“That’s what they’re afraid of. You.” Assange as the tragic hero of our time

Daniel R. Smith

The up-coming film The Fifth Estate, about the news-leaking website WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange, is not a thriller or a piece of Hollywood entertainment. It is a tragedy that would rival Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex. Having, of course, not seen the film, such a claim is meant not as a review on its merits as a work of art. Instead it is a claim to its function as a piece of fiction in today’s mediated culture where politics is a matter of spectacle and where narrative(s) competes for a unitary story. The story of WikiLeaks and Assange as its tragic hero is a story that encapsulates our age; the age of constant incredulity to any information and a life where politics is a theatre viewed through media-filters of competing sources and contested dialogue. Continue reading

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In any case, id…

In any case, ideas come when we do not expect them, and not when we are brooding and searching at our desks. Yet ideas would certainly not come to mind had we not brooded at our desks and searched for answers with passionate devotion.

Max Weber. Science as a Vocation.