I’m reading an interesting chapter, by Paul Longley Arthur in the collection Save As… Digital Memories, concerning digitalisation and its implications for biography and life writing. It discusses the challenges that the dominance of digital data poses for life writing: Some forms of digital data being impossible to access Other forms of digital data being so […]
Month: March 2016
From This Town, by Mark Leibovich, pg 56: One of the stubborn truths of Obama-era Washington is that everyone is now, in effect, a special interest, a free agent, performing any number of services, in any number of settings. It goes well beyond the technical classification of “registered lobbyists.” Self-pimping has become the prevailing social […]
This is a really useful reflection by Andy Miah on social media in academic life. It leads to a focused discussion about the significance of social media for editors of academic journals, but it has some more general reflections prior to this.
I’ve just cut this out of a paper I’m working on. It’s not up to scratch and it doesn’t really contribute anything to the development of the paper. But it’s an idea I’m planning to return to in future, so I’d be interested in any thoughts people have about it. I hadn’t actually compiled the […]
Interesting analysis of the difficulties that many platform firms are facing now that venture capital is starting to dry up. I also love the phrase “a contagion of pivots” more than I can express: A contagion of pivots began happening among other sharing economy startups. Companies like Cherry (car washes), Prim (laundry), SnapGoods (gear rental), […]
A great round up plutocrats being absurdly defensive about their social position: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2011-12-20/bankers-join-billionaires-to-debunk-imbecile-attack-on-top-1- If anyone encounters further examples of this, I’d love it if you were willing to share them with me. I’m in the early stages of trying to systematically catalogue this stuff.
From The Deep State, by Mike Lofgren, pg 255-256: The quality of blind self-absorption is not confined to our national security elites. Many Wall Street and Valley billionaires, living a hermetically sealed existence surrounded by sycophants and coat holders, appear genuinely surprised that their public reputation is not that of heroic entrepreneurs selflessly creating jobs […]
In a recent article on the LSE Impact Blog, Martha Henson reflects on the challenges which typify digital projects and the implications this has for the uptake of social media in higher education. She highlights a pattern which occurs with depressing frequency, in which “a failure to understanding digital marketing, and a failure to invest any serious […]
From The Deep State, by Mike Lofgren, pg 231. This strikes me as a really important point: politicians are insulated from external pressures while nonetheless having their behaviour shaped all the more by internal pressures, driving a political polarisation which can seem prima facie like the intensification of politicisation rather than its diminuation: Thanks to the […]
A really enticing analysis by Evgeny Morozov of the “eventual depoliticization of extremely political and contentious issues by wrapping them up in the empty, futuristic language of technology and innovation”. Silicon Valley increasingly dominates the discursive representation of our global future, with the amelioration of social problems limited to a technologically-driven intensification of consumption: Like […]
This contains a really interesting idea that hadn’t occurred to me previously: bots can be seen as user-driven tactics to evade and overcome the limitations of platforms. There’s a really interesting paper about bots in the Sociological Review here.
At a talk I did earlier in the week, I was asked about my focus on using social media to work ideas out in public. This is something I find myself talking about a lot, not least of all because it has been such a consistently valuable experience for me. But as the questioner observed, this isn’t appropriate […]
Thanks to Mark Johnson for introducing me to the intriguing figure of Claude Shannon:
From The Deep State, by Mike Lofgren, pg 123-125: By secession, I do not mean physical withdrawal from the territory of the state, although that does happen from time to time. Erik Prince, who was born into a fortune, is related by marriage to the even bigger Amway fortune, and made yet another fortune as […]
From The Deep State, by Mike Lofgren, pg 86-87. I’m beginning to try and catalogue public examples of this defensiveness because some of the over-reactions seem fascinatingly unbalanced: It is surprising how much fear his timid policies have generated among the big-money boys. There are no rational grounds for the hyperthyroid reactions of hedge fund […]
Barack Obama quoted in The Deep State, by Mike Lofgren, pg 63. The demands of fundraising for US politicians are exceptional but I assume a similar process can be found elsewhere, as an elite gradually becomes one’s reference group if this was not already the case. How else to explain the belief of UK MPs […]
The Sociological Review Foundation is delighted to announce that we have commissioned Rowena Murray to deliver a Writing Retreat for sociologists. Murray has devised and delivered structured writing retreats to support academics by providing dedicated writing time done in a group setting. To find out more about this approach see:http://www.rowenamurray.org/aims/references/ The retreat is for academics at all […]
I wish I could take part in this – it looks fantastic: Call for Submissions and Registration We would like to invite submissions for the 2016 Social Study of IT Open Research Forum (SSIT ORF) Workshop at the London School of Economics on the 19th of May 2016. Aiming at PhD and junior researchers, this year’s workshop will […]