24/06/2013

Machines, monkeys, love and vegetation

In 2011 the filmmaker Adam Curtis created for the BBC a documentary series of three chapters which holds that computers not only have failed in getting the old dream of improving Mankind, but have ‘distorted and simplified our view of the world around us’. The suggestive title of the series is taken from the homonymous poem written in 1967 by Richard Brautigan: ‘All watched over by machines of loving grace’.

In this first episode, ‘Love and power’, Curtis tracks the effects of writer and philosopher Ayn Rand‘s ideas on American financial markets, particularly via the influence on Alan Greenspan, chairman of the US Federal Reserve from 1987 to 2006.

‘The use and abuse of vegetational concepts’ investigates how machine ideas such as cybernetics and systems theory were applied to natural ecosystems, and how this relates to the false idea that there is a balance of nature. Cybernetics has been applied to human beings to attempt to build societies without central control, self organising networks built of people, based on a fantasy view of nature.

‘The monkey in the machine and the machine in the monkey’ looked into The Selfish Gene Theory, which was conceived by William D. Hamilton and holds that we humans are machines controlled by our own genes.

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array(4) { [0]=> object(WP_Post)#1760 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(5593) ["post_author"]=> string(4) "2046" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2014-02-03 00:01:00" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2014-02-02 23:01:00" ["post_content"]=> string(1677) "Los medios actuales de comunicación en las redes sociales nos permiten moldear una identidad personal a medida, con la que relacionarnos con el mundo. Fotografías, mensajes, referencias, comentarios, vídeos y canciones, estratégicamente seleccionados, responden a un deseo general de mostrarnos y ser aceptados como nos gustaría ser. Sin quererlo, se ha generado un gap entre quiénes somos, con nuestras flaquezas y alegrías, y cómo nos mostramos al mundo en diferido. En la entretela de estas dos bandas separadas por la técnica digital se hacina mucha soledad, de esa que es triste. Estamos conectados con cientos de personas y tal vez más solitarios que nunca. De esto trata 'The innovation of loneliness' —La innovación de la soledad—, una pieza de animación de Shimi Cohen basada en un libro de Sherry Turkle titulado 'Alone together' —Juntos a solas—.The current social networks allow us to mold a personal identity with which we relate to the world. Photos, messages, references, comments, videos and songs, strategically selected, reflect a general desire to show us and be accepted as we would like to be. Unwittingly, it has been created a gap between who we are, with our foibles and joys, and how we show deferred to the world. In the interlining of these two bands separated by digital technology there are much loneliness, that kind of loneliness which is sad. We are connected with hundreds of people and perhaps more lonely than ever. All this is dealt in 'The innovation of loneliness', a piece of animation made by Shimi Cohen, based on a book by Sherry Turkle titled 'Alone together'." ["post_title"]=> string(124) "Juntos a solas, la innovación de la soledadAlone together, the innovation of loneliness" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(43) "alone-together-the-innovation-of-loneliness" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2020-02-19 00:15:54" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-02-18 23:15:54" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(29) "http://whatonline.org/?p=5593" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [1]=> object(WP_Post)#1754 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(1829) ["post_author"]=> string(4) "2049" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2012-05-18 00:14:04" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2012-05-17 22:14:04" ["post_content"]=> string(3315) "El Decrecimiento es una corriente de pensamiento político, económico y social que propone la disminución regular y controlada de la producción económica, con el objetivo de establecer una nueva relación de equilibrio entre el ser humano y la Naturaleza, y también entre los propios humanos. Nacido en la segunda mitad del siglo XX, se presenta a principios del XXI como candidato a suceder al Capitalismo. Sostiene que estamos jugando con la resistencia del planeta y debemos aprender a vivir felices con menos bienes de consumo, a un ritmo más natural, y para conseguirlo cree necesaria la combinación de tres tipos de actuaciones: la personal —mayor responsabilidad, reducción del consumo, reutilización de las cosas, menor uso del coche, etc—, la colectiva o local —consumo de productos locales, apoyo a la movilidad sostenible, rechazo a la especulación urbanística, etc— y la política o global —control de la publicidad, elección de bancos locales y éticos, reparto del empleo con reducciones de jornada, protección de los sectores más vulnerables, etc—. Dice el economista Serge Latouche, uno de sus máximos defensores, que 'la gente feliz no suele consumir'. Otro de ellos, Paul Ariès, politólogo y escritor, defiende en este vídeo la necesidad de construir una sociedad que respete el planeta y cuyo objetivo sea el bienestar de la inmensa mayoría de sus integrantes.Degrowth is a current political, economic and social thought which proposes regular and controlled reduction of economic output, with the aim of establishing a new equilibrium relationship between man and nature, and between humans themselves. Born in the second half of the twentieth century, is presented at the beginning of XXI as a candidate