Snapchat. WhatsApp. Ashley Madison. Fitbit. Tinder. Periscope. How do we make sense of how apps like these-and thousands of others-have embedded themselves into our daily routines, permeating the background of ordinary life and standing at-the-ready to be used on our smartphones and tablets? When we look at any single app, it's hard to imagine how such a small piece of software could be particularly notable. But if we look at a collection of them, we see a bigger picture that reveals how the quotidian activities apps encompass are far from banal: connecting with friends (and strangers and enemies), sharing memories (and personally identifying information), making art (and trash), navigating spaces (and reshaping places in the process). While the sheer number of apps is overwhelming, as are the range of activities they address, each one offers an opportunity for us to seek out meaning in the mundane. Appified is the first scholarly volume to examine individual apps within the wider historical and cultural context of media and cultural studies scholarship, attuned to issues of politics and power, identity and the everyday.
Appropriately Indian is an ethnographic analysis of the class of information technology professionals at the symbolic helm of globalizing India. Comprising a small but prestigious segment of India’s labor force, these transnational knowledge workers dominate the country’s economic and cultural scene, as do their notions of what it means to be Indian. Drawing on the stories of Indian professionals in Mumbai, Bangalore, Silicon Valley, and South Africa, Smitha Radhakrishnan explains how these high-tech workers create a “global Indianness” by transforming the diversity of Indian cultural practices into a generic, mobile set of “Indian” norms. Female information technology professionals are particularly influential. By reconfiguring notions of respectable femininity and the “good” Indian family, they are reshaping ideas about what it means to be Indian.
Radhakrishnan explains how this transnational class creates an Indian culture that is self-consciously distinct from Western culture, yet compatible with Western cosmopolitan lifestyles. She describes the material and symbolic privileges that accrue to India’s high-tech workers, who often claim ordinary middle-class backgrounds, but are overwhelmingly urban and upper caste. They are also distinctly apolitical and individualistic. Members of this elite class practice a decontextualized version of Hinduism, and they absorb the ideas and values that circulate through both Indian and non-Indian multinational corporations. Ultimately, though, global Indianness is rooted and configured in the gendered sphere of home and family.
Arguing that composition should renew its interest in reading pedagogy and research, Chasing Literacy offers writing instructors and literacy scholars a framework for understanding and responding to the challenges posed by the proliferation of interactive and multimodal communication technologies in the twenty-first century.
Employing case-study research of student reading practices, Keller explores reading-writing connections in new media contexts. He identifies a culture of acceleration—a gathering of social, educational, economic, and technological forces that reinforce the values of speed, efficiency, and change—and challenges educators to balance new “faster” literacies with traditional “slower” literacies. In addition, Keller details four significant features of contemporary literacy that emerged from his research: accumulation and curricular choices; literacy perceptions; speeds of rhetoric; and speeds of reading.
Chasing Literacy outlines a new reading pedagogy that will help students gain versatile, dexterous approaches to both reading and writing and makes a significant contribution to this emerging area of interest in composition theory and practice.
Computers, Surveillance, and Privacy was first published in 1996. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
From computer networks to grocery store checkout scanners, it is easier and easier for governments, employers, advertisers, and individuals to gather detailed and sophisticated information about each of us. In this important new collection, the authors question the impact of these new technologies of surveillance on our privacy and our culture.
Although surveillance-literally some people "watching over" others-is as old as social relationships themselves, with the advent of the computer age this phenomenon has acquired new and distinctive meanings. Technological advances have made it possible for surveillance to become increasingly global and integrated-both commercial and government-related personal data flows more frequently across national boundaries, and the flow between private and public sectors has increased as well.
Addressing issues of the global integration of surveillance, social control, new information technologies, privacy violation and protection, and workplace surveillance, the contributors to Computers, Surveillance, and Privacy grapple with the ramifications of these concerns for society today. Timely and provocative, this collection will be of vital interest to anyone concerned with resistance to social control and incursions into privacy.
Contributors: Jonathan P. Allen, Colin J. Bennett, Simon G. Davies, Oscar H. Gandy Jr., Calvin C. Gotlieb, Rob Kling, Gary T. Marx, Abbe Mowshowitz, Judith A. Perrolle, Mark Poster, Priscilla M. Regan, James B. Rule.
David Lyon is professor of sociology at Queen's University, Canada. His previous books include The Electronic Eye: The Rise of Surveillance Society (Minnesota, 1994). Elia Zureik is also professor of sociology at Queen's University, Canada, and coedited (with Dianne Hartling) The Social Context of the New Information and Communication Technologies (1987).
From the frontiers of cyberspace to Tibetans in exile, from computer bulletin boards to faxes, film, and videotape, the ongoing and often startling evolution of media continues to generate fresh new avenues for cultural criticism, political activism, and self-reflection. How is contemporary life affected by this stunning proliferation of information technologies? How does the Internet influence, and perhaps alter, users' experience of community and their sense of self? In what way are giant media conglomerates implicated in these far-reaching developments?
Connected, the third volume in the groundbreaking and highly acclaimed Late Editions series, confronts these provocative questions through unique experiments with the interview format. It explores both the new pathways being forged through media and the predicaments of those struggling to find their way in the twilight of the twentieth century.
In this highly readable and thought-provoking work, Nick Dyer-Witheford assesses the relevance of Marxism in our time and demonstrates how the information age, far from transcending the historic conflict between capital and its laboring subjects, constitutes the latest battleground in their encounter.
Dyer-Witheford maps the dynamics of modern capitalism, showing how capital depends for its operations not just on exploitation in the immediate workplace, but on the continuous integration of a whole series of social sites and activities, from public health and maternity to natural resource allocation and the geographical reorganization of labor power. He also shows how these sites and activities may become focal points of subversion and insurgency, as new means of communication vital for the smooth flow of capital also permit otherwise isolated and dispersed points of resistance to connect and combine with one another.
Cutting through the smokescreen of high-tech propaganda, Dyer-Witheford predicts the advent of a reinvented, "autonomist" Marxism that will rediscover the possibility of a collective, communist transformation of society. Refuting the utopian promises of the information revolution, he discloses the real potentialities for a new social order in the form of a twenty-first-century communism based on the common sharing of wealth.
