Tag: About Me

As Thomas Frank points out in his Listen Liberal, loc 811-828, calls for more centrism have long followed the defeat of Democrat centrists: Democrats would run for the presidency on a professional-friendly platform of high-minded post-partisanship and be rejected by the electorate—and then, in the aftermath, those same Democrats would be ritually denounced by Washington’s […]

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, against Gawker, said a person […]

From the Commencement address Steve Jobs gave on June 12, 2005: When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have […]

How interesting does this look? Historicizing the Digital: language practices in new and old media Mon 27th – Tues 28th June 2016 University of Leicester, UK CALL FOR PAPERS: deadline 18th April 2016 REGISTRATION: opening soon Language and new media is a rapidly emerging area of applied linguistics which considers how the affordances of digital […]

Imagining Futures: From Sociology of the Future to Future Fictions The Future Perfect Writing Fiction and Writing Social Science Life Chances: Co-written re-imagined welfare utopias through a fictional novel Patricia Leavy on Social Fictions Showing, not telling: some thoughts on social science and (science) fiction Liars, Damn Liars, and Sociologists You wake up and suddenly, […]

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: on production, on organization, on […]

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 be turned, I have ventured […]

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 is. In fact e-mail is […]

Interesting analysis of the difficulties that many platform firms are facing now that venture capital is starting to dry up. I also love the phrase “a contagion of pivots” more than I can express: A contagion of pivots began happening among other sharing economy startups. Companies like Cherry (car washes), Prim (laundry), SnapGoods (gear rental), […]

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 but because he has something […]

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 a Weimar-like period, one in […]