Politics/Economics Pop Culture Speculations Technology [reading list]
Been dipping in and out of Eli Parisier’s The Filter Bubble (2011), as part of a longer piece I’m working on. Had some rough thoughts and jottings I wanted throw out into the darkness:
- ‘Personalized search for everyone’ (Google’s stated mission, for a time)
- The filter bubble provides ‘a unique universe of information for each of us … which fundamentally alters the way we encounter ideas and information’ (Parisier, 2011: 9)
- ‘When the technology’s job is to show you the world, it ends up sitting between you and reality, like a camera lens.’ (Parisier, 2011: 13)
- ‘Spain’s first gay retirement home passes its first hurdle‘ (The Guardian, 03/01/2011)
- ‘Something in the Air‘ (Frieze interview with Peter Sloterdijk)
- ‘State of Air‘ (BLDBLOG)
- Pillarisation (verzuiling) — ‘a term used to describe the politico-denominational segregation of Dutch and Belgian society … ”vertically” divided into several segments or “pillars” (zuilen) according to different religions or ideologies.’
- Doorbraak (‘breakthrough’) — ‘an attempt to renew the politics of the Netherlands after the Second World War.’
- ‘Openness and the Metaverse Singularity‘ (Jamais Cascio, 2007 — good on AR filtering)
- ‘Bridging Capital and Social Cohesion in an English village setting‘ (Roy Greenhalgh, 2008)
Starting to wonder if the our best chance of filter bubble-busting Doorbraak might have been something like ChatRoulette. Certainly, one of my highlights of 2010 was encouraging my neighbour to play guitar to a baffled Chilean dentistry student.
Cartesian Minefield Design Material/Digital Pop Culture Speculations Technology Visual Culture
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Fiction Material/Digital Pop Culture Publishing Speculations Technology Writing [future shock]
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Care of (unwitting?) bookfuturist James Bridle, I give you ‘Network Realism‘. This, ladies and gentlemen, is exactly what I was attempting (with mixed success) to get across in the final chapters of my MA dissertation:
‘Network Realism is writing that is of and about the network. It’s realism because it’s so close to our present reality. A realism that posits an increasingly 1:1 relationship between Fiction and the World. A realtime link. And it’s networked because it lives in a place that’s that’s enabled by, and only recently made possible by, our technological connectedness.
This writing exists on a timeline, but it’s not a simple line back-to-the-past and forward-to-the-future. It’s a gathering-together of many currently possible worldlines, seen from the near-omniscient superposition of the network. The Order Flow of the Universe. Speculative Realism, Networked Fiction: Network Realism.’
– James Bridle, ‘Network Realism: William Gibson and new forms of Fiction‘, 25/10/2010
Here, an admission – networked realism is what I’ll be churning out this autumn. It’s the narrative form of the much-implied secret project; the perfect literary accompaniment for atemporal culture and our shiny new, post-Newtonian network politics.
More details to follow, in glimpses and dribbles.
Academics Material/Digital Politics/Economics Pop Culture Technology
There’s a seriously nifty interview with science writer Steven Johnson in today’s Guardian. Not sure how I feel about his occasional echoes of the technology tree from Sid Meier’s Civilization, but the notion of an ‘adjacent possible’ is really rather wonderful. Some choice extracts:
‘to 1950s viewers, Johnson argues, complex TV shows such as Lost or The Wire would have been borderline incomprehensible, like some kind of avant-garde art, because certain ways of engaging with the medium hadn’t yet been learned.’
The co-evolution of technology and cultural form was one of the precepts of my Goldsmiths MA. So the level of personal resonance should be of no great surprise…
‘the best way to encourage (or to have) new ideas isn’t to fetishise the “spark of genius”, to retreat to a mountain cabin in order to “be creative”, or to blabber interminably about “blue-sky”, “out-of-the-box” thinking. Rather, it’s to expand the range of your possible next moves – the perimeter of your potential – by exposing yourself to as much serendipity, as much argument and conversation, as many rival and related ideas as possible; to borrow, to repurpose, to recombine. This is one way of explaining the creativity generated by cities, by Europe’s 17th-century coffee-houses, and by the internet.’
In other words, “maximise your exposure to randomness.”
Politics/Economics Pop Culture Visual Culture [future shock]
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Thus far, 2010 seems to have been dominated by media artifacts of such world-historical contingency and raw peculiarity that – following any kind of close examination – they cause your brain to effervesce all over the floor.