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[- Seeking agreement with our own opinions
By Aileen, Section Filter It Yourself!
Posted on Tue Jun 3rd, 2003 at 08:20:35 AM EURODISCORDIA TIME
Filtered through a habitual propensity to approve of criticism that seems to suggest I made the right decision:

Quiet as it is on Discordia at the moment (despite the daily growing number of users), I would like to hijack a discussion taking place elsewhere, specifically because I want to filter it through my own habitual prejudices. The discussion is a result of questions that Brian Holmes posted to Nettime about Fascism in the USA?.


[ --------------------------------------------- ]

When I read Brian's post to nettime, my first impulse was to applaud - of course, as ever. Since I left the US about 25 years ago and never had any desire to return, absorbing negative views of the US that would seem to suggest that I made the right decision has become a long-standing habit. This habit is certainly reinforced by the changes that I have seen taking place in Austria over the past 20+ years, which I believe are certainly not for the better (which is why I am torn right now between the necessity of finishing my work tomorrow and wanting to go out to show support for the nation-wide strikes taking place).
And this habit is also fostered, not least of all, by the easy availability of criticism of the US - which brings us back to some of the first discussions here about alternative media and communication withdrawal. Is it too easy to pick and choose information that confirms opinions we already have, since we don't believe in "objectivity" anymore?

[ --------------------------------------------- ]

Seeking agreement with our own opinions | 3 comments
[new] when sources agree, and chickens and eggs (Avg. Score: none / Raters: 0) (#3)
by amy on Tue Jun 10th, 2003 at 07:38:34 PM EURODISCORDIA TIME
(User Info)

what's interesting to me is what has happened in light of rumsfeld's recent admission that the weapons of mass destruction may have been vaporware after all. i was traveling through europe at the time, and it seemed to be a Pretty Big Deal in the media. then i got back to the states, and saw nothing about it. from what i gather from friends who were in the states at the time, that story passed through here like a small sneeze. both in the papers and in people's minds - it has been inconsequential.

what accounts for this difference? do people not care because the media don't make a big deal about it? or do the media not make a big deal about it because nobody cares (or worse, would disapprove of such Anti-American reporting?)

# begin amy's sig
-- Discordia is nice.
# end amy's sig

[new] truth (as usual) (Avg. Score: none / Raters: 0) (#1)
by BrianHolmes on Wed Jun 4th, 2003 at 01:34:56 AM EURODISCORDIA TIME
(User Info)

Nested behind the screen as I begin to write is the last website I consulted: "Depleted Uranium"... We all know about its existence (used in the Gulf Wars, Bosnia too), I would be curious to know how many people reading this feel sure about what they know? If pressed, how many people would make an existential decision based on what they think they know about depleted uranium?

The general problem is real. "There is no objectivity anymore." It gets worse when you read the Frankfurt School, and explore the concept of instrumental rationality, which puts the major procedures of verification and indeed, of the formation of scientific objects, into doubt as far as they are elements within a machinery geared towards production for production's sake. The demand of this kind of philosophy is precisely that you constitute a filter within yourself, an ethical standard which you take some care about constructing and which you periodically subject to different kinds of tests, confrontations, demands of praxis. But time passes, work presses, passion distorts or distracts, you go through periods of intense doubt which tear up your previous views, you have fallings-out or experience disappointments or are unable to keep up with collective projects that promised to give some human density to the ideas you had begun to form.

I reckon there is no solution. Also an expatriate, and a relatively integrated, polyglot one like Aileen, for many years I have resisted the "easy availability" in Europe of critique of the US, preferring engagements that were closer to my present home. Now I'm starting to feel like it's time to change filters and to go back to attempts, not just to criticize, but to help build resistance within the US to developments that are very dangerous for the whole world. Like the use of depleted uranium, and following that, the renewed discussions about the possible use of tactical nuclear weapons, just for instance. The paradox, of being uncertain whether DU matters, and above all, of whether your opinion about it matters, and at the same time, feeling it burning into your imaginary flesh, is the ordinary paradox of truth.

  • What matters by Aileen, 06/06/2003 07:36:18 AM EURODISCORDIA TIME (none / 0)
Seeking agreement with our own opinions | 3 comments

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