Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Search Results for 'conspiracy'

Conspiracy movements like QAnon are a kind of cultural virus that spreads rapidly and widely in the new global media environment. Like invasive species, they spread into diverse cultural ecosystems, colonizing them even as they take on new forms that mimic each environment’s original inhabitants. To understand how they do this, we need to understand […]

Read Full Post »

The following distills the essence of my responses to questions from a vaccine (and Covid) skeptical friend. I share it in case it’s useful for others (and because it updates a few things I’ve written before on the topic). I’m not an epidemiologist and the comments on the science of the pandemic are those of […]

Read Full Post »

In my writing about media, I’ve been using the words “ecology” and “ecosystem” fairly liberally. In a new piece called “The Limitations of the ‘New Ecosystem’ Metaphor,” The Columbia Journalism Review’s Lauren Harris argues that this metaphor is misguided. She interviews media scholar Anthony Nadler, who has claims that the metaphor “naturaliz[es] current trends in the diffusion and development of news practices.” Its use “suggests ‘spontaneous, self-ordering principles’ in the news market obscuring all the social, political, and economic decisions that undergird the status quo.”

I want to respond to that argument here by presenting the case that “ecology” is not a metaphor imported from biology, but that it’s more like the other way around: “media ecology” is a description of the world of media as much as it is a description of the world of biology. Both media and biology are constituted by the actions and processes of their constituents. In this sense, it is not a metaphor but a way of seeing, and it’s more important to ensure we understand what it is we are looking at.

Read Full Post »

Two points of social media use call for more attention as we make sense of this week’s events at the U. S. Capitol. 1) Videos and selfies from Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rallies are circulating online and making it easier to identify those who participated in the attempted coup at the Capitol. Images created and […]

Read Full Post »

I am an academic who researches, writes, and teaches about the human relationship with the ecological environment within which we live and on which we depend. I recognize that that relationship is deeply troubled, and I want to be working on untroubling it. Politics — the shaping and implementation of policy to steer collective and […]

Read Full Post »

I’m working on a lengthyish post about conspiracy theory (specifically, QAnon) and the “post-truth condition,” but in the meantime I want to post a few tidbits from something I’ve been enjoying reading related to that topic. A Reddit conversation with QAnon researcher Marc-André Argentino includes some smart observations about QAnon, but also useful insights into […]

Read Full Post »

I’ve begun posting updates on media coverage related to the U.S. presidential election (and related issues, such as social media disinformation) on my blog e2mc, which I’ve restarted to accompany my course “Media Ecologies and Cultural Politics.” Here is the latest post, which summarizes some key stories from yesterday’s Sunday New York Times. I may […]

Read Full Post »

As I’ve been preparing to cover QAnon in my media course (and trying to keep up with it, since it’s really been ramping up ahead of the election), I’ve seriously begun to think of it is a work of evil genius. Let me explain why. For starters, it’s worth reminding ourselves that QAnon was designated […]

Read Full Post »

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 […]

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

The “reopening” of the world’s economies, locally and nationally, piece by piece, after the sudden and massive stoppage of the entire economic system, is raising important questions about whether the system can be put back into motion selectively and into a more viable direction than it had been moving beforehand. Some observers have suggested, optimistically, […]

Read Full Post »

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 […]

Read Full Post »

Next »

Skip to toolbar