Links for 8th February 2010

Fresh from the clogged tubes of teh intarwubs…

  1. The Next Big Thing: Neomedievalism

    "This diffuse, fractured world will be run more by cities and city-states than countries. […] Today, just 40 city-regions account for two thirds of the world economy and 90 percent of its innovation. The mighty Hanseatic League, a constellation of well-armed North and Baltic Sea trading hubs in the late Middle Ages, will be reborn as cities such as Hamburg and Dubai form commercial alliances and operate "free zones" across Africa like the ones Dubai Ports World is building. Add in sovereign wealth funds and private military contractors, and you have the agile geopolitical units of a neomedieval world. Even during this global financial crisis, multinational corporations heavily populate the list of the world's largest economic entities; the commercial diplomacy of emerging-market firms such as China’s Haier and Mexico’s Cemex has already turned North-South relations inside out faster than the nonaligned movement ever did."

    Tagged with: politicshistoryglobalisationsociologyeconomicsnation-statescapitalismfeudalism

  2. How Movies Activate Your Neural G-Spot

    "Neurocinema helpfully speeds up a process Hollywood began years ago, namely the elimination of all subjectivity in favor of sheer push-button sensation. By quantifying which set pieces, character moments, and other modular film packets really lather up my gray matter, the adfotainment-industrial complex can quickly and efficiently deliver what I actually want. Movies won’t be “made,” they’ll be generated. Michael Bay, with access to my innermost circuitry, can really get in there and noogie the ol’ pleasure center. And here’s the best part: Once the biz knows what I want, it can give me more of the same. I’ll soon be reporting levels of consumer satisfaction previously known only to drug abusers. My moviegoing life will, literally and figuratively, be all about the next hit."

    Tagged with: neurocinemafMRIanalysisaudiencefocus-groupresearch

  3. Rotten from the top down

    "With no ideological or visionary differences within mainstream British politics, and with traditional political grassroots seemingly abandoned for millionaire’s favours, what we’re left with is politicians competing for the right to manage the country and at best tinker with an economic model that almost destroyed itself. The differences are tokenistic at best (viz. the Lib Dems’ laughably populist and unworkable mansion tax) and leave a vacuum where other questions are unanswered. Is this really the best we can do? Are the ideals of the politicians’ middle-class managerialist culture all that we have left to aspire to?"

    Tagged with: UKpoliticspartysystem

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