Assange/Žižek not really all that leftist after-all?

Finally got to see the second episode of Julian Assange tv show in which he interviews David Horowitz and Slavoj Žižek. While the interview is certainly original and much better than what western tv has produced for the past few decades, it still seems as if all three take a bunch of conservative premises for granted. Some issues, such as that Latin American leftist leaders are "dictators" as Horowitz claims, are just left unanswered in the room and one can only imagine that Assange/Žižek did not refute such charges as they were simply too far out to be answerable.
In other fields they seemed to have arrived at a pro-capitalist consensus. For example, is it really true that:

1. The natural state of human existence is war (at all times)? There may have been many wars in the past, but if full-scale wars were to start now between the major powers, then that would mean nuclear destruction of everybody. At the same time, the internet has made that we are no longer that isolated from one-another. War seems less and less like something "sell-able" to the world’s populations (the US seems like an exception, but hopefully not much longer. Once the empire crumbles, hopefully most will notice that they are just humans like everybody else)

2. Either the US or western Europe up to some years ago were the most perfect places imaginable in the world? Both depended on heavy exploitation of third world countries, and on actively killing leaders of movements there who tried to better the situation in their countries.

3. The will of the people will at all times be a problem for those wishing to create another, more humane (=socialist/communist) society? Much technology has been invited that would allow participatory budgeting and a collectively planed economy.

Assange’s proposal of testing out different systems in different countries and then letting people move between these countries according to what they prefer seems to have been one of the more revolutionary proposals mentioned in the program. But then again — what to do if one of those systems eats up more natural resources than what is available for everyone (such as is the case right now with 1st world countries)?

At any rate, one of the more intelligent tv programs of our times.

Norwegian anthropologist

Wow! My Nicaragua book is listed as a publication by a Norwegian anthropologist in 2011 by the corresponding Norwegian trade association. I thought the Norsk Antropologisk Forening had decided long ago that they wouldn’t touch me with a barge-pole because I’m too dirty/activist. Maybe I should actually sign up and pay member fees.

Norsk antropologisk forening :: Nye bøker on Antropologi

Bangstad, Sindre, Oddbjørn Leirvik og Ingvill Thorson Plesner (red.): Sekularisme – med norske briller. Oslo: Unipub. ISBN: 9788274775367. BIBSYS: http://ask.bibsys.no/ask/action/show?kid=biblio&cmd=reload&pid=114843902 Forlagsside: http://www.uni…

Western media don’t like competition?

US and UK media seem a bit envious that suddenly Russian media gets to play in the same league as them in terms of global opinion shaping. They don’t seem to be able to agree on any points of content except that they don’t like what is going on. Take the following two excerpts for example:

"On his talk show Mr. Assange was a little stiff but sounded rational, didn’t talk much about himself and asked Mr. Nasrallah some tough questions about Hezbollah’s support for President Bashar al-Assad of Syria. He even cited reports, found by WikiLeaks, that suggested corruption and high living among some members of Hezbollah."

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/18/arts/television/julian-assange-starts-talk-show-on-russian-tv.html

"But Assange’s debut interview wasn’t quite the incendiary event that Russia Today had promised. The questions were clearly agreed in advance. Some were softball, others fawning, with Nasrallah’s answers unchallenged."
The TV Watch: Julian Assange Starts Talk Show on Russian TV on Nytimes
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/apr/17/world-tomorrow-julian-assange-wikileaks

Western media don’t like competition?

US and UK media seem a bit envious that suddenly Russian media gets to play in the same league as them in terms of global opinion shaping. They don’t seem to be able to agree on any points of content except that they don’t like what is going on. Take the following two excerpts for example:

"On his talk show Mr. Assange was a little stiff but sounded rational, didn’t talk much about himself and asked Mr. Nasrallah some tough questions about Hezbollah’s support for President Bashar al-Assad of Syria. He even cited reports, found by WikiLeaks, that suggested corruption and high living among some members of Hezbollah."

