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Zizek used the term in the interview I posted in the Stray Thoughts... thread, but this appears to be the article where Klein actually coins it,

It has taken some time to gel, but something resembling a coherent Pandemic Shock Doctrine is beginning to emerge. Call it the “Screen New Deal.” Far more high-tech than anything we have seen during previous disasters, the future that is being rushed into being as the bodies still pile up treats our past weeks of physical isolation not as a painful necessity to save lives, but as a living laboratory for a permanent — and highly profitable — no-touch future.
I think pretty much all of us on here have been concerned about this from the off, that the pandemic could act as a catalyst for further surveillance, the transition to a cashless society, further atomisation etc and I guess that's exactly what's happening -- all under the guise of "progress" and "innovation", of course...

Apparently the article's the "first installment in an ongoing series about the shock doctrine and disaster capitalism in the age of Covid-19", so it'll be interesting to see where she takes it from here.

 

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The China syndrome

“As I always said, even before the coronavirus, with all these new techniques of digital control, we’re approaching a new model. I can smell it in the air. You’re not openly controlled, you still appear to retain your personal freedoms, you order this and that food, you can do whatever you want in your own little isolated world, you can have your personal perversions. But in practice the control isn’t any less tight than in the Chinese model – maybe even more so. In China at least nobody has great democratic illusions, you know you’re tightly controlled by the party, the state apparatus and so on. The mechanisms of control in the West don’t work like that; I am very wary of the authorities’ cooperation with Google.”

Perhaps you could explain your concern, because as I understand it, you’re not just talking about surveillance and the infringement of privacy.

“I’m talking about what Naomi Klein calls the ‘Screen New Deal.’ The big technology companies like Google and Microsoft, which enjoy vast government support, will enable people to maintain Telexistence. You undergo a medical examination via the web, you do your job digitally from your apartment, your apartment becomes your world. I find this vision horrific.”

So those who see this change as an act of liberation are wrong?

“First, it’s class distinction at its purest. Maybe half the population, not even that, could live in this secluded way, but others will have to ensure that this digital machinery is functioning properly. Today, apart from the old working class, we have a ‘welfare working class,’ all those caregivers, educators, social workers, farmers. The dream of this program, the Screen New Deal, is that physically, at least, this class of caregivers disappears, they become as invisible as possible. Interaction with them will be increasingly reduced and be digital.”
 

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Screen fatigue

In his book “Beyond the Pleasure Principle,” Freud referred to an enigma that troubled him deeply: Soldiers who returned wounded from World War I were more successful in processing their traumatic experiences than those who came back without a scratch. The soldiers who were physically unscathed tended to have recurring dreams about the war’s horrors. In “Pandemic!,” Zizek takes a Lacanian approach and proposes that a distinction be made between reality – the social and material space we inhabit – and the real, “a spectral entity, invisible and for that very reason appearing as all-powerful.” According to Zizek, it is only when the real becomes part of our reality – for example, in the case of infection by the virus – that it becomes “something we can deal with.”

Accordingly, Zizek divides workers during the crisis into those who encounter the virus and its consequences as part of their daily reality – medical staff, welfare-service people, farmers, the food industry – and those who are secluded in their homes, for whom the epidemic remains in the realm of the Lacanian spectral and omnipresent. Yet, both groups are condemned to weariness: the essential workers because of their high-stress work and its dangers, and the people confined to their home because of the lassitude that engulfs those who observe the end of their familiar world, as it is projected from the screens.
 

luka

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woops
is not like other people



very late to this thread - i've been resisting my own dematerialisation for some time, it has now begun - but the virus is an obvious vector of dematerialistaion.

the tarot cards read like this to me: unwritten rules enforce more solitary screen time. anonymous glass office blocks are empty inside as well as out replaced by video chats - the office is just a showroom for the business done on zoom. the new builds look like the computer-drawn concept images shown before building begins, with only one or two humans standing around outside. faces anonymous behind masks outdoors. don't touch anything, the virus lives on surfaces. empty buses and trains, joggers everywhere with no destination. take out only

the music i've been presented with is less sonically dematerialised than an influx of live streaming by singers with acoustic guitars gathered around a backlit computer campfire
 

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Anuja Sonalker, CEO of Steer Tech, a Maryland-based company selling self-parking technology, recently summed up the new virus-personalized pitch. “There has been a distinct warming up to human-less, contactless technology,” she said. “Humans are biohazards, machines are not.”

😬
 

luka

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Anuja Sonalker, CEO of Steer Tech, a Maryland-based company selling self-parking technology, recently summed up the new virus-personalized pitch. “There has been a distinct warming up to human-less, contactless technology,” she said. “Humans are biohazards, machines are not.”

😬
doesnt zizek have a safe sex skit he keeps trotting out that is along the same lines
 

luka

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barty said hes been spending his celibate isolation time persuading verious females to show him their anus on skype then screenshotting it for his collection
 

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Apparently the universities are treating this as an opportunity to try to move things online a bit more. I guess remote learning's about to explode.
 

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The IoT really unsettles me. I dread the day you can no longer buy a fridge or a kettle which doesn't have some sort of "smart" capability. I don't want or need a tablet built into my appliances or a thermostat connected to the internet.
 

mixed_biscuits

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Dumbly hammering nails into their own coffins, cash-strapped universities are signing up for a year of tedious and ineffective remote learning while hundreds of schools prepare to go back to near enough to normal this coming week: degrees will be the preserve of the academic and moneyed elite once more.
 

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Supposedly the universities are very dependent on China now due to the lack of funding from their own government.
 

luka

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yeah. we've done this bit before haven't we? the universities are absolutely terrified.
 
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