mfioretti: psychology*

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  1. I asked Douglas, the University of Kent professor, whether conspiracy theories about climate change will proliferate as evidence of it becomes more and more difficult to ignore.

    “People will strongly hold onto their beliefs even in the face of contradictory evidence, so it’s difficult to imagine conspiracy theorizing decreasing,” Douglas wrote to me. “But I’m not sure if it would increase.”

    Lewandowsky, the University of Bristol professor, says that there’s evidence of a way to “inoculate” against conspiracy theories, and that’s instilling a sense of control.

    “For example, even just saying: ‘We’ve already started to tackle the problem, but we need to increase our efforts even more.’ That is a more empowering message than, ‘It’s so big, it’s horrendous, and we haven’t even started solving it.’ If I tell you that, that’s very demotivating! That’s a tough ask!

    “I think if people know what to do about climate change, and they feel they can do this without hurting too much, chances are they’re less skeptical, less in denial of the problem.”

    To get back to Wolf: As Sarah Ditum pointed out in The New Statesman in 2014, The Beauty Myth was actually exposing a conspiracy — the patriarchy! — but that was one turned out to be real. And it’s yielded a healthy movement of women (and some men) who work to counteract the damaging forces of sexist advertising and media.

    I felt a fair amount of guilt even writing this article. Our ecosystems are certainly changing, which elicits a real, documented sense of loss. And I get the sense, poring through endless documentations of cloud-streaked sky in the chemtrail community, that the people obsessed with the patterns of clouds are mourning a change they do not control. I don’t want to ridicule anyone who fears the same things I do — that the world is changing, and I can’t control it, and it only seems to be getting worse. I do wish they were better informed, a desire that will surely bring the fires of the cloud-seeding truther community down upon the inbox.

    More than anything, I hope that a young woman like a teen me, who sees Naomi Wolf as a source of truth and authority, will not find herself waist-deep in the climate conspiracy theory internet and think: “Wow, there’s really nothing I can do about this.”
    https://grist.org/article/the-real-fear-behind-climate-conspiracy-theories
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  2. "That is, after imagined speaking in your mind, the actual sounds you hear will become softer -- the louder the volume during imagery, the softer perception will be," explains Tian, assistant professor of neural and cognitive sciences at NYU Shanghai. "This is because imagery and perception activate the same auditory brain areas. The preceding imagery already activates the auditory areas once, and when the same brain regions are needed for perception, they are 'tired' and will respond less."

    According to Tian, the study demonstrates that perception is a result of interaction between top-down (e.g. our cognition) and bottom-up (e.g. sensory processing of external stimulation) processes. This is because human beings not only receive and analyze upcoming external signals passively, but also interpret and manipulate them actively to form perception.

    The findings are the team's latest in a series of studies using mental imagery paradigms to investigate speech monitoring and control in production process -- namely, a motor-based predictive process, which can extend and predict low-level auditory attributes such as loudness.

    "Combining perception and speech production monitoring and control, this study can implicate the mechanisms of mental disorders," Tian says. "The most relevant one is auditory hallucination mostly in schizophrenia."
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180223092142.htm
    Tags: by M. Fioretti (2018-02-24)
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  3. “Let’s go back 50 years. We have a 7-year-old child who is bored in school and disrupts classes. Back then, he was called lazy. Today, he is said to suffer from ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). That’s why the numbers have soared,” says Kegan in the interview.

    When asked about his opinion on the disorder, Kegan told the Spiegel that he believes ADHD is an invention. He thinks that if a child is not doing well in school, the pediatrician gives that child Ritalin, since the cure is available to the doctors and they give the diagnosis.

    According to Kagan, the fact that millions of American children who are inaccurately diagnosed as mentally ill because they think there is something fundamentally wrong with them is devastating.

    Besides being a psychologist is determined to raise the alarm about this trend, Kagan and others feel they’re up against “an enormously powerful alliance: pharmaceutical companies that are making billions, and a profession that is self-interested.”

    Kagan himself suffered from inner restlessness and stuttering as a child, but his mother told him that there was nothing wrong with him, only that his mind was working faster than his tongue.

    He thought at the time: “Gee, that’s great, I’m only stuttering because I’m so smart.” If he had been born in the present era, he most likely would have been classified as mentally ill.

    However, ADHD isn’t the only mental illness epidemic among children that worries Kagan. Depression is another mental illness that almost started in 1987, when about one in 400 American teenagers was using an antidepressant and the numbers leaped to one in 40 by 2002.