The utopian promise of the internet, much talked about even a few years ago, has given way to the information highway’s brutal realities: coltan mines in the Congo, electronics factories in China, devastated neighborhoods in Detroit. In Cyber-Proletariat, Nick Dyer-Witheford shows the dark side of the information revolution through an unsparing analysis of class power and computerization. He reveals how technology facilitates growing polarization between wealthy elites and precarious workers and how class dominates everything from expanding online surveillance to intensifying robotization. At the same time he looks at possibilities for information technology within radical movements, casting contemporary economic and social struggles in the blue glow of the computer screen. Cyber-Proletariat brings Marxist analysis to bear on a range of modern informational technologies. The result is a book indispensable to social theorists and hacktivists alike and essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how Silicon Valley shapes the way we live today.
The explosion of digital information and communication technologies has influenced almost every aspect of contemporary life. Diasporas in the New Media Age is the first book-length examination of the social use of these technologies by emigrants and diasporas around the world. The eighteen original essays in the book explore the personal, familial, and social impact of modern communication technology on populations of European, Asian, African, Caribbean, Middle Eastern, and Latin American emigrants. It also looks at the role and transformation of such concepts as identity, nation, culture, and community in the era of information technology and economic globalization. The contributors, who represent a number of disciplines and national origins, also take a range of approaches—empirical, theoretical, and rhetorical—and combine case studies with thoughtful analysis. Diasporas in the New Media Age is both a discussion of the use of communication technologies by various emigrant groups and an engaging account of the immigrant experience in the contemporary world. It offers important insights into the ways that dispersed populations are using digital media to maintain ties with their families and homeland, and to create new communities that preserve their culture and reinforce their sense of identity. In addition, the book is a significant contribution to our understanding of the impact of technology on society in general.
How have university scholars across a variety of disciplines navigated the co-creative and collaborative relationships involving community partners? How has the addition of digital components changed the way information can be communicated to the intended audience? Through digital projects, traditional academic silos have given way to community-based partnerships which open research, storytelling, and curation to wide array of contributors from civic engagement professionals, librarians, archivists, technology personnel, local citizens, and academics. The collaborative process may push your comfort zone and make you grapple with your roll of storytelling but as the authors of the last chapter say, “You can’t make ketchup without smashing a few tomatoes.”
Digital projects can empower communities through collaboration and create new primary sources, collapse barriers, and spark new dialogue. Digital Community Engagement “lifts the hood” and presents nine examples of digital collaborations from constructing a public response to police violence, to creating digital stories of homelessness, to young activists united around local people in the Deep South to build a grassroots movement for social change.
Wingo, Heppler and Schadewald bring together cutting-edge campus-community partnerships with a focus on digital projects. The case studies, authored by academics and their community partners, explore models for digital community engagement that leverage new media through reciprocal partnerships. The contributions to this volume stand at the crossroads of digital humanities, public history, and community
W. Russell Neuman examines how the transition from the industrial-era media of one-way publishing and broadcasting to the two-way digital era of online search and social media has affected the dynamics of public life. The issues range from propaganda studies and Big Brother to information overload and Internet network neutrality.
Surf the web. Ride the information highway. Log on to the future. Corporate ad campaigns like these have become pervasive in the 1990s. You're either online, or you're falling behind the times-at least, that's what the media tells us.
Ever since the 1990s, when the Internet gained widespread popularity, it has been heralded as one of the best things ever to happen to technology and communications. Commentators expected it to revolutionize how we communicate, do business, and educate our children. Conversely, other pundits have vehemently attacked this technology. Naysayers of "cyberlife" emerged with their warnings of how the Net provides an uncensored, round-the-clock venue for pornography, for inaccurate, simplified information, and is rife with opportunities to violate our right to privacy. In Digital Mythologies, Thomas Valovic hopes to raise the level of discussion by giving a full and balanced picture of how the Net affects our lives.
Digital Mythologies, a collection of Valovic's essays, asks hard questions about where computer and communications technology is taking us. Through anecdotes drawn from his experiences as former editor-in-chief of Telecommunications magazine, the author gives readers an insider's peek behind the scenes of the Internet industry. He explores the underlying social and political implications of the Internet and its associated technologies, based on his contention that the cyberspace experience is far more complex than is commonly assumed. Valovic explores these hidden complexities, and points to fascinating connections between the Internet and our contemporary culture.
One of the most far-reaching transformations in our era is the wave of digital technologies rolling over—and upending—nearly every aspect of life. Work and leisure, family and friendship, community and citizenship have all been modified by now-ubiquitous digital tools and platforms. Digital Technology and Democratic Theory looks closely at one significant facet of our rapidly evolving digital lives: how technology is radically changing our lives as citizens and participants in democratic governments.
To understand these transformations, this book brings together contributions by scholars from multiple disciplines to wrestle with the question of how digital technologies shape, reshape, and affect fundamental questions about democracy and democratic theory. As expectations have whiplashed—from Twitter optimism in the wake of the Arab Spring to Facebook pessimism in the wake of the 2016 US election—the time is ripe for a more sober and long-term assessment. How should we take stock of digital technologies and their promise and peril for reshaping democratic societies and institutions? To answer, this volume broaches the most pressing technological changes and issues facing democracy as a philosophy and an institution.
Locates the deep history of digitality in the development of racial capitalism
Seb Franklin sets out a media theory of racial capitalism to examine digitality’s racial-capitalist foundations. The Digitally Disposed shows how the promises of boundless connection, flexibility, and prosperity that are often associated with digital technologies are grounded in racialized histories of dispossession and exploitation. Reading archival and published material from the cybernetic sciences alongside nineteenth-century accounts of intellectual labor, twentieth-century sociometric experiments, and a range of literary and visual works, The Digitally Disposed locates the deep history of digitality in the development of racial capitalism.
Franklin makes the groundbreaking argument that capital’s apparently spontaneous synthesis of so-called free individuals into productive circuits represents an “informatics of value.” On the one hand, understanding value as an informatic relation helps to explain why capital was able to graft so seamlessly with digitality at a moment in which it required more granular and distributed control over labor—the moment that is often glossed as the age of logistics. On the other hand, because the informatics of value sort populations into positions of higher and lower capacity, value, and status, understanding their relationship to digitality requires that we see the digital as racialized and gendered in pervasive ways.