to succeed Capitalism. He argues that we are playing with the resistance of the planet and must learn to live happily with less consumer goods, at a more natural, and believes necessary to achieve the combination of three types of actions: the personal —more responsibility, reducing consumption, reuse things, less use of the car, etc—, the collective or local —consumption of local products, support sustainable mobility, urban speculation rejection, etc— and policy or global —control of advertising, choosing local and ethical banks, job sharing with reduced working hours, protection of the most vulnerable sectors, etc—. The economist Serge Latouche, one of its greatest advocates, says that 'happy people do not usually consumes'. Another, Paul Ariès, political scientist and writer, argues in this video the need to build a society that respects the planet and aimed at the welfare the vast majority of its members." ["post_title"]=> string(103) "La gente feliz no suele consumirHappy people do not usually consume" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(35) "happy-people-do-not-usually-consume" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2020-02-16 16:51:00" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-02-16 15:51:00" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(29) "http://whatonline.org/?p=1829" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "8" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [2]=> object(WP_Post)#1762 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(5166) ["post_author"]=> string(4) "2049" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2013-08-19 00:01:28" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2013-08-18 22:01:28" ["post_content"]=> string(7376) "El triángulo de la violencia, definido por el sociólogo noruego Johan Galtung, identifica tres tipos de violencia y sostiene que el fenómeno tiene una estructura similar a la de un iceberg, ya que tras su parte visible siempre existe una mucho mayor que permanece oculta. La violencia directa correspondería a la punta del iceberg y tiene como principal característica el hecho de que la mayoría de sus efectos son visibles, principalmente los materiales, aunque no todos: el odio generado, los traumas psicológicos creados o la aparición de conceptos como el de 'enemigo' son efectos igual de graves que no suelen ser considerados como tales. Al ser el tipo de violencia más conocida y evidente, es común pensar que es la peor de todas las violencias, lo cual no es cierto precisamente por esa visibilidad, que la hace más fácil de identificar y por tanto de combatir. Es importante señalar que este tipo de violencia es la manifestación de algo, no su origen, y es en los orígenes donde deben buscarse las causas y puede actuarse con mayor eficacia. La violencia directa no afecta a tantas personas como las otras dos, cultural y estructural, que formarían la parte oculta del iceberg. La violencia cultural es una violencia simbólica, que se expresa en infinidad de medios —religión, ideología, lenguaje, arte, ciencia, medios de comunicación, educación, etc—y cumple la función de legitimar la violencia directa y estructural, así como de inhibir o reprimir la respuesta de quienes la sufren. Ofrece incluso justificaciones para que los seres humanos, a diferencia del resto de especies, se destruyan mutuamente y hasta sean recompensados por hacerlo: no es extraño aceptar la violencia en nombre de la patria o de la religión. Existe una cultura de la violencia en la que las escuelas y demás medios de transmisión y reproducción de cultura muestran la historia como una sucesión de guerras; la costumbre es que los conflictos se repriman por la incuestionable autoridad paterna, o por la autoridad del macho sobre la hembra; los medios de comunicación de masas venden el uso de ejércitos como la vía principal de solución de los conflictos internacionales, etc. De modo que la vida transcurre en un ambiente de violencia constante, que se manifiesta a diario en todos los ámbitos y a todos los niveles. La violencia estructural aparece cuando, como resultado de procesos de estratificación social, se produce un perjuicio en la satisfacción de las necesidades humanas básicas: supervivencia, bienestar, identidad, libertad, etc. Está originada por todo un conjunto de estructuras, tanto físicas como organizativas, que no permiten la satisfacción de esas necesidades y es la peor de las tres violencias porque es el origen de todas, la que más mata y a más personas afecta. Es también un tipo de violencia indirecta y en ocasiones incluso no intencionada: las acciones que provocan el hambre en el mundo, por ejemplo, no están diseñadas y realizadas directamente con ese fin, sino que derivan de la política económica capitalista y el injusto reparto de la riqueza. Esto provoca que, al contrario de lo que ocurre con la violencia directa, en ocasiones las causas que producen la violencia estructural no sean visibles con claridad y sea más complicado enfrentarse a ella. Siempre según Galtung, a menudo las causas de la violencia directa están relacionadas con situaciones de violencia estructural y justificadas por la violencia cultural: muchas situaciones son consecuencia de un abuso de poder que recae sobre un grupo oprimido, o de una situación de injusticia social —reparto de recursos insuficiente, gran desigualdad en la renta de las personas, dificultad de acceso a los servicios sociales— y reciben el espaldarazo de discursos que las justifican.The triangle of violence, defined by the Norwegian sociologist Johan Galtung, identifies three types of violence and argues that the phenomenon has a similar structure to that of an iceberg, in which there is always a small visible part and a huge hidden part. Direct violence is the tip of