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archives begin in 1996

  

The Limits of Utility

story © Michael Betancourt | published November 7, 2015 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



theory: DIGITAL CAPITALISM

CTheory just published my new theory article on automation and the structural attempts of digital capitalism to keep the rate of profit from dropping. The Limits of Utiity develops a critical framework for the importance of utility in the production of value.






 
Use, Value and ROI

story © Michael Betancourt | published August 20, 2015 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



theory: DIGITAL CAPITALISM

The problematics of value implicit in the productive shift from physical manufacture to the immaterial semiosis characteristic of digital production emerges from the historical expression of value as a storing of human labor in the tangible form of commodities. Any discussion of profit (surplus value) depends on this pair of integral conceptslabor and useboth of which rarely figure in discussions of digital technology and automation except in absentia: the immaterial production characteristic of High Frequency Trading software, digital automation linked to pervasive monitoring (characterizing the value of social networks generally), and the general complex of relationships between production, facture and labor in digital capitalism propose a production of values without the need for human involvement (either via labor or through use) as a solution to the falling rate of profit: the trajectory of automation offers the reduction-elimination of the variable costs presented by wages.




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The "Cat Organ," Sampling, and the Digital

story © Michael Betancourt | published April 12, 2015 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



theory: DIGITAL CAPITALISM

This article is a revision of my article from Vague Terrain published several years ago.

The technical capabilities of computer technology obscure the nexus of capital, human agency, social reproduction, and physical production; thus, the denial of physicality that is specific to the aura of the digital, and apparent in the evolution from hand-labor to the automation characteristic of digital capitalism, is inherent in how this technology has been deployed. The nineteenth century protestant work ethic is the conceptual starting point for this development, merging the ideology of autonomous achievement with digital technology to create a new ideology of automation.




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NANO Interview

story © Michael Betancourt | published April 5, 2015 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



theory: DIGITAL CAPITALISM

New American Notes Online is running "An Interview with Michael Betancourt" discussing the theory of digital capitalism.






 
Digital Capitalism talk on YouTube

story © Michael Betancourt | published September 30, 2014 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



theory: DIGITAL CAPITALISM