Category: Archive

From John Urry’s Societies beyond Oil pg 9: Leading social analyst Zygmunt Bauman famously described the twentieth-century development of all this movement as a ‘liquid modernity’. But what he did not examine was how there was in fact a literal liquid –oil –that made this modernity, oiling the wheels of a globalizing society. 21 It […]

From Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything pg 203: These are the tough tools with which the environmental movement won its greatest string of victories. But with that success came some rather significant changes. For a great many groups, the work of environmentalism stopped being about organizing protests and teach-ins and became about drafting laws, then […]

From Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything pg 158: Because this is a crisis that is, by its nature, slow moving and intensely place based. In its early stages, and in between the wrenching disasters, climate is about an early blooming of a particular flower, an unusually thin layer of ice on a lake, the late […]

From Figuring by Maria Popova pg 3-4: We spend our lives trying to discern where we end and the rest of the world begins. We snatch our freeze-frame of life from the simultaneity of existence by holding on to illusions of permanence, congruence, and linearity; of static selves and lives that unfold in sensical narratives. […]

My growing interest in how digital competence is being conceptualised, pursued and enacted by national and international organisations has led me towards the slightly older concept of global competence. In this paper on global competence in engineers, it is presented in terms of a mismatch between the requirements of working as an engineer in global society and […]

I’ll add this to reigning in big tech as the best argument I can see for supporting the EU. Could any other power structure in Europe achieve this outcome? From pg 137 of Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything: A 2012 report by the German National Center for Aerospace, Energy and Transport Research (DLR), for instance, […]

It occurred to me yesterday that I spend less time thinking than I once did. One of the reasons I wanted to leave The Sociological Review and have a period of (sadly self-funded) underemployment was because I’d felt for a year or two that I was  as cognitively occupied as I’m capable of being. I keep running […]

My notes on Williamson, B. (2018). Silicon startup schools: technocracy, algorithmic imaginaries and venture philanthropy in corporate education reform. Critical studies in education, 59(2), 218-236. The technology sector has turned its gaze towards education in recent years, manifesting in a whole range of initiatives as well as the increasing prominence of education in how digital […]

From The Uninhabitable Earth pg 162-163: The question is a prism, spitting out different answers to different ranges of the political spectrum, and where you fall on that range probably reflects what you mean by “capitalism.” Global warming could cultivate emergent forms of eco-socialism on one end of the spectrum, and could also conceivably produce […]

Far from being the contribution to social media quit lit which I thought it would be, this piece by Elisa Veini nails the question which has become my overriding obsession: How then, faced with the inescapable need to have a professional profile on LinkedIn and maybe the will to see what is happening on Twitter, […]

From Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything pg 105: The word “apocalypse” derives from the Greek apokalypsis, which means “something uncovered” or revealed. Besides the need for a dramatically better health care system, there was much else uncovered and revealed when the floodwaters retreated in New York that October. The disaster revealed how dangerous it is […]

What does it mean to take Twitter seriously as a form of intellectual production? This is the question I’ve been asking myself a lot in the last few weeks, as I start what I hope will be an extensive break from a platform I’ve been using daily for years. My immediate motivation for this is […]

So I stare into this paper instead of sitting at a cubicle Take all the ugly shit inside and try to make it beautiful Use the cement from rock bottom and make it musical So the people can relate to where I’ve been Where I’m going, what I’ve seen, what I’ve heard From the guts, […]

This insight from Richard Wilkinson’s forward to Andrew Sayer’s Why We Can’t Afford the Rich reminds me of some of the (many) arguments from Jana Bacevic’s superb PhD thesis on the sociology of critique. From loc 164 of Andrew Sayer’s book: But too often reading books or articles on the threats the world faces becomes […]

An obvious question raised by this fact on loc 270 of Andrew Sayer’s Why We Can’t Afford the Rich is how many professors are part of this 1%? Many can be found within business schools and medical schools but anecdote suggests they can be found throughout the university system: In fact, the inequalities within the […]

My notes on Morozov, E. (2019) Digital Socialism? The Calculation Debate in the Age of Big Data. New Left Review 116/117, 33-66 A range of terms have entered circulation in recent years which suggest a transformation in capitalism. Digital capitalism, platform capitalism, data capitalism and surveillance capitalism point to a shift which is significant in […]

From This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein, pg 72: Indeed the three policy pillars of the neoliberal age—privatization of the public sphere, deregulation of the corporate sector, and the lowering of income and corporate taxes, paid for with cuts to public spending—are each incompatible with many of the actions we must take to bring our […]

Kicking myself I can’t make this upcoming SRA event: ‘Visual digital media: Everyday content, everyday challenges’ Tim Highfield, Assistant Professor, New Media, University of Amsterdam The wealth of visual digital and social media, from Instagram and Snapchat to animated GIFs and emoji, has enabled new and evolving ways of using the visual and the digital […]