Category: Archive

It’s difficult to be precise about how many academics use social media, as it depends on what is meant by ‘use’ and ‘social media’. For example how do we draw a consistent boundary between personal and professional use when social media tends to complicate this distinction in all manner of ways? Furthermore what counts as […]

I’m a little wary of the causation here but it’s a provocative claim. Perhaps it does constitute an INUS condition, as J.L. Mackie put it, with the oil price spike igniting a precarious system which could have gone up in flames for other reasons. From Societies beyond Oil, by John Urry, pg 34-35: But this […]

Sleep on pillows made in Singapore. Wrapped in comforters, sweating through sheets. Drink your coffee in the morning, flown in on airplanes across vast seas. And your house is made of wood, central air, central heat. You’ve got your furniture of particle board. Your doors are locked for, for safety. And you walk in leather […]

This looks really interesting: You are invited to participate in the Neurodiversity Reading Group that will run monthly in London (UK) in the academic year 2019-20. The first meeting will take place on Friday 19 July 2019, 3-5pm, at London South Bank University (Room K503, Keyworth Centre). During the summer (2019), the meetings will take […]

From Material Participation by Noortje Marres, pg 6: This field of work finds its starting point in the rejection of the critique of objects that has been dominant in twentieth-century social science: the idea that things, technology and materiality render engagement impossible. This work suggests that this negative critique has lost its plausibility, and proposes […]

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. It seemed […]

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 […]