Today’s internet is not the utopia that the technology-builders promised. With disinformation campaigns, hate groups, bullying, advertisements, and corporate and government surveillance, it’s hard to feel optimistic about life online. These problems are not incidental to today’s platforms– they grow out of structures and assumptions that are built into the foundations of these systems. This episode introduces a series of episodes about the history of the elements that make up the social web. By looking at the underlying political philosophies, struggles and comprises between competing visions, and paths not taken, we can better understand the origin of the problems and imagine new kinds of solutions.
Music is from Broke for Free.
The theoretical basis for this episode comes out of a variety of critical perspectives. I’ll dig into specific elements of those traditions in future episodes, but I can put a few stakes in the ground here by saying that lately I’ve been thinking about Theodor Adorno’s Negative Dialectics and Michel Foucault’s Language, counter-memory, practice. Also, the discussion of the power dynamics and importance of paying attention to multiple stories from multiple perspective also brings to mind Chimamanda Adichie, “The Danger of a Single Story,” TEDGlobal 2009.
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