Wednesday 14 December 2022


Writer Mary McCarthy said of writer Lillian Hellman ...'Every word she utters is a lie. Including 'and' and 'the.' Was reminded of this having just binge watched Meghan and Harry's 'truth'. Feel I am about to go into a diabetic coma. I won't go on...only to say her next book should be 'The Ladybird Book Of Re Writing History', My favourite bit was when Harry gave her an adoring look as she explained; 'I said....'Walk about? What on earth is a walk about?' It was very well done, fantastic PR and stomach churning.
Janey Preger

In economics, the ‘tragedy of the commons’ refers to a situation in which individuals, who have open access to a common resource without shared rules about how to use it, act according to their own self-interest, which leads to the ultimate depletion of that resource. The usual example is public pasture land, also called a commons in Britain. If the pasture is grazed by everyone’s livestock, and maintained by no one, it will soon be overgrazed and destroyed.

...Matt Crawford writes in his exceptional book, The World Beyond Your Head, about our attentional commons. About the effect of having every visible surface and screen around us beeping and flashing, seducing the primitive parts of our brains with ever more enticing and inescapable signals. The problem is that attention is deeply enmeshed with agency, with your capacity to be fully human, and it is being sold and consumed, chaotically, unchecked on sparkling widgets and ever more elaborate slot machines.

This is just one example of a domain that has been left to the gods of autonomy by both the libertarian Right and the liberal Left. There are many more.

Alex Kaschuta, American Mind, 27 September 2022
For example, some censorship is an inevitability in the digital era. At the same time, the digital public square undermines trust in institutional authority — and also objectivity as such. It hollows out localism, attenuating electoral politics and virtualising “communities”, which in turn compromises: “losers’ consent”. At the material level, these shifts combine with the brute fact that the post-industrial masses are genuinely less essential to the functioning of the overall economy than industrial workers, meaning their voice can often safely be ignored.

...The Biden administration is fond of talking about “democracy” versus “autocracy”, but it might be more accurate to talk about swarmism and Caesarism. Swarmism is a kind of post-democratic democracy: a mutant form of liberal proceduralism, characterised by collective decision-making in which no one is ever individually accountable. Instead, consequential decisions are as far as possible pushed out to supposedly neutral procedures or even machines. When NGO officials whom you can’t vote out of your political ecosystem talk about “our democracy”, they’re talking about swarmism.

Caesarism, on the other hand, looks substantially the same at lower levels. The main difference is that you get named humans in key decision-making roles — complete with human partiality, eccentricity, and occasional fallibility. Twitter was, until recently, a key vector of elite swarmism. And to swarmists, such rule by a named individual, rather than a collective and some committee-generated “guidelines”, is by definition morally wrong. This core assumption oozes, for example, from this report on the takeover, with its empathetic depiction of the anonymous, collegiate collective of sacked Trust and Safety workers sharply contrasted with the autocratic, erratic individual Elon Musk.
Mary Harrington, Unherd, 7 December 2022

'So we have entered an age of dangers, and the pillars of Western civilisation, once thought unshakable, are cracking.'

Viktor Orbán at the Summer Free University and Student Camp 23 July 2022, Băile Tuşnad

'The aim should not be to become a world political player. It should be enough for our ambition to be that the EU is able to defend its own borders; but it cannot, and poor Salvini – who tried to do so – is being taken to court, and there are those who want to imprison him.'

1 comment:

  1. Swarmism is very annoying.