Month: September 2017

There’s a section in this 1997 chapter by Roger Burrows which my thoughts have been intermittently turning to since reading it last week. On pg 235 he writes: It is not just technology which appears to be accelerating towards meltdown, so are our cultural and sociological understandings of the world. The speed at which new […]

This is a fascinating exchange between Owen Jones and Alastair Campbell, bringing to life many of the themes I’ve been preoccupied with in the last few months. I agree with Owen’s claim that Campbell’s world view is in crisis. The promise of the modernisers rested on a basic electoral proposition: triangulation was necessary to win power […]

In today’s Guardian, Neal Lawson offers a cautious reading of Corbyn’s Labour, accepting the ascendancy of the left within the party but urging it to look outwards. I’m sympathetic to many of the substantive points Lawson makes in the article but there’s a rich vein of problematic assumption running through their articulation which needs to […]

I’ve been reflecting on a dark but plausible prediction by Edwards Snowden in his forward to The Assination Complex by Jeremy Scahill and the team from the intercept. On loc 195 he argues that the technological barriers to ubiquitous drone surveillance are now minimal: Inevitably that conceptual subversion finds its way home, along with the […]

communication +1 is seeking proposals for Volume 7, “Intersectionalities and Media Archaeologies” Edited by Zachary McDowell and Nathanael Bassett The emerging field of media archaeology has opened up new avenues of research across fields and provided a way to challenge accepted historical layers of social and technical arrangements. Drawing from a variety of entangled theories […]

Does social media lead to a devaluation of introspection? This is what Nick Couldry and Andreas Hepp claim on loc 4098 of their The Mediated Construction of Reality: The selfie stamps the marker of ‘the self’ onto whatever things a person wants to record as a way of increasing its value. But why should that […]

In the last few days, I’ve been reading Hilary Clinton’s What Happened and reflecting on it as an expression of a political centrism which I suspect is coming to an end. These self-defined ‘modernisers’ sought to adapt their respective political parties to what they saw as a new reality, necessitating that they be ‘change-makers’ while […]

Why is it that some social norms are unexpectedly stable up to a tipping point, like homophobia in football, but change rapidly once they start to do so? And what stabilizes revenge norms even after effective legal orders have been established? Apparently, social and legal norms are not made for eternity. At any point in […]

We are excited to announce the *‘Lives of Data v2.0: Computing, Money, Media’ Workshop, on 05-06 January 2018*. *Call for Abstracts* The first ‘Lives of Data’ Workshop <http://sarai.net/lives-of-data-workshop-january-5-7-2017/&gt;, in January 2017, initiated engaging, cross-disciplinary conversations <http://sarai.net/lives-of-data-workshop-report-recordings/&gt; on the historical, cultural, political, and technological conditions of data-driven knowledge production and circulation in India and South Asia. […]

The important argument I took from Angela Nagle’s Kill All Normies is that the ‘alt-right’ reflect transgression detaching from progressivism. The idea that an act that goes against a law, rule, or code of conduct is inherently progressive ceases to be tenable when progressive movements have institutionalised laws, rules and codes that serve progressive ends. Under these circumstances, transgressing against […]

Association of American Geographers Conference 2018 New Orleans, USA, 10-14 April 2018 Organizers Susan Moore (University College London) Scott Rodgers (Birkbeck, University of London) Sponsors Digital Geographies Specialty Group Media and Communication Geography Specialty Group Urban Geography Speciality Group Outline Talk about ‘platforms’ is today all-pervasive: platform architecture, platform design, platform ecosystem, platform governance, platform […]

The relationship between personal change and social change: in what senses can we speak of social change? What does it mean for who people are and who they could become? As C. Wright Mills once put it, how are people “selected and formed, liberated and repressed, made sensitive and blunted” and what does this mean […]

In the last couple of years, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what I term defensive elites. This line of thought began with curiosity about the much-reported hyperbole with which some influential figures within the financial elite of the United States greeted what would barely count as mildly redistributive measures by the then Obama […]

Does anyone know of literature addressing the rise of this professional identity? From WONKHE’s Wonk Fest conference advertising: Wonkfest is for UK higher education professionals: from the policy wonks and planners to comms, marketing and public affairs professionals plus everyone else with an interest in the future (and present) of UK HE. Joining them will […]

From Counterculture to Cyberculture, by Fred Turner, presents the fascinating history through which avowed cultural radicals of the 1960s came to generate the present day dogmas of working culture under digital capitalism. In the last week, I’ve written about this in terms of the digital nomad and the digital hipster. These cultural forms are, as […]

CALL FOR PROPOSALS ‘Storing and sharing: Everyday relationships with digital material’ Special Issue of New Media & Society Edited by Heather A. Horst (The University of Sydney, Australia), Jolynna Sinanan (RMIT University, Australia) and Larissa Hjorth (RMIT University, Australia) Abstract Submission Deadline: 15 November 2017 Proposal Selection Notification: 10 December 2017 Initial Article Submission Deadline: […]

Another drabble, based on a scene I witnessed on public transport this weekend: He couldn’t avert his gaze, nor could he stand to watch. The obscenity gripped him, drew him forward and out of himself. Sliding forward on the edge of his seat, he forced his feet flatly onto the floor of the tube. With […]