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Blind Boy Apollo
and the All-White Astronauts

New Age "Asiatic" thought ... is establishing itself as the
hegemonic ideology of global capitalism. (Zizek)

Thursday, November 8

madness in the method

"I heard voices." ~ Nobel laureate mathematician and economist John Nash

Behind these new ideas about how society should be managed, was a model of the individual as a rational calculating machine, whose self-interested behaviour could be analysed by numbers. This simplified version of us had been created back in the Cold War by game theorists. They had made an assumption that we were like that, simply in order to make their equations and their models work. But what was now rising up was a powerful scientific proof that this was not just an assumption. It really did describe the very roots of our nature -- that everything human beings did and felt, had been programmed into us by our genes. And all our actions were the result of rational calculations by that genetic programme -- that we really were computing machines guided by numbers.

~Adam Curtis
The Trap - What Happened to Our Dream of Freedom?

This BBC documentary by Adam Curtis is not just good, it's hugely important. And it's bang on point for some of the themes Mystic Bourgeoisie has been trying to articulate (or at least hint at) in the past year.

There is so much to say about these films. Too much. Just go watch them.

We no longer see this theory as having historical inspiration in the Cold War, instead what we see is a quasi-national-social-science theory of everything. It applies to something as small as a gene, or something as medium-sized as a human being, or something as large as a nation-state. The human being sort of dissolves in this social theory, that it isn't about, necessarily, human beings anymore. It's about these little entities that are constantly questing to reproduce themselves, and also to find their maximum advantage.

~ Philip Mirowski
author of Machine Dreams as interviewed in The Trap

Adam Curtis also produced the excellent BBC documentaries, The Power of Nightmares (videos linked from my September 11, 2006 post Leo Strauss - The Neocons - Jihad) and The Century of the Self (which starts here on Google Video). These two are also available as DVDs. You can (literally) get Nightmares from this Amazon link, and Century of the Self from this one.