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   avant-garde movies, motion graphics, and theory

Educational Debt as Social Control

story © Michael Betancourt | published October 16, 2011 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



Digital Capitalism

A highly educated, highly indebted population that still believes that their debts must be repaidthat is willing to sacrifice in order to repay the debts they have incurredmay be the single most important element in maintaining the status quo.




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An 'Obsolete' Human Resource vs. Automated Production

story © Michael Betancourt | published October 16, 2011 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



Digital Capitalism

The earlier ability to consider machine labor as an extension of human actionas the mechanical amplification of human laboris replaced by models where the machine does not augment but supplant, in the process apparently removing the human intermediary that historically lies between the work of designer-engineers and the human production required in the fabrication of their plans.




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Automation, HFT and the "Luddite Fallacy"

story © Michael Betancourt | published October 2, 2011 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



Digital Capitalism

The nineteenth century protestant work ethic is the conceptual starting point for the development of a new ideology of automation that merges the nineteenth century ideology of autonomous achievement with digital technology to eliminate human labor from production, apparently rendering human agency obsolete for the generation of value in the digital information economy.




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High Frequency Trading (HFT) and Agnotology

story © Michael Betancourt | published June 29, 2011 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



Digital Capitalism

HFT reveals one of the clearest examples of the semiotic procedures of digital capitalism in action. The Nanex analysis of the first "crash" suggests that agnotology can be applied in automated systems as well, simply by using the sequential nature of data processing (i.e. the linearity of computers) to create uncertainty.

The first "flash crash" in the markets happened on May 6, 2010. There have been a number of others since then. It seems reasonable to assume that this will become the norm; to be involved in any market that includes HFT and attempt to trade without the support of this extractive technology is clearly foolish (we all know what "they" say about fools and their money...)




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Cats, Mice and Digital Sampling

story © Michael Betancourt | published May 29, 2011 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



Digital Capitalism

I have a new essay published on Vague Terrain about the cat organ, the mouse organ, the Jingle Cats albums, and the development of sampling. It's an interesting piece of theory suggesting where the idea of semiotic reassembly may have come from and what that means....






 

Immaterial Justice?

story © Michael Betancourt | published April 4, 2011 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



Digital Capitalism

In William Greider's article for Nation he makes the immaterial bias of the contemporary capitalist system explicitly clear:




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The Rentier Illusion

story © Michael Betancourt | published March 28, 2011 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



Digital Capitalism

Rentier currencymoney that comes into existence not as a representation of past productive value, but by as a debt (loaned or borrowed)enjoys an illusory foundation precisely in that within capitalist economies the demand for escalating value masks the rentier paradox: that the debt posed by the rentier claim inherently always corresponds to a larger value than there are values for (re)payment.




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The Grid (a new sketch of The Digital)

story © Michael Betancourt | published March 25, 2011 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



Digital Capitalism

The paradigm of digitality isespecially at a technological levela reification of the modernist grid. Fundamentally a process of segmentation of ordering, its contents are essentially identical, divorced from the physical variability inherent to other material constructs by the unrelenting opperations of binary code. Once it has been rendered into a human-readable form, the meaning of these codes stands apart from the digital workan example of the aura of information acting within our encounter. It is the transcendent dimensions of early abstraction that finds itself mirrored by encoding of physicality in data samples, paradoxically both literal in its insistence on the measurement of the discrete physical features of the world, and immaterial in how this meaning is held apart from the electro-magnetic switching of microtransistors within blocks of matter (the aura of the digital in action).




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Agnotology, Audits and (Un)Certainty

story © Michael Betancourt | published March 8, 2011 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



Digital Capitalism

This is a theory fragment:

The various demands occasionally heard both before and after the crises of 2008 about "audit the Fed" or "audit Fort Knox" or "audit ________" have a basic problem: it is not what the results from the audit might be, but the credibility of any result produced with those making the demand; this is not a "post-modern" plurality or relativity of values, but representative of something else, a different process, whose action superficially resembles relativity of values, but is not.




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Gresham's Law and Immaterial Commodities

story © Michael Betancourt | published March 8, 2011 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



Digital Capitalism

Here is an interesting development about the US mint (from Zero Hedge).

This sounds a lot like Gresham's Law in operation: a so-called "flight to quality."




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