Ultimately, The Digitally Disposed questions the universalizing assumptions that are maintained, remade, and intensified by today’s dominant digital technologies. Vital and far-reaching, The Digitally Disposed reshapes such fundamental concepts as cybernetics, informatics, and digitality.
In the Information Age, information is power. Who produces all that information, how does it move around, who uses it, to what ends, and under what constraints? Who gets that power? And what happens to the people who have no access to it?
Disconnected begins with a striking vignette of two men: One is the thriving manager of a company selling personal computers and computer services. The other is just one among thousands of starving laborers. He has no way to find the information that might help him find a job, he cannot afford newspapers, rarely sees television, cannot understand the dialect of local radio broadcasts, will probably never touch a computer. These two men happen to live in Windhoek, Namibia, but this is not a story about Africa––it is a story that could be repeated almost anywhere in the world, even next door.
With vivid anecdotes and data, William Wresch contrasts the opportunities of the information-rich with the limited prospects of the information-poor. Surveying the range of information––personal, public, organizational, commercial––that has become the currency of exchange in today’s world, he shows how each represents a form of power. He analyzes the barriers that keep people information-poor: geography, tyranny, illiteracy, psychological blinders, “noise,” crime. Technology alone, he demonstrates, is not the answer. Even the technology-rich do not always get access to important information––or recognize its value.
Wresch spells out the grim consequences of information inequity for individuals and society. Yet he ends with reasons for optimism and stories of people who are working to pull down the impediments to the flow of information.
If economics is about the allocation of resources, then what is the most precious resource in our new information economy? Certainly not information, for we are drowning in it. No, what we are short of is the attention to make sense of that information.
With all the verve and erudition that have established his earlier books as classics, Richard A. Lanham here traces our epochal move from an economy of things and objects to an economy of attention. According to Lanham, the central commodity in our new age of information is not stuff but style, for style is what competes for our attention amidst the din and deluge of new media. In such a world, intellectual property will become more central to the economy than real property, while the arts and letters will grow to be more crucial than engineering, the physical sciences, and indeed economics as conventionally practiced. For Lanham, the arts and letters are the disciplines that study how human attention is allocated and how cultural capital is created and traded. In an economy of attention, style and substance change places. The new attention economy, therefore, will anoint a new set of moguls in the business world—not the CEOs or fund managers of yesteryear, but new masters of attention with a grounding in the humanities and liberal arts.
Lanham’s The Electronic Word was one of the earliest and most influential books on new electronic culture. The Economics of Attention builds on the best insights of that seminal book to map the new frontier that information technologies have created.
In Encoding Race, Encoding Class Sareeta Amrute explores the work and private lives of highly skilled Indian IT coders in Berlin to reveal the oft-obscured realities of the embodied, raced, and classed nature of cognitive labor. In addition to conducting fieldwork and interviews in IT offices as well as analyzing political cartoons, advertisements, and reports on white-collar work, Amrute spent time with a core of twenty programmers before, during, and after their shifts. She shows how they occupy a contradictory position, as they are racialized in Germany as temporary and migrant grunt workers, yet their middle-class aspirations reflect efforts to build a new, global, and economically dominant India. The ways they accept and resist the premises and conditions of their work offer new potentials for alternative visions of living and working in neoliberal economies. Demonstrating how these coders' cognitive labor realigns and reimagines race and class, Amrute conceptualizes personhood and migration within global capitalism in new ways.
Introducing the concept of state-sponsored platformization, this volume shows the complexity behind the central role the party-state plays in shaping social media platforms. The party-state increasingly penetrates commercial social media while aspiring to turn its own media agencies into platforms. Yet state-sponsored platformization does not necessarily produce the Chinese Communist Party’s desired outcomes. Citizens continue to appropriate social media for creative public engagement at the same time that more people are managing their online settings to reduce or refuse connection, inducing new forms of crafted resistance to hyper-social media connectivity. The wide-ranging essays presented here explore the mobile radio service Ximalaya.FM, Alibaba’s evolution into a multi-platform ecosystem, livestreaming platforms in the United States and China, the role of Twitter in Trump’s North Korea diplomacy, user-generated content in the news media, the emergence of new social agents mediating between state and society, social media art projects, Chinese and US scientists’ use of social media, and reluctance to engage with WeChat. Ultimately, readers will find that the ten chapters in this volume contribute significant new research and insights to the fast-growing scholarship on social media in China at a time when online communication is increasingly constrained by international struggles over political control and privacy issues.
Exploiting our boundless desire to access everything all the time, digital technology is breaking down whatever boundaries still exist between the state, the market, and the private realm. Bernard Harcourt offers a powerful critique of what he calls the expository society, revealing just how unfree we are becoming and how little we seem to care.
Winner of the 2015 Anne Friedberg Innovative Scholarship Award from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies Finding Augusta breaks new ground, revising how media studies interpret the relationship between our bodies and technology. This is a challenging exploration of how, for both good and ill, the sudden ubiquity of mobile devices, GPS systems, haptic technologies, and other forms of media alter individuals’ experience of their bodies and shape the social collective. The author succeeds in problematizing the most salient fact of contemporary mobile media technologies, namely, that they have become, like highways and plumbing, an infrastructure that regulates habit. Audacious in its originality, Finding Augusta will be of great interest to art and media scholars alike.
In the early 1960s, computers haunted the American popular imagination. Bleak tools of the cold war, they embodied the rigid organization and mechanical conformity that made the military-industrial complex possible. But by the 1990s—and the dawn of the Internet—computers started to represent a very different kind of world: a collaborative and digital utopia modeled on the communal ideals of the hippies who so vehemently rebelled against the cold war establishment in the first place.
From Counterculture to Cyberculture is the first book to explore this extraordinary and ironic transformation. Fred Turner here traces the previously untold story of a highly influential group of San Francisco Bay–area entrepreneurs: Stewart Brand and the Whole Earth network. Between 1968 and 1998, via such familiar venues as the National Book Award–winning Whole Earth Catalog, the computer conferencing system known as WELL, and, ultimately, the launch of the wildly successful Wired magazine, Brand and his colleagues brokered a long-running collaboration between San Francisco flower power and the emerging technological hub of Silicon Valley. Thanks to their vision, counterculturalists and technologists alike joined together to reimagine computers as tools for personal liberation, the building of virtual and decidedly alternative communities, and the exploration of bold new social frontiers.
