Menu Home

Author Archives

Mark

Mechanisms of normative change 

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 […]

Call for Abstracts – Lives of Data v2.0: Computing, Money, Media Workshop

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 […]

Daniel Bell, Transgression and the Alt-Right

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. […]

CFP: Platform Urbanism

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, […]

Defensive Elites

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 […]

The Digital Monad

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. […]

An obscenity on the district line

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 […]

Job Opportunity: Digital Engagement Officer

A really interesting job opportunity at the Social Research Association, where I’ve been working as a trustee for the last year. It’s an exciting role that combines social media, community building and intellectual engagement: The Social Research Assocation (SRA) is seeking a self-motivated, creative and experienced Digital Engagement Officer to […]

The Ideal of the Digital Nomad

In From Counterculture to Cyberculture, Fred Turner analyses how digital technology came to be seen as capable of liberating the individual, freeing them from the shackles of petty attachments to organisations and places. This is a complex story but it’s one in which cultural entrepreneurs figure prominently, carving out modes […]

The aestheticised mode of social theorising

One of the targets in Kieran Healy’s Fuck Nuance paper is connoisseurship in social theory, the tendency to “call for the contemplation of complexity almost for its own sake” and “remind everyone that things are more subtle than they seem”. As he astutely observes, this tendency sits uneasily with abstraction as a […]

Sociological micro-fiction

I encountered the notion of the drabble through reading Rob Kitchin’s fiction blog. These short stories of exactly 100 words can have a strange power to them, as little shards of reality that can be thrown out into the world. This is how Wikipedia describes the origins of the drabble: […]

The fetishisation of interiority

From pg 27 of Peter Sloterdijk’s The Art of Philosophy.  Witnesses report that Socrates had the habit of “sinking” into thought, as if thinking involved a kind of trance or obsessive daydream. According to Xenophon, Socrates saw this as “concentrating the mind on itself” by breaking off contact with his environment […]

Conduits for variety

In his superb From Counterculture to Cyberculture, Fred Turner vividly describes The Whole Earth Catalog and the horizon it opened up for many of its readers. From loc 1212: For many, the Catalog provided a first, and sometimes overwhelming, glimpse of the New Communalists’ intellectual world. Gareth Branwyn, for instance, a journalist who […]