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The lost lure of abundance

There’s an interesting extract on pg 52-53 of Infinite Distraction, by Dominic Pettman, discussing the seductions of abundance under conditions of scarcity: Those readers old enough to remember what it was like to live before the Internet will recall the strange phenomenon where the general noosphere seduced us by its […]

In defence of ‘curation’

The term ‘curation’ has got a bad press in recent years. Or rather the use of the term beyond the art world has. To a certain extent I understand this but I nonetheless always feel the need to defend the term. There are a few reasons for this: In a […]

Abundance and austerity 

From The Revenge of the Monsters of Educational Technology, by Audrey Watters, loc 1187: Many of us in education technology talk about this being a moment of great abundance—information abundance—thanks to digital technologies. But I think we are actually/ also at a moment of great austerity. And when we talk […]

The necessity of selection

This is a really nice account in Damon Young’s Distraction of what Margaret Archer calls the necessity of selection. From pg 2: Psychological blockages are part of a much larger set of limitations: those of mortal life itself. There are only so many professions, sexual partners, houses, entertainments and amusements available; […]

Overlapping categories and the problem of abundance

An interesting snippet from Digital Methods, by Richard Rogers, loc 1883: To an “Internet cataloger” writing a well-known essay in 1998, Yahoo! was making a significant contribution to newfangled online library science, not only by its classification scheme but also by the means of content “navigation” it developed. Yahoo!’s system […]

the challenge of cultural abundance

This passage from Shadow Work, by Craig Lambert, conveys what I’ve written about in two recent papers as the challenge of cultural abundance. From loc 1395: To be sure, posting creations does not guarantee them an audience. Far from it. Take the songs that anyone can now publish online and […]

the tinderization of everyday life

I love this essay (HT Su Oman) – I recently presented a paper The Challenge of Flourishing Amidst Variety and it was a very different approach to precisely the same questions. Read it in full here. LIVING with a sense of overwhelming choice means exerting an insane amount of emotional energy in making the […]