Month: February 2019

There’s an interesting extract in Roger McNamee’s Zucked about how strategically Facebook have reduced the significance of organic reach (i.e. unpaid distribution of content) on the platform. The promise of being able to communicate directly to a vast audience through Facebook pages has been central to the motivation of individuals, networks and organisations who have […]

The fascination with the propensity of tech founders to go silent reminds me of how the earliest philosophers were framed as unworldly due to their capacity to go into thought trances. From Roger McNamee’s Zucked, loc 269-284. This little speech took about two minutes to deliver. What followed was the longest silence I have ever endured […]

One of the most interesting aspects of the Bezos story earlier this month was the insight it offered into the security apparatus he surrounds himself with, particularly his instruction for Gavin De Becker “to proceed with whatever budget he needed to pursue the facts”. There’s something oddly thrilling to read this, inviting us to imagine […]

My notes on Mirowski, P. (2018). The future (s) of open science. Social studies of science, 48(2), 171-203. In this provocative paper, Philip he takes issue with the “taken-for-granted premise that modern science is in crying need of top-to-bottom restructuring and reform” which underpins much of the open science movement, as well as its tendency to obscure the key question of […]

My notes on Liboiron, M., Tironi, M., & Calvillo, N. (2018). Toxic politics: Acting in a permanently polluted world. Social studies of science, 48(3), 331-349. The authors of this paper take “a permanently polluted world” as their starting point. It is one where toxicity is ubiquitous, even if unevenly distributed. Unfortunately, “[t]he tonnage, ubiquity and longevity of […]

This is such an important point in Tim Carmody’s (highly recommended) Amazon newsletter. Not only is Amazon enormously popular but critics of the firm fail to understand the basis of this popularity, as opposed to the insight they have into the popularity of a firm like Apple: One study last year showed that Amazon was the second […]

I’m increasingly hopeful that I’ll submit the second edition of Social Media for Academics to Sage next week, meeting a deadline which I suspect my editor had expected I would break. The book is six months overdue, I’ve broken countless deadlines and the impending date was only agreed after a period in which we agreed […]

But you can recognize me because I’m you, mate It’s never too late to see deeper than the surface. Trust me, there’s so much more to it. There’s a world beyond this one That creeps in when your wits have gone soft And all your edges start shifting I mean it A world that it […]

This ECPR panel looks superb. Saving here to follow up later: please find attached, the call for papers for a panel at the ECPR General Conference in Wrocław (4 – 7 September). Title of the panel:***The Relationship Between Digital Platforms and** **Government Agencies in Surveillance: Oversight of or by Platforms?* If you are interested in […]

This looks like an interesting job at a new institute I’d like to keep track of: The Department of Science & Technology Studies at Cornell University seeks a Postdoctoral Researcher to play a major role in a two-year project on Data Science & Society. We invite applications from scholars with a recent Ph.D. in science […]

“In sum, the obsession with the web, its monopolisation of any idea of the new, has served capitalist realism rather than undermined it. Which does not mean, naturally, that we should abandon the web, only that we should find out how to develop a more instrumental relationship with it. Put simply, we should use it […]

This event looks fantastic. More details and registration here. Chair: Dr Neil Harrison, University of Oxford In their seminal works of the early 1990s, both Ulrich Beck and Anthony Giddens predicted that one manifestation of late modernity would be a popular suspicion of experts and scepticism about expertise.  Since then, the rise of the individual’s […]