    Kegan believes that depression is also another overused diagnosis, simply because the pills are available. Instead of immediately resorting to pharmaceutical drugs, he thinks doctors should take more time with the child to find out why they aren’t as cheerful.

    Since studies have shown that people who have heightened activity in the right frontal lobe respond poorly to antidepressants a few tests should be carried out (an EEG for certain).

    It’s very important for distinction to be made: when a life event overwhelms us, it’s common to fall into a depression for a while, but there are those who have a genetic vulnerability and experience chronic depression.

    It’s crucial to look not only at the symptoms, but the causes :the former are experiencing a certain depression caused by an event and the latter are mentally ill.

    Renowned Harvard Psychologist Says ADHD Is Largely A Fraud

    Psychiatry it’s the only medical profession that establishes illness on symptoms alone and such a blind spot opens the door for new maladies — like bipolar disorder, which we never used to see in children. Acording to statistics,nearly a million Americans under the age of 19 are diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

    “A group of doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital just started calling kids who had temper tantrums bipolar. They shouldn’t have done that. But the drug companies loved it because drugs against bipolar disorders are expensive.

    That’s how the trend was started. It’s a little like in the 15th century, when people started thinking someone could be possessed by the devil or hexed by a witch,” said Kagan.

    About the alternatives to pharmaceutical drugs for behavioral abnormalities Kagan said that we could look at tutoring, as an example. It’s a good start since children who are diagnosed with ADHD are mainly the children who are struggling at school.
    http://www.thinkinghumanity.com/2017/...says-adhd-is-largely-a-fraud.html?m=1
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  4. Sexualized imagery of women is virtually everywhere. But, when men view these images, does this typically impact how they perceive these women? And more interestingly perhaps, do these perceptions spillover to other women, even when they are dressed modestly?

    A wide range of research addresses these questions.

    In terms of the first question - "do people percieve sexualized women differently?" - the answer is a resounding "yes." As I have talked about in previous posts (here, here, and here), research (here) shows that men and women rate these women as less intelligent, and even have less concern for their physical well-being. Women who are scantily dressed are even implcitly dehumanized (likened more to animals) compared to women who are not scantilly dressed. In fact (here and here), even having men and women focus on a woman's appearance reduces perceptions of the woman's intelligence, morality and competence, even if she is modestly dressed.

    In terms of the second question - "do sexualized images of women impact how other women are perceived?" - the answer is again a resounding "yes," at least for men. Specifically, in one study researchers randomly assigned men to view sexualized or nuetral images of women. They were then told that they would have to rate the female experimenter for a task unrelated to the images. When the men had just viewed sexualized images of different women, they rated the experimenter, even though she was modestly dressed, as less competent and intelligent.

    These studies are important because every time someone sees a sexualized image of a woman (which studies show are far more frequent than those of sexualized men), this likely is detrimental to how women are perceived.

    And, just like doctors could not cure a disease without understanding the factors that lead to the disease, so too do psychologists need to understand the causes and effects of these social problems in order to one day alleviate them.

    Even if a woman dresses modestly, to an extent, she is likely to be perceived more negatively (on average) just because other women are depicted sexually.

    It is a sexual objectification spillover effect.
    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/...xual-objectification-spillover-effect
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  5. The end-of-work argument has often been dismissed as the “Luddite fallacy,” an allusion to the 19th-century British brutes who smashed textile-making machines at the dawn of the industrial revolution, fearing the machines would put hand-weavers out of work. But some of the most sober economists are beginning to worry that the Luddites weren’t wrong, just premature. When former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers was an MIT undergraduate in the early 1970s, many economists disdained “the stupid people who » thought that automation was going to make all the jobs go away,” he said at the National Bureau of Economic Research Summer Institute in July 2013. “Until a few years ago, I didn’t think this was a very complicated subject: the Luddites were wrong, and the believers in technology and technological progress were right. I’m not so completely certain now.”

    2. Reasons to Cry Robot

    What does the “end of work” mean, exactly? It does not mean the imminence of total unemployment, nor is the United States remotely likely to face, say, 30 or 50 percent unemployment within the next decade. Rather, technology could exert a slow but continual downward pressure on the value and availability of work—that is, on wages and on the share of prime-age workers with full-time jobs. Eventually, by degrees, that could create a new normal, where the expectation that work will be a central feature of adult life dissipates for a significant portion of society.

