Friday, September 25, 2009

Oh right blog posts have titles

Some thoughts on Imagined Circulation

The process of self-hosting self-description/creation that Lee and LiPuma describe is additionally iterative: When 'idealized' microcosms form within macrocosmic social structures (e.g., coronations within kingdoms, acts of reading nationalist works within nations), the details of their particular instantiation inevitably reflect the biases of their constructors and the limitations and idiosyncrasies of the technology and materials with which they are constructed in addition to the pre-existing structure they attempt to reflect. As Lee and LiPuma argue, these microcosms are often, in aggregate, the origin of that very structure, so as they become more and more distorted through the biases described above, those biases feed back in to the perpetual recreation of the structure itself.

This feedback loop helps put the transformative agency of new technologies and the social groups they empower into its proper place in the cycle of social development.

Further thoughts/questions:

I often find that complex social phenomena are remarkably accurately described through technical linguistic analysis of the language that arises around them. I thus found the following passage particularly illuminating:

Members of capitalist economies almost invariably think of “the market” as a third-person collective agent, to which first-person agents, such as “We the investors,” respond but do not necessarily identify with. The covert asymmetries of agentive verbal ascriptions reflect this relationship.Thus, “the market” can act, indicate, warn, hesitate, climb, and fall, but is usually not able to take second-order verbs such as reflect, assume guilt, or take responsibility in the ways that a national people might.

Not having read Hobbes recently, I am unsure as to the mechanism described in the following passage:
In Hobbes’s case, the exchange of promises creates a transcendent authority, the sovereign or sovereign state, which subsumes the individuals within it. The sovereign is a third-person authority that transcends the “I-You” exchanges of promises that
constitute it; the sovereign is not one of the parties of the contract that creates him as sovereign.
In light of Kula example, maybe "sovereign" above is referring more to something imagined than to government?


The circumstances of the translation from labor into time were made very clear for me by this passage:

The infinitely divisible continuum of price (money as a measure of value) mediates exchange (money as the medium of exchange) and becomes analogically projected onto productive labor itself, thus allowing labor time to be measured and given a price, that is, allowing the calculation of the value of labor power. Unlike concrete labor time, abstract labor time is infinitely divisible and denumerable and presupposes the existence of formal modes of calculation and measurement.


"a distant cry" - seriously?

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