Shedding new light on how our networked culture came to be, this fascinating book reminds us that the distance between the Grateful Dead and Google, between Ken Kesey and the computer itself, is not as great as we might think.
While Russian computer scientists are notorious for their interference in the 2016 US presidential election, they are ubiquitous on Wall Street and coveted by international IT firms and often perceive themselves as the present manifestation of the past glory of Soviet scientific prowess. Drawing on over three hundred in-depth interviews, the contributors to From Russia with Code trace the practices, education, careers, networks, migrations, and lives of Russian IT professionals at home and abroad, showing how they function as key figures in the tense political and ideological environment of technological innovation in post-Soviet Russia. Among other topics, they analyze coders' creation of both transnational communities and local networks of political activists; Moscow's use of IT funding to control peripheral regions; brain drain and the experiences of coders living abroad in the United Kingdom, United States, Israel, and Finland; and the possible meanings of Russian computing systems in a heterogeneous nation and industry. Highlighting the centrality of computer scientists to post-Soviet economic mobilization in Russia, the contributors offer new insights into the difficulties through which a new entrepreneurial culture emerges in a rapidly changing world.
Contributors. Irina Antoschyuk, Mario Biagioli, Ksenia Ermoshina, Marina Fedorova, Andrey Indukaev, Alina Kontareva, Diana Kurkovsky, Vincent Lépinay, Alexandra Masalskaya, Daria Savchenko, Liubava Shatokhina, Alexandra Simonova, Ksenia Tatarchenko, Zinaida Vasilyeva, Dimitrii Zhikharevich
With the NASDAQ having lost 70 percent of its value, the giddy, optimistic belief in perpetual growth that accompanied the economic boom of the 1990s had fizzled by 2002. Yet the advances in information and communication technology, management and production techniques, and global integration that spurred the “New Economy” of the 1990s had triggered profound and lasting changes. Frontiers of Capital brings together ethnographies exploring how cultural practices and social relations have been altered by the radical economic and technological innovations of the New Economy. The contributors, most of whom are anthropologists, investigate changes in the practices and interactions of futures traders, Chinese entrepreneurs, residents of French housing projects, women working on Wall Street, cable television programmers, and others.
Some contributors highlight how expedited flows of information allow business professionals to develop new knowledge practices. They analyze dynamics ranging from the decision-making processes of the Federal Reserve Board to the legal maneuvering necessary to buttress a nascent Japanese market in over-the-counter derivatives. Others focus on the social consequences of globalization and new modes of communication, evaluating the introduction of new information technologies into African communities and the collaborative practices of open-source computer programmers. Together the essays suggest that social relations, rather than becoming less relevant in the high-tech age, have become more important than ever. This finding dovetails with the thinking of many corporations, which increasingly employ anthropologists to study and explain the “local” cultural practices of their own workers and consumers. Frontiers of Capital signals the wide-ranging role of anthropology in explaining the social and cultural contours of the New Economy.
Contributors. Jean Comaroff, John L. Comaroff, Greg Downey, Melissa S. Fisher, Douglas R. Holmes, George E. Marcus, Siobhán O’Mahony, Aihwa Ong, Annelise Riles, Saskia Sassen, Paul A. Silverstein, AbdouMaliq Simone, Neil Smith, Caitlin Zaloom
Global Village: Dead Or Alive?
Edited by Ray B. Browne and Marshall W. Fishwick University of Wisconsin Press, 1999 Library of Congress HN17.5.G57 1999 | Dewey Decimal 302.234
In a world that is witnessing the explosive forces of individualism, tribalism, cultism, religion, nationalism, and regionalism, can the “global village” concept as envisioned by Marshall McLuhan have any meaning or hope for fruition? Do the media merely electronically override the stronger forces of basic human expression without in any way changing them? The Global Village offers fifteen essays by leading scholars and thinkers who weigh the pros and cons and come up with individual conclusions as well as a consensus. Included are “Turning McLuhan on His Head” by James E. Grunig, “The Vanishing Global Village” by Ray B. Browne, and “Global Village—Writ Small” by Marshall Fishwick. This book speaks to concerns in journalism, media, popular culture, and communications.
Welcome to a brave new world of capitalism propelled by high tech, guarded by enterprising authority, and carried forward by millions of laborers being robbed of their souls. Gathered into mammoth factory complexes and terrified into obedience, these workers feed the world's addiction to iPhones and other commodities--a generation of iSlaves trapped in a global economic system that relies upon and studiously ignores their oppression.
Focusing on the alliance between Apple and the notorious Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn, Jack Linchuan Qiu examines how corporations and governments everywhere collude to build systems of domination, exploitation, and alienation. His interviews, news analysis, and first-hand observation show the circumstances faced by Foxconn workers--circumstances with vivid parallels in the Atlantic slave trade. Ironically, the fanatic consumption of digital media also creates compulsive free labor that constitutes a form of bondage for the user. Arguing as a digital abolitionist, Qiu draws inspiration from transborder activist groups and incidents of grassroots resistance to make a passionate plea aimed at uniting--and liberating--the forgotten workers who make our twenty-first-century lives possible.
A Hacker Manifesto
McKenzie Wark Harvard University Press, 2004 Library of Congress HC79.I55W37 2004 | Dewey Decimal 303.4833
A double is haunting the world—the double of abstraction, the virtual reality of information, programming or poetry, math or music, curves or colorings upon which the fortunes of states and armies, companies and communities now depend. The bold aim of this book is to make manifest the origins, purpose, and interests of the emerging class responsible for making this new world—for producing the new concepts, new perceptions, and new sensations out of the stuff of raw data.
A Hacker Manifesto deftly defines the fraught territory between the ever more strident demands by drug and media companies for protection of their patents and copyrights and the pervasive popular culture of file sharing and pirating. This vexed ground, the realm of so-called “intellectual property,” gives rise to a whole new kind of class conflict, one that pits the creators of information—the hacker class of researchers and authors, artists and biologists, chemists and musicians, philosophers and programmers—against a possessing class who would monopolize what the hacker produces.
