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Peter Thiel secretly backed Hulk Hogan

A really unusual addition to my growing catalogue of digital elites flexing their social, cultural and political muscles. Peter Thiel secretly backed Hulk Hogan’s case against Gawker: Peter Thiel, a billionaire entrepreneur and philanthropist, helped fund the case brought by the wrestler, Terry Gene Bollea, better known as Hulk Hogan, […]

Digital Capitalism and the Platform Wars

Reluctantly cut from my paper on the Sociology of the Digital Archive: any thoughts appreciated. This is a tentative first sketch at where my current project will be leading after the ‘distraction’ and the ‘fragile movements’ phase:  It has been frequently suggested that this digitalization represents a removal of constraint: […]

The Fatalism of the Multitude

This is an idea put forward by James Bryce, a British observer of the United States, in 1889: This tendency to acquiescence and submission, this sense of the insignificance of individual effort, this belief that the affairs of men are swayed by large forces whose movement may be studied but cannot […]

Slack and Basecamp for Academics

This is a short preliminary to a longer post I’ll write in the near future. I’ve become ever more convinced over the last couple of years that project management software, such as Slack and Basecamp, will become integral features of most working environments. Perhaps eventually to the extent that e-mail […]

The Pleasures of Scholarly Blogging

There’s a lovely extract of the Academic Diary in which Les Back reflects on the life and work of the social theorist Vic Seidler. Remarking on the vast range of topics on which Seidler has written, Les suggests that this deeply committed man “writes not because his academic position expects it […]

Richard Rorty predicted Trumpism

Lovely spot by Chris Hedges from a book I read many years ago which, as far as I can tell, made nearly zero impression on me at the time. This quotes from Rorty’s Achieving Our Country: Many writers on socioeconomic policy have warned that the old industrialized democracies are heading into […]