Month: March 2015

Call for papers: Power, Acceleration and Metrics in Academic Life There is little doubt that science and knowledge production are presently undergoing dramatic and multi-layered transformations accompanied by new imperatives reflecting broader socio-economic and technological developments. The unprecedented proliferation of audit cultures preoccupied with digitally mediated measurement and quantification of scholarship and the consolidation of […]

Centre for Social Ontology PhD/ECR Conference June 23rd, University of Warwick, 10am – 4pm Social ontology is integral to the study of society. It is impossible to inquire into the social world without some understanding, at least tacitly, concerning the entities which make up that world and their properties and powers. However social ontology remains […]

For the last few years, I’ve been renting a virtual server from 5 Quid Hosts. I use this to host two sites with moderate traffic (Discover Society and Sociological Imagination) as well as a series of much smaller sites with negligible traffic. The performance started to diminish around a year ago and it’s been getting […]

Overcoming your modernist training for constant improvement, advancement, development and accumulation. That’s what the social psychologist Kenneth Gergen advocates in the new introduction to his famous work The Saturated Self, as quoted by Harmut Rosa in Social Acceleration: I am also struggling against my modernist training for constant improvement, development, and accumulation. Slowly I am […]

Unfortunately it’s not Brian Fallon singing Wonderwall (something which would complete my life). But it’s still pretty good: The one thing I’d like to see more than a cover of Wonderwall would be a cover of Masterplan. I think it would be one of those rare covers that could be better than the original, at […]

Because we’re leaving them to their own devices The poorest are making all of the sacrifices – The cost of living crisis, house prices, the cost of a deposit, I don’t give a shit But yes of course we should address it So we will blame the deficit on people claiming benefits And as we […]

For the last couple of days, I was in Edinburgh taking part in Time Without Time. It was a great event and I’ll probably blog more about it next week. The second day was very different from the usual academic events I go to. This picture probably conveys how this is so: The experience left […]

A few weeks ago I was browsing a photography bookshop in London and came across the term ‘micro-publisher’ for the first time. The friend I was with seemed slightly bemused that I hadn’t encountered the term and explained that it just meant small publishers with tiny print runs. Here’s how Wikipedia defines micro-publishing: The book […]

Shutting Out The Sun is a journalistic exploration of Japan’s ‘lost generation’ that gives much social scientific work a run for its money in terms of breadth and insight. I read it because of a long-standing interest in the hikikomori: Japanese youth who isolate themselves, often refusing to leave the bedrooms in their parental homes […]

This innovative conference brings together leading figures from a variety of fields which address issues of digital technology and digital data. We’ve invited speakers with a range of intellectual perspectives and disciplinary backgrounds who engage with questions relating to digital data and digital technology in their work. Our suggestion is that social ontology, however this […]

This looks great: Call for Participation: Digital Methods Summer School 2015 Post-Snowden Media Empiricism and Secondary Social Media: Data Studies Beyond Facebook and Twitter University of Amsterdam 29 June – 10 July 2015 Deadline for applications: 23 April 2015 This year’s Digital Methods Summer School is devoted to what we call ‘post-Snowden media empiricism’ […]

This looks interesting: Final reminder for ESRC and LSE Gender Institute graduate research symposium Call for Papers – deadline: Monday, 30 March. Keynote speaker: Dr. Imogen Tyler (Co-Director: Centre for Gender & Women’s Studies, Lancaster) Doing Justice to Figures and Figuration A One Day Graduate Research Symposium Friday June 19th, 2015 London School of Economics Doing Justice to […]

In the previous two posts I’ve painted a rather bleak picture of the accelerated academy as a toxic environment in which an out of control metrics regime incites cognitive triage as a necessity to cope with the ratcheting up of situational demands. As things get faster, the possibility for withdrawl decreases: there’s always something else […]

The idea that a part 2 to yesterday’s post would be less rushed seems rather naive in retrospect. Feeling rushed in the morning is different to feeling rushed in the evening but it is nonetheless feeling rushed. Much of my motivation for the Accelerated Academy project comes from a desire to understand this aspect of […]

When questioned by a friend in 1980 as to whether he was happy at Princeton, the philosopher Richard Rorty replied that he was “delighted that I lucked into a university which pays me to make up stories and tell them”. He went on to suggest that “Universities permit one to read books and report what […]