The Mask as Political Technology, or, Todos Somos Satoshi Nakamoto

The  uproar  over the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto reminds  me of another search for the true identity of a masked psuedonynomous  figure:  Subcommandante Marcos,  the zapatistarevolutionary. The connection between the cases  of Subcommandante Marcos and Satoshi Nakamoto are illuminating, helping throw into relief the politics of the mask and the compulsive desire we have to ascribe causation to things.  My goal with this post is not to enter the debate over the real identity of Satoshi Nakamoto but to focus on the  politics of psuedonymity and the mask.

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Bordering of Grief, Suspension of Thought

The following is from something I was writing about the Grayzone, but it didn't really fit... I like it as a piece of writing though so I am going to leave it here.

The attacks in Paris last Friday sent ripples of shock though Western media outlets, social and otherwise, and elicited an tremendous collective outpouring of grief. Yet, as many were quick to note, this response stood in stark contrast to reactions to similar attacks in other parts of the world, like those occurring only days before in Beirut and Iraq. Yet, these divergent responses are hardly surprising. For those accustomed to the promise of invulnerability bestowed upon people with white skin, the Paris attacks were fundamentally different. What was shocking about this attack was that suddenly, like so many others are forced to contend with on a daily basis, the unmarked Western subject was forced to grapple with its own precarity, the vulnerable condition of having a body upon which violence can be inflicted. 

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