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aries1988 : utopia   4

Karl Marx, Yesterday and Today | The New Yorker

interpretation of his work made after his death by people like Karl Kautsky, who was his chief German-language exponent; Georgi Plekhanov, his chief Russian exponent; and, most influentially, Engels. It was thanks mainly to those writers that people started to refer to Marxism as “scientific socialism,” a phrase that sums up what was most frightening about twentieth-century Communism: the idea that human beings can be reëngineered in accordance with a theory that presents itself as a law of history. The word the twentieth century coined for that was totalitarianism.
politics  book  revolution  ideology  uk  19C  leader  communism  economy  capitalism  utopia 
october 2018 by aries1988
What Can We Learn from Utopians of the Past?
Adam Gopnik writes about four nineteenth-century authors who offered blueprints for a better world—but their progressive visions had a dark side.

The sensible lesson one might draw from this is that the human condition is one in which the distribution of bad and good is forever in flux, and so any blueprint of perfection is doomed to failure.

Robertson assumes that if we can just add to the utopian visions of 1918 the progressive pieties of 2018—if we reform their gender essentialism and their implicit hierarchism and several other nasty isms—then we will at last arrive at the right utopia. This gives his book something of the exhausted cheerfulness of a father on a nine-hour car trip. “We’re almost there!” he keeps saying, as the kids in the back seat fret, and peer at license plates.

Liberalism is a perpetual program of reform, intended to alleviate the cruelty we see around us. The result will be not a utopia but merely another society, with its own unanticipated defects to correct, though with some of the worst injustices—tearing the limbs from people or keeping them as perpetual chattel or depriving half the population of the right to speak to their own future—gone, we hope for good. That is as close as liberalism gets to a utopia: a future society that is flawed, like our own, but less cruel as time goes on.

We remake interior lives to make exterior improvements, because the real current of social change lies inside minds and therefore inside people’s actual existence. We always want to get past the room we’re in in order to break out and change the universe. The lesson that life tends to teach is that change begins at home, and that we can’t escape rooms on our way to worlds. The world is made of rooms.
utopia  writer  book  society  politics  sex  marriage  love  philosophy  19C  liberalism 
august 2018 by aries1988
A Big Brother approach has qualities that would benefit society
Based on the “citizen score”, the Chinese state will be able to improve — or restrict — such privileges as high broadband speed, foreign travel visas, social benefits, access to elite restaurants, favourable insurance premiums and the quality of schooling offered to a person’s children.

Social media posts praising the government, Communist party and the economy, Ms Botsman says, will enhance your rating.

Yet, I am almost embarrassed to say, I get it. Bearing in mind China’s violent history, I understand its preoccupation with order and harmony, and how the omniscient potential of computing, the internet and mobile data has been irresistible to the political intelligentsia.

We have indeed all the elements that make China’s Social Credit system possible. Pull together the credit record of an individual or business as well as their social media posts, browser history, tax record, criminal record, fitness statistics, supermarket loyalty card details, Yelp, eBay, TripAdvisor, feedback and you have the same thing.
bigdata  data  government  privacy  society  utopia 
october 2017 by aries1988
Review: Minecraft and the Secret to a Video-Game Phenomenon | MIT Technology Review
There is a certain Lego-like charm and blunt handsomeness to the rectangular clouds that throw shadows on the game’s pea-green hills and the dumpy sheep that roam them. But in an industry traditionally obsessed with chasing realism and authenticity, its kindergarten aesthetic at first appears anachronistic.

Minecraft places its players in the game’s world with few directives. There are almost no goals or commandments to guide or moderate behavior, apart from those of the players’ own making.
Its intelligent design reveals a watchmaker’s precision, while the elemental freedom it offers its inhabitants taps into some primal, irresistible human urges.

Last year this indie game overtook Activision’s blockbuster war game Call of Duty as the most played title on Microsoft’s Xbox Live. The implications of this feat are wide ranging. For one, it shows that a creation game rather than a shooting game can rise to dominance. It also confirms that contrary to big-publisher wisdom, players are more interested in expressive and interesting interactions than simple graphical prowess, whose charms are fleeting.

For a generation of young game makers, empowered by more accessible tools and ubiquitous platforms including mobile devices, the game provides commercial inspiration. In a medium that sprang from student endeavor and bedroom programming only to see the power inevitably shift to companies and, eventually, megacorporations, it’s again possible for the bedroom programmer to become a multimillionaire. Since Minecraft’s rise to prominence, hundreds of young players have been inspired to make their own games, either through structured learning in schools or by using free or cheap tools such as GameMaker on their own. Thanks to Minecraft’s example and the ease of self-publishing through channels such as the Apple App store, Google’s Play Store, and Steam, independent video-game studios are enjoying an unprecedented burst of success.
game  people  human  utopia  review 
july 2013 by aries1988

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