Technology and melancholia: an odd coupling, you might think. Yet it’s one that has deep conceptual roots. For Freud, all technology is a prosthesis: the telephone (originally conceived as a hearing aid) an artificial ear, the camera an artificial eye, and so on. Strapping his prosthetic organs on, as Freud writes in Civilisation and its Discontents, man becomes magnificent, “a kind of god with artificial limbs” – “but” (he continues) “those organs have not grown on to him and they still give him much trouble at times”. To put it another way: each technological appendage, to a large degree, embodies an absence, a loss.
No speaking. Absolutely wonderful.
Nokia’s one billionth phone sold was a Nokia 1100 purchased in Nigeria.
The face of an iPhone really has 153,601 “buttons”.
These days, the Wall Street banks are more like those grain traders than you might think. They have equipped themselves to take delivery of raw materials when they choose to, so they can wait for the commodity price to rise without having to roll contracts, giving them another advantage over ETF investors. Goldman owns a global network of aluminum warehouses. Morgan Stanley chartered more tankers than Chevron last year, according to shipbroker Poten & Partners. And JPMorgan Chase hired a supertanker to store heating oil off Malta last year, likely earning returns of better than 50 percent in six months, says oil economist Philip Verleger.