Tag: philosophy of technology

Does social media lead to a devaluation of introspection? This is what Nick Couldry and Andreas Hepp claim on loc 4098 of their The Mediated Construction of Reality: The selfie stamps the marker of ‘the self’ onto whatever things a person wants to record as a way of increasing its value. But why should that […]

In his superb From Counterculture to Cyberculture, Fred Turner vividly describes The Whole Earth Catalog and the horizon it opened up for many of its readers. From loc 1212: For many, the Catalog provided a first, and sometimes overwhelming, glimpse of the New Communalists’ intellectual world. Gareth Branwyn, for instance, a journalist who later wrote for Wired magazine, […]

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 sheer beckoning presence. Thus, we […]

In The Mediated Construction of Social Reality, Nick Couldry and Andreas Hepp take issue with the primacy of face-to-face interaction that has so often been assumed within social thought. Our embodied interaction is taken to be primary, often assumed to be unmediated, with the mediation of interaction through technology seen as additional to it. From loc […]

One of the arguments which pervades Uberworked and Underpaid, by Trebor Scholz, concerns the materiality of digital labour. As someone whose back and neck start to ache if I spend too much time at a computer, I’ve always found the tendency to assume there is something mysteriously immaterial about using computers to be rather absurd. […]

There’s an interesting passage in Uberworked and Underpaid, by Trebor Scholz, in which he discusses the contrasting experience of Amazon Mechanical Turk by users and workers. From loc 719: While AMT is profiting robustly, 11 it has –following the observations of several workers –not made significant updates to its user interfaces since its inception, and […]

From Rethinking Social Exclusion, by Simon Winlow and Steve Hall, pg 73: Political protests these days are taken not as an indication that something is going wrong and that a significant number of the population are dissatisfied with the nation’s political leadership. Rather, they seem to indicate that a healthy and vibrant democracy is in […]

Another really interesting idea from Digital Methods by Richard Rogers. He dates the ‘death of cyberspace’ as symbolically taking place with the first legal assertion of geography over virtuality. From loc 833: The symbolic end of cyberspace may be located in the lawsuit against Yahoo! in May 2000, brought before the Tribunal de Grande Instance […]

From Digital Methods, by Richard Rogers, loc 671-688: The “sphere” in “blogosphere” refers in spirit to the public sphere; it also may suggest the geometrical form, in which all points on the surface are the same distance from the center or core. One could think of such an equidistance as an egalitarian ideal, in which […]

I’m very interested in this concept, which I was introduced to through the work of Pierpaolo Donati and Andrea Maccarini earlier this year. It emerged from the work of Arnold Gehlen and refers to the role of human institutions in unburdening us from existential demands. This is quoted from his Human Beings and Institutions on pg 257 […]

From Mediated Memories, by Jose van Dijck, pg 119. The immediate discussion is about digital photography but the point can be extended much more widely: In many ways, digital tools and connective systems expand control over an individual’s image exposure, granting more power to present and shape oneself in public. However, the flipside of this […]

It’s a common place to recognise that digitalisation makes it easier to encounter the views of others, particularly those who we might not find within our locality. However an important dimension of this is how it also encourages competition between views, as tensions which might not have previously been ‘activated’ become so. I thought ‘memory […]

In this extremely important paper, Alistair Mutch offers a realist critique of sociomateriality which I hope to further develop in my own work in the not too distant future. In it he argues that sociomaterial “approaches tend towards a perverse (given the promise of the concept) neglect of the specificity of the systems involved and an […]