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/18/arts/television/julian-assange-starts-talk-show-on-russian-tv.html

"But Assange’s debut interview wasn’t quite the incendiary event that Russia Today had promised. The questions were clearly agreed in advance. Some were softball, others fawning, with Nasrallah’s answers unchallenged."
The TV Watch: Julian Assange Starts Talk Show on Russian TV on Nytimes
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/apr/17/world-tomorrow-julian-assange-wikileaks

Can we NOW remove the name of of AP Møller?

Danish oligarch Møller has died — and everybody from queen to leader of the social democrats feels the need to say what a great human being he was. Somehow I cannot remember anything similar happening when a labor union leader trying to organize Møller’s company was killed under mysterious circumstances in El Salvador a few years. Møller decided to sponsor a school to the Danish minority in Germany a few years ago. The school association then decided to give it the name of Møller’s father, "A.P. Møller", who had made the company big. Any criticism that Møller had made his fortune in part by selling weapons to the nazis and in more recent years by having an extra-ordinarily good deal on pumping up the Danish oil was swept under the carpet. Now that Møller Jr. is gone, can we maybe get to talk about changing the name of the school again? How much longer do the Danes of northern Germany want to be associated with nazi weapon production?

http://www.johanneswilm.org/2008/11/23/change-the-name-of-the-apmoller-school/
Change the name of A.P. Møller-skolen | Johannes Wilm’s World on Johanneswilm

This is a campaign I started a little over a month ago. And yes, I happened to take the initiative, but the fact that the name wasn’t very well chosen was something many people had been thinking about before. Basically, it’s this Danish company t…

This is only beta stuff, but something like this may be all

This is only beta stuff, but something like this may be all that is needed to replace much/most of today’s education and CV system. Learning can happen in many different contexts — online or in class or wherever, and testing skills can happen independently thereof. Instead of taking entire degrees one can take individual exams corresponding exactly to what one needs to do something or other and display once technical skills in an easily accessible and universally understandable format. http://openbadges.org/

Swung by the Plaza de la Revolución tonight to listen to Da

Swung by the Plaza de la Revolución tonight to listen to Daniel Ortega’s interpretation of the Cartagena meeting of American states: He is angry at Canada and USA for voting against Cuban participation in future summits. He believes the governments of those countries don’t really speak for their populations and challenges them to hold referendas to determine what the people really want. He also accused the governments of those countries of thinking they are privileged to determine who is democratic, while repressing the Occupy protests violently.

Ah, så flott. da har jeg noe å glede meg til når jeg blir

Ah, så flott. da har jeg noe å glede meg til når jeg blir 80! Men hvorfor stoppe med planene der? Hvorfor ikke sette opp en plan om å utvide Oslos trikkesystem til månen rundt år 2334 og til mars i år 3872?

"…I Ruters strategidokument er det lagt opp til egne buss- og trikketraseer i indre by fra 2060. …"

http://oslopuls.aftenposten.no/byliv/article712902.ece

Grass “poem”?

To me the writings of Günter Grass look like nothing special. It’s a rehash of things that were known already and opinions that most people in the world would agree with anyway. I don’t see the controversy. Why does this get so much attention just because it comes from a certain person? Are the thoughts of one person so much more important than those of everybody else, no matter how simple they are? Here is the poem translated.

Goldsmiths — radical?

It’s funny to think about that our student "riots" of fall 2010 have been made part of the Goldsmiths marketing strategy (selling buttons, etc.) while at the time they tried everything possible to stop us from organizing or occupying anything at the time. That winter I needed to get away in order to get the space and time to write my thesis. Conclusion: Choosing between defending the university while getting attacked for precisely that by it’s management, or be geographically far away in order to do what one set out to academically do there. The conflict still has not been resolved. There is still no future for us in British academia. And 1.5 years have gone by already. :(
http://hutnyk.wordpress.com/2012/04/06/education/