Alexander Bard on the Digital Class Struggle in the 21st Century
"Alexander Bard is a Swedish philosopher and futurist. This is part 2 of our conversation, in which we continue our discussion of the netocratic world, exploring how it differs from the previous systems of feudalism and capitalism. We examine who becomes powerful in this new world, and note the new forms of social capital: attention and data. We discuss how access to high volumes of data give us new ways to understand humans, opening up new fields like deep anthropology and deep history. We consider the emerging international networks dedicated to exploring 21st century cultural transformation at a deep level (Rebel Wisdom, Neurohacker Collective etc.). We discuss how our current political and educational institutions (the nation-state, the university) may no longer be fit for purpose, and ponder what might emerge this century to take their place, with a particular focus on education. We explore the relevence of Marxist and tribal thinking for our time, and the influence of Marx on 20th century culture and philosophy. We explore social dynamics in the netocratic world, and how algorithms help the netocrats identify talented and interesting individuals and connect networks with near instantaneity. We talk about how politics, academia and business have increasingly focused on building awareness instead of credibility, as enabled by marketing and PR firms (leading to frustrating levels of bullshit in the information economy); meanwhile, in the netocratic online world, quality, the ability to attract attention authentically, is everything. Finally, we touch on Alexander's background in the music industry, exploring how Spotify algorithms shape listening patterns, the "hit song", and the masculine spirit of heavy metal and hip hop."