Drawing in equal measure on Guy Debord and Gilles Deleuze, A Hacker Manifesto offers a systematic restatement of Marxist thought for the age of cyberspace and globalization. In the widespread revolt against commodified information, McKenzie Wark sees a utopian promise, beyond the property form, and a new progressive class, the hacker class, who voice a shared interest in a new information commons.
On May 21, 2010, Daniel J. Cohen and Tom Scheinfeldt posted the following provocative questions online:
“Can an algorithm edit a journal? Can a library exist without books? Can students build and manage their own learning management platforms? Can a conference be held without a program? Can Twitter replace a scholarly society?”
As recently as the mid-2000s, questions like these would have been unthinkable. But today serious scholars are asking whether the institutions of the academy as they have existed for decades, even centuries, aren’t becoming obsolete. Every aspect of scholarly infrastructure is being questioned, and even more importantly, being hacked. Sympathetic scholars of traditionally disparate disciplines are canceling their association memberships and building their own networks on Facebook and Twitter. Journals are being compiled automatically from self-published blog posts. Newly minted PhDs are forgoing the tenure track for alternative academic careers that blur the lines between research, teaching, and service. Graduate students are looking beyond the categories of the traditional CV and building expansive professional identities and popular followings through social media. Educational technologists are “punking” established technology vendors by rolling out their own open source infrastructure.
Here, in Hacking the Academy, Daniel J. Cohen and Tom Scheinfeldt have gathered a sampling of the answers to their initial questions from scores of engaged academics who care deeply about higher education. These are the responses from a wide array of scholars, presenting their thoughts and approaches with a vibrant intensity, as they explore and contribute to ongoing efforts to rebuild scholarly infrastructure for a new millennium.
Heritage and tourism mutually reinforce each other, with the presentation of heritage at physical sites mirrored by the ways heritage ispresented on the internet. This interdisciplinary book uses humanities and social sciences to analyse the ways that heritage is brandedand commodified, how stakeholders organise place brands, and how digital strategies shape how visitors appreciate heritage sites. The book covers a wide geographic diversity, offering the reader the chance to find cross-cutting themes and area-specific features of the field.
We are now acutely aware, as if all of the sudden, that data matters enormously to how we live. How did information come to be so integral to what we can do? How did we become people who effortlessly present our lives in social media profiles and who are meticulously recorded in state surveillance dossiers and online marketing databases? What is the story behind data coming to matter so much to who we are?
In How We Became Our Data, Colin Koopman excavates early moments of our rapidly accelerating data-tracking technologies and their consequences for how we think of and express our selfhood today. Koopman explores the emergence of mass-scale record keeping systems like birth certificates and social security numbers, as well as new data techniques for categorizing personality traits, measuring intelligence, and even racializing subjects. This all culminates in what Koopman calls the “informational person” and the “informational power” we are now subject to. The recent explosion of digital technologies that are turning us into a series of algorithmic data points is shown to have a deeper and more turbulent past than we commonly think. Blending philosophy, history, political theory, and media theory in conversation with thinkers like Michel Foucault, Jürgen Habermas, and Friedrich Kittler, Koopman presents an illuminating perspective on how we have come to think of our personhood—and how we can resist its erosion.
For almost sixty years, media technologies have promised users the ability to create sonic safe spaces for themselves—from bedside white noise machines to Beats by Dre's “Hear What You Want” ad campaign, in which Colin Kaepernick's headphones protect him from taunting crowds. In Hush, Mack Hagood draws evidence from noise-canceling headphones, tinnitus maskers, LPs that play ocean sounds, nature-sound mobile apps, and in-ear smart technologies to argue the true purpose of media is not information transmission, but rather the control of how we engage our environment. These devices, which Hagood calls orphic media, give users the freedom to remain unaffected in the changeable and distracting spaces of contemporary capitalism and reveal how racial, gendered, ableist, and class ideologies shape our desire to block unwanted sounds. In a noisy world of haters, trolls, and information overload, guarded listening can be a necessity for self-care, but Hagood argues our efforts to shield ourselves can also decrease our tolerance for sonic and social difference. Challenging our self-defeating attempts to be free of one another, he rethinks media theory, sound studies, and the very definition of media.
Corien Prins, Dennis Broeders, Henk Griffioen, Anne-Greet Keizer, and Esther Keymolen Amsterdam University Press, 2012 Library of Congress JF1525.A8I453 2011 | Dewey Decimal 350
The authors of this incisive study explore the problems of the ongoing digitization of government, such as the creeping loss of data quality, and how citizens and officials must respond to these complications in the coming years. The iGovernment is running full speed on information networks and digitization, but it is also seriously out of step with existing bureaucracies. iGovernment offers an accurate picture of how the digital technologies are shaping modern governments, and also a powerful corrective for the dissonance between technology and organizational management.
“This book will be a valuable resource for researchers and scholars seeking to understand the possibilities, dilemmas, and challenges of bringing the Internet and related technologies to center stage in government and public services”—Helen Margetts,University of Oxford
Over the past few decades, Austin, Texas, has made a concerted effort to develop into a “technopolis,” becoming home to companies such as Dell and numerous start-ups in the 1990s. It has been a model for other cities across the nation that wish to become high-tech centers while still retaining the livability to attract residents. Nevertheless, this expansion and boom left poorer residents behind, many of them African American or Latino, despite local and federal efforts to increase lower-income and minority access to technology. This book was born of a ten-year longitudinal study of the digital divide in Austin—a study that gradually evolved into a broader inquiry into Austin’s history as a segregated city, its turn toward becoming a technopolis, what the city and various groups did to address the digital divide, and how the most disadvantaged groups and individuals were affected by those programs. The editors examine the impact of national and statewide digital inclusion programs created in the 1990s, as well as what happened when those programs were gradually cut back by conservative administrations after 2000. They also examine how the city of Austin persisted in its own efforts for digital inclusion by working with its public libraries and a number of local nonprofits, and the positive impact those programs had.
Information technologies have become an integral part of writing and communication courses, shaping the ways students and teachers think about and do their work. But, too often, teachers and other educational stakeholders take a passive or simply reactive role in institutional approaches to technologies, and this means they are missing out on the chance to make positive changes in their departments and on campus.