the iceberg and has as its main characteristic the fact that most of its effects are visible, mainly the materials, but not all of them: hate, psychological trauma or the emergence of concepts such as 'enemy' are equally serious effects, but they are often not seen as such. Being the most popular and obvious, it is commonly thought that direct is the worst kind of violence, which is not true for precisely this visibility, which makes it easier to identify and therefore to combat. It is important to note that this type of violence is the manifestation of something, not its origin, and is in the beginning where it should be sought causes and act more effectively. Direct violence does not affect many people as cultural and structural violence, which are the hidden part of the iceberg. Cultural violence is a symbolic violence that is expressed in countless media —religion, ideology, language, art, science, media, education, etc— and serves to legitimize direct and structural violence and to inhibit or suppress the response of the victims. It even offers justifications for humans, unlike other species, to destroy each other and to be rewarded for doing so: it is not strange to accept violence in the name of country or religion. There is a culture of violence in which schools and other instruments of transmission and reproduction of culture show History as a succession of wars; it is usual to suppress conflicts by unquestioned parental authority, or authority of the male over the female; mass media sell armies use as the main way of solving international conflicts, etc. So life goes on in an atmosphere of constant violence, manifested daily in all areas and at all levels. Structural violence is displayed when, as a result of social stratification processes, there is a damage in the satisfaction of basic human needs: survival, welfare, identity, freedom, etc. It is caused by a set of structures, both physical and organizational, which do not allow the satisfaction of those needs and is the worst of the three violence because it is the origin of all and kills and affects more people. It is also a form of indirect violence and sometimes even unintentional: the actions that cause hunger, for example, are not designed and made ​​directly for that purpose, but they are result from capitalist economic policy and the unfair distribution of wealth. This sometimes causes that the reasons of structural violence are not clearly visible and therefore it is more difficult to deal with it. According to Galtung, often causes of direct violence are related to structural violence and justified by cultural violence: many situations are the result of an abuse of power which concerns an oppressed group, or a social injustice —insufficient resources sharing, great inequality in personal income, limited access to social services— and receive the backing of speeches justifying them." ["post_title"]=> string(117) "Violencia directa, cultural y estructuralDirect, cultural and structural violence" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(39) "direct-cultural-and-structural-violence" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2021-06-07 12:57:44" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2021-06-07 10:57:44" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(29) "http://whatonline.org/?p=5166" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [3]=> object(WP_Post)#1860 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(2715) ["post_author"]=> string(4) "2049" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2012-06-25 00:04:56" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2012-06-24 22:04:56" ["post_content"]=> string(2119) "La Felicidad Nacional Bruta (FNB) o Felicidad Interior Bruta (FIB) es un indicador que mide la calidad de vida de las personas en términos más holísticos y psicológicos que el tradicional Producto Interior Bruto (PIB). El término fue propuesto en 1972 por Jigme Singye Wangchuck, rey de Bután, como respuesta a las constantes críticas sobre la mala marcha de la economía del país. Las medidas derivadas de este concepto se aplican en la vida cotidiana de los butaneses teniendo en cuenta las peculiaridades de su cultura, basada principalmente en el budismo. Mientras los modelos convencionales observan el crecimiento económico como objetivo principal, el concepto de FNB se basa en la premisa de que el verdadero desarrollo de la sociedad humana se encuentra en la complementación y refuerzo mutuo de los desarrollos material y espiritual. Sus cuatro pilares son la promoción del desarrollo socioeconómico sostenible e igualitario, la preservación y promoción de valores culturales, la conservación del Medio Ambiente y el establecimiento de un buen gobierno.Gross National Happiness (GNH) or Gross Domestic Happiness (GDH) its an indicator that measures people's life quality in more holistic and psychological terms than the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The term was proposed in 1972 by Jigme Singye Wangchuck, King of Buthan, as an answer to the constant criticism to the bad economy of the country. The measures resulting from this concept are applied in everyday life of the Bhutanese taking into account the peculiarities of their culture, based mainly in Buddhism. While conventional models observed economic growth as its main objective, the concept of GNH is based on the premise that true development of human society is in the complementarity and mutual reinforcement of material and spiritual developments. Its four pillars are: the promotion of sustainable and equitable socio-economic development, preservation and promotion of cultural values, conservation of the environment and the establishment of good governance." 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