Political Economy in Mumford’s “Technics & Civilization”

I've written about the media ecology tradition, attended the Media Ecology Association's conferences and had an article published in their journal, but up to now Marshall McLuhan's Understanding Media and Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death are the only primary texts associated with the tradition that I've read. To broaden my knowledge of the tradition … Continue reading Political Economy in Mumford’s “Technics & Civilization”

Chris Hedges interviews Chomsky; Žižek on illusion of freedom; Bogost on ‘Darmok’ and ‘Yo’

Journalist and media critic Chris Hedges recently interviewed Noam Chomsky. Hedge's writeup of the discussion is up at Truthdig: Chomsky believes that the propaganda used to manufacture consent, even in the age of digital media, is losing its effectiveness as our reality bears less and less resemblance to the portrayal of reality by the organs … Continue reading Chris Hedges interviews Chomsky; Žižek on illusion of freedom; Bogost on ‘Darmok’ and ‘Yo’

Critical perspectives on the Isla Vista spree killer, media coverage

  Immediately following Elliot Rodger's spree killing in Isla Vista, CA last month Internet users discovered his YouTube channel and a 140-page autobiographical screed, dubbed a "manifesto" by the media. The written document and the videos documented Rodger's sexual frustration and his chronic inability to connect with other people. He specifically lashed out at women … Continue reading Critical perspectives on the Isla Vista spree killer, media coverage

TV still sucks, we should still complain about hipsters, your job shouldn’t exist

In an article for Salon, Alexander Zaitchik assails the current "golden age" of television, and the resultant binge watching, spoiler fearing, TV-obsessed (pop) culture we're living in: None of this could be happening at a worse time. According to the latest S.O.S. from climate science, we have maybe 15 years to enact a radical civilizational … Continue reading TV still sucks, we should still complain about hipsters, your job shouldn’t exist

Žižek on post-U.S. order, Harvey on Piketty, Rushkoff’s new job and doc

Writing in The Guardian, Slavoj Žižek  considers the capitalist global order in a world without superpowers: The "American century" is over, and we have entered a period in which multiple centres of global capitalism have been forming. In the US, Europe, China and maybe Latin America, too, capitalist systems have developed with specific twists: the … Continue reading Žižek on post-U.S. order, Harvey on Piketty, Rushkoff’s new job and doc

Video mélange: David Harvey, Antonio Negri, and Saints Row IV

David Harvey has a new book out, Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism. In this video Harvey speaks about the contradictions of capitalism (approx. 19 mins): I recently stumbled across this nearly hour-long documentary on Antonio Negri, titled The Revolt that Never Ends: Lastly, this video from Errant Signal considers Saints Row IV as … Continue reading Video mélange: David Harvey, Antonio Negri, and Saints Row IV

Ender’s Game analyzed, the Stanley Parable explored, Political Economy of zombies, semiotics of Twitter, much more

It's been a long time since the last update (what happened to October?), so this post is extra long in an attempt to catch up. I haven't seen the new Ender's Game movie, but this review by abbeyotis at Cyborgology calls the film "a lean and contemporary plunge into questions of morality mediated by technology": … Continue reading Ender’s Game analyzed, the Stanley Parable explored, Political Economy of zombies, semiotics of Twitter, much more

Manifesto for a Ludic Century, ludonarrative dissonance in GTA, games and mindf*cks, and more

Kotaku recently posted a "manifesto" by game designer Eric Zimmerman declaring that the 21st century will be defined by games: Systems, play, design: these are not just aspects of the Ludic Century, they are also elements of gaming literacy. Literacy is about creating and understanding meaning, which allows people to write (create) and read (understand). … Continue reading Manifesto for a Ludic Century, ludonarrative dissonance in GTA, games and mindf*cks, and more

Inside Korea’s gaming culture, virtual worlds and economic modeling, Hollywood’s Summer of Doom continues, and more

I've long been fascinated by the gaming culture in South Korea, and Tom Massey has written a great feature piece for Eurogamer titled Seoul Caliber: Inside Korea's Gaming Culture. From this westerner's perspective, having never visited Korea, the article reads almost more like cyberpunk fiction than games journalism: Not quite as ubiquitous, but still extremely common, are PC Bangs: … Continue reading Inside Korea’s gaming culture, virtual worlds and economic modeling, Hollywood’s Summer of Doom continues, and more

Videodrome turns 30

David Cronenberg's Videodrome premiered in February 1983. To mark the 30th anniversary of the film's release, Cyborgology co-founder Nathan Jurgenson reflects on the New Flesh in relation to contemporary social media: Videodrome’s depiction of techno-body synthesis is, to be sure, intense; Cronenberg has the unusual talent of making violent, disgusting, and erotic things seem even … Continue reading Videodrome turns 30