“The culture goes dead
without nature in it.”

Seeing Surveillance:
in conversation with
Kazys Varnelis and
Trevor Paglen

A lot of the conversation that happens around surveillance is still really individualized in terms of this question: “If you have nothing to hide, what do you have to worry about?” You know, how much control does the state exert over an individual? But there’s much more to how the surveillance society plays out over the long term than that. For example, if you build a surveillance society, you create a giant power imbalance between the people and the state. That’s kind of an abstract thing to point out, but the whole point of a democratic society is that people have more power than the state. When you create mechanisms where that is not true, then you are creating a situation in which a democratic society is increasingly difficult to approach and maintain.


From The Straddler Archives

Digital Proletariat: The Spectacle
of the “Internet” and Labor's Dispossession

“Our deep enchantment with digital technology relies on its inherent spectacle. From there it devolves into futuristic techno-utopianism.”

On Giving A Dog a Bad Name
“The key consideration is not whether language should be policed, but the purpose of the language used and whether it assists in making possible new versions of liberty.”

Culture in Economics and
the Culture of Economics:
Raquel Fernandez in
conversation with The Straddler

“We just have a more sophisticated lack of understanding than the guy on the street.”

Can't Lose Counterfactuals
“Lack of clarity gives immense argumentative power to those who analyze our politics for a living. On their terms it becomes basically impossible to disagree without making counterclaims of basically the same type.”