The Age of Disruption: Technology and Madness in Computational Capitalism

The Age of Disruption: Technology and Madness in Computational Capitalism

by Bernard Stiegler


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Half a century ago Adorno and Horkheimer argued, with great prescience, that our increasingly rationalized world was witnessing the emergence of a new kind of barbarism, thanks in part to the stultifying effects of the culture industries. What they could not foresee was that, with the digital revolution and the pervasive automation associated with it, the developments they had discerned would be greatly accentuated, giving rise to the loss of reason and to the loss of the reason for living. Individuals are now overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of digital information and the speed of digital flows, resulting in a kind of technological Wild West in which they find themselves increasingly powerless, driven by their lack of agency to the point of madness.

How can we find a way out of this situation? In this major new book, Bernard Stiegler argues that we must first acknowledge our era as one of fundamental disruption and detachment. We are living in an absence of epokhē in the philosophical sense, by which Stiegler means that we have lost our path of thinking and being. Weaving in powerful accounts from his own life story, including struggles with depression and time spent in prison, Stiegler calls for a new epokhē based on public power. We must forge new circuits of meaning outside of the established algorithmic routes. For only then will forms of thinking and life be able to arise that restore meaning and aspiration to the individual.

Concluding with a dialogue between Stiegler and Jean-Luc Nancy, this book will be of great interest to students and scholars in social and cultural theory, media and cultural studies, philosophy and the humanities generally.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781509529278
Publisher: Polity Press
Publication date: 08/27/2019
Edition description: Translatio
Pages: 380
Sales rank: 1,125,149
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Bernard Stiegler is Founder and Director of the Institut de recherche et d’innovation (IRI) at the Centre Georges-Pompidou.

Table of Contents

Part 1 The Epokhe of My Life 1

1 Disruption: A 'New Form of Barbarism' 3

2 The Absence of Epoch 10

3 Radicalization and Submission 19

4 Administration of Savagery, Disruption and Barbarism 35

5 Outside the Law: Saint-Michel and the Dragon 46

Part 2 Madness, Anthropocene, Disruption 69

6 Who am I? Hauntings, Spirits, Delusions 71

7 Dreams and Nightmares in the Anthropocene 86

8 Morality and Disinhibition in Modern Times 108

9 Ordinary Madness, Extraordinary Madnesses 132

10 The Dream of Michel Foucault 148

Part 3 Demoralization 165

11 Generation Strauss-Kahn 167

12 Thirty-Eight Years Later 193

13 Death Drive, Moral Philosophy and Denial 220

14 Nonconformism, 'Uncoolness' and Libido Sciendi at the University 237

15 The Wounds of Truth: Panic, Cowardice, Courage 258

Conclusion: Let's Make a Dream 286

A Conversation about Christianity 313

Notes 330

Index 391

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