    The share of U.S. economic output that’s paid out in wages fell steadily in the 1980s, reversed some of its losses in the ’90s, and then continued falling after 2000, accelerating during the Great Recession. It now stands at its lowest level since the government started keeping track in the mid‑20th century.

    A number of theories have been advanced to explain this phenomenon, including globalization and its accompanying loss of bargaining power for some workers. But Loukas Karabarbounis and Brent Neiman, economists at the University of Chicago, have estimated that almost half of the decline is the result of businesses’ replacing workers with computers and software.

    In 2013, Oxford University researchers forecast that machines might be able to perform half of all U.S. jobs in the next two decades. The projection was audacious, but in at least a few cases, it probably didn’t go far enough. For example, the authors named psychologist as one of the occupations least likely to be “computerisable.” But some research suggests that people are more honest in therapy sessions when they believe they are confessing their troubles to a computer, because a machine can’t pass moral judgment. Google and WebMD already may be answering questions once reserved for one’s therapist. This doesn’t prove that psychologists are going the way of the textile worker. Rather, it shows how easily computers can encroach on areas previously considered “for humans only.”

    After 300 years of breathtaking innovation, people aren’t massively unemployed or indentured by machines. But to suggest how this could change, some economists have pointed to the defunct career of the second-most-important species in U.S. economic history: the horse.

    Humans can do much more than trot, carry, and pull. But the skills required in most offices hardly elicit our full range of intelligence. Most jobs are still boring, repetitive, and easily learned. The most-common occupations in the United States are retail salesperson, cashier, food and beverage server, and office clerk. Together, these four jobs employ 15.4 million people—nearly 10 percent of the labor force, or more workers than there are in Texas and Massachusetts combined. Each is highly susceptible to automation, according to the Oxford study.

    Technology creates some jobs too, but the creative half of creative destruction is easily overstated. Nine out of 10 workers today are in occupations that existed 100 years ago, and just 5 percent of the jobs generated between 1993 and 2013 came from “high tech” sectors like computing, software, and telecommunications. Our newest industries tend to be the most labor-efficient: they just don’t require many people. It is for precisely this reason that the economic historian Robert Skidelsky, comparing the exponential growth in computing power with the less-than-exponential growth in job complexity, has said, “Sooner or later, we will run out of jobs.”

    I see three overlapping possibilities as formal employment opportunities decline. Some people displaced from the formal workforce will devote their freedom to simple leisure; some will seek to build productive communities outside the workplace; and others will fight, passionately and in many cases fruitlessly, to reclaim their productivity by piecing together jobs in an informal economy. These are futures of consumption, communal creativity, and contingency. In any combination, it is almost certain that the country would have to embrace a radical new role for government.

    Work is really three things, says Peter Frase, the author of Four Futures, a forthcoming book about how automation will change America: the means by which the economy produces goods, the means by which people earn income, and an activity that lends meaning or purpose to many people’s lives. “We tend to conflate these things,” he told me, “because today we need to pay people to keep the lights on, so to speak. But in a future of abundance, you wouldn’t, and we ought to think about ways to make it easier and better to not be employed.”

    Hunnicutt’s vision rests on certain assumptions about taxation and redistribution that might not be congenial to many Americans today. But even leaving that aside for the moment, this vision is problematic: it doesn’t resemble the world as it is currently experienced by most jobless people. By and large, the jobless don’t spend their downtime socializing with friends or taking up new hobbies. Instead, they watch TV or sleep. Time-use surveys show that jobless prime-age people dedicate some of the time once spent working to cleaning and childcare. But men in particular devote most of their free time to leisure, the lion’s share of which is spent watching television, browsing the Internet, and sleeping. Retired seniors watch about 50 hours of television a week, according to Nielsen. That means they spend a majority of their lives either sleeping or sitting on the sofa looking at a flatscreen. The unemployed theoretically have the most time to socialize, and yet studies have shown that they feel the most social isolation; it is surprisingly hard to replace the camaraderie of the water cooler.
    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/a...ive/2015/07/world-without-work/395294
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  6. Dylan Matthews's "Five conservative reforms millennials should be fighting for" isn't just an admirably intricate piece of trolling. It's a perfect illustration of why you can't take Washington's policy debates at face value. You can't understand what's happened to Congress in recent years if you don't understand what Matthews did in that piece.

