Deleuze and the Advertisers

What say you on Philosophy and Marketing Gilles Deleuze?

“Finally, the most shameful moment came when computer science, marketing, design, and advertising, all disciplines of communication, seized hold of the word concept itself and said: “This is our concern, we are the creative ones, we are the ideas men! We are the friends of the concept, we put it in our computers.” Information and creativity, concept and enterprise: there is already an abundant bibliography. Marketing has preserved the idea of a certain relationship between the concept and the event… The only events are exhibitions, and the only concepts are products that can be sold. Philosophy has not remained unaffected by the general movement that replaced Critique with sales promotion.”

Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, What Is Philosophy? p.10

Creating concepts, a painstaking labor of philosophical invention, an expression of intensified yet drawn out attention on a deep problem, becomes the work of an ad-man looking to turn a profit. The cultivation of something new out of the old that is both an ode to the great ones of the past and a monument that goes beyond the narrow concern of mere Time is now a data entry point meant for as many eyes as can gaze upon it.

The consumption of the concepts is made increasingly more vociferous under the careful craft of the graphic designer, the copy writer, the editor, the marketer. We feast with our eyes on the spectacle of splendor created by the genius in the skyscraper. So in-tune with the act of invention is the artist of abstractions that he pulls the strings of the eager masses to the point of them following him along, following him ever more along his extra-terrestrial trail of joyful seduction. They never see him. He blends in ubiquitously with his minions of desire even while they follow him into his thoughts, always on the cusp of some clever production thanks to his conceptual clarity.

Wearing no robe or crown, sitting in no house or court, the advertiser walks through the crowds just like his other fellow citizens doing their jobs. But they follow his thoughts more surely than any devout subject before them, reaching violently for that slice of heaven, that moment of bliss, before returning inward for the next go-around.
The mass is never one, the individual always initiates the pursuit of its object.
The mass is never one, it is divided into selfs with no use of conformity.
The mass is never one, our differences make us special.
The mass is never one, the horror at the potential for such destruction!
Going out on the streets, going out to the show, going out with a bang, but always going back in.

Self generation is the well spring of eternal creation: the Ad man has learned this well, even if not disciplined by an elder – especially without such discipline. The mind is a canvas on which to paint furious concepts – all of which are at one’s disposal. Gratitude flows rapidly into the mind, measured in shear stock. The mind is by turns championed and questioned repeatedly as a new project is always on the horizon. The work to be done, full of pride and determination; the warmth of the ownmost – I can always come back. The mind now a heart-beat.

The Advertiser shares the philosophical Illumination with you, in perfect communication.

You see? He’s not entirely selfish. Among them traversing, bestowing the gift of the concept in plain sight. But the mind keeps searching, wanting, demanding; and the advertiser provides more, forever more.

See? All you had to do was reach inside and pull it right out. No need for a fuss.


How’s this?

I grew up saturated with advertisements, then I found philosophy.
Then came Mad Men: a philosophical show about advertisers.
Now I write of philosophy and its assumption by advertising days before the season premiere.
Therefore I am advertising for free on my philosophy blog for a TV show about advertisers.
I have come back to advertising, as a philosopher against advertising.

Watching this will make it all better: Get it on Netflix.

Speculations on Obama’s Brain Initiative

Thank you so much for this post Matt. The neutral objectivity that scientists and materialists often lay claim to hides much of the social pretensions from with which they are operating. In this instance, the President of the United States is digging deep into the minds of his subjects and carrying a ideological bias toward economic efficiency in plain site.
Separating the religious from the scientific is not enough. Obama’s alleged “Pragmatism” does not account for Capitalist apologetics that turn the scientific pursuit of knowledge into normative political knowledge for an Imperial superpower. With a near-perfect understanding of the brain, the limits to keeping masses complacent would be extended farther than almost anyone could see. In the world of capitalism, research on consciousness via reductivist neuron tinkering has clear dangers for anyone who understands the power dimension of politics, but this is becoming less obvious to the lot of humanity.


BRAINS… BRAAAAINS… [economic growth] BRAAAAAINS!!!


Francis Collins, director of the National Institute of Health and author of The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief (2006), introduces President Obama as the “scientist-in-chief.” Collins’ “BioLogos” theory is a brand of theistic evolution I have to admit I am not all that familiar with. But I do think he is a good choice to head the NIH since he believes in the compatibility of science and religion, as the majority of Americans seem to.

Obama, for his part, does not begin his speech by situating the latest public investment in brain research in the context of human spirituality. That, of course, is a private matter. Rather, he immediately places this government-funded research in its proper economic context (i.e., techno-capitalism). Investing in science is important, he tells us. Why? Because sometimes it leads to important inventions, some of which may eventually make their way…

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