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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, […]

My notes on Macgilchrist, F. (2019). Cruel optimism in edtech: when the digital data practices of educational technology providers inadvertently hinder educational equity. Learning, Media and Technology, 44(1), 77-86. It is now widely affirmed that overcoming the ‘digital divide’ is crucial to ameliorating inequality, providing everyone with the digital skills and access they need to fully participate […]

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 […]

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 Bhola, S., & Hellyer, P. (2016). The risks and benefits of social media in dental foundation training. British dental journal, 221(10), 609. One of my main interests in recent years has been social media and professionalisation. Once these platforms become a routine feature of working life, it’s necessary to prepare professionals to […]

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 […]

My notes on Tufekci, Z (2019) The Real Reason Fans Hate the Last Season of Game of Thrones. Scientific American: Observations. May 2019. This fascinating piece reflects on Game of Thrones as “sociological and institutional storytelling in a medium dominated by the psychological and the individual”, driven by characters who “evolve in response to the […]

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 […]