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Platform capitalism’s ideology of human frailty

I like this framing by Zuboff in Surveillance Capitalism as a way of talking about what Bacevic has described as independent irrational animals. It fits interestingly with what Ben Tarnoff and Moira Weigel describe as ‘tech humanism’: the belief that “unhealthy and inhumane” business models can be fixed through better design which rests on an ironically dehumanising language of our ‘lizard brains’ being ‘hijacked’.

What can we do about the post pandemic university?

This talk will discuss how the university has changed over the last 18 months, as well as which of these changes are likely to remain. We can’t expect that the university will snap back to pre-pandemic normality, particularly with regards to the central role that digital platforms now play in academic life. If we’re entering a future where online will have equivalent status to face-to-face then digital scholarship becomes essential to academic practice.

The limits of online learning

I increasingly think of this in terms of the symmetry principle in which we cultivate an understanding of the constraints and enablements of both modalities, as well as the technological reflexivity necessary to think about how they might be best suited to certain kinds of encounters.

What the intersection of Covid and climate crisis means for capitalism

I can’t stop thinking about this James Meadway piece reflecting on what he terms our new age of scarcity. The fundamental point he is making is a simple one, concerning the environmental shocks which are increasingly ubiquitous. There is a tendency to see each of these as exceptional but the routine occurrence of once exceptional events means we urgently need to stop framing them as exceptional.

Platform capitalism and the compulsive search for signs

This captures something of the phenomenology of the conspiracy theorist but also, I think, the stalker: the compulsive search for signs. A sense that it it all connected and that we can trace out those connections, if only we exhibit enough independence of thought and reject those agencies which kept us unknowingly under their tutelage until we began to do our own research.