Age of DisruptionTechnology and Madness in Computational Capitalism
Age of Disruption
Technology and Madness in Computational Capitalism

Half a century ago Horkheimer and Adorno argued, with great prescience, that our increasingly rationalized and Westernized 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 and strengthened, giving rise to the loss of reason and to the loss of the reason for living. Individuals are overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of digital information and the speed of digital flows, and profiling and social media satisfy needs before they have even been expressed, all in the service of the data economy. This digital reticulation has led to the disintegration of social relations, replaced by a kind of technological Wild West, in which individuals and groups 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 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 epokh? in the philosophical sense, by which Stiegler means that we have lost our noetic method, 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 epokh? 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 substantial dialogue between Stiegler and Jean-Luc Nancy in which they reflect on techniques of selfhood, 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.

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  • July 2019 (pb)
    July 2019 (hb)
  • 380 pages
  • 152 x 229 mm / 6 x 9 in
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  • Hardback $69.95
  • 9781509529261
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  • 9781509529278
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  • 9781509529292
Table of Contents

Part One. The Epokh? of My Life

Chapter 1 Disruption

Chapter 2 The Absence of Epoch

Chapter 3 Radicalization and Submission

Chapter 4 Administration of Savagery, Disruption and Barbarism

Chapter 5 Outside the Law

Part Two. Madness, Anthropocene, Disruption

Chapter 6 Who am I?

Chapter 7 Dreams and Nightmares in the Anthropocene

Chapter 8 Morality and Disinhibition in Modern Times

Chapter 9 Ordinary Madness, Extraordinary Madnesses

Chapter 10 The Dream of Michel Foucault

Part Three. Demoralization

Chapter 11 Generation Strauss-Kahn

Chapter 12 Thirty-Eight Years Later

Chapter 13 Death Drive, Moral Philosophy and Denial

Chapter 14 Nonconformism, ‘Uncoolness’ and Libido Sciendi at the University

Chapter 15 The Wounds of Truth

Conclusion. Let’s Make a Dream

A Conversation about Christianity



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