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Options June 27, 2022: Jonathan Crary, author, "Scorched Earth: Beyond the Digital Age to a Post-Capitalist World"

Listen to this show: MP3 - 128K | Pop-up listen Pop‑up player!

Above: <a href="https://www.versobooks.com/books/3965-scorched-earth" target="_blank">Scorched Earth</a>, published by Verso
Above: Scorched Earth, published by Verso
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Above: Scorched Earth, published by Verso

Today: Jonathan Crary, author, "Scorched Earth"

Jonathan Crary bio at Columbia

Scorched Earth: Beyond the Digital Age to a Post-Capitalist World (2022 book)

24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep (2014 book)

Letter from the (Verso) editor about Scorched Earth: “The book insists on the inseparability of social disintegration and environmental collapse under global capitalism. Civil society and ecosystems are eroding simultaneously.”

Review of Scorched Earth by Theory, Culture & Society: “Scorched Earth adds a much-needed critical voice to the growing discontent surrounding the usefulness of the internet and the digital technologies which penetrate ever deeper into our everyday lives.”

We Need to Take Back Our Privacy (by Zeynep Tufekci, NYT, May 19, 2022): “Protections you think you have may not be as broad as you think. The confidentiality that federal health privacy law provides to conversations with a doctor doesn’t always apply to prescriptions. In 2020, Consumer Reports exposed that GoodRX, a popular drug discount and coupons service, was selling information on what medications people were searching or buying to Facebook, Google and other data marketing firms. GoodRX said it would stop, but there is no law against them, or any pharmacy, doing this.”

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Artist Track Images Approx. start time
  Jonathan Crary, author, "Scorched Earth: Beyond the Digital Age to a Post-Capitalist World"
Tomaš Dvořák  Game Boy Tune   Options
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  Mark's intro  
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  Interview with Jonathan Crary  
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0:04:58 (MP3 | Pop‑up)
  Mark's comments  
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0:40:37 (MP3 | Pop‑up)
Ekoplekz  Surveillance System   Options
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0:54:59 (MP3 | Pop‑up)


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Listener comments!

Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:00pm Handy Haversack:

Really excited for tonight's show -- I have added the book to my wishlist at the local bookstore already.

Mark and all the Techyons!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:01pm ultradamno:

Mark! Techtapitalist Posters!
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:03pm tim from washington:

Hi Mark! Hi everyone! Bathroom successfully used and I'm strapped in.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:03pm Franco Twinkie:

The theme song summons me from bed. Hi Mark.
  6:04pm Peter from Dover NJ:

Good evening Mark and fellow travelers. I don't often get to check in on the accu, but I always tune in.
  6:04pm Alex from BK:

Looks like a good one!
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:06pm Handy Haversack:

Hey, ultradamno, tim, ¡Franco!, Peter, Alex, and all.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:06pm ultradamno:

Hiya Handy!
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:07pm tim from washington:

Hwy Handy!
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:08pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Hello, Mark and weekly readers!
  6:09pm castor:

Hi Mark and everyone! Fuck Capitalism forever and always!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:09pm Mark Hurst:

Hi all, thanks for joining this evening!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:09pm Franco Twinkie:

My new book - I love to hear those three words.
  6:10pm wendy del formaggio:

Hello Mark and friends! I am SO psyched to hear this interview and read the book. Tonight it’s my dinner-prep soundtrack. Yay!
  6:10pm Bea:

Good evening, mark and all!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:10pm Mark Hurst:

@Franco @Wendy @Bea welcome!!
  6:10pm wendy del formaggio:

Also, what Castor just wrote: FUCK C(R)APITALISM!
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:13pm Handy Haversack:

Why compromise with an extinction event caused by a tiny percentage of the species who claim to be doing it in our name? I think we can safely say compromise has not been working.

"When do we want it?"
"Over the next three years!"
  6:14pm kevlicki:

Hi all, just getting in now. Happy to be here live!
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:15pm Handy Haversack:

We don't use whalebone in our corsets anymore. I think there are precedents for dropping technological innovations that benefited no one.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:15pm Handy Haversack:

*And actively harmed many!
  6:17pm castor:

Technology is never neutral or for the "universal good" , its made to create certain outcomes that the creators see as beneficial. The industrial revolution didn't happen in ancient Rome although they had the ability to, they didn't see any incentives to do it. THe technology we have now is a specific outcome of capitalist motivators that have PROFIT as the incentive no matter the costs, convincing us that it is for some universal good but actually IMPOSING a particular wolrdview on us that cuts off all other ways of living
  6:20pm castor:

If anyone is into reading very dense but incredibly rewarding philosophical writings on this topic I recommend Heidegger's essay "The Question Concerning Technology" and a book someone else wrote to explain that essay called "Gods and Technology"
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:20pm Handy Haversack:

Word, castor. That's why I hate the term "Anthropocene," as if we had chosen as a species to do this to the planet and ourselves. It's the "Capitalocene" -- the outsized effects of a tiny class that valued extracting wealth above all human and biophiliac concerns.
Avatar 🤖 6:20pm Bas NL:

Hi Mark! All!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:20pm Mark Hurst:

@Bas hello, sir, welcome
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:24pm B R M:

Interesting... I laughed my ass off at SENTIMENTAL EDUCATION, and it is a great book. Scathing and a fun read.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:24pm Franco Twinkie:

Forced compliance is such greased slide into hell that gets harder and harder to steer clear of. Just try to NOT use your card to keep your life working. The surveillance economy is like the smoke from a wild fire - just try and not breath.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:24pm Sonderangebot:

As a native French speaker, I highly recommend Zola, Les Rougon-Macquart. Still a solid study of society, even 150 years later.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:24pm Handy Haversack:

That damage to human relationships from money is really clear in Balzac.
  6:24pm Dean:

Moby-Dick is a relevant work. Also funny.
  6:25pm Marie:

Money and class trumps everything--Rupert Murdoch's credo? Hey Mark, hey everybody
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:26pm Handy Haversack:

Yeah, Trollope is great! Ha, didn't expect Trollope talk on the radio tonight!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:26pm B R M:

@Dean MOBY DICK is eons ahead of its time, one of the great American books, but that greatness has shifted with the times and it endures and depends with every passing day... Love it and yes, hilarious. And also, great if you want to learn more about tying knots and/or aquatic anatomy. 🙌
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:27pm B R M:

deepens, not depends*
  6:27pm Dean:

Gotta agree, B R M.
  6:27pm Marie:

Just bought Moby Dick--read some of it in high school and loved it. Also, just saw Herman Melville's grave at Woodlawn
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:28pm Franco Twinkie:

Would Franz Kafka's America be prescient? It's crazy and illogical - sound familiar?
  6:28pm Dean:

I bought my latest copy at Melville Books in Portland, one of the bookstores I rec'd a few weeks back. Its proprietor is a young man, Mitch Melville, no relation.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:29pm Miss G:

(wild story via phone re: protest) but now glad to be live to hear part 2
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:31pm Handy Haversack:

"Magical" and "meaningful" got scorched in that announcement.
Avatar 6:32pm Jeff Moore:

Which Trollope book was that?

(I think one of the huge problems with current electronic "content*" force-feeding is that it makes people's muscles for long-form reading and the appreciation of the quietly droll grow flaccid.)

* I hate the word "content" as used for writing and visual creative arts treated as a fungible commodity, but that's why it fits above.

[I also hate the use of the word "creatives" for people who engage in creative activities. It's just more commodification.]
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:33pm Mark Hurst:

"The Way We Live Now," by Trollope - featuring a fraudulent San Francisco startup, way back in the 19th century...
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:33pm Handy Haversack:

Jeff Moore: The Way We Live Now
Avatar 6:34pm Jeff Moore:

Thanks, Mark and Handy!
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:34pm tim from washington:

Queegueg!
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:35pm Miss G:

(is it low brow to say we loved BBC "The Way We Llve Now?" Shirley Henderson was magnifique)
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:37pm PaulRobeson1922:

Hi Hi Hi
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:37pm Franco Twinkie:

You're exaggerating, sure. That's like saying 'Nazis - those guys were sharp dressers.'
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:38pm ultradamno:

Though that is true...aside from the brown shirts.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:40pm Folsom:

Mark, thanks for the spoiler, you damn dirty ape!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:40pm Mark Hurst:

"Thank you, Doctor Zaeus!"
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:41pm ultradamno:

I know, I had no idea that soylent green was people
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:43pm ultradamno:

Did anyone think Tenet was far fetched, by the way, that there would be a society that far in the future to effect the past?
Avatar 6:43pm arb:

Loving this interview, count me in for refusal
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:43pm Handy Haversack:

Yeah, hope is not the point -- action is the point. Living in the way we think the future demands. Hope can take care of itself.

