If you're reading this late at night or in the middle of the night, you're corroborating the thesis of a new book published by Verso:  Jonathan Crary's 24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep.  --  Jacques Dubois discussed the Columbia professor's ideas on Thursday in an article posted on the French news website Mediapart and translated below.[1] ...

If you listen to the business-school types who have the ear of management today, technological change has now accelerated to the point that "the time has come to panic as you’ve never panicked before," says Jill Lepore in "The Disruption Machine," posted Monday on the website of the New Yorker.  --  "Disruptive innovation is competitive strategy for an age seized by terror."  --  But take a deep breath and stay calm.  --  Lepore, professor at Harvard as well as staff writer at the weekly famous for publishing many respected writers, elegantly eviscerates Clayton Christensen, the Harvard Business School prof whose 1997 volume, The Innovator’s Dilemma, has made him a one-man industry promoting "disruptive change."  --  But disruptive change is an idea of which we have every reason to be suspicious, Lepore writes.  --  "The idea of innovation is the idea of progress stripped of the aspirations of the Enlightenment, scrubbed clean of the horrors of the twentieth century, and relieved of its critics.  --  Disruptive innovation goes further, holding out the hope of salvation against the very damnation it describes:  disrupt, and you will be saved."[1]  --  Disruption is one more half-baked idea sold for profit by the high priests of our money-mad, anxiety-ridden society:  "Innovation and disruption are ideas that originated in the arena of business but which have since been applied to arenas whose values and goals are remote from the values and goals of business.  --  People aren’t disk drives.  --  Public schools, colleges and universities, churches, museums, and many hospitals, all of which have been subjected to disruptive innovation, have revenues and expenses and infrastructures, but they aren’t industries in the same way that manufacturers of hard-disk drives or truck engines or drygoods are industries.  --  Journalism isn’t an industry in that sense, either."  --  The difference, O surprise, is moral:  "Doctors have obligations to their patients, teachers to their students, pastors to their congregations, curators to the public, and journalists to their readers -- obligations that lie outside the realm of earnings, and are fundamentally different from the obligations that a business executive has to employees, partners, and investors. . . . Charging for admission, membership, subscriptions, and, for some, earning profits are similarities these institutions have with businesses.  Still, that doesn’t make them industries, which turn things into commodities and sell them for gain." ...

Reviewing in the London Review of Books Eric Schlosser's Command and Control, a book about Cold War nuclear weaponry accidents, noted Harvard sociologist of science Steven Shapin concluded  that when it comes to nuclear weapons, "the rational attitude sometimes looks like irrational anxiety."[1]  --  The last commander of the Strategic Air Command, Gen. George Lee Butler, said in 1999 that "We escaped the Cold War without a nuclear holocaust by some combination of skill, luck and divine intervention, and I suspect the latter in greatest proportion."  --   And we're not out of the woods:  "[W]hile the risk of a world-ending nuclear exchange has probably diminished, the risk of some form of proliferation-related hostile nuclear explosion, accidental or intentional, has probably increased." ...