Paradigms of Accumulation & Loss in a Digital World

One phenomenon of the digital world that I think we must increasingly come to terms with is the changed and changing nature of accumulation and loss. In a sense, this new digital world is marked very strongly as "lossless", as compared to previous forms of media/medium. Especially now that everything we create is backed up … Continue reading Paradigms of Accumulation & Loss in a Digital World

Twitter’s IPO: a financial perspective on our emergent social-media world

For the past several decades, the stock market and the financial world seem to be increasingly abstracted from “the real world." The epic housing bubble and economic downfall of the 2000's are just a few obvious manifestations of this phenomenon. My rough understanding of how any valuation should work is based on my experience of … Continue reading Twitter’s IPO: a financial perspective on our emergent social-media world

Walter Benjamin on the Allure of the Photobomb

"No matter how artful the photographer, no matter how carefully posed his subject, the beholder feels an irresistable urge to search such a picture for the tiny spark of contingency, of the here and now, with which reality has (so to speak) seared the subject, to find the inconspicuous spot where in the immediacy of … Continue reading Walter Benjamin on the Allure of the Photobomb

Hashtag Revolution

The following is the first part of a lengthy consideration of the idea of the Hashtag Revolution as a model for a social/political movement. This section considers mainly the Occupy movement, and the next section considers the relevance of the concept of the hashtag revolution to the presidential elections. The hashtag revolution or hashtag revolt is … Continue reading Hashtag Revolution

“Unlike pressure groups that have a formal organisation and ‘members’, NSMs consist of an informal, loosely organised social network of ‘supporters’ rather than members.”

Media and Social Change

These extracts from Wikipedia will be familiar territory to many readers of this blog, but I thought they could be a useful reminder of the connection between ‘new social movements’ theory and the pursuit of social change.

The term new social movements (NSMs) is a theory of social movements that attempts to explain the plethora of new movements that have come up in various western societies roughly since the mid-1960s (i.e. in a post-industrial economy) which are claimed to depart significantly from the conventional social movement paradigm.  […]

Numerous social movements from mid-1960s differed from their precursors, such as the labor movement, which had previously been seen as focused on economic concerns.[1][2] The new movements instead of pushing for specific changes in public policy emphasize social changes in identity, lifestyle and culture.[1]

Thus the social aspect is seen by the NSM as more important than…

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Some great references about social media ethos/ethics.

idisaster 2.0


Post by: Kim Stephens

I’ve been in two meetings this week where public officials have stated that their job was in some way  to “control social media”.  One person stated that in an upcoming exercise “We are going to ‘play’ some social media and learn how to control that…”. In the another conversation a public information officer indicated that their office didn’t mind interaction and public comments on their social media platforms “…as long as people write things that don’t reflect negatively on our organization.” Whoa! Both of those statement had me floored because they demonstrated how those folks misunderstood the power of the medium. Fire Chief Bill Boyd, a longtime social media evangelist and a person who “gets it” stated in a post today that it is about “community engagement, not public communication”.  Exactly.

The power of using social platforms for engagement is important during every phase of…

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A Brief Consideration of Dreyfus and Online Learning

Having just completed my first full online course in Computer Science through, I wanted to write a brief review/reflection on my experience. In "On the Internet (Thinking in Action)", Hubert Dreyfus takes a critical perspective on the nature of distance-learning. He argues that the nature of the Internet means its users are disembodied, anonymous, and isolated- … Continue reading A Brief Consideration of Dreyfus and Online Learning

#theinternet: A Phenomenology of the Virtual and the Real (Part 1)

The following is an excerpt from a paper I wrote for my phenomenology class last year about the virtual and the real. I conducted about fifteen in-depth interviews on the general topic of "the Internet", trying to get people to reveal their biases and narrative methods of talking about the Internet, and also trying to … Continue reading #theinternet: A Phenomenology of the Virtual and the Real (Part 1)