this addiction can be overcome

On the one hand, it’s nice to see the theory’n’philosophy crowd come out swinging for “disruption”:

In order to resist disruption it is not enough to demonstrate that its benefits are based on shaky evidence. […] While these analyses are useful to debunk the illusion that innovation is always an improvement, they do not modify the widespread enthusiasm for it. “Exaggerated claims for disruption,” as Mark C. Taylor points out, “usually result from a failure of memory, which is symptomatic of a preoccupation with the present in a culture addicted to speed.”

This addiction can be overcome by thinking through longer stretches of time. It requires practices that reexamine our existential narratives, such as politics, psychoanalysis, and philosophy, though each of these contemplative fields faces disruptive forces of its own in, respectively, populist pronouncements delivered through Twitter, over-prescription of drugs, and scientistic analytic thought that displaces existential questions […]

It should not come as a surprise, as Stiegler points out, that disruption was “announced and foreshadowed not just by Adorno and Horkheimer as the ‘new kind of barbarism’, but by Martin Heidegger as the ‘end of philosophy’, by Maurice Blanchot as the advent of ‘impersonal forces’, by Jacques Derrida as ‘monstrosity’, and, before all of these, by Nietzsche as nihilism.” If disruption is the culmination of these events we must pursue these authors’ experimental responses, which called for different conceptual platforms where existence can continue to strive.

On the other hand, where were y’all five, ten, twenty years ago? Hell, forty years ago—he may have used a different conceptual language, and have come from a fairly liberal standpoint, but even Langdon Winner was making this point while I was still at primary school. And then there’s the OG media ecology mob, of a similar vintage, whose best work is only now being returned to, like long-forgotten letters from Cassandra stashed away for years under the bed in an old cigar-box… though there we can perhaps blame the utopian (mis)readings of McLuhan that accompanied the early internet, I dunno.

Ah well—better late than never. Not like my own apostasy isn’t a form of atonement, eh?

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