front cover of Technosystem
The Social Life of Reason
Andrew Feenberg
Harvard University Press, 2017

We live in a world of technical systems designed in accordance with technical disciplines and operated by personnel trained in those disciplines. This is a unique form of social organization that largely determines our way of life, but the actions of individuals and social protest still play a role in developing and purposing these rational systems. In Technosystem, Andrew Feenberg builds a theory of both the threats of technocratic modernity and the potential for democratic change.

Feenberg draws on the tradition of radical social criticism represented by Herbert Marcuse and the Frankfurt School, which recognized the social effects of instrumental rationality but did not advance a convincing alternative to the new forms of domination imposed by rational systems. That is where the fine-grained analyses of Science, Technology, and Society (STS) studies can contribute. Feenberg uses these approaches to reconcile the claims of rationality with the agency of a public increasingly mobilized to intervene in technically based decisions. The resulting social theory recognizes emerging forms of resistance, such as protests and hacking, as essential expressions of public life in the “rational society.”

Combining the most salient insights from critical theory with the empirical findings of STS, Technosystem advances the philosophical debate over the nature and practice of reason in modern society.


front cover of Terrorist Use of Cryptocurrencies
Terrorist Use of Cryptocurrencies
Technical and Organizational Barriers and Future Threats
Cynthia Dion-Schwarz
RAND Corporation, 2019
The success of counterterrorism finance strategies in reducing terrorist access to official currencies has raised concerns that terrorist organizations might increase their use of such digital cryptocurrencies as Bitcoin to support their activities. RAND researchers thus consider the needs of terrorist groups and the advantages and disadvantages of the cryptocurrency technologies available to them.

front cover of Toward a Conceptual Framework for the Study of Folklore and the Internet
Toward a Conceptual Framework for the Study of Folklore and the Internet
Trevor J. Blank
Utah State University Press, 2009
Trevor Blank broke new ground for the field of folklore studies in this essay by rationalizing the study of the internet as an important area of expressive vernacular culture. Pushing back against traditionalists who dismissed the digital as simply the domain of technicians and mass media, Blank argues that "from the earliest moments of the modern Internet’s existence, folklore was a central component of the domain, moderating the intersection of computer professionals with hackers, newfangled lingo, and the dispersal of stories, pranks, and legends." With this essay and the volume it introduces, Blank theorizes the internet as an important analytic venue for folklorists, and sets the agenda for digital folklore research.
Utah State University Press’s Current Arguments in Folklore is a series of thought-provoking, short-form, digital publications made up of provocative original material and selections from foundational titles by leading thinkers in the field. Perfect for the folklore classroom as well as the professional collection, this series provides access to important introductory content as well as innovative new work intended to stimulate scholarly conversation.

front cover of Turntables and Tropes
Turntables and Tropes
A Rhetoric of Remix
Scott Haden Church
Michigan State University Press, 2022
The creative practice of remix is essential to contemporary culture, as the proliferation of song mashups, political remix videos, memes, and even streaming television shows like Stranger Things demonstrates. Yet remix is not an exclusively digital practice, nor is it even a new one, as there is evidence of remix in the speeches of classical Greek and Roman orators. Turntables and Tropes is the first book to address remix from a communicative perspective, examining its persuasive dimensions by locating its parallels with classical rhetoric. Through identifying, recontextualizing, mashing up, and applying rhetorical tropes to contemporary digital texts and practices, this groundbreaking book presents a new critical vocabulary that scholars and students can use to analyze remix. Building upon scholarship from classical thinkers such as Isocrates, Quintilian, Nāgārjuna, and Cicero and contemporary luminaries like Kenneth Burke, Richard Lanham, and Eduardo Navas, Scott Haden Church shows that an understanding of rhetoric offers innovative ways to make sense of remix culture.

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