Monthly Archives: February 2017

Social acceleration and complexity

Neo-nationalism, or the general social backlash that Trump (and Brexit) represents may be understood as a retreat from social acceleration and complexity. Trump appealed to the fantasy that millions of white, non-college educating Americans share of returning to the 1950s … Continue reading

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Brian Massumi on threat and the autopoiesis of affective logic

Some rough notes and tentative thoughts: Affect is closely associated with the virtual, understood as surplus possibility, or complexity from which to select. Brian Massumi speaks of the “affect-driven logic of the could have/would have” (“The Political Ontology of Threat,” … Continue reading

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Event and Structure

In Niklas Luhmann’s Theory of Politics and Law, Michael King and Chris Thornhill give a very nice explanation of information and redundancy in terms of event and structure. The redundant aspect of communication becomes structure, providing the means for a communication … Continue reading

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The law as the last hope for democracy?

Some tentative thoughts … The United States has seen increasing tension between politics and the law. President Obama, faced with an obstructionist Congress, adopted the tactic of signing executive orders, which were then subjected to litigation. Now President Trump, despite … Continue reading

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Luhmann: Law, Justice, and Time

Given the function of the law is to stabilize normative expectations, time is the most relevant dimension. In an article titled “Luhmann: Law, Justice, and Time,” Richard Nobles & David Schiff (2013) wrote: Time is central to Luhmann’s writings on … Continue reading

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Disequilibrium and the Fallacy of Composition

This a continuation of my previous post. I’m still trying to work out some ideas. The equilibrium model seems to be tied to the whole/part differentiation, which includes the idea that society is the aggregate or sum total of people. … Continue reading

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From equilibrium to information processing/ Informationsverarbeitungsprozess 

In a functionally differentiated world society, there is no real equilibrium. So when people say things like “We can balance economic growth with environmental protection” they are just kidding themselves. What they really mean is that we can have economic … Continue reading

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