“‘In the philosophy of the internet, we are among peers, equal, without social distinction, whatever your age, gender, income or status in real life,’ Besson says.
Addressing someone as ‘vous’ – or expecting to be addressed as ‘vous’ – on the other hand, implies hierarchy.”
“Schüll’s Addiction systematically builds on her basic argument that, ‘just as certain individuals are more vulnerable to addiction than others, it is also the case that some objects, by virtue of their unique pharmacologic or structural characteristics, are more likely than others to trigger or accelerate an addiction.’”
“Cyberasociality and the Online Sociality Divide: Third Level Digital Divide?”: Provocative working paper by sociologist Zeynep Tufekci. Well-worth the time.
“To test the idea whether the acceptance of the idea of deep bonds and real friendships being established online was mostly a cohort effect, I undertook a rolling survey of undergraduate students in a mid-sized public university in the mid-Atlantic during 2007 and 2008 …
The result, reported in Tufekci (2010) showed that there was a substantive segment of even this population, about 51 percent, who believed that an online-only deep friendship was not possible. Statistical analyses also showed that this was not a byproduct of offline sociality, i.e. some people who were sociable offline were also sociable offline and vice versa.”
“Your brain on pseudoscience: the rise of popular neurobollocks”: Neurobollocks … yes, this essay did appear in a British publication.
“In this light, one might humbly venture a preliminary diagnosis of the pop brain hacks’ chronic intellectual error. It is that they misleadingly assume we always know how to interpret such “hidden” information, and that it is always more reliably meaningful than what lies in plain view. The hucksters of neuroscientism are the conspiracy theorists of the human animal, the 9/11 Truthers of the life of the mind.”
“Having opened up a chasm between the informational and material, we’re rapidly trying to close it. And sitting right at the interface between the two is this object we call a phone, but that is actually the bridge between the offline and online. My guess is that however the phone looks, whoever makes it, and whatever robot army it controls, the role of the phone in 10 years will be to marry our flesh and data ever more tightly.”
“‘Symbolic efficiency,’ ‘liquid modernity’ and identity-capacity”: First line would’ve made a better title, “how ‘becoming oneself’ has turned into a crappy job.”
“There is no respite from self-construction; it’s a cathedral that can’t be completed. And the inevitable failures and shortcomings of our identity in progress, our inevitable disappointment with what we have and what we see being promised, what others seem to be allowed to enjoy, becomes our fault. Politics seems not to be a viable avenue to addressing our disgruntlement; instead soul-searching and more and more elaborate consumption, and just as important, mediated declarations of who we think we are by virtue of that consumption.”