Monday, March 16, 2015

Wark reading

I'm going to be honest--I found the Wark reading somewhat inaccessible. However, I tried my best to understand it, so bear with me.

I found the following quote interesting: "Even if a revolution could not take place in the late twentieth century, in the early twenty-first century it seems simply unimaginable. It is hard not to suspect that the over-developed world has simply become untenable, and yet it is incapable of proposing any alternative to itself but more of the same" (Wark, 15).

What I gather from this is that our infrastructure in the Western world is so based in capitalism that we would not have the chance to change it even if we wanted to. In relation to the Internet, so much of what we do online involves some sort of advertisement or monetizing effort. We are inundated with ads tailored specifically to us based on our Google searches and Facebook likes. Most websites we use have some form of making money, and it is usually off  of the user. Sure, we may not pay for most of the sites that we use, but the websites get their money from us somehow. This cyber-infrastructure is so dependent on capitalist means that to try and revolutionize the system now would be to change everything we know in the digital world.


  1. I saw this quote in the same light. Wark was very hard for me to grasp concepts from her writing. However, I did see that she was trying (I think) to say what you mentioned above: that western world and capitalism isn't helping our situation and we will continue to delve deeper into this problem due to tradition and no other option other than democracy. People often do not want to change, and our government is no exception. She also tries to assert that we couldn't change capitalism even if we really wanted to, which we have brushed upon in PCH and Fuchs reading. The use of internet is a good example. We use it so much, I doubt we could all stop using it if we tried and really wanted to. We add to the power of the internet and monopoly of distributers and advertisers by using the web and clicking on the links. I completely agree the cyber-infrastructure is dependent on capitalism and the negatives of capitalism can be seen within the internet structure. (users working for free for example).

  2. I agree with Emma and Erin. I believe that from this quote, Wark is saying that today's Western world is so deep in a hole of capitalism that it would be difficult for there to be a revolution. It is so over-developed that it is incapable of see any other ways of life as an alternative. However, I only somewhat agree with Wark's statement.

    I believe that the Western world is very overdeveloped. We have way too much and we don't recognize that is too much. We have way past the basic necessities that we need to live. I believe that if everyone could realize that they have enough and we could spend more effort into helping others live a life where they have the basic necessities, the world could be a much happier place. Instead, capitalism leads us to believe that we needs more. It has gotten to the point that every business have found a way to commodity everything that is popular in culture. For example, I do not understand why businesses are trying to advertise on social media apps like Instagram and Snapchat. These apps are for sharing images and videos of your life. It's nice to see images of what others are doing in the world and to see what all is out there. I hate it that now when I get on Instagram and Snapchat there are so many ads. Stop trying to sell me stuff especially in a place where I am trying to connect with friends and family. It sickens me that business pay people on Instagram to pose with their products. What is supposed to be a picture of someone's real life has become an ad. It's come to a point where Instagram is only about showing what things you have and no longer about taking pictures and sharing the beautiful moments in life.

    However, I don't believe that Wark is correct in saying that our society can not be changed. I think that although the internet and social media has become commodified in many ways, we are still able to connect and share like never before. I think that this will be the key to change. People can share ideas faster, connect with individuals they would have never connected otherwise. I believe that there ARE people are there like Wark who can see through the sham of capitalism and now the internet will allow them to connect and to maybe it could lead to a revolution. A society where we are not so materialistic. Work is pessimistic where he should be hopeful about what the future and new technology can bring. He is focuses on the bad when he should see it as a new opportunity.


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