    "If you’re a Millennial who loves bread lines, prison camps, forced famines, and abject human misery, then you’ll love the latest offering from Rolling Stone," wrote the Federalist's Sean Davis.

    But the policies Myerson advocates are rather less radical. His agenda, at its core, calls for a work guarantee, a basic minimum income, a land-value tax, a sovereign wealth fund and a public banking option. As Dylan Matthews noticed, all these policies that Republicans were labeling as socialism have been endorsed by major conservatives. So he rewrote Myerson's piece from the conservative point of view, advocating all the same policies but changing those cited as authorities and those blamed for the state of the economy.

    All of a sudden, conservatives liked the article, and liberals -- well, liberals didn't really like Dylan anymore. And they told him so in pretty offensive terms.


    Two articles both advocating the exact same policies. But one of them thrilled liberals and infuriated conservatives. The other infuriated liberals and thrilled conservatives.

    In theory, the two parties represent distinct political philosophies, and those distinct political philosophies help shape their differing policy agendas. In recent years, there's been a lot of interesting work from psychologists arguing that the differences go even deeper than that: Democrats and Republicans intuitively respond to different underlying moral systems, and so their philosophies actually rest on something more fundamental than mere partisan affiliation.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/w...ashington/?wprss=rss_ezra-klein&clsrd
    Tags: , , , by M. Fioretti (2015-05-19)
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  7. Conventional wisdom is that successful people tend to be extroverts who can easily build relationships, promote their personal brand, give riveting presentations, and generally "press the flesh" in face-to-face situations.

    That conventional wisdom is outdated. As hundreds of pundits have pointed out, the only way a company can survive and thrive today is by being constantly and consistently innovative. And extroverts aren't very good at that.

    In the past, a successful company needed both introverts and extroverts. The introverts (engineers, writers, artists, etc.) did the innovating while the extroverts (executives, marketers, salespeople, etc.) handled the "business end of things."

    Today, however, that "business end of things" is rapidly being automated out of existence. As a result, extroverts are becoming less essential to success and in many cases are simply dead weight.
    http://www.inc.com/geoffrey-james/int...-business-world.html?cid=cp01002wired
    Tags: , , by M. Fioretti (2015-05-15)
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  8. There are two basic reasons why it is critically important that individuals separate truth from distortion and fantasy. The first is very practical. If someone does not adequately understand themselves and the world, they will have a very difficult time navigating it, or growing in response to it. For example, if a teenager believes himself to be invincible, he may break bones or worse before coming to terms with the reality of his vulnerability. Or if he has been told his entire life, and now believes, that he can accomplish any goal easily, he might be in for a rude awakening when he enrolls in advanced courses for which he is unprepared. If he can’t accurately evaluate his talents honestly, he denies himself the chance to utilize his strengths and bolster his weaknesses!

    The second reason was discovered by Freud, and used during the past century by psychoanalysis and the related psychotherapies to relieve individual suffering and enhance individual lives. The truth is inherently energizing and enhancing to the individual because the truth is often known, but defended against—repressed, dissociated and denied. This avoidance of the truth takes continual effort and energy. Take, for example a woman who finally admits to herself that she is a lesbian after years of fighting this knowledge. When the truth is finally embraced, a weight is lifted and a new level of personal freedom is accessed. The woman feels as though she has a new lease on life, and indeed she does, because she has integrated an important truth, which is inherently invigorating and opens up new frontiers of possibility.

    Sexual orientation is only one example. We all shield ourselves from unpleasant truths; it is a basic part of human mental functioning.


    All of the great social movements throughout history have successfully applied the transformative power of truth en masse. The transformative truths of social movements are widely known before the emergence of the movement, but they are repressed, denied, and ignored. The institutions of society—the government, media, academy and religious institutions often collude in denying the truth, failing the people they are meant to serve. Successful social movements take the truth into their own hands and force individuals, institutions, and especially governments to reckon with, accept, and ultimately act on the truth.

    Vaclav Havel championed “Living in Truth” rather than complying with the corrupt, repressive actions of the Soviet Union. His work helped cause the non-violent Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia, after which he became the first democratically elected president of Czechoslovakia in 41 years. Havel described the strategic power of truth:

    (The power of truth) does not reside in the strength of definable political or social groups, but chiefly in a potential, which is hidden throughout the whole of society, including the official power structures of that society. Therefore this power does not rely on soldiers of its own, but on soldiers of the enemy as it were—that is to say, on everyone who is living within the lie and who may be struck at any moment (in theory, at least) by the force of truth (or who, out of an instinctive desire to protect their position, may at least adapt to that force). It is a bacteriological weapon, so to speak, utilized when conditions are ripe by a single civilian to disarm an entire division…. This, too, is why the regime prosecutes, almost as a reflex action, preventatively, even modest attempts to live in truth. (1978, emphasis added.)

