We can use computers to simulate some of the intimacy of tribal life, but we need humans to evoke the shame that leads to cooperation. The emergence of new tools— language, writing, the Internet—cannot completely replace the eyes. Face-to-face interactions, such as those outside Trader Joe’s stores, are still the most impressive form of dissent.

Read this immediately. It’s absolutely worth your time.

Are you wealthy enough to afford cuts of [insert farm name] [insert special breed of pig] slow poached in [insert another farm name’s] [insert special type of milk] served with greens from [insert urban rooftop garden]? Then you are eating like a White Person. Do you feel really good about yourself while you’re doing it? Then you are a White Person.

Did this seriously get published in GOOD.is without someone telling the author that the “white people” phenomenon she is referring to is a product of class status, globalization and  cross-cultural growth? I understand being provocative can help drive interest in an article, but how can you talk about class without actually using the word class? The author states that “white people food” has a lot to do with money but then continues to subsume the issue of economic capital under the category of race. Each of the author’s arguments about well-reviewed restaurants in New York and their relative proximity to or location in Manhattan has everything to do with money not race. Manhattan is an island of the rich and poor; the middle class is mostly priced outside of it. Call it “Rich People Food” if you must because that’s at least a little more accurate. 

To be clear, there is indeed a relationship between race and class status. That relationship is not really explored in the article. People with enough money to be foodies are “whites.”  What about the issues of cultural appropriation and fetishism inherent in the author’s definition of “white people food”?  The whole article reads  like something between white guilt and post-colonial studies for dummies. 

Abstract: “Web 2.0” platforms such as YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, Flickr, and Twitter that focus on data sharing, communication, community, and co-production have become very popular. It is therefore important to understand the economic organization of these platforms. The discussion of surveillance in web 2.0 is important because such platforms collect huge amounts of personal data in order to work. In this paper, first the example of Google Buzz is discussed. Next, a model that conceptualizes the cycle of capital accumulation and distinguishes between production and circulation of capital is introduced, after which the role of surveillance in web 2.0 is outlined based on the cycle of capital accumulation. The notions of the Internet prosumer commodity and web 2.0 surveillance are introduced in order to characterize the relationship of production, consumption, and surveillance on web 2.0

Mama has a new favorite academic journal, Surveillance and Society

BBC’s five minute interview with the popular philosopher, Alain de Botton. De Botton waxes philosophical about how reading and writing are a response to anxiety, why his children will never read a book and the importance of thinkers and ideas in society.

Everything digital activists do is meticulously monitored and analysed. The obsession with tracking clicks turns digital activism into clicktivism…Digital activists hide behind gloried stories of viral campaigns and inflated figures of how many millions signed their petition in 24 hours. Masters of branding, their beautiful websites paint a dazzling self-portrait. But, it is largely a marketing deception. While these organisations are staffed by well-meaning individuals who sincerely believe they are doing good, a bit of self-criticism is sorely needed from their leaders…Clicktivists are to blame for alienating a generation of would-be activists with their ineffectual campaigns that resemble marketing.Digital activism is a danger to the left. Its ineffectual marketing campaigns spread political cynicism and draw attention away from genuinely radical movements. Political passivity is the end result of replacing salient political critique with the logic of advertising.

Clicktivism is ruining leftist activism

Via The Guardian