Institutional Literacies argues that writing and communication teachers and program directors should collaborate more closely and engage more deeply with IT staff as technology projects are planned, implemented, and expanded. Teachers need to both analyze how their institutions approach information technologies and intervene in productive ways as active university citizens with relevant expertise. To help them do so, the book offers a three-part heuristic, reflecting the reality that academic IT units are complex and multilayered, with historical, spatial, and textual dimensions. It discusses six ways teachers can intervene in the academic IT work of their own institutions: maintaining awareness, using systems and services, mediating for audiences, participating as user advocates, working as designers, and partnering as researchers. With these strategies in hand, educators can be proactive in helping institutional IT approaches align with the professional values and practices of writing and communication programs.
Through the lens of culture, The Internet of Elsewhere looks at the role of the Internet as a catalyst in transforming communications, politics, and economics. Cyrus Farivar explores the Internet's history and effects in four distinct and, to some, surprising societies—Iran, Estonia, South Korea, and Senegal. He profiles Web pioneers in these countries and, at the same time, surveys the environments in which they each work. After all, contends Farivar, despite California's great success in creating the Internet and spawning companies like Apple and Google, in some areas the United States is still years behind other nations.
Surprised? You won't be for long as Farivar proves there are reasons that:
Skype was invented in Estonia—the same country that developed a digital ID system and e-voting;
Iran was the first country in the world to arrest a blogger, in 2003;
South Korea is the most wired country on the planet, with faster and less expensive broadband than anywhere in the United States;
Senegal may be one of sub-Saharan Africa's best chances for greater Internet access.
The Internet of Elsewhere brings forth a new complex and modern understanding of how the Internet spreads globally, with both good and bad effects.
People are very creative in their use of language. This observation was made convincingly by Chomsky in the 1950s and is generally accepted in the scientific communities concerned with the study of language. Computers, on the other hand, are neither creative, flexible, nor adaptable. This is in spite of the fact that their ability to process language is based largely on the grammars developed by linguists and computer scientists. Thus, there is a mismatch between the observed human creativity and our ability as theorists to explain it. Language at Work examines grammars and other descriptions of language by combining the scientific and the practical. The scientific motivation is to unite distinct intellectual traditions, mathematics and descriptive social science, which have tried to provide an adequate explanation of language and its use on their own to no avail. This volume argues that Situation Theory, a theory of information couched in mathematics, has provided a uniform framework for the investigation of the creative aspects of language use. The application of Situation Theory in the study of language use in everyday communication to improve human/computer interaction is explored and espoused.
Managing the Infosphere examines the global world of communications as a mobile space that overlaps uneasily with the world of sovereign, territorial nation-states. Drawing on their expertise in geography, political science, international relations, and communication studies, the authors investigate specific policy problems encountered when international organizations, corporations, and individual users try to "manage" a space that simultaneously contradicts and supports existing institutions and systems of governance, identity, and technology.
The authors argue that the roles of these systems in cyberspace cannot be fully understood unless they are seen as mutually constituting each other in specific historical structures, institutions, and practices. With vision and insight, the authors look beyond the Internet to examine the entire networked world, from cell phones and satellites to global tourism and business travel.
When we make phone calls and use computers, electronic devices mediate how we communicate. In each instance, we exchange symbols and information just as we have since humans began speaking and writing. What, then—besides economy of space and time—differentiates electronic communications from ordinary speech and writing?
The difference, Mark Poster argues, is the profound effect electronic mediation exerts on the very way we perceive ourselves and reality. To help decode the linguistic dimensions of our multiple forms of social interaction, he plays upon Marx's theory of the mode of production—the shift to late capitalism has a parallel in the shift from the mode of production to that of information.
Enlisting poststructuralist theory, he links four modes of communication with four poststructuralists: TV ads with Baudrillard, data bases with Foucault, electronic writing with Derrida, and computer science with Lyotard. Mode of Information points the way to a poststructuralist strategy for writing history, a framework well suited to unearthing structures of domination and the means to their disruption.
"An informed, insightful, provocative account of phenomena that have transformed virtually every area of public and private life on our time."—Robert Anchor, American Historical Review
"The importance of Poster's book is unmistakable for he skillfully negotiates between and juxtaposes two wide theoretical domains—electronically mediated communications and poststructuralist theory—about which much has been written, but hardly with the acumen that he brings to bear in a long-awaited critical rapprochement."—Charles J. Stivale, Criticism
The experience of engaging with art and history has been utterly transformed by information and communications technology in recent decades. We now have virtual, mediated access to countless heritage collections and assemblages of artworks, which we intuitively browse and navigate in a way that wasn't possible until very recently. This collection of essays takes up the question of the cultural meaning of the information and communications technology that makes these new engagements possible, asking questions like: How should we theorise the sensory experience of art and heritage? What does information technology mean for the authority and ownership of heritage?
In recent years, China 's leaders have taken decisive action to transform information, communications, and technology (ICT) into the nation's next pillar industry. In Networking China , Yu Hong offers an overdue examination of that burgeoning sector's political economy. Hong focuses on how the state, in conjunction with market forces and class interests, is constructing and realigning its digitalized sector. State planners intend to build a more competitive ICT sector by modernizing the network infrastructure, corporatizing media-and-entertainment institutions, and by using ICT as a crosscutting catalyst for innovation, industrial modernization, and export upgrades. The goal: to end China's industrial and technological dependence upon foreign corporations while transforming itself into a global ICT leader. The project, though bright with possibilities, unleashes implications rife with contradiction and surprise. Hong analyzes the central role of information, communications, and culture in Chinese-style capitalism. She also argues that the state and elites have failed to challenge entrenched interests or redistribute power and resources, as promised. Instead, they prioritize information, communications, and culture as technological fixes to make pragmatic tradeoffs between economic growth and social justice.
On the End of Privacy explores how literacy is transformed by online technology that lets us instantly publish anything that we can see or hear. Miller examines the 2010 suicide of Tyler Clementi, a young college student who jumped off the George Washington Bridge after he discovered that his roommate spied on him via webcam. With access to the text messages, tweets, and chatroom posts of those directly involved in this tragedy, Miller asks: why did no one intervene to stop the spying? Searching for an answer to that question leads Miller to online porn sites, the invention of Facebook, the court-martial of Chelsea Manning, the contents of Hillary Clinton’s email server, Anthony Weiner’s sexted images, Chatroulette, and more as he maps out the changing norms governing privacy in the digital age.
