autonomous_hippopotamus

2

autonomous_hippopotamus wrote (edited )

I really shouldn't respond to you, but here you go.


f you don't think technology is completely equitable and apolitical with no effect or social impact for the most part, then "neutral" is absolutely the wrong word to use in a discussion about social politics

i actually believe in making qualified statements that take into account the complexity of language, giving credit for where others are correct, and clarifying in which ways a certain statement may be both true and not true. You seem to be very annoyed people are not using your preferred, narrow definition of these terms.

Words have different meanings in different contexts and i already took into account the ways in which technology is definitely not nuetral -- like i don't believe that cellphones, automobiles and TV are "politically nuetral" at all -- but here you are arguing what i've said in the beginning as if i don't' know this. I get the impression you want me to adopt your simplistic, absolutist approach to using langauge, which i absolutely won't do.

if somebody were to say that the state is a impartial institution because it could conceivably be used to enforce, say, social welfare polices that materially contribute to the economic security of the poor, would you agree with that? would you moderate your critique of the bourgeois interests at play in the modern state? including those in welfare? i feel like for an anarchist that would be impossible

On the point you're making about the state or religion: this doesn't contradict what i've been saying. For one: When we talk about technology as such, in the abstract, that is something ontologically prior to either Religion or the State. We can even talk about states and religions in terms of the various technologies, apparatti, technics, etc. that compose them.

You are putting Technology ( as i've repeatedly defined, let's say the ability of human beings to harness natural forces or coordinate action towards particular social ends ) on par with particular institutions that emerge out of certain points in history ( I'm assuming by religion we mean institutional religion not just any set of spiritual beliefs or practices ) These are not equivalent categories. Perhaps the equivalent to Technology as defined (remember?) would be social organization in general, in this sense, then yes, you could say that social organization is neutral, or ambivalent, or not inherently evil, or not essentially undesirable or whatever terminology you prefer... in other words, call it whatever the fuck you want, it doesn't matter.

And... (here we are again) there's a difference between The State as a historical institution, and social organization in general: or the ability of humans to make collective decisions, establish norms and rules etc. So the parallel you're using doesn't hold.

( .. here i am going to make making a bit of a reach since obviously the analysis of something like like information exchange is very different from the modern bourgeous state, but apparently i have to answer the charge that my description of the ability of human beings to make shit necessarily leads to the liberal defense of the state, somehow... )

The State, like any actually existing technology, is a historical form designed with a particular purpose, in the interests of a particular class, etc. It, of course changes hands between ruling cliques and evolves over time, There are the particular characteristics of all States (as opposed to other institutions) or Regimes ( as opposed to other states) But The State is consistently a means of domination. In a liberal democratic state, things like welfare programs and labor regulations are actually strategies of maintaining domination by other means. While, one would be correct to point out the ambivalence (1) of the state in that it may intervene against particular capitaists in defense of certain workers, even this follows a similar line to the technology argument, While guns, automobiles etc. can be appropriated to achieve short term ends, they are still reflections of the social and historical context in which they were made. To achieve anarchy, technology as it exists, just like the dominant social systems -- Capital and The State -- would have to be liquidated and transformed from the bottom up.

1 ambivalence does not mean impartiality at all -- they denote fundamentally different attitudes -- something can be both ambivalent while also being heavily biased towards one side, this is part of the reason i chose that term. Neutral also does not mean 'impartial' , nuetral is often used in popular culture to denote an amoral character.

1

autonomous_hippopotamus wrote

ah, again you're going to play the definitions games -- one sense that many people use the word gaslight is when you do something, and then claim that you didn't do that, in fact it is all in that person's head. It doesn't necessarily have to be abusive it can just be obnoxious, disingenuous behavior.

and yeah you're really arguing in bad faith, i don't even know what the fuck you're point is and i don't care at this point. fuck you

2

autonomous_hippopotamus wrote

you know there's so many straight up logical fallacies and sophism's you've employed here that i've ignored just to be polite but ---

you're really going to tell me that using the words nuetral or ambivalent to mean "neither good or bad" or "both good and bad" are against their popular connotations ?!?!?

2

autonomous_hippopotamus wrote (edited )

i don't need your advice on how to live my life, thank you.