    The lies of the Soviet state in Czechoslovakia collapsed when confronted with the force of the truth. This was possible because, as Havel describes, the power of truth exists in everyone, including the army, governmental leaders, and other elites—we all “know” the truth on some level—but it is buried under layers of defenses, fear, and doubt. However, when people advocate for the truth with clarity and moral certainty, the truth comes to the forefront of people’s minds; it cuts like a spear through layers of denial and self-deception

    The Pledge to Mobilize is dedicated to bringing climate truth into the mainstream because, today it is difficult to find. As leading environmental analysts Jorgen Randers and Paul Gilding put it in 2009:

    It’s like belonging to a secret society. Conversations held in quiet places, in cafes, bars and academic halls. Conversations held with furrowed brows and worried eyes. Conversations that sometimes give you goose bumps and shivers, and a sense of the surreal – is this conversation really happening? This is what it’s felt like over the past few years, to spend time with some of the world’s leading thinkers and scientists on issues around climate change and sustainability. In public this group generally puts a positive, while still urgent interpretation of their views... But in private, often late at night, when we reflect on what we really think and wonder if the battle is lost, it’s a different conversation. The talk goes to the potential for self-reinforcing runaway loops and for civilization’s collapse. We discuss geopolitical breakdown, mass starvation and what earth would be like with just a few hundred million people.

    This is an incredible, crucial statement. Even leading scientists and thought leaders aren’t being totally candid. Instead of frank discussions of the crisis, conversations are awash in confusion, denial and fixation on irrelevancies. Much of this is due to the billion dollar misinformation campaign that the fossil fuel industry has waged to cast doubt upon settled science. Another substantial contribution comes from the media, particularly the American media, which has consistently misapplied the concept of “balance” to give rogue climate deniers a place at the discussion table
    http://www.commondreams.org/views/201...27/transformative-power-climate-truth
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  9. Another suggested solution, allowing for remote control for airplanes from the ground, or more automation that cannot be overridden by humans, are both bad ideas that will make us even less safe.

    First, remote control of airplanes from the ground separates who’s doing the controlling of the plane from who’s doing the dying, which is in general a bad design idea if safety is the concern.

    There are more ill-intentioned actors willing to kill than those who are willing to die while also killing, and forcing people into the second group greatly decreases risk (but doesn't make it zero because nothing will make it zero). Remote ground control also increases the target space that must be guarded because it creates many more entry points into the control of the plane. In other words, it’s the opposite of hardening the cockpit door: we’d be building multiple entry ramps into the cockpit which can be taken over, hacked, or just have a catastrophic glitch or error. Assistance of automation in flying has greatly increased safety, but only because human pilots can override the system in cases of glitches, bugs and errors, which are almost inevitable given the complexity of these systems.

    In human history, it probably made sense to exaggerate that crackle in the bushes and imagine a potential predator, just in case. Better safe than sorry, as the saying goes. But modern complex systems cannot and should not be redesigned to fit our deeply human, but ultimately, irrational fears. And this applies not just to plane safety, where the current methods of deeply studying each error or crash, and then tweaking it all, have resulted in a spectacularly safe system, especially in commercial flight.

    Many of our imagined solutions to our exaggerated fears are more destructive than the problem, or needlessly limit our lives without really making us any safer. And our inability to accept the existence of wicked problems without ultimate solutions can cause us to make unattainable demands about rare risks which get in the way of focusing on common risks.
    https://medium.com/message/germanwing...the-danger-does-not-lurk-59a4d79d5ef8
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  10. Each phase of capitalism has a particular affect which holds it together. This is not a static situation. The prevalence of a particular dominant affect 3 is sustainable only until strategies of resistance able to break down this particular affect and /or its social sources are formulated. Hence, capitalism constantly comes into crisis and recomposes around newly dominant affects.

    One aspect of every phase’s dominant affect is that it is a public secret, something that everyone knows, but nobody admits, or talks about. As long as the dominant affect is a public secret, it remains effective, and strategies against it will not emerge.

