Monthly Archives: February 2014

Operation “Optic Nerve”

This is timely. Just yesterday, The Guardian reported that the British spy agency GCHQ has been collecting millions of webcam images through Yahoo. You know the little camera on your computer, the one you take selfies with? Basically, this report says that others may have been looking at you as well.

Here is the Guardian article:

There is a discussion of it on today’s Democracy Now:

Event next Wednesday

Philosophy graduate student Andrew Gillespie will be facilitating a special event on campus next Wednesday, March 5th, starting at 7pm in Lawson 201
The title of the event is: “Rage and the Race to Punish: 40 Years After the Stanford Prison Experiment.”   The event will consist of a screening of the 50 minute film “Quiet Rage: The Stanford Prison Experiment” to be followed by commentary and open discussion on race relations in America, the expansion of the “prison industrial complex,” and the Wars on Crime and Drugs.
We will discuss the Stanford Prison Experiment next week. Its terrifying.




Please complete the Foucault reading.

Tomorrow we will review what we’ve covered concerning prisons so far (which will be the basis for the second study guide); and we’ll talk about what to do next.

For those on Track 1, if we have not met a second time, please schedule a meeting with me for next week!

Saw this today…

… and thought of you all.,2912/?ref=auto

Let’s call this “the illusion theory of money.” Note how it differs from the theory of the power of money we have been discussing in class. The Onion article makes it seem like the power of money is simply a “delusion,” something we could all wake up from and be free of. By contrast, what I have been arguing is that even if we wake up from it, we are still trapped by it, because if we “see through” the illusion we are still subject to suffering if we, individually, stop recognizing the power of money.

In order for the illusion theory to solve the problem of the power of money, we need to imagine some scenario as fantastical as the one described by the The Onion: a situation where everyone suddenly comes to their senses. But what would happen if a small group of people suddenly came to their sense, but those in power (namely, those whose decisions deploy police violence) did not? Or, even more likely, what if every has already seen through the illusion, but those who benefit from the illusion maintain it as “the only way to run a complex society”?

Things to think about

Reading for Monday

Hi everyone,

Sorry to have not summarized our talks for the last week! 

First, those of you on Track 2 have a paper due Monday. Please give me a hard copy in class.

Second, if you have not read the first chapter of The New Jim Crow or the Angela Davis interview, please do so.

Third, please read Foucault’s “Panopticism” until the paragraph break at pg. 229 (we are going to go SLOW through it! That’s only about 4 pages :).