Foucault NewsWho’s Looking At You? (2017)by Clare O'Farrell
Who's Looking At You? BBC 4 podcast, 17 October 2017
Editor's note: Apart from the Panoptic photo, not sure how much Foucault content is here, but may be of interest in the wake of Foucault's work.
Once upon a time, total surveillance was the province of George Orwell and totalitarian states, but we now live in a world where oceans of data are gathered from us every day by the wondrous digital devices we have admitted to our homes and that we carry with us everywhere. At the same time, our governments want us to let them follow everything we do to root out evil before it can strike. If you have nothing to hide, do you really have nothing to fear?
In Who's Looking At You , novelist and occasional futurist Nick Harkaway argues surveillance has reached a new pitch of penetration and sophistication and we need to talk about it before it's too late.
This is our brave new world: data from pacemakers are used in criminal prosecutions as evidence, the former head of the CIA admits 'we kill people based on meta-data,' and scientists celebrate pulling a clear image of a face directly from a monkey's brain.
Where does it end, and what does it mean? Surveillance used to end at our front door, now not even the brain is beyond the prying eyes of an information-hungry world. The application of big data brings many benefits and has the potential to make us wealthier, keep us healthier and ensure we are safer - but only if we the citizens are in control.
The programme uses rich archive to illustrate how the 'watchers' have adapted to technology that has super-charged the opportunity to snoop. It examines the arguments of those who claim the right to keep their secrets while demanding that we the people give up more and more of ours. Transparency for the masses? Or simple necessity in a chaotic technological future? What happens to us, to our choices under the all-seeing eye? One thing is certain: if we don't make choices about surveillance, they will be made for us.
Clare O'Farrell | 21 October 2017 at 6:00 am | Categories: Podcasts
| URL: http://wp.me/p13ybx-2yT
Stefanos Geroulanos, Transparency in Postwar France: A Critical History of the Present – now out with Stanford UP
by Clare O'Farrell
Reblogged from Progressive Geographies:
Click to visit the original post
Stefanos Geroulanos, Transparency in Postwar France: A Critical History of the Present is now out with Stanford University Press.
This book returns to a time and place when the concept of transparency was met with deep suspicion. It offers a panorama of postwar French thought where attempts to show the perils of transparency in politics, ethics, and knowledge led to major conceptual inventions, many of which we now take for granted.
Read more… 134 more words
| 20 October 2017 at 3:51 pm | Categories: Uncategorized | URL: http://wp.me/p13ybx-2A3
Politics of life itself and the future of medical practices: dialogues with Nikolas Rose (Part 3) (2017)
by Clare O'Farrell
Sergio Resende Carvalho,Ricardo Rodrigues Teixeira, Politics of life itself and the future of medical practices: dialogues with Nikolas Rose (Part 3), Interface - Comunicação, Saúde, Educação
On-line version ISSN 1807-5762
Interface (Botucatu) vol.21 no.60 Botucatu Jan./Mar. 2017
This is the third and last interview with Nikolas Rose which we sought to explore important aspects of his wide academic production. At the first interview1 we explore aspects about State, Public Policy and Health and their relation with the concept of governmentality. On the second2 on we discussed the role of psy's knowledge and practices in the government of conduct. I this last one we had the opportunities to reflect with Rose on his current researches about the transformations of life sciences, biomedicine, neurosciences relating those changes with the clinical practices and their impact upon the Health Systems.
POLITICS OF LIFE ITSELF AND A NEW STYLE OF THOUGHT
After affirming that ‘the truth discourse of contemporary genomics no longer sees genes as the hidden entities that determine us” and that new technologies had open ‘“the gene” to knowledge and technique at the molecular level”, you affirm that we are entering a new ‘style of thought’ (ways to think, see and intervene) where the molecularization of vitality is central to it, that at this molecular level life itself has become open to politics, that biology is not destiny but opportunity. Can you detail this idea for us?
Well, there are two parts to that question. The first part is about determinism and biological determinism. So let me start by saying a little bit about that. I suppose genetics is the clearest example of the retreat of biological determinism. Genetic determinism, the idea that the complement of genes with which an individual is born shapes inescapably their capacities, both physical and mental, has if not completely disappeared at least become significantly weakened. We know that this idea that the gene is like a single unit of DNA and all the genes are stretched out like beads on a string on the chromosomes and that each gene determines a particular protein which creates a particular characteristic. We know that this idea has been disproved by developments in genomics following the human genome project. So now we know that humans do not have 100 000 or perhaps even 300 000 genes that were hypothesized.
They have about 20 to 25 000 coding sequences, and that these sequences are spread across many parts of the genome, they can be read in many different ways and what's crucial is not so much the genes, but how they are activated. Secondly, we know, and this is now becoming a cliché of what's called epigenetics, we know that what's crucial is not the DNA that you are born with, but how this is activated or de-activated across a lifetime in a process called methylation which enables the DNA sequence to produce its effects. We know that these epigenetic processes are shaped in all sorts of ways by the relationship between the organism and its milieu.
In fact, developmental geneticists have known this known this for many decades, but now this has become a much more salient way of trying to understand how genes are expressed in organisms across a lifetime. All these and many other developments suggest that genetic determinism, as a general programme for understanding not only biological organisms but their destiny is no longer the style of thought that characterises contemporary genetics.
Clare O'Farrell | 20 October 2017 at 6:00 am | Categories: Interviews, Journal articles |