trade agreements and treaties. At this point The Axe had disbanded. Their members took to their own trying to make it on their own. This left a lot of griefing for trees and trade with the Merchant’s Guild abundant.
Only two people were clearly ahead at this point, (aside from the merchant’s guild doing well too). They earned the name (pardon the language), the dick-ass griefers. These two players had immediately realized what would happen to the map on day one and began to construct an easily defendable a base that was self-sufficient and renewable. They built there base on a giant dirt platform in the sky. They made it come off of a mountain so the grass would grow onto it. When the grass had grown onto their base (A few days in), they had already acquired the needed materials for sticky pistons and buckets. They created a water elevator that could be toggled with the pistons and began destroying the mountain. They dug all the earth out from around them and made their base impossible to reach without the use of the water elevator or towering up. From the first week in they began systematically depleting resources in a way that would set the other players behind. Glass windows were broken, trees and saplings were stolen, massive amounts of dirt were farmed (the importance of this will be revealed later) and they used their power to persuade the other players.
Vorher auf Nerdcore:
10-Year-long Civilisation II-Game creates Hell on virtual World
its a (rehash of) an old 4chan story! it didnt really happen. here are a few things that seem to me that it’s just a big fake.
these “dick ass griefers” base isnt secure at all. very very very easily looted/destroyed, just make a tower of cobble (which everyone had fucktons off)
see that “pitmine”? its a frigging PERFECT square hole. no staircase visible, no cobblestone where they blocked off caves they came across, if it was a real pit mine it would have roads of access and have mistakes.
look at the screenies, those of you who use mcedit will see right away how this world was made. mcedit.
the “merchant’s guild with its iron doors open” is a tiny ass house. wouldn’t even have enough room to store all the cobblestone they dug up.
“(A few days in), they had already acquired the needed materials for sticky pistons and buckets. ” why sticky pistons? non sticky would’ve worked just as well. ok this one’s a bit thin, just pointing out a flaw in the authors writing.
and this in my mind is the big one. there is no way all off this was dug up in 2 months time when the server was only up when everyone was available.
the fact that the OP made an account just to post that and only has 9 posts doesn’t make it more believable.
i believed it too as i was reading it, its a good story, its an interesting idea. but its just that, a story.
Sehr schöner Artikel auf The New Inquiry über den Offline-Backlash, die Fetischierung des Nicht-Online-Seins und den Stolz auf das „Echte-Leben-Haben“ – und wie albern das alles eigentlich in Wahrheit ist. Den Text würde ich gerne einigen Leuten an die Stirn nageln. (Außerdem mag ich sehr, wie der Autor Nathan Jurgenson den Begriff „Phone“ als Anachronismus bezeichnet.)
Critics complain that people, especially young people, have logged on and checked out. Given the addictive appeal of the infostream, the masses have traded real connection for the virtual. They have traded human friends for Facebook friends. Instead of being present at the dinner table, they are lost in their phones. […]
The current obsession with the analog, the vintage, and the retro has everything to do with this fetishization of the offline. The rise of the mp3 has been coupled with a resurgence in vinyl. Vintage cameras and typewriters dot the apartments of Millennials. Digital photos are cast with the soft glow, paper borders, and scratches of Instagram’s faux-vintage filters. The ease and speed of the digital photo resists itself, creating a new appreciation for slow film photography. “Decay porn” has become a thing. […]
In great part, the reason is that we have been taught to mistakenly view online as meaning not offline. The notion of the offline as real and authentic is a recent invention, corresponding with the rise of the online. If we can fix this false separation and view the digital and physical as enmeshed, we will understand that what we do while connected is inseparable from what we do when disconnected. That is, disconnection from the smartphone and social media isn’t really disconnection at all: The logic of social media follows us long after we log out. There was and is no offline; it is a lusted-after fetish object that some claim special ability to attain, and it has always been a phantom.
[update] It’s a fake. (Danke Smackjack!)
The Other Cinema hat kurz nach dem 1. Mai und vor den Londoner Bürgermeister-Wahlen ein Screening von Mathieu Karrovitz “La Haine” (Hass) veranstaltet, parallel in London und Paris, rund ein Jahr nach den London Riots. Das riecht einerseits ein bisschen nach Monetarisierung von Rebellions-Chique (auch wenn die Screenings von Other Cinema gratis sind), aber andererseits denke ich, dass das Statement mit diesem Film in diesen Locations zu diesem Zeitpunkt nicht eindeutiger ausfallen können. Kudos.
On the eve of the London mayoral election, The Other Cinema, from the creators of Secret Cinema, launched with an inspired free community screening of LA HAINE at the Broadwater Farm Community Centre in Tottenham, London.
As part of The Other Cinema network and tour, the production will travel from Broadwater Farm to The Troxy in Limehouse on 4th May, launch in outskirts of Paris, Saint-Ouen (free community screening) and conclude at Le Trianon in central Paris on 5th May where this production will close, the eve of the second round of the French presidential elections. Screenings are confirmed in 12 cities and towns in England and France from 2nd to 5th May, including Tallinn, Estonia.
