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so I need to read them? Lol.…

In the 1960s and 70s McLuhan was a household name, like Gore Vidal or William F. Buckley. You couldn’t not have an inkling about McLuhan’s theories on media – even if you were completely wrong you’d have heard of him and have some notion. Postman’s book on television was much talked about at the time, in the NYT, television talk shows, mainstream media. Postman refers to McLuhan and Boorstin. Likewise Neal Gabler‘s Life: The Movie in the 1990s referenced Postman as well as McLuhan. I remember reading this and thinking “this is right on in describing the affect of my coworkers”.

McLuhan and Postman warned of a future that was video-intensive, where people were aliterate and so ahistorical. It is odd to now be living in this future and to find that because I am living in an ahistorical milieu it is not possible to reference historical works which well describe the situation we are in.

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Enzensberger

Paul Jandl, Neue Zürcher Zeitung:

Dieser Dichter hatte immer die Katastrophe vor Augen, aber er sass vor ihr nicht wie das Kaninchen vor der Schlange, sondern mit faszinierter Konzentration. Das Spezielle dieser Art von Kulturpessimismus lag darin, dass er am Ende optimistisch blieb. Dass er hoffte, die Vorläufigkeit der Gedanken könne mit der Vorläufigkeit der Katastrophen Schritt halten.

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In those intensive months of work on the Snowden case and documents, I traveled to London solely with encrypted memory sticks that did not contain sensitive files. I carried with me only Sandro Pertini‘s speeches and letters. If I had been stopped under Schedule 7, like David Miranda, and forced to furnish the passwords, the British authorities would have found a surprise in the decrypted files. They would have read a missive that went something like this: “Mother, how could you have done that? I’ve had no peace since they gave me the news, that you asked for my pardon.” It was one of the politically impassioned letters written by Pertini, a beloved president of the Italian Republic who fought fascism at an immense personal cost, amidst arrests, internal exile and harsh prison conditions. Yet he reproached his mother for applying to the Mussolini regime for his pardon. Pertini deeply understood that mass surveillance lies at the foundation of any authoritarian state.

—Stefania Maurizi, Secret Power, (London: Pluto Press, 2022), 174.

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It was with great bitterness that I watched as Snowden was completely forsaken by Europe and driven into the arms of Vladimir Putin. Was it not paradoxical that, after risking his life to reveal a monstrous threat to democracy like the NSA’s program of mass surveillance, he could escape Chelsea Manning’s fate only by going into exile in an authoritarian country? What Snowden had revealed was of exceptional public interest; indeed, his revelations continue to be a wake-up call for our democracies. As Daniel Ellsberg would later explain to me: “We could be East Germany from one day to the next, and have a police state that the East Germans couldn’t even dream of, because they didn’t have this kind of capability then. We don’t have that yet, because they [the NSA and the U.S. intelligence agencies] haven’t used the information they are collecting, but they have the private information […] and that means, as Snowden has put it, we’re a ‘turnkey tyranny’: in other words, turn a switch, and we could be a total police state.”

—Stefania Maurizi, Secret Power, (London: Pluto Press, 2022), 169-170.

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France 24:

Tuvalu’s Foreign Minister Simon Kofe addressed the world with an urgent message. Standing behind a wooden lectern, he announced that the tiny Pacific Island country would become the world’s first digital nation.

“Since COP26, the world has not acted,” he said, while the UN and Tuvaluan flags swayed in the light ocean breeze behind him. “We’ve had to take our own precautionary steps… Our land, our ocean, our culture are the most precious assets of our people. And to keep them safe from harm, no matter what happens in the physical world, we’ll move them to the cloud.”

This decision is part of Tuvalu’s Future Now Project, a preparatory plan for the worst-case scenario the country could face due to climate change. Creating a digital twin of its lands is a form of preservation, a way to digitally replicate its territory and maintain its culture. The virtual space would allow Tuvaluans to interact with their land and its natural beauty, but also to interact with one another using their own language and customs.

Tuvalu also plans to move its administrative and governance systems online. But can it practice sovereignty on virtual land?

But having the entire population of a country, even one as small as Tuvalu, interact online in real time is a technical challenge. “There are issues of bandwidth, computing power and the fact that many users have an aversion to headsets,” Kelly and Foth argue.

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Adieu

With help from Rammstein, black clothing, greasepaint, and the occasional minigun we will free Deutschland from Islamic petrol tyranny. Or we may die trying, but this also is preferable to the horrific drudgery of living death.

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Modlitba pro Martu


Marta Kubišová

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The new Europeans

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SZ:

Am Montagabend erklärte die IAEO, dass das Kraftwerk trotz des intensiven Beschusses weitgehend intakt geblieben sei.

I found myself rereading this line several times, and just sort of marveling at it.

Auch bei dem neuerlichen Beschuss vom Wochenende ist unklar, ob es sich um ein Versehen oder einen gezielten Angriff handelte und ob ukrainische oder russische Truppen verantwortlich sind.

Unklar ist auch, was eine oder beide Kriegsparteien mit dem Beschuss des Kraftwerks überhaupt bezwecken wollen. Es ist unwahrscheinlich, dass die ukrainische Armee eine nukleare Katastrophe, ein zweites Tschernobyl, auf dem eigenen Staatsgebiet in Kauf nehmen würde. Die Vorwürfe von angeblichen russischen Angriffen auf ein von Russland kontrolliertes Kraftwerk, wie sie unter anderem von Energoatom hervorgebracht werden, klingen aber auch unglaubwürdig.

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October 16, 1968

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Wir kommen einfach nicht voran

SZ:

Der Klimaforscher Mojib Latif wertet die Ergebnisse der Weltklimakonferenz COP27 im ägyptischen Scharm el-Scheich als Stillstand. “Wir kommen einfach nicht voran”, sagte Latif im Deutschlandfunk und stellte das Format der UN-Gipfel generell infrage. “Die 1,5-Grad-Marke werden wir auf jeden Fall reißen”, so der Kieler Wissenschaftler. Im Moment sei die Welt auf einem Kurs von 2,5 Grad Celsius Erderwärmung im Vergleich zum vorindustriellen Zeitalter. “Ich würde sogar eher sagen: 3 Grad”, fügte er hinzu.

Ω Ω Ω

Deutschland und die EU müssten nun versuchen, mit den USA und China zusammenzuarbeiten, um Fortschritte zu erzielen. Mit so vielen Ländern wie möglich um Einigungen zu ringen, wie es auf den Klimakonferenzen geschehe, sei zwar gut, aber eine Allianz der größten Verursacher von Treibhausgasen möglicherweise noch effizienter.

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