"The practico-inert was thus Sartre’s way of designating the sedimented, institutional everyday world constituted out of human energy but manifested as the immense accumulation of routine passive activity. It operates as a collective delusion that transforms the experience of individual solitude and powerlessness into something seemingly natural or inevitable. “The practico-inert field is the field of our servitude … to mechanical forces, and to anti-social apparatuses.” His key term for this powerlessness is “seriality,” and with it he provides his monumental account of the continuous production of loneliness as a fundamental underpinning of capitalism. Seriality is the dispersal of collectivity into an aggregate of discrete individuals who relate to each other only on the basis of hollow or narcissistic identities. To Sartre’s celebrated examples of standing in line to board a bus, being stuck in traffic, and shopping at the super market could be added the unfathomable amounts of human time expended today in desultory electronic activity and exchanges. Whether in the mid twentieth century or today, seriality is the numbing and ceaseless production of the same. It is the weight of all the counterfinalities that inexorably act against our own intentions, our loves and hopes."
— 24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep by Jonathan Crary (via bobbyscheidemann)