Some themes and some music

This year I have written increasingly about the following issues.

  1. The mechanisms through which higher education as a previously socialised or social good has been marketised, in order that value can be extracted from it.
  2. The mechanisms that inscribe the higher education sector inside the circuits of transnational finance capital, in order to enable the extraction of surplus value.
  3. The impact of the historic tendency of the rate of profit to fall on both the higher education sector and individual universities as competing capitals.
  4. The role of technology as a crack through which higher education and universities can be privatised, in particular related to the impact of finance capital and proprietary vendors like Blackboard, Pearson and Goldman Sachs.
  5. The relationships between the university and alternatives to them, student debt, technology and academic labour.
  6. The mechanisms through which technology is used to militarise higher education.
  7. The relationships between student debt, the idea of the student-as-consumer, and the role of technology, in disciplining academic labour.
  8. The techno-determinist co-option of innovation and innovations like learning analytics, BYOD, mobiles and MOOCs, so that their dehumanising impacts are forgotten.
  9. The impact of austerity politics, liquid fuel availability, and climate change on the politics of higher education.

Next year I plan to develop some work on academic labour and forms of activism, and the development of an ethical digital literacy.

Anyway, in writing this stuff I wondered what I had been listening to, and it seems that I have been obsessed with the following things, some of which are from 2012 and some of which are not. The combination of these things may, or may not, explain a lot.

  • Giacomo Puccini: Turandot.
  • Micachu and the Shapes: Never.
  • Sufjan Stevens: The Age of Adz.
  • Low: C’mon.
  • Death Cab for Cutie: The Photo Album.
  • SBTRKT: <untitled>.
  • Orbital: Wonky.
  • The Men: Open Your Heart.
  • Sons of Noel and Adrian: Knots.
  • Bombay Bicycle Club: A different kind of fix.
  • Simian Mobile Disco: Unpatterns.
  • Silverclub: Silverclub.
  • Daughter: various EPs.
  • Stay+: various EPs.
  • Stubborn Heart: <unnamed>.
  • James Blake: Enough Thunder.
  • Bon Iver: Bon Iver.
  • blur: 13.
  • Four Tet: Pink.
  • Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark: Architecture and Morality.

I have created a playlist of this stuff on Spotify, and there are some other collaborative (or not) playlists under my hallymk1 account.

In solidarity.


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