You and everyone else here knows what I mean, you'd even indicated that the point is trivial or would be rediculous to argue against. If you think different language should be used, sure, and i have said, the exact langauge doesn't matter ( pro tip: LANGUAGE IS INCAPABLE OF ACCURATELY DESCRIBING REALITY )

What you could do is perhaps 1 explain why such langauge like nuetral or ambivalent is inadaquate 2 proppose an alternative vocabulary or way of conceptualizing what i mean or 3 note that the language is imprecise but move on with the conversation.

Redacted -- but if you want to go through life making pretentious ass quibbles and then trying to guilt trip and gaslight people who get annoyed with you be my guest.

Edit: They weren't gaslighting me, things got a little heated, my bad

3

autonomous_hippopotamus wrote

yeah it's really diverse here

I have mixed feelings about Platformism (Warning: Rant)

I think many of their ideas are valuable. Strategically at least, if we are to build working class unions and anarchists are to participate in them. The documents by the FARJ are very interesting, as well as the other historical texts. ( This blog has some good resources for anyone interested https://anarchistplatform.wordpress.com/ )

But they speak and act as if they are the only true anarchists, and their goal is to be the general anarchists union, as in, the only anarchist organization, that includes all real anarchists, and this union must have unity of theory and practice ... this is counter to anarchism, that advocates many forms of organization, diversity of tactics, etc.

Also, It seems like the type of people attracted to Platformism are former marxists, or at least anarchists with an authoritarian streak. It's not necessarily entryism, but there is definitely some Leninist crossover in the tradition. ( in one document by the Brazillian especifistas , they state all members must adhere to "dialectical materialism" (!!!) ) They promote a class reductionist worldview, and completely oppose any kind of individualism. They also worship Murray Bookchin for some reason, even though he was against working class revolution. Like marxists they must have their great intellectuals.

1

autonomous_hippopotamus wrote

Again, you're not actually putting forth a counter argument,

So if technology is not ambivalent it is either absolutely good or absolutely bad (i played a little trick by replacing good with liberatory, bad with oppressive, but whatever is good or bad to you) I know you don't think technology is essentailly good, so i must conclude you think technology -- in every sense, whether potential or actual, is totally bad and unsalvageable.

Instead of nit picking every word i use, i'd like to see you write a coherent argument in defense of that position, bonus points if you don't paraphrase Zerzen.

2

autonomous_hippopotamus wrote

I've used AntiX off and on for a while, it boots fast, if you do the 'full' install it comes with a lot of lightweight software installed by default. It also is a nice introduction to a bunch of lightweight window managers. The community makes it pretty clear on their website that they are, if not anarchist, socialist minded (the names their last two distros after asasinated activists, Berta Carceres and Heather Heyer) .

But that being said , while it's an ideal setup for older hardware, i've found their default desktop really fuckin ugly. Another problem comes in because they use Debian repositories for the most part, i tried the 'core' install and when i did a 'apt-get install lxde' it installed systemd!

After that i discovered Devuan which maintains complete debian repositories that have been stripped of any systemd dependancies. I would recommend Devuan hands down and i wish AntiX would switch to their repositories.

if you are a GNU/Linux master you can use Gentoo, Void or Slackware, but i prefer Devuan as most linux programs put out deb binaries and it's easier to install.

2

autonomous_hippopotamus wrote

systemd works, and has some features that are desirable especially if you're running servers, the problems people usually lay out is that it's too bloated, and has grown to some monstrocity beyond what a simple init system requires. In my experience non-systemd OS boots a hell of alot faster and uses slightly less ram, which is nice if you have an old system with low resources.

I also hear a lot of political reasons that people oppose systemd , namely the hegemony of Gnome and Red Hat on linux world and the homogenizing effect this has had.

1

autonomous_hippopotamus wrote

there's alot of facts in this article but the overwhelming bias, if not towards Assad, then against the syrian opposition makes it very suspect

calling all rebel groups jihadis, is just inaccurate, amongst islamists there's actually pretty big split between salafists and jihadists, most rebel groups make up the former category.

those notorious “moderate rebels,” the overwhelming majority of which are nothing but takfiri jihadis. takfiri hordes.

hordes, as in barbarian hordes

As it stands, the main narrative in Western media is that “regime forces” have unleashed air strikes and barrel bombs over “rebel-held” sections of southern Syria.

that is basically a factual description despite the obvious bias.