My nose started bleeding while I was typing that, and for a minute, I figured that the capitalists had perfected some sort of X-Men-style weapon to take out those who had seen too much!
  6:44pm castor:

What's the solution? Revolution!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:44pm neveract:

Thanks!
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:44pm Miss G:

Thank you Jonathan Crary I will order from local bookstore (to add, we used to give to young people Sam Smith book 2001 "Why Bother? Getting a Life in a Locked-down Land")
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:44pm Ken From Hyde Park:

From chimpan A to chimpan Z, you'll never make a monkey out of me.
  6:44pm Dean from Old Bridge:

Thanks for another great show, Mark!
Avatar 🤖 6:44pm MarciB:

This book sounds so good - looking forward to reading it.
  6:45pm Dean:

Too bad we don't have Abbie Hoffman to update Steal This Book.
Avatar 6:45pm mespr:

Can I point out that the tech won't go away, but it could be balanced. Take facial recognition. It a technology that goes back for millennia. What's different is only that it's one way. If you see my face, I want to see your face.
  6:46pm GC in Baltimore:

Thanks for this! Have this guy back to talk more!
I also heard Mr Tarnoff, author of Internet For The People, interviewed on KQED today. Another strong take.

Gratitude!

GC
  6:47pm Peter from Dover NJ:

I've read a bit of Trollope, but not this book. will order this and Crary.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:47pm Handy Haversack:

I dunno, mesper. Facial rec is a lot more than seeing faces -- it's the massive databases of intensely personal info that can be used by anyone who can afford access for any purpose they deem meet. I don't think "Seeing their faces" is going to help. It's like the argument that if we just had more guns, no one would get shot. I think more people with access to facial rec databases is only going to keep benefiting those who should *never* have access to those databases.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:48pm PaulRobeson1922:

@Handy Haversack: you and I (could have eachother) have different world views

Nose bleeds could be dehydration related to the drug alcohol. You know? ‘Capital’s favorite’ drugs Ciggs and booze
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:48pm Handy Haversack:

I'm gonna go ahead and blame the COVID, Paul ...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:49pm Franco Twinkie:

Someone with the right skillset should invent a virus that replicates prosopagnosia to derail digital facial recognition.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:49pm PaulRobeson1922:

@Handy: U have The Covid?? Feel better Handy
  6:49pm Dean from Old Bridge:

As you say at the end of every show, “the greatest station in the world”
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:50pm Handy Haversack:

Thanks, PR1922!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:51pm ultradamno:

Viddy well
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:53pm PaulRobeson1922:

Obesity will shorten yer days
  6:54pm Marie:

I did want to say that I think these problems are worse here in the US than most other places, and I think the rest of the world is seeing America might not be such a great role model; though there are others who would like to see all these same situations in their country, e.g., Boris Johnson and his crew?
  6:54pm dano59:

"all other priorities rescinded"
And the only thing corps. are required to do is make more money. At all costs - human costs
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:54pm Handy Haversack:

Thanks so much, Mark. Coming here every week to work out what that radical refusal looks like is such a wonderful gift. Very glad to be here.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:54pm ultradamno:

"...destiny is just another word for inevitable, and nothing's inevitable as long as you stand up, look it in the eye, and say, "You're evitable!""
  6:55pm JakeGould:

Can someone please explain what the problem is with Niacin? How is the addition of Niacin an issue?
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:55pm chresti:

Lack of sleep will too, PaulR
  6:56pm wendy del formaggio:

Yeah! Shout-out to Verso!
  6:56pm wendy del formaggio:

Mark, yet again, a mitzvah of a show. Thank you!
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:56pm DjLorraine:

TY
  6:56pm Rolando:

Got here late, will catch up as soon as it becomes available in the WFMU archive.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:56pm Franco Twinkie:

You can't walk down the street in San Francisco without tripping over the feet of a self-satisfied tool drinking an eighteen dollar craft beer straight off the google bus.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:56pm Miss G:

Thank you as always Mark Hurst. Be well, all.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:57pm PaulRobeson1922:

@chresti: High fructose Corn Syrup & Liquid calories & refined sugar and so on… life is precious, Jack LaLanne knows…” If man made it, don’t eat it!”
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:57pm ultradamno:

I see, or more like hear, gas prices haven't put a crimp in the fireworks expenditures

Yeah, everybody.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:57pm Handy Haversack:

I love it when a publisher gets shouted out!
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:57pm PaulRobeson1922:

@Chresti: “The Body loves ten hours of sleep”
Avatar 🤖 6:58pm Bas NL:

Thanks Mark!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:58pm Franco Twinkie:

I'm going straight back to bed to read a book. Thanks Mark
  6:58pm castor:

thank you Mark!
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:58pm tim from washington:

Thanks, Mark!!!!!
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:58pm PaulRobeson1922:

Thanks, Mark!!
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:58pm chresti:

Thanks Mark!
  6:59pm Dean from Old Bridge:

Thanks again Mark!!
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:59pm Miss G:

I believe this is the niacin show: www.wfmu.org...
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:59pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Thanks, Mark. Keep reading!
  7:00pm JakeGould:

Thanks Miss G!
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