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Archive for the ‘MediaSpace’ Category

I’ve just begun teaching a media course, entitled Media Ecologies and Cultural Politics, which I designed several years ago but have revised this year to focus on the issues of our current moment: the upcoming election, the Covid-19 pandemic, the crisis of racial justice, and what some have called the “crisis of information.” Preparing for […]

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The Covid-19 pandemic has offered all kinds of interesting case studies for those who study controversies in science, technology, and medicine. Hydroxychloroquine is one of them. It’s a bit unusual in that it highlights how the left-liberal mediasphere has sometimes followed similar trajectories as more commonly found on the (Trumpist) political right. But it’s interesting […]

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Here’s a back-of-the-envelope hypothesis on the “new media regime” and some open questions that follow from it. Two groups are faring best these days under the current (new) media regime.* The first is surveillance capitalists, who have developed ways to monetize and harvest new data technologies directly for the accumulation of wealth. (That covers the […]

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So, 150 or so fairly prominent individuals write/sign an open letter defending “justice and open debate.” (We can call them intellectuals, or literati, or academics, or even celebrities of a sort — maybe “intellectual celebrities” — but see point #1 below on generalizations.) In the letter, they single out Donald Trump and the “forces of […]

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I’m reading Shoshana Zuboff’s widely lauded The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, which some have placed alongside Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century as essential reading for understanding today’s global economy. The big conceptual idea I find most useful in it is its insistence that we are in the midst of a “fourth great transformation” […]

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At a time when the U.S. itself appears on the brink of collapse — with riots in the streets, a pandemic crippling the country’s heath care system and wreaking havoc on its economy, a president tweeting out nods of recognition to his QAnon fan base and hinting at “the Storm” that is coming — the sense-making apparatus of digital media is rife with opportunities for disinformational entrepreneurs to make headway in various directions. […]

The internet is like a huge instrument — a hyper-complex, Robert Fluddian monochord, that works by allowing for an infinity of connections through which flow the sounds and vibrations of human emotional and affective contagion. When protests erupt across the country over the senseless killing of a black man in Minneapolis, the time scale in which large-scale action occurs speeds up and become affect-driven time, not a time in which collective deliberation is really possible. This means that informational, and therefore “disinformational,” bursts into that monochord become all the more powerful.

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People’s identities are an object of study in a range of fields, but it’s the field of cultural studies that has most singularly, even obsessively, sought to understand how identities interact with politics in changing media environments. Cultural studies first emerged in a British milieu marked by very specific relations between socio-economic classes, media industries, […]

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The global pandemic of Covid-19 has been accompanied by a proliferation of competing narratives of what the crisis is and means, and how it should be addressed. The UN and the World Health Organization have called this an “infodemic,” that is, an epidemic (or pandemic) of information that, in its confusing diversity, has made it […]

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One of the silver linings about the coronavirus pandemic is that it has made some people, and even institutions, more generous (at least temporarily). Among them are popular and academic journals that have removed their paywalls and offered their publications for free. (I shared one of my own articles in that category yesterday. The irony, […]

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Please share the following call for presenters: “When Corona Met Climate Change… What Changed?” A series of live, short (under 3 minutes), and creative responses to the intersection of coronavirus and climate change, 50 years after Earth Day and 50 years before Ecotopia Day (EarthDay+100).

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There are two implicit rules that social media (in their corporate controlled, un- or dis-regulated state) want you to learn. (By “want,” I mean that these are the tendencies being encouraged by the systems themselves. And by “rules,” I mean norms, habits, or learned impulses meant to be followed instinctively.) The rules are these:

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Or, Why Ukraine- and Russia- literacy should now be mandatory studies for every voting American One could start with another question: Why are both the politics of climate change and politics in general so polarized these days? Political polarization, after all, remains the main complaint of Americans, and it has made it impossible to make […]

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