This just pissed me off

Mohammad Hawari, the UNHCR spokesman in Amman, may be correct when he says: “We’re facing a real humanitarian crisis in southern Syria.” What he does not say is that quite a few “opposition bodies” – code for takfiri jihadis – have rejected Damascus-proposed deals to be back under government control, thus inflating the humanitarian crisis.

So because Syrian Rebel groups refuse to surrender, they are therefore responsible for Assad's indiscriminate bombing of civilians? "Syrian Rebels" with "Palestinians" and Replace Damascas with Tel-aviv and you'll see what a monstrous narrative that is.

2

autonomous_hippopotamus wrote

what is "technology" here? some technologies are convivial, flexible, may be more accurately described as tools rather than technology. others constitute divisions of labour, hierarchical power relations, or otherwise coordinate human action.

Sure, i think i have said this much in my previous comments. I don't know where i argued that "all technologies are created equal" i don't even know what that could possibly mean, clearly there are different forms of technology, which differ radically in both social and physical characteristics.

When we're talking about a technology, we're not just talking about machines, separate physical objects, but also the social relationships in which they are used, produced in etc. So usually ( and this is probably a bad habit i've kept from the primmies ) when i talk about Technology in the singular, i often mean that matrix of social relations as well as the industrial system. But in that context i mean technology in the abstract : the ability of humans to construct such socio-mechanical systems to serve whatever purpose. That is the sense i mean that technology is ambivalent , that potentially Technology as such -- the ability to manipulate natural forces and coodinate social action, in the abstract -- is neither good nor bad, it is neither oppressive nor liberatory, it is potentially both or neither.

I think this is a pretty basic point, i don't know how much more clear i can make it, you have yet to make any argument to disprove this, you have just repeatedly said that you don't agree with it.

Your distinction between 'tool' and 'technology' is useful, but any technology is made up of simple machines and can be reduced to knowledge of natural 'laws'(sic) , that's really just a a distinction between micro and macro. Even simple tools don't exist outside of this social systems, like a hammer or spear only have meaning within relations of production / socially coordinated action.

making a blanket statement about "technology" in the abstract and describing it as essentially adaptable is not a good approach.

I agree, I'm not giving any general law that applies to all technologies everywhere, nor am i saying all actually existing technologies are essentially adaptable. This is why i have repeatedly have stressed the difference between the particular historical form of a technology and it's abstract potential . For example, the knowledge of physics, mechanics, electrical circuits etc. that make up an automobile can be applied in a number of different ways, that don't necessarily lead to autonomous vehicles, or even the use of fossil fuels.

Reply to comment by /u/Anarcropolis in Friday Free Talk by /u/ThreadBot

1

autonomous_hippopotamus wrote

yeah i've been feeling shitty i havn't been doing protests or anything either, but yeah, even if you don't produce original content, printing out posters and pamphlets is something.

But yeah, gotta find something to do, in my area there isn't even a DSA, let alone something more radical.

1

autonomous_hippopotamus wrote

^^ Some good analysis there, no need to apologize

yeah i think we're totally in agreement, so i think the weakness of primitivism (and maybe some post-civ thought) is the idea civilization will just collapse on it's own. It's like how certain Marxists used to think Capitalism would just collapse under the weight of it's internal contradictions, so you don't need to actively work towards overthrowing capital and building what will replace it. It is basically like christian fundamentalists who don't care about social injustice because the rapture gonna come and fix everything anyway.

2

autonomous_hippopotamus wrote

that shit with the onion site kindof fucked me up, i finally decided to GET ACTIVE! and make a bunch of posts in the groups i mod, but even though i looked like these things were posted, the onion site apparently was not linked up to the real site and so got deleted.

1

autonomous_hippopotamus wrote

it seems then that we're just quibbling over a word, i've tried to be clear that nuetral can mean a number of different things, in that in some ways technology can be described as nuetral in some ways not.

whatever purposes you use writing for, its omnipresence in highly literate societies has radically transformed modern social existence.

Absolutely, and you could say the same about agriculture, or the internet or whatever. I'm not saying technology does not have material consequences, or that it's the default state of human existence. Only that it can be appropriated for various ends, including liberatory ones.

Since we're agreed upon all these things, the only debate is whether or not nuetral is an appropriate word. What word we use doesn't matter, the point is that technology is fundamentally ambivalent , and intrinsically neither oppressive or liberatory.