A necessary, rich new examination of how the wired world affects our humanity
Our tech-fueled economy is often touted as a boon for the development of our fullest human potential. But as our interactions are increasingly turned into mountains of data sifted by algorithms, what impact does this infinite accumulation and circulation of information really have on us? What are the hidden mechanisms that drive our continuous engagement with the digital?
In The Other Side of the Digital, Andrea Righi argues that the Other of the digital acts as a new secular God, exerting its power through endless accountability that forces us to sacrifice ourselves for the digital. Righi deconstructs the contradictions inherent in our digital world, examining how ideas of knowledge, desire, writing, temporality, and the woman are being reconfigured by our sacrificial economy. His analyses include how both our self-image and our perception of reality are skewed by technologies like fitness bands, matchmaking apps, and search engines, among others.
The Other Side of the Digital provides a necessary, in-depth cultural analysis of how the political theology of the new media functions under neoliberalism. Drawing on the work of well-known thinkers like Jacques Derrida, Jacques Lacan, and Ludwig Wittgenstein, as well as Carla Lonzi, Luisa Muraro, and Luciano Parinetto, Righi creates novel appraisals of popular digital tools that we now use routinely to process life experiences. Asking why we must sign up for this sort of regime, The Other Side of the Digital is an important wake-up call to a world deeply entangled with the digital.
Technological revolutions have had an unquestionable, if still debatable, impact on culture and society—perhaps none more so than the written word. In the legal realm, the rise of literacy and print culture made possible the governing of large empires, the memorializing of private legal transactions, and the broad distribution of judicial precedents and legislation. Yet each of these technologies has its shadow side: written or printed texts easily become static and the textual practices of the legal profession can frustrate ordinary citizens, who may be bound by documents whose implications they scarcely understand.
Parchment, Paper, Pixels offers an engaging exploration of the impact of three technological revolutions on the law. Beginning with the invention of writing, continuing with the mass production of identical copies of legal texts brought about by the printing press, and ending with a discussion of computers and the Internet, Peter M. Tiersma traces the journey of contracts, wills, statutes, judicial opinions, and other legal texts through the past and into the future.
Though the ultimate effects of modern technologies on our legal system remain to be seen, Parchment, Paper, Pixels offers readers an insightful guide as to how our shifting forms of technological literacy have shaped and continue to shape the practice of law today.
Gail Hawisher and Cynthia Selfe created a volume that set the agenda in the field of computers and composition scholarship for a decade. The technology changes that scholars of composition studies faced as the new century opened couldn't have been more deserving of passionate study. While we have always used technologies (e.g., the pencil) to communicate with each other, the electronic technologies we now use have changed the world in ways that we have yet to identify or appreciate fully. Likewise, the study of language and literate exchange, even our understanding of terms like literacy, text, and visual, has changed beyond recognition, challenging even our capacity to articulate them.
As Hawisher, Selfe, and their contributors engage these challenges and explore their importance, they "find themselves engaged in the messy, contradictory, and fascinating work of understanding how to live in a new world and a new century." The result is a broad, deep, and rewarding anthology of work still among the standard works of computers and composition study.
Of the many groundbreaking developments in the 2008 presidential election, the most important may well be the use of the Internet. In Politicking Online contributors explorethe impact of technology for electioneering purposes, from running campaigns andincreasing representation to ultimately strengthening democracy. The book reveals how social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook are used in campaigns along withe-mail, SMS text messaging, and mobile phones to help inform, target, mobilize, and communicate with voters.
While the Internet may have transformed the landscape of modern political campaigns throughout the world, Costas Panagopoulos reminds readers that officials and campaign workers need to adapt to changing circumstances, know the limits of their methods, and combine new technologies with more traditional techniques to achieve an overall balance.
The technologically tethered, iPhone-addicted figure is an image we can easily conjure. Most of us complain that there aren't enough hours in the day and too many e-mails in our thumb-accessible inboxes. This widespread perception that life is faster than it used to be is now ingrained in our culture, and smartphones and the Internet are continually being blamed. But isn't the sole purpose of the smartphone to give us such quick access to people and information that we'll be free to do other things? Isn't technology supposed to make our lives easier?
In Pressed for Time, Judy Wajcman explains why we immediately interpret our experiences with digital technology as inexorably accelerating everyday life. She argues that we are not mere hostages to communication devices, and the sense of always being rushed is the result of the priorities and parameters we ourselves set rather than the machines that help us set them. Indeed, being busy and having action-packed lives has become valorized by our productivity driven culture. Wajcman offers a bracing historical perspective, exploring the commodification of clock time, and how the speed of the industrial age became identified with progress. She also delves into the ways time-use differs for diverse groups in modern societies, showing how changes in work patterns, family arrangements, and parenting all affect time stress. Bringing together empirical research on time use and theoretical debates about dramatic digital developments, this accessible and engaging book will leave readers better versed in how to use technology to navigate life's fast lane.
The dramatic advancement of cellphone technology has fundamentally changed our daily lives. Smartphones and their applications have created new capital for information and communication technology corporations and changed the way people communicate. Because of an interesting awareness of the significance for digital economy and people’s daily culture, many countries, from the U.S. to China, have massively invested in the smartphone industries since the early 21st century. Among them, South Korea has become one of the centers for technology development and digital culture, although the country was once lagging behind in the penetration of the phones and their apps. Yet within the last few years, the country has taken a big step toward their goal of becoming a ‘mobile game wonderland’ by appropriating smartphones and it now exists as a curious test-bed for the future of smartphone technology. Smartland Korea, as the first attempt to comprehensively analyze mobile communication in the context of Korean smartphones, looks into a largely neglected focus of inquiry, a localized mobile landscape, with particular reference to young Koreans’ engagement with their devices and applications. Dal Yong Jin focuses not only on the celebratory achievement of technological advancement, but also the significance of social milieu in the development of the smartphones. He situates the emergence of smartphones within the growth of mobile technologies and overall telecommunications industries embedded in Korea’s information and communication technologies. The book examines the technology’s innovation and the evolution, the digital economy through the lens of political economy, and the youth culture embedded in the Korean smartphone context.
