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Ethical consumerism as self-exclusion

Another really provocative idea from Rethinking Social Exclusion by Simon Winlow and Steve Hall. From pg 126: This supposedly ethical process of distancing oneself from vulgar commercialism is a variant of self-exclusion from the social; like it or not, these non-places come closest to representing the actuality of contemporary British life. There […]

What is Digital Hygiene?

Any suggestions about where I can find syllabi for digital hygiene courses in schools would be much appreciated. I’m also curious about how advocates of ‘digital hygiene’ see its relationship to the notion of a ‘digital footprint’: is the former what we must do in order to mitigate the damage […]

The paradox of personalisation 

From Zizek’s Trouble in Paradise, pg 57. This isn’t necessarily the case but it’s a claim that holds true in the absence of personal tech skills and a disposition to  exercise then: The paradox is that, the more the small item (smartphone or iPod) I hold in my hand is […]

The Scale of Data Brokerage

I knew data brokerage was big but I didn’t realise it was this big. From The Data Revolution by Rob Kitchin, loc 1039: Epsilon is reputed to own data on 300 million company loyalty card members worldwide, with a databank holding data related to 250 million consumers in the United […]

Escaping the digital cage

A lovely passage from Lisa Gitelman at Loc 78 of her edited collection “Raw Data” Is An Oxymoron about the difficulty of going ‘off grid’ when the utilities of daily life leave us bound into the digital cage: Try to spend a day “off the grid” and you’d better leave your […]

against a consensual theory of conventions

In their Being Digital Citizens, Evelyn Ruppert and Engin Isin outline a theory of conventions on pg 25-26: We shall characterize conventions broadly as sociotechnical arrangements that embody norms, values, affects, laws, ideologies, and technologies. As sociotechnical arrangements, conventions involve agreement or even consent—either deliberate or often implicit—that constitutes the […]

the rise of human centred data science at facebook

An absolutely fascinating account of developments in the newsfeed algorith at Facebook since its introduction: Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s 32-year-old director of product for news feed, is Alison’s less technical counterpart—a “fuzzie” rather than a “techie,” in Silicon Valley parlance. He traffics in problems and generalities, where Alison deals in solutions […]