Profile cover photo
Profile photo
John Arrington Woodward
I am union. I am pastafarian. Our creation story will one day be told in schools next to creationism.
I am union. I am pastafarian. Our creation story will one day be told in schools next to creationism.

John Arrington's posts

Post has attachment

Post has attachment
America is not the center of the universe.

This election is not that different than the election of 2002. I know, for American's that's like ancient history. But Trump has skewed all media, including the non-mainstream media to histrionics and melodrama. When will we learn we cannot combat histrionics with histrionics? (Well, since this is market driven and the market is about pleasure and emotion, probably never.)

2002 Round 1:
Chirac 19%
LePen 16%
Jospin 16%

2002 Round 2:
Chirac 82%
LePen 17%

The rabid LePen base will vote LePen. Macron is further right economically than Chirac, being a right proper right wing Democrat (pure neoliberalism). But he'll still get the election.

The good thing is that Mélenchon got 19%. That shows a strong move to the left in a large section of the electorate. Neoliberalism is waning. The problem is that one of the options for its replacement is nativist fascism.

Looks like Mélenchon just missed out on making the runoff election. It'll be LePen and Macron. 

Post has attachment
One of the very best things about YouTube is the ability to find rare, "out of print" videos and interviews. I think Criterion probably owns the rights to this and has made it available in its collection, but I've yet to purchase the entire Bergman catalog.

More importantly, this is a public good, I think. It is an analysis of one of the greatest filmic works in film's short history. And as such, I think it should be freely available to all. 

Post has attachment
I cannot help but feel a deep and abiding joy at this. There is little more horrifying about free speech than the troll. And this person is the grandfather of trolling.

It is essential to note, however, that this is a result solely of the negative coverage around his activity rather than the pernicious, degrading, humiliating, torture he put many women through in his sordid career. 

Mastodon Experiment

So, #Mastodon is a twitter killer for me, I think. Not that Twitter was ever very interesting to me. Mastodon is much more interesting and lends itself to better conversations and therefore better intellectual exchanges.

Character limits are in the end restrictions, though. And due to that, I don't think Mastodon has slain G+ for me personally.

That said, the fact that I treat G+ like a blogging/bookmarking/research service as much or more so than a social media service gives me great pause--this material, in the end, is not mine. And it can disappear at the drop of a hat.

There were a number of people in my stream for a number of years who have simply slipped away. That's worrisome. And I know I haven't been Mr. Reliable poster, but that's not because I have moved to another platform. That's because I have moved away from social media to focus on my own life, research, grading, conference managing, and a myriad of other things that have interfered.

G+ isn't a ghost town. But +Gideon Rosenblatt is right that there hasn't been any attempt by Google to manage, grow, evolve, rethink, or what have you, the fundamental sociality of G+. We have had code tinkering and visual evolution (to many complaints). But nothing of substance to grow the network. For example, there is no easy way to create a hashtag stream to follow events outside of your circles. That's a simple way of interacting without having to dedicate yourself to all posts by a person. We have collections, but managing them can be pretty difficult and take some serious planning. Some are very good at it. And it seems G+ is interested in promoting that idea (I've been hit with an email from the G+ team asking me to promote good collections with a new feature). That's very "blogging"-esque. But with no way to preserve the data (or even easily search it for Zeus' sake!!) it's not very secure and future proof.

I'm not leaving G+. In fact, I'll probably be dedicating a bit more time here now that I've reached a lull in my general business. But I'm worried about dedicating time to a format that may just wither and take all of that history with it. 

Post has attachment
MoveOn has an open letter to the French from Noam Chomsky and others to support Mélenchon in the opening round. As the letter says, this is a moment for the French to slough off corporate neoliberalism and find new footing in a world fast approaching post-capitalism and peak exploitation.

Mélenchon has issues. He's not very likable. He's got a past of being a burr in the saddle for the sake of making the horse buck and nothing more. But he is a true leftist without subscribing to left-wing authoritarianism. There's a real chance for change.

Of course, many of us thought that with Hollande...

Post has attachment
No matter the ideals of the classical liberals (right-wing constitutionalists), there are clearly no rights innate to being a human being other than those provided by the state and backed by law. None. And query one of the self-described classical liberals on matters of immigration and watch them prevaricate about procedure--in other words, watch them become sudden bureaucrats.

Imagine: there is a fire in the building where proof of your birth resides, a fire that destroys all records and at the same time, through a bureaucratic fluke, any electronic records are also misplaced (just try searching for a post in G+ to see how this is possible). There is nothing that can save you from sudden deportation. Nothing. 

Post has attachment
The mainstream media, as we are all aware, is fundamentally interested in sensationalism and outrage--at least since the ascension of FoxNews. The market has taught them that. The market will regularly teach brutality over beauty. That's what it does. Maybe that's what it always has done.

Analysis of the election has divided into several different narratives. The Trump narrative is obvious enough. The progressive narrative points towards economic inequality as the primary driver. The anti-racist narrative points to demographics and deep-seated American racism and primitive xenophobic fears as the real answer. There are others, but this isn't about analyzing them all. Just getting my bearings.

The neoliberal/technocrat narrative is primarily that this election was a mistake and people made bad decisions--this leads to attacks on democracy and attacks on the people who voted for Trump. It leads to outrage over racism (using research into racism to support its claims) and to serious questioning about the design of the electoral system in favor of the majority. It reasserts that it is truly the mainstream (and since it is so ideologically malleable, there is some basis for believing such--even when its positions are untenable and contradictory). And therefore, the election was stolen--hence the still-unfounded attacks on Russia for 'stealing' the election (on this last point, while there is definite evidence of collusion between the plutocrats in Russia and our own elected plutocrat, there is no evidence whatsoever of 'stealing' the election--disinformation is not theft).

The neoliberal/technocrat narrative spawns a counter-narrative into which this article fits. Effectively, the neoliberal/technocrat narrative is wrong or overly-simplistic, which it equates with being wrong. These articles overplay the heterogeneity of the groups we know were influential while underplaying their actual influence. Even with the oversimplification, articles such as this are important for developing a more comprehensive picture of the truth of the election.

What no article has effectively explained is that the truth of the election cannot be boiled down to one cause. Elections are not physical events. There is no physical cause and effect. Elections are massive, overdetermined events.

" The fact that alt-right participants received so much coverage speaks to an even deeper issue, perhaps the weightiest issue, influencing Donald Trump's rise. More than fake news, more than filter bubbles, more than insane conspiracy theories about child sex rings operating out of the backs of Washington DC pizza shops, the biggest media story to emerge from the 2016 election was the degree to which far-right media were able to set the narrative agenda for mainstream media outlets. (This point is ably argued by internet scholars Yochai Benkler, Robert Faris, Hal Roberts, and Ethan Zuckerman). "

Post has attachment
In our new world, rivers do not forever run. Well, not in the same direction... 
Wait while more posts are being loaded