Finding a particular scientific document amidst a sea of thousands of other documents can often seem like an insurmountable task. The Structure of Scientific Articles shows how linguistic theory can provide a solution by analyzing rhetorical structures to make information retrieval easier and faster.
Through the use of an improved citation indexing system, this indispensable volume applies empirical discourse studies to pressing issues of document management, including attribution, the author’s stance towards other work, and problem-solving processes.
We live in a surveillance society. Anyone who uses a credit card, cell phone, or even search engines to navigate the Web is being monitored and assessed—and often in ways that are imperceptible to us. The first general introduction to the growing field of surveillance studies, SuperVision uses examples drawn from everyday technologies to show how surveillance is used, who is using it, and how it affects our world.
Beginning with a look at the activities and technologies that connect most people to the surveillance matrix, from identification cards to GPS devices in our cars to Facebook, John Gilliom and Torin Monahan invite readers to critically explore surveillance as it relates to issues of law, power, freedom, and inequality. Even if you avoid using credit cards and stay off Facebook, they show, going to work or school inevitably embeds you in surveillance relationships. Finally, they discuss the more obvious forms of surveillance, including the security systems used at airports and on city streets, which both epitomize contemporary surveillance and make impossibly grand promises of safety and security.
Gilliom and Monahan are among the foremost experts on surveillance and society, and, with SuperVision, they offer an immensely accessible and engaging guide, giving readers the tools to understand and to question how deeply surveillance has been woven into the fabric of our everyday lives.
Half a century into the digital era, the profound impact of information technology on intellectual and cultural life is universally acknowledged but still poorly understood. The sheer complexity of the technology coupled with the rapid pace of change makes it increasingly difficult to establish common ground and to promote thoughtful discussion.
Responding to this challenge, Switching Codes brings together leading American and European scholars, scientists, and artists—including Charles Bernstein, Ian Foster, Bruno Latour, Alan Liu, and Richard Powers—to consider how the precipitous growth of digital information and its associated technologies are transforming the ways we think and act. Employing a wide range of forms, including essay, dialogue, short fiction, and game design, this book aims to model and foster discussion between IT specialists, who typically have scant training in the humanities or traditional arts, and scholars and artists, who often understand little about the technologies that are so radically transforming their fields. Switching Codes will be an indispensable volume for anyone seeking to understand the impact of digital technology on contemporary culture, including scientists, educators, policymakers, and artists, alike.
How does a computer scientist understand infinity? What can probability theory teach us about free will? Can mathematical notions be used to enhance one's personal understanding of the Bible?
Perhaps no one is more qualified to address these questions than Donald E. Knuth, whose massive contributions to computing have led others to nickname him "The Father of Computer Science"—and whose religious faith led him to understand a fascinating analysis of the Bible called the 3:16 project. In this series of six spirited, informal lectures, Knuth explores the relationships between his vocation and his faith, revealing the unique perspective that his work with computing has lent to his understanding of God.
His starting point is the 3:16 project, an application of mathematical "random sampling" to the books of the Bible. The first lectures tell the story of the project's conception and execution, exploring its many dimensions of language translation, aesthetics, and theological history. Along the way, Knuth explains the many insights he gained from such interdisciplinary work. These theological musings culminate in a surprising final lecture tackling the ideas of infinity, free will, and some of the other big questions that lie at the juncture of theology and computation.
Things a Computer Scientist Rarely Talks About, with its charming and user-friendly format—each lecture ends with a question and answer exchange, and the book itself contains more than 100 illustrations—is a readable and intriguing approach to a crucial topic, certain to edify both those who are serious and curious about their faiths and those who look at the science of computation and wonder what it might teach them about their spiritual world.
Includes "Creativity, Spirituality, and Computer Science," a panel discussion featuring Harry Lewis, Guy L. Steele, Jr., Manuela Veloso, Donald E. Knuth, and Mitch Kapor.
In this probing study, Eric Freedman focuses on what images from photography, mobile communications, and the Internet reveal about looking. Exploring subjectivity by critically examining the look, he elaborates on the nature of the photographic frame and its relation to interpretive practices. Freedman scrutinizes what he calls "technobiography"—a life written through technology, and considers the movement of personal images into public spaces. He also considers authorship that situates the self as inherently engaged with and inscribed by information technology.
All of the chapters in Transient Images explore Freedman's interest in examining how media technologies activate particular notions of self and community. He provides examples that address trauma—pictures of missing children on milk cartons and episodes of the reality series Intervention—as well as the strategies behind creating and distributing personal advertisements on the Internet. Transient Images draws out the tensions that exist in images circulating in the digital era.
Many IT projects are doomed before the ink is dry on the contract. In this highly readable book, John Smith sets out the 40 root causes of troubled IT projects and explains how these can be avoided at each stage of the project life cycle.
Workers in India program software applications, transcribe medical dictation online, chase credit card debtors, and sell mobile phones, diet pills, and mortgages for companies based in other countries around the world. While their skills and labor migrate abroad, these workers remain Indian citizens, living and working in India. A. Aneesh calls this phenomenon “virtual migration,” and in this groundbreaking study he examines the emerging “transnational virtual space” where labor and vast quantities of code and data cross national boundaries, but the workers themselves do not. Through an analysis of the work of computer programmers in India working for the American software industry, Aneesh argues that the programming code connecting globally dispersed workers through data servers and computer screens is the key organizing structure behind the growing phenomenon of virtual migration. This “rule of code,” he contends, is a crucial and underexplored aspect of globalization.
Aneesh draws on the sociology of science, social theory, and research on migration to illuminate the practical and theoretical ramifications of virtual migration. He combines these insights with his extensive ethnographic research in offices in three locations in India—in Delhi, Gurgaon, and Noida—and one in New Jersey. Aneesh contrasts virtual migration with “body shopping,” the more familiar practice of physically bringing programmers from other countries to work on site, in this case, bringing them from India to New Jersey. A significant contribution to the social theory of globalization, Virtual Migration maps the expanding transnational space where globalization is enacted via computer programming code.