Agamben got it right all along: the fractal-like proliferation of dispositifs paradoxically begets desubjectivation. When everyone is constantly caught up in apparatuses of identification and classification, then being whatever, being without qualities, escapes from the terror of individuality, where marketing and security become indistinguishable, toward a common beyond predicates. In the future, the black bloc wears GAP.
In an overwhelming majority of cases, these complex, dynamic interactions of cheaper energy, less expensive raw materials, and cheaper manufacture have resulted in such ubiquitous ownership of an increasing range of products and more frequent use of a widening array of services that even the most impressive relative weight reductions accompanying these consumption increases could not be translated into any absolute cuts in the overall use of materials. Indeed, there can be no doubt that relative dematerialization has been a key (and not infrequently the dominant) factor promoting often massive expansion of total material consumption.
Less has thus been an enabling agent of more.
Vaclav Smil, Making the Modern World: Materials and Dematerialization
“Thursdays were the best. In the mornings I had a philosophy class about the body and in the afternoons an anatomy class where we dissected corpses. Barthes gave way to a large, white room that stank of formalin. Merleau-Ponty was followed by corpses wrapped in orange towels and green plastic. In the mornings I would learn to unravel Foucault’s writings and in the afternoons I was supposed to explore the pelvic cavity of a female body without cutting through nerves and blood vessels.”
Annemarie Mol, The Body Multiple. Ontology in Medical Practice
January 28, 2014, 4:07pm
“Until WWII, the field of corporate or business logistics did not exist at all. Instead, logistics was a purely military affair, referring to the methods that armies used to provision themselves, moving supplies from the rear to the front line, a mundane but fundamental enterprise which military historians since Thucydides have acknowledged as a key determinant of the success of expeditionary wars. Business logistics as a distinct field evolved in the 1950s, building upon innovations in military logistics, and drawing upon the interchange of personnel between the military, industry and the academy so characteristic of the postwar period, interchanges superintended by the fields of cybernetics, information theory and operations research. The connection between military and corporate logistics remained intimate. For instance, though Malcolm McLean introduced stackable shipping containers in the 1950s, and had already managed to containerise some domestic transport lines, it was his Sea-Land Service’s container-based solution to the logistics crisis of the Vietnam War that generalised the technology and demonstrated its effectiveness for international trade … Logistics, we might say, is war by other means, war by means of trade.”
“Green dominates the environmental landscape, from the light greenwash of “sustainable lifestyles” to the dark green of deep ecologists. But environmentalism is also black lung disease in coal-mining towns and toxic brownfields in urban neighborhoods, the iridescent sheen of an oil spill and the translucent white of melting polar ice caps. And so I cringe a bit at the term ecosocialism — it’s too earth-toned. What we need is a cyborg socialism that points not to the primacy of ecology, but to the integration of natural and social, organic and industrial, ecological and technological; that recognizes human transformations of the natural world without simply asserting domination over it.”