    Public secrets are typically personalised. The problem is only visible at an individual, psychological level; the social causes of the problem are concealed. Each phase blames the system’s victims for the suffering that the system causes. And it portrays a fundamental part of its functional logic as a contingent and localised problem.

    In the modern era (until the post-war settlement), the dominant affect was misery. In the nineteenth century, the dominant narrative was that capitalism leads to general enrichment. The public secret of this narrative was the misery of the working class. The exposure of this misery was carried out by revolutionaries. The first wave of modern social movements in the nineteenth century was a machine for fighting misery. Tactics such as strikes, wage struggles, political organisation, mutual aid, co-operatives and strike funds were effective ways to defeat the power of misery by ensuring a certain social minimum. Some of these strategies still work when fighting misery.

    When misery stopped working as a control strategy, capitalism switched to boredom. In the mid twentieth century, the dominant public narrative was that the standard of living – which widened access to consumption, healthcare and education – was rising. Everyone in the rich countries was happy, and the poor countries were on their way to development. The public secret was that everyone was bored. This was an effect of the Fordist system which was prevalent until the 1980s – a system based on full-time jobs for life, guaranteed welfare, mass consumerism, mass culture, and the co-optation of the labour movement which had been built to fight misery. Job security and welfare provision reduced anxiety and misery, but jobs were boring, made up of simple, repetitive tasks. Mid-century capitalism gave everything needed for survival, but no opportunities for life; it was a system based on force-feeding survival to saturation point.


    In contemporary capitalism, the dominant reactive affect is anxiety.

    Today’s public secret is that everyone is anxious. Anxiety has spread from its previous localised locations (such as sexuality) to the whole of the social field. All forms of intensity, self-expression, emotional connection, immediacy, and enjoyment are now laced with anxiety. It has become the linchpin of subordination.

    One major part of the social underpinning of anxiety is the multi-faceted omnipresent web of surveillance. The NSA, CCTV, performance management reviews, the Job Centre, the privileges system in the prisons, the constant examination and classification of the youngest schoolchildren. But this obvious web is only the outer carapace. We need to think about the ways in which a neoliberal idea of success inculcates these surveillance mechanisms inside the subjectivities and life-stories of most of the population.

    We need to think about how people’s deliberate and ostensibly voluntary self-exposure, through social media, visible consumption and choice of positions within the field of opinions, also assumes a performance in the field of the perpetual gaze of virtual others. We need to think about the ways in which this gaze inflects how we find, measure and know one another, as co-actors in an infinitely watched perpetual performance. Our success in this performance in turn affects everything from our ability to access human warmth to our ability to access means of subsistence, not just in the form of the wage but also in the form of credit. Outsides to the field of mediatised surveillance are increasingly closed off, as public space is bureaucratised and privatised, and a widening range of human activity is criminalised on the grounds of risk, security, nuisance, quality of life, or anti-social behaviour.

    In this increasingly securitised and visible field, we are commanded to communicate. The incommunicable is excluded. Since everyone is disposable, the system holds the threat of forcibly delinking anyone at any time, in a context where alternatives are foreclosed in advance, so that forcible delinking entails desocialisation – leading to an absurd non-choice between desocialised inclusion and desocialised exclusion. This threat is manifested in small ways in today’s disciplinary practices – from “time-outs” and Internet bans, to firings and benefit sanctions – culminating in the draconian forms of solitary confinement found in prisons. Such regimes are the zero degree of control-by-anxiety: the breakdown of all the coordinates of connectedness in a setting of constant danger, in order to produce a collapse of personality.

    The present dominant affect of anxiety is also known as precarity. Precarity is a type of insecurity which treats people as disposable so as to impose control. Precarity differs from misery in that the necessities of life are not simply absent. They are available, but withheld conditionally.

    Earlier we argued that people have to be socially isolated in order for a public secret to work. This is true of the current situation, in which authentic communication is increasingly rare. Communication is more pervasive than ever, but increasingly, communication happens only through paths mediated by the system. Hence, in many ways, people are prevented from actually communicating, even while the system demands that everyone be connected and communicable. People both conform to the demand to communicate rather than expressing themselves, and self-censor within mediated spaces. Similarly, affective labour does not alleviate anxiety; it compounds workers’ suffering while simply distracting consumers (researchers have found that requirements on workers to feign happiness actually cause serious health problems).
    http://www.weareplanc.org/we-are-all-very-anxious/#.VLNomR0mv7D
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