Month: September 2016

There are many reasons not to take Trump seriously. But given the real possibility he might win the election, we need to think through the stated consequence of his policies, particularly given the evident inability of the Republican establishment to restrain him before he holds political office, let alone when he has it. To take one example: […]

From And The Weak Suffer What They Must? By Yanis Varoufakis, loc 353-368: What this means is that a closed, autarkic (meaning self-sufficient) economy, like that of Robinson Crusoe in literature or perhaps North Korea today, may be poor, solitary and undemocratic, but at least it is free of problems caused by other economies, by […]

I like the concept of ‘social editor’, though think it has to be treated carefully: In an earlier post for this blog, we argued that Facebook has crossed the line from being a mere host of user-created content to functioning as an editor of (professional) media content, at least for certain parts of its website, […]

A really useful starting point for Pew research on this, saved here for future use: Digital news continues to evolve, pushed by a variety of innovations in recent years, from groundbreaking new technologies like virtual reality and automated reporting to experiments on social platforms that have altered campaign coverage. As journalists and media practitioners gather […]

Mini-Conference on Digital Sociology Call for Abstracts Eastern Sociological Society 2017 Annual Meeting, Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Philadelphia, PA, February 23-26 The Eastern Sociological Society’s theme of “The End of the World as We Know It?,” references the rise of digital sociology in the following: “Technology is revolutionizing everyday life: powerful hand-held computers are ubiquitous, communications are […]

Saving this five part series to come back to properly later: Money is chasing money. Podcast advertising expanded at a 48 percent rate last year, and it’s forecast to grow about 25 percent a year through 2020. By that point, it would be approaching half a billion dollars in annual ad revenue. That growth is […]

Notes for my talk at the Accelerated Academy on Friday  I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how the social sciences are proving too slow in catching up to developments in digital technology. This means that engagements with new possibilities are often piecemeal and ad hoc, pushing the threshold of innovation in methods while methodological and theoretical discussion lags […]

We all occupy many social roles. All of them are, as Margaret Archer puts it, ‘greedy’: there’s always more things we can do, more time and care we can give to others based on our existing obligations. Many of the reasons we don’t are personal, reflecting our evaluations of what matters to us but also […]

This struck me as an interesting case that reveals a broader truth about the sharing economy. A description of the very early merger of two companies offering city wide access to unused capacity in fitness classes, from Sweat Equity, by Jason Kelly, loc 1343: “When you look at quality fitness inventory in each city, there aren’t […]

For many years I’ve been interested in the phenomenology of endurance sport. Or rather the phenomenology of the training required by endurance sport. How does this give order to life? What pleasures are derived from the training regime? What’s foreclosed by the strict management of self and how does this add to the appeal? I thought […]

This documentary is worth watching for many reasons but there’s a particularly fascinating section in which the presenter goes undercover at a digital activism training course. The facilitator describes how he spends half an hour a day finding liberal books on Amazon and giving one star reviews, before explaining how this practice needs to be […]

I just got off the phone to Labour for the third time in three weeks, punctuated by a hopeful online request as well. When I last spoke to them, I was told my ballot paper would arrive by midnight yesterday. Now I’m told it will arrive by midnight on Monday.  Given it’s already too late […]

I like this contrast drawn by Arlie Hochschild on loc 2780-2795 of Strangers In Their Own Land: Not only her values, but even the kind of self she proudly exhibited—an endurance self—seemed to need defending, because it too seemed to be going out of fashion along with all the blue-collar jobs. “They used to brag […]

From Strangers In Their Own Land, by Arlie Hochschild, loc 2587-2603: Not claiming to be a victim, accommodating the downside of loose regulations out of a loyalty to free enterprise—this was a tacit form of heroism, hidden to incurious liberals. Sometimes you had to endure bad news, Janice felt, for a higher good, such as […]

@mark_carrigan A discourse of theorists. — Plashing Vole (@PlashingVole) September 15, 2016 @mark_carrigan a murder — Dr Christian Vaccaro (@DrCVaccaro) September 15, 2016 @mark_carrigan French ones are known as Un Pack — jacqueline (@jacqc1) September 15, 2016 @mark_carrigan @BrendanTHalpin A school, surely? — Aodh (@AodhBC) September 15, 2016 @mark_carrigan A discourse of theorists. — Plashing […]

From Strangers In Their Own Land, by Arlie Hochschild, loc 2422: “Crazy redneck.” “White trash.” “Ignorant Southern Bible-thumper.” You realize that’s you they’re talking about. You hear these terms on the radio, on television, read them on blogs. The gall. You’re offended. You’re angry. And you really hate the endless parade of complainers encouraged by […]

A really disturbing extract from Arlie Hochschild’s new book, Strangers In Their Own Land. On loc 1445 she shares the profile of the “least resistant personality” offered by a consultancy firm in 1984, hired to advise on locating waste-to-energy plants in areas likely to provoke little resistance from the local community: – Longtime residents of small […]

In a recent book about the neoliberal superstar turned aspiring world saviour Jeffrey Sachs, a quote from his wife caught my attention. On loc 2909, she describes how Sachs only sleeps for four hours a night and works constantly throughout his waking hours. Even on a family holiday, he often gave two or three speeches a day […]