The Twitter Revolution Must Die

Have you ever heard of the Leica Revolution? No? That’s probably because folks who don’t know anything about “branding” insist on calling it the Mexican Revolution. An estimated two million people died in the long struggle (1910-1920) to overthrow a despotic government and bring about reform. But why shouldn’t we re-name the revolution not after […]

Networks and the quantification of sociality

What follows is NOT intended to be a comprehensive review of the European Computing and Philosophy (ECAP) and the New Network Theory (NNT) conferences, which took place in the Netherlands this June (for good summaries of NNT, see the Masters of Media blog or Lilly Nguyen’s post). Instead, my intention is to briefly discuss some […]

Rebellion by Numbers

Apparently there was a revolution, and I almost missed it. This is what happened: Somebody cracked and published the encryption key that unlocks HD DVDs, allowing for the copying of the discs. The code started appearing on various websites. The Motion Picture Association of America and the Advanced Access Content System Licensing Administrator (AACS LA) […]

How does social media educate? – iDC wrap up

Here is my summary of this month’s discussion at the iDC forum. The archive of the discussion can be found here. ********************************************************** It’s time to wrap up this discussion on the question of ‘How does social media educate?’ I would like to thank everyone who contributed to it, even by lurking! As the moderator, the […]

The tyranny of nodes: Towards a critique of social network theories

Networks have become a powerful metaphor to explain the social realities of our times. Everywhere we look there are attempts to explain all kinds of social formations in terms of networks: citizen networks, corporate networks, gamer networks, terrorist networks, learning networks… and so on. Information and communication technologies—in particular the internet—and the structures they enable […]

Spectacular Feast: Social Media and Ultimate Consumerism

I was reading Anti-Oedipus, minding my own business, when I came across this marvelous anthropological observation describing what the chief of a tribe does with surplus food: “The chief converts this perishable wealth into imperishable prestige through the medium of spectacular feasting. The ultimate consumers are in this way the original producers.” (Leach, 1966, p. […]

Social Media and the Networked Public Sphere

Can social media increase and improve civic participation? If so, in what ways? There’s a lot being said and written about the subject these days, but it is difficult to get a clear overview of the opinions. I attempt here to collect viewpoints both for and against the premise that social media is creating a […]

Technology Without Ends: A Critique of Technocracy as a Threat to Being

Is “Human 2.0” really a testament to the greatness of the spirit, or simply a collection of useless features that not only fail to improve on the original, but in fact bar the doors to any kind of evolution that deviates from a particular path?

“Socialist” Software

A case can be made that Social Software contributes to the commodification of knowledge and social interactions, or that it is simply a way for companies to make money off your labor/data. But as we know, there’s more to it than that. Social Software can also embody a set of social practices that are downright, […]

The Blog as Dissertation Literature Review?

(See Updates at the end of the post) Can a certain type of academic blogging be a more adequate form of literature review than the traditional chapter in a dissertation? In this post, I employ the rubric proposed by Boote & Beile (2005) to determine whether blogging can be considered a form of literature review. I also make some suggestions for how blogging may be incorporated formally into the research and writing activities of some doctoral students, although it certainly might not be useful to others. I am not suggesting that this single post is my literature review; I am merely providing a map that outlines how my blogging during the past years constitutes a form of ongoing literature review.