Search results for digital dualism

digital poetics has reignited artistic emphases on processorial, fragmented conceptualizations of literature

TED talks just to keep from looking at the cops

Real life isn’t lived in just the “digital” or “physical” realm. It’s actually an interplay between both realms

If we want to protect privacy, we should be more clear about why it is important

a trend emerged where visual anonymity led to less disclosiveness

Is documentary vision a new way of dreaming? Does it enmesh the “virtual” with the “physical”?

Novels about robots are still novels. Get over itmore...

enlightenment cave

In the beginning, there was nature. And in spite of the obvious lack of humans to give names to the animals and to categorize the trees, it all basically looked and felt like it does now: Leaves were green and rocks were heavy. Over time, humans (those natural tool makers!) developed a plethora of explanatory concepts and ways of knowing that gave their universe a discernable order. At different times and in different regions of the world, the universe took on vastly different shapes and personalities. There were the four humors, animism, Feng shui and by the mid 1660s some white guys had developed something called experimental philosophy. Today we just call it the scientific method. One of those white guys, Robert Boyle, was particularly vocal about the benefits of the scientific method and objective observation.[1] He believed deeply that if enough men[2] of reputable repute watched something happen, you could call it true. No monarch or bishop required. Thomas Hobbes was skeptical. Not because he believed truth had to come from an authority figure, but because he was, among other concerns, suspicious that by observing effects one could derive the underlying physical causes. While both men had strong and informed opinions about society and the natural world, today we remember Hobbes as a political philosopher and Boyle as one of the first modern scientists. The separation of society and nature didn’t have to look the way it does, but historical and social circumstances encourage us to separate these two realms. more...

liqsurvThis post expounds on just one section of Liquid Surveillance and should not be considered a proper “review” as such, though I have completed a full review for a journal [read it here]. Further, one of the co-authors of this book, David Lyon, is giving the keynote to the Theorizing the Web conference this Saturday in New York City [more info].

In Liquid Surveillance, the theorist of liquidity, Zygmunt Bauman, and the perhaps the preeminent theorist of surveillance, David Lyon, apply their unique perspectives to social media. I’ve already written a general review of the entire book, submitted to a journal; here, I’m expanding on one specific section of the book that was too much for the general review and deserves its own treatment. In any case, this post has more of my own ideas than would be appropriate for a journal review.

for those of us whose bodies seem like a burden or an ontological prison, the Internet functions as a utopia of sorts

Vine’s six seconds feels like an eternity

These messages are intended specifically to shame and frighten women out of engaging online

I hear ‘clickclickclickclickclick’ all over the place…they are photographing me, and now I’m pissed. I felt like a zoo animal

Facebook is not *doing* anything to society

we don’t like seeing Apple bloggers imply Android’s success doesn’t count because what—poor people don’t count?

Why do we photograph the aftermath of misadventure?

Plato was right. The efficient and durable externalization of memory makes us personally indifferent to remembrancemore...

Image credit: Audrey Penven, “Dancing with Invisible Light”

Once upon a time in Winchester, VA, a nurse and a psychologist wondered what to name their second child (a newborn boy). This little boy would one day grow up to be a famous politician, so it was important to give him a good name. Eventually they settled on Richard (which means “powerful leader”) for a first name, and John (which means “God is gracious”) for a middle name; they gave him his father’s last name, because that was the custom at the time. Yet today, when someone says “Santorum,” do you first think of the former U.S. Senator? Or do you maybe think of columnist and gay rights activist Dan Savage?

Much to the former Senator’s likely chagrin, “santorum” is an excellent example of how words (and objects) that were not originally intended or designed to be “political” can take on new meanings–as well as new politics–once out in the world. more...

image source: US Air Force

A great many words – though a lot of people would probably say not nearly enough – have been spent on the United States’s drone war, on what it means, on who dies, on what it suggests about what war will look like in the future, though of course we appear to remain generally unconcerned about what it looks like to civilians on the ground watching their villages explode. But a recent piece by Adam Rothstein in The State makes a powerful and provocative claim: That when we write and think and talk about “drones”, we’re really writing and thinking and talking about a thing that needs to be understood as distinct from the actual specific varieties of UAVs themselves. more...



Back in October, Nathan Jurgenson (@nathanjurgenson) created a typology of digital dualism, which I followed by mapping this typology onto material conditions that vary in terms of physical-digital enmeshment. Today, I want to apply this typology and its material-mapping to discourses and conditions of embodiment in light of technological advancements. If you have been following the blog and are up-to-date with this line of discussion, feel free to scroll down past the review. more...

now that we have a simple tool—and grammar—for looping a half second of video

The Internet makes this sort of writer-presence easier, more ubiquitous

“What’s the point of this app? To forge a connection, or to gamify the dating process

I’d like to type in “dentists liked by people who don’t like horror movies””

The defining feature of a “real” arcade, however, is that there aren’t really any left

digital technologies enable abundant production, watering-down the meaning of an object and/or interactionmore...

The New Aesthetic and critiques of digital dualism have much in common: they emerged in the same year; the nature of their conclusions are (partly) formed by the method of their construction – that is to say, they originated in the digital and as such are collaborative, speculative, and ongoing; and they both seem to spring from the close attention paid to the enticing bangs, whoops, and crashes issuing from the overlap of our digital and physical worlds. But more than this, I would argue that the two concepts are expressions of one another: it sometimes seems that New Aesthetic artwork is an illustration of digital dualist critiques; and likewise it is possible to read digital dualist critiques as descriptions of New Aesthetic artefacts.

This may appear an undeservedly grand claim, and it is certainly extremely speculative (the concepts involved are too varied and inchoate to ever be proper ‘expressions’ of one another). Nevertheless, as a comparison it does produce some interesting conclusions. Especially when we begin to consider what exactly it is that the New Aesthetic and ‘augmented reality’ theory have in common (I’m using the term  ‘augmented reality’ here as a broad label for thought that runs counter to strict digital dualism). In my own personal analysis the mechanism that links the pair is undoubtedly that of metaphor; that cognitive tool that provides us with mental purchase on abstract, complex concepts and systems. In this case the abstract system is none other than the digital world of the 21 st century. more...

In what follows, I attempt to diagnose the IRL Fetish, or the explicit preference of physical over digital, and in particular, the designation of the former as more “real” than the latter. Bear with me, the punch line is at the end.

I get invited to a lot of things. It’s not because I’m cool or popular—rest assured, I am not. I also get regular messages from friends offering deals on the products that they sell, such as Scentsy, MaryKay, and Tasteful Pleasures. It’s not because I’m rich or have expressed interest in these products—rest assured, I am a poor post-doc far more likely to buy new running shoes than liquefying candle wax .  Rather, I receive these invitations, messages, and deals because I am part of a large Facebook network, through which information can be easily spread.  And as a recipient under these circumstances, I think little of not only declining invitations and consumptive offerings, but often completely ignoring said objects with a fully clear conscience. No, I do not want any Fifty Shades of Grey Toys, nor do I want to attend an event entitled “Come Punch Me in the Face” (yes, that was an *actual* event someone invited me to), and I feel no inclination to articulate my decline, but assume that my silence implies disinterest. more...