"The guiding question of the present effort should thus be formulated: What should we do so that consciousness of the brain does not purely and simply coincide with the spirit of capitalism? We will formulate the following thesis: today, the true sense of plasticity is hidden, and we tend constantly to substitute for it its mistaken cognate, flexibility. The difference between these two terms appears insignificant. Nevertheless, flexibility is the ideological avatar of plasticity—at once its mask, its diversion, and its confiscation. We are entirely ignorant of plasticity but not at all of flexibility. In this sense, plasticity appears as the coming consciousness of flexibility. At first glance, the meanings of these two terms are the same. Under the heading “flexibility,” the dictionary gives: “firstly, the character of that which is flexible, of that which is easily bent (elasticity, suppleness); secondly, the ability to change with ease in order to adapt oneself to the circumstances.” The examples given to illustrate the second meaning are those that everybody knows: “flexibility on the job, of one’s schedule (flex time, conversion), flexible factories.” The problem is that these significations grasp only one of the semantic registers of plasticity: that of receiving form. To be flexible is to receive a form or impression, to be able to fold oneself, to take the fold, not to give it. To be docile, to not explode. Indeed, what flexibility lacks is the resource of giving form, the power to create, to invent or even to erase an impression, the power to style. Flexibility is plasticity minus its genius."
— Catherine Malabou, What Should We Do With Our Brain? (via fluidstaccato)