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Accelerating into the singularity 

The singularity is a speculative notion referring to the point at which exponential innovation generates a fundamental transformation of human civilisation. As Murray Shanahan puts it in on loc 78 of his book The Technological Singularity: In physics, a singularity is a point in space or time, such as the […]

The original sin of the digital utopians

There’s a fascinating mea culpa in Jaron Lanier’s new book Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now. On loc 411 he describes how early design decisions, inspired by the libertarian ethos taking hold within the tech community, created the openings for the global monopolies we now see emerging: […]

Some brief thoughts on chronopolitics

It occurs to me when confronted with this that there are ever more contexts in which contemporary capitalism undermines the ability to plan ahead. This is striking because much of financialised capitalism is predicated on ensuring the calculability of the future through instruments like futures and securities which lock in […]

CfP: AI, Robotics and Responsibility

This looks fascinating: FROM THE HRC-SCHOLARS LISTSERV: Dear members, Please find attached for the call for papers from my institution’s anniversary conference. My institution being TILT (The Institute for Law, Technology and Society in Tilburg, The Netherlands), you might find this one a bit out there but we have several […]

From homo economicus to homo digitalis

In a recent paper, I’ve argued we find a cultural project underpinning ‘big data’: a commitment to reducing human being, in all its embodied affective complexity, stripping it of any reality beyond the behavioural traces which register through digital infrastructure. Underlying method, methodology and theory there is a vision of […]

CfP AAA2018 San Jose: Panel Digital Infrastructures

Digital Infrastructures: Poetics, Politics and Personhood – AAA San Jose 14-18 November 2018 Lorraine Weekes (Stanford University) Gertjan Plets (Utrecht University) Government databases, digital archives, online voting systems, and e-portals enabling the submission of everything from insurance claims to income tax returns increasingly define mundane engagements between citizen-users and a […]

Social Media and The Demotic Imaginary

One of the most prominent tropes of social media is the crowd. As the cyber-utopian Clay Shirky put it: here comes everybody. This endlessly repeated motif sees social media in terms of the people. Where once there were a few commentators who dominated the airwaves, now everybody has their say online. Where […]

The epistemic privilege of platforms

What is the relationship between platforms and their users? I’ve been thinking about this all morning while reading The Know‑It‑Alls: The Rise of Silicon Valley as a Political Powerhouse and Social Wrecking Ball, by Noam Cohen. On loc 277 he writes: In fact, tech companies believe that through artificial intelligence tools they […]

CFP EASST2018: “Data Worlds? Public Imagination and Public Experimentation with Data Infrastructures”

# Data Worlds? Public Imagination and Public Experimentation with Data Infrastructures ## Convenors – Jonathan Gray (King’s College London) – Noortje Marres (University of Warwick) – Carolin Gerlitz (University of Siegen) – Tommaso Venturini (École Normale Supérieure Lyon) ## Short abstract How do data infrastructures distribute participation across society and […]

CfP: Social Theory in Information Systems Research

Call for Papers: AMCIS 2018 Minitrack: Social Theory in Information Systems Research (STIR ’18) Track: Social Inclusion (SIGSI)24th Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS), Aug. 16-18, 2018 New Orleans, LA, USA This minitrack solicits papers using social theory to critically examine ICTs and their roles in enabling and constraining social […]

CfP: Articulating Voice

ICA Pre-Conference “ARTICULATING VOICE. THE EXPRESSIVITY AND PERFORMATIVITY OF MEDIA PRACTICES” Sponsored by the Philosophy, Theory and Critique (PTC) Division of the International Communication Association Event date: 24 May 2018, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Prague, Czech Republic Deadline for proposals: 10 January 2018 (300-500 words abstract) Location: Main Conference […]

Social ontology and the challenge of suitcase words

This is a wonderful expression I just picked up from Machine, Platform, Crowd by Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson. As they describe on pg 112-113, suitcase words jumble together multiple meanings in a way which renders questions more obscure than they would otherwise be: Is generative-design software really “creative?” It’s a […]