The Edifice Complex in Real Life

How long and how intensely a technology seems “vulgar” before it fades into the background is a useful barometer of a society’s willingness to embrace whatever ideology that technology has made it impossible to ignore.

I have a new essay up at Real Life Magazine that I'm very excited about. You can read it here. I've also added some photos of Empire State Plaza to my photography portfolio

Review of Gabriella Coleman's Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy

anon-383 Gabriella Coleman’s history of the Anonymous collective is as much about her complicity in the group’s attention-seeking tactics as it is about the group itself.

A hundred years ago, Dadaists made prankish, confrontational “anti-art” to protest an increasingly nationalistic and fractured Europe that was hurling itself into World War I. Their art was meant to reveal and criticize things as they were, not to be distracted from them. While the jarring effects of modernism as a whole was their muse, they also had a knack for precision strikes, as when Marcel Duchamp famously signed a urinal and submitted it to the Society of Independent Artists exhibition. It was never displayed, but that was sort of the point: The works were meant as an antagonism, not an ends in themselves. “One cannot understand Dada,” wrote Richard Huelsenbeck in 1920. “One must experience it.”

Continue reading at The New Inquiry.

Article in The Information Society With Ron Eglash

Very proud to announce that a co-authored article with Ron Eglash was just published in a special issue of The Information Society by Taylor & Francis.

Abstract: Kelty's “recursive public” is defined as a binary: whether or not ownership of intellectual property is legally in the public domain. We propose a broader continuum of recursive depth, which spans the range from shallow constrained generative spaces (e.g., photo memes) to the deeply open collaborations of “critical making” communities. Recursive depth is assessed by the capacity for transformation across three distinct continuums: public/proprietary, virtual/material, and high/low social power. Transformations across all three continuums is not always necessary for deep recursion (as Kelty and others note for many cases of open source), but we argue that paying attention to all three, and treating them as continuums rather than binaries, allows a better evaluation of the capacity for democratizing the technosocial landscape.

Full text available to subscribers here.

If you don't have personal or institutional access to The Information Society the first 50 people that use this link can get a free copy.

Google Scholar has also picked up some free pre-published versions.

 

Writing for a Popular Audience

I'll be hosting a brown bag discussion at my home institution, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, on November 6, 2013 from 1-3PM in Sage Labs 3510 on writing for a popular audience. I plan on covering the following topics:

  1. Theory in under 1000 words
  2. How to Write about Current Events
  3. Venues & Audiences
  4. Examples of different venues & their intended audiences
  5. Writing Publicly as a PhD 
  6. Pitching your Work to an Editor
  7. CVs, Hiring & Tenure 
  8. Twitter and the Writing Process
  9. Where your Work goes in Social Media
  10. Blogging under imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy & talking to the press
  11. Q&A

If you're in the area it'd be awesome if you showed up. Equally awesome would be written stories and anecdotes about your own experiences. I'm especially interested in the experiences of women and people of color who are blogging on the regular. 

Resources

Indicator Venues worth watching: Gawker, New York Times' Technology Section, and The Verge.

My essay: "You Won't Believe What This Web Site Does to the Liberal Left!

Examples of personal web sites that are heavily cited: danah boyd's "apophenia" , Zeynep Tufekci's "Technosociology", and Nathan Jurgenson

Places that accept unsolicited submissions or are open to pitches: JacobinN+1 , The New InquiryThe State, Cyborgology, and Sociological Images.

Aggregators and news sites: The Daily Dot, OWNI.eu, Huffington Post, The Civic Beat, The Browser. Arts & Letters Daily, The Daily Dish, Digg, and Metafilter.

Tools for reading and collecting existing content: Instapaper, Readability, Feedly, Digg Reader, and Buffer

Writing with Twitter: Jessie Daniels's "From Tweet to Blog Post to Peer-Reviewed Article: How to be a Scholar Now" and Rob Horning's "The taste of circulation"

Just Publics @365 Fall MediaCamp Workshops on Twitter for Academics 

David's presentation slides

(Intellectual) Property is Theft!

I’m in the midsts of one of those unavoidable grad student extended crises this month so I I thought writing something this week was going to be out of the question. But last Monday I had an interaction with a PDF that I really need to tell someone about. Trust me, its more interesting than it sounds.

Lately, I’ve been taking advantage of my institution’s (appropriately ancient-sounding) ILLiad Inter-Library Loan System. Usually, if I can’t find journal article I need, I just ask a fellow grad student friend over GChat or Facebook to get me the article from their library. If I can’t find anyone (or I’ve asked them too many times) I resort to ILLiad. Getting a book from ILLiad means waiting about 24 hours for an undergrad on work study to copy and paste a DOI and send me the article under another institution’s journal subscription. It is the ultimate exercise in artificial scarcity: A teenager in a library basement, fueled on Moe’s burritos and motivated by the threat of crushing student debt, orchestrates the transfer of a few ones and zeroes in such a way that my desire for the article can be monetized to the benefit of a publishing company’s CEO and a couple of computer system designers. The physical scarcity of a paper journal is transmuted into a new kind of scarcity: the scarcity of student labor and my own dedication to reading this article that I saw in someone else’s bibliography. (more…)