Category: Archive

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 […]

A few months ago James Meadway, advisor to John McDonnell, predicted on Novara media that climate change would soon become a doorstep issue in the UK. If unpredictable weather events become a regular part of life for people, the recognition of their underlying cause is immensely significant. However this passage from Naomi Klein’s This Changes […]

I went to a mind blowing talk by Kira Allmann this morning about the ecological costs of digital activity. This is something I was aware of but entirely in the abstract, recognising that digitalisation manifests itself climatically without any specificity about what this relationship entails. There are many things this talk made me think about which […]

Myself and Huw Davies are organising this networking event for the BSA Digital Sociology group, taking place in London on July 17th. If you’re interested in meeting other digital sociologists, talking about common issues, finding collaborators for projects and defining the future of the subdiscipline then please consider coming along. There are full sign up […]

After five years of scheduling 50+ social media posts per day, I’m stepping down as The Sociological Review’s Digital Engagement Fellow next week. This seems like the perfect time for me to take a break from social media. I’ve locked my Twitter and Instagram accounts, deleted my Facebook account and the only place you will find me online is here […]

Meaning in Action is a thought provoking book by Rein Raud, motivated by the strange fate which has befallen ‘culture’. At precisely the time when “the concept of culture, sloppily defined or not at all, is occupying an increasingly central place in social and political debate” the study of the concept has become ever narrower, […]

I’ve been thinking a lot in the last couple of weeks about climate change and digitalisation. For instance the climatic significance of digital technology is increasingly recognised, as well as the resource constraints this implies for some of the wilder claims made about the coming frontiers of digitalisation. This also represents an ideological tension as one emerging grand […]

I thought this was an incredibly evocative description, from pg 116 of The Unhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells. Contrary to the hagiographic orthodoxy we find in accounting for the history of capitalism, the reality is that one single innovation explains the turbo charged growth which the world saw over a comparatively short period of time. It […]