Hola hola, mi querida d,
Did you see the season finale of that show called the USA? I saw the capitol chapter on TV, with an ice-cold cantaloupe in hand, glued to the TV, having some sort of a great time because of this pathetic and uncomfortably funny show. I cannot deny having some joy, remembering all the times I meet fellow gringos who truly believe in North American exceptionalism. I once read that the concept of American exceptionalism was invented by Stalin, perhaps it is a lie, but what a good lie. But I think that the pathos of the situation was not only those grotesque characters invading the capitol, but also, as Crystal M. Fleming says, that even though the entire democratic system was about to be broken, people in the country saw it as a Netflix show.
Don’t you think Elon Musk is, in a sense, a 2.0 version of Trump? The billions, the shamelessness, and the display of archaic masculinity. Musk, with all his electric cars, is considered a “green technology champion” for all that mainstream liberal environmentalism who loves to find heroes in everything. In fact, he tweeted just a few days ago that he plans to donate USD 100 million for an award for the best carbon capture technology (someone was jokingly sending congratulations to whoever invented the trees), but of course, a few hours later, he announced that it will drill somewhere in Texas for natural gas to power its SpaceX rockets.
By the way, this week I learned that Tesla – in the neoliberal continuum of corporations allied with the police – provides electric cars to some US police officers: aw, green policing <3 Well, Kate Aronoff eloquently says that president Joe Biden has surrounded himself with foreign policy advisers who have spent four years seeking to build lucrative bridges between the national security state and Silicon Valley. “The idea of a green national security state could gain traction in the near future—whether that’s solar-paneled Immigrations and Customs Enforcement detention facilities housing climate refugees or arms made in carbon-neutral factories and sold off to U.S. allies like Saudi Arabia.”
Also these days I was reminded of something we had already talked about: the corporate monstrosity called intellectual property. The University of Oxford in April had promised to donate the rights to its coronavirus vaccine to any pharmacist, directly benefiting poor countries. But he backed out and signed with AstraZeneca to giving him exclusive rights and no low price guarantees. Who interceded for this corporate turnaround? Of course, the tech giant’s PR machine: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation :S
So, I’m happy that Trump finally is out of office, but as we already knew, everything could end up jumping “out of the frying pan into the fire.” Isn’t that what liberal democracy has become?
In other things, d., in a few days I go on summer vacation but I do not know, yet, if I will be able to leave Santiago due to the lockdown. For my birthday I gave myself a gorgeous daddy watch that I bought from a frat boys store and maybe that’s my own midlife crisis, my inner Elon Musk. By the way, the other day I saw one of my favorite movies, Les plages d’Agnès, by A.Varda, and it has so many captions to dedicate to you, but I am sending you what I think is the gatite earth spirit.
Hahaha indeed, excellent season finale for the declining empire, I loved to see all my Latin American friends enjoying and laughing at this spectacle. Now I remember that time when we couldn’t believe that at a famous tech conference some people organised a panel to propose that internet regulations should be based in the US constitution ahahahahaha, really, public interest technology made in USA is a big cómo te podis prestar tanto pal hueveo Katiuska (sorry English-speaking friends for this untranslatable reference). I hope all this could lead to a future in which political debates are less centered in that miserable country, especially those discussions related to the climate emergency, a subject that must be addressed from a global perspective (as we have stated so many times already).
And by the way, in regards to non-Western worldviews, I wanted to share with you this paper I found while I was doing some research on technology in Japan, it’s about animism, a way of thought that is very rooted in Japanese thinking which presupposes the existence of a soul or a spirit in every animate and inanimate thing in nature covering all life, the authors of this paper propose that this approach could contribute to a better understanding of the idea of sustainable development through the adoption of this vision that considers the non-human. Nice isn’t it? Still, it is very sad to contrast such a perspective with contexts of exploitation in the third world where the earth is considered an ATM machine, in fact, in this article which is very critical of “green” technologies, I learned that some people are already talking about a “new natural resources fever” in order to refer to the massive extraction of the different minerals needed to maintain wind powered turbines and centrals of photovoltaic energy. Well, this green future looks devastating for the altiplano countries and the worst part is that nobody seems to care. For instance, here the Dutch just organized the Climate Adaptation Summit (CAS 2021), I first payed attention to the event because they were showcasing these floating houses that were built just around the corner of my house here in Feijenoord, the neighborhood is being truly gentrified, it’s crazy, even the rich gays brought their boats and now they are living here. Anyway, lots of important people participated in this summit: Angela Merkel, the Pope, Bill Gates, toas toas (sorry again English-speaking readers for another untranslatable reference, to be honest I don’t even know if this can be deciphered by non-Chileans). The thing is that in the infrastructure track there is not a single mention to the problem of the environmental impact of mining, they’re just concerned about engaging with investors and insurers for their solar panels.
Moreover, Pondie sent me the most ridiculous neocolonial news of the week Elon Musk, that poor friendless dude, wants to build a data center in Puerto Montt. In Puerto Montt!!! These people really do not want to leave a single centimeter of soil not being abused. For this project in particular, the objective is to implement low-orbit satellite internet and Musk is expecting Subtel’s approval. Of course I haven’t found any information about the environmental impact of this business, neither about the surveillance and cybersecurity implications of all this. The telecommunications of the south of Chile controlled by an unhinged private? What could go wrong?
Alright, I’m angry, kisses, have this tip of turning the camera off while you’re in video calls because one hour of videoconferencing uses between two and twelve liters of water. Fantastic. Chao! Bye Bye!
Okay, nevermind. It’s better to end this exchange in a happy mode, i actually wanted to share with you this extract of a beautiful EZLN text, it’s called La Misión (The Mission) and it is about the tour to Europe that the Zapatistas are planning to do by crossing the ocean. Rebellious technologies of transportation that come from a perspective that it is in connection with the earth, a perspective that allows us, in the midst of the storm, to anticipate the upcoming realities:
Says the Viejo Antonio: “Women and men take shelter from winds, rains and breaking soils, and they wait so they can see what has been left and what was not. But the earth does more than that because she prepares for what is coming afterwards. And while she is pausing, she already has started changing. Mother Earth does not wait for the storm to pass and then find out what she is going to do, she is building the new much before that. That is why wise people say that the morning does not just suddenly arrive, but it is already stalking between the shadows, and those who know how to look they can find the morning between the cracks of the night. This is why the men and women of the maize, when they sow, they dream about the tortilla, the atole, the pozol, the tamale and the marquesote. Those products are not there yet but these people know that they will emerge and that is the vanguard of their work. They look at their whole endeavor and they are looking at the fruit even before the seed touches the ground. Men and women of the maize, when they look at this world and their pains, they also look at the world that needs to be built so they can delineate their path. They have three gazes: one for what has happened before, one for what is happening in the present and another for the time to come. This is how they know they are sowing a treasure: the gaze”.