The object of Wikileaks is to dismantle the conspiracies that, according to its founder, rule the world. But what is a conspiracy and are you part of one? According to Assange, it’s possible to be a member of conspiracy without even knowing that you are. This week, we look at Julian Assange’s political philosophy and his view of the world as a network of conspiracies.
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This week Jaron Lanier — composer, performer, computer scientist, philosopher and pioneer of virtual reality — gets seriously sceptical about somebody a lot of people think of as a hero: Julian Assange. The Internet, according to Lanier, was influenced in equal degrees by 1960s romanticism and cold war paranoia. If the political world becomes a mirror of the Internet, then the world will be restructured around secretive digital power centres surrounded by a sea of chaotic, underachieving openness. WikiLeaks is such a centre. It’s the world of nerd supremacy.
Jacques Marie Emile Lacan, who died in 1981, was a French psychoanalyst and follower of Freud, but his influence has extended far beyond the boundaries of psychiatry: to philosophy, critical theory, literary theory, sociology, feminist theory, film theory and clinical psychoanalysis. And all this despite a literary style of forbidding complexity. This week, we take courage and try to penetrate his thought.
A.C. Grayling outlines Bertrand Russell’s proudest achievement, his theory of descriptions in this episode of the philosophy podcast Philosophy Bites.