Mathieu Kassovitz, Director of La Haine, said: “I’m proud and honored that LA HAINE after all these years is still a symbol of rebellion for old and new generations. The film’s impact is way beyond everything any director would hope for and the strength of Asian Dub Foundation’s music makes the film an interactive experience shared by audiences around the world. The choice of Tottenham for the first screening is a symbolic one; youth are still at lost in this globalized political world and don’t have any other voice to be heard than violence. Burning and looting is more than thieves stealing toasters. It’s the voice of the people that are at the lowest step of the ladder. It should be listened to with respect and intelligence and not simple accusations of ‘hoodlism’. I hope these screenings will help remember what we fight for. No justice. No peace.”
Anna Giordano photoshopt zeitgenössische Schöneheitsideale in klassische Kunstwerke um Venus, die Göttin der Liebe. Oben der Skinny Model-Remix von Sandro Botticellis “Die Geburt der Venus”.
Apart from highlighting once again the amazing possibilities of digital technologies applied to art, this job from Anna Giordano is indeed a good cue to reconsider both the subjectivity of cultural standards (in facts, ours are so different from the past ones) and the inclination of modern society and advertising companies to edit most images of feminine body in order to reach a fake perfection, corresponding to an unreachable reality.
Meike Harde hat minimalistische Masken gebastelt, die lediglich die Augen und Mundpartie mit den gephotoshopten Fake-Lächeln irgendwelcher Lifestylemagazin-Bratzen übertüncht. Ergebnis sind erschreckende Gesichter aus dem uncanny Valley, die das wahre Gesicht von sowas aufdecken.
Masks which picture the eye- and mouth area correspond to the current ideal of beauty. When put on, however, they cause a contortion of the face. This is meant to show that artificially produced beauty is not always beautiful; instead it can evoke the very opposite. Furthermore the pressure to be beautiful is to be questioned and denounced.
Superspannende Postings von Bruce Sterling über “New Aesthetics” im Digitalen Zeitalter, mehr oder weniger geht es um Digitalität selbst als neuen Rezeptor bzw. sowas wie ein digitales Sinnesorgan, dessen Eindrücke eine neue Ästhetik schaffen, die sich in Kunst- und anderen Werken wiederfindet.
Ich könnte dazu noch viel mehr erzählen, Sterling führt “New Aesthetics” zurück bis ins 19. Jahrhundert und den ersten Fotografien, aber tatsächlich sind “News Aesthetics” sehr viel älter. Man nehme nur die Bilder von Raphael aus dem Spät-Mittelalter, die der damaligen Kunst etwas bis dato völlig unbekanntes gaben: Perspektive. Bilder bis dahin waren praktisch zweidimensional, wie bei den Ägyptern. Raphael war praktisch “New Aesthetics” (hoffentlich kriege ich das richtig zusammen, ich sitze grade im Netzcafé und kann das nicht nachrecherchieren) und hat mit seinem neuen Spielzeug “Perspektivische Malerei” tatsächlich nicht wenig dabei mitgeholfen, ein ganzes Weltbild zu verändern. Sterlings Postings gehen mir da fast schon nicht weit genug und auch in andere Richtungen. Wie gesagt, ich könnte da noch viel mehr erzählen, aber ich ziehe grade um und hab’ eigentlich gar überhaupt keine Zeit.
One of the core themes of the New Aesthetic has been our collaboration with technology, whether that’s bots, digital cameras or satellites (and whether that collaboration is conscious or unconscious), and a useful visual shorthand for that collaboration has been glitchy and pixelated imagery, a way of seeing that seems to reveal a blurring between “the real” and “the digital”, the physical and the virtual, the human and the machine. It should also be clear that this ‘look’ is a metaphor for understanding and communicating the experience of a world in which the New Aesthetic is increasingly pervasive.
What has been brilliant about the New Aesthetic for me, personally, is that it has produced work, it has made me see and think about the world in a strange way, out of which thinking strange things have fallen, like Rorschmap and Robot Flaneur and Balloon Drones and Shadows, of which more anon.
But what has also been brilliant is that other people have pitched in. I first realised that NA was “a thing” not in that first blog post (I would have given it a better name) but when people started responding and writing about it. They started coming to me, bringing things, and saying “is this New Aesthetic?” or even “I think this is New Aesthetic” and I’d go yes, possibly, or better, why do you think that?
Business Insider hat ein Posting mit Satellitenfotos von Slums. Stinkt ein bisschen nach „The 1% at the top looking down at the 1% at the bottom“ und das Wort „Shocking“ in der Headline stört mich aus ein paar Gründen, aber die Fotos sind dennoch interessant. Bild oben: „Petare, Venezuela. A slum in Caracas with approximately 600,000 – 1 million people.“
Global slums can be vastly different in nature. Some are working-class neighborhoods that have been torn up by gang wars like the Petare slum in Venezuela. Others like Dharavi in Mumbai, a mini-city that operates as a recycling hub and has a booming leather industry, are a permanent fixture.
Slums like Kibera are notoriously difficult to measure because they often serve as a conduit for people shifting from the country to big cities. This list is not exhaustive and the ones that made our list did so on the basis of their crime rate, size, and population.