arab spring media

My friend ↑Vít Šisler just notified me via email that ↑CyberOrient 6(1) is out. Vít writes: [The new issue] aims for critical and evidence-based evaluation of the use of social media in the Arab Spring, the coverage of the Arab Spring in cyberspace and beyond, and the remediation and appropriation between social media and traditional media outlets, including satellite TVs and the press. See also ↵anthropologists on egypt, ↵irevolution in bahrain, and especially ↵heretics house tripoli and its follow-up ↵teliasonera’s black boxes. For those into computer games, check out ↑Vít’s publications, ↵computer games, Islam, and politics, and ↵tahta al-hisar—under siege. … Continue reading

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talking science studies

This comes very handy as I am right now putting the final touches to the class ‘Science and Technology Studies’ which I’ll deliver the coming semester: Thomas Lohninger, founder of, and force behind ↑Talking Anthropology, has done an interview on science studies with ↑Ulrike Felt: ↓TA43—Wissenschaftsforschung [in German | 01:55:54]. I haven’t listened to it yet, but the comprehensive description and given links do look very promising. Hopefully the two hours are suited as introductory material for the students. … Continue reading

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space aircraft carriers

Conceptual art for S.H.I.E.L.D.’s airborne aircraft carrier, the ‘↑Helicarrier,’ as seen in ‘↑The Avengers‘ (Whedon 2012). ↑Christopher Weuve, among other things a naval analyst and science fiction geek, ↑talked with Michael Peck of Foreign Policy about the dialectics between naval warfare and space warfare as depicted in science fiction. When Peck asked, “Has sci-fi affected the way that our navies conduct warfare?” Weuve answered: This is a question that I occasionally think about. Many people point to the development of the shipboard Combat Information Center in World War II as being inspired by E.E. Doc Smith’s Lensman novels from the … Continue reading

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irevolution in bahrain

  The role online media played and do play in the so-called Arab Spring is not an easy one to understand. Anthropologists are at it and a student of mine currently prepares a thesis—and from what I have seen till now he already produced interesting insights. The ongoings around Amber Lyon’s segment of the CNN-documentary ‘iRevolution’ adds a new layer. You can read the whole ↑backstory of CNN suppressing its own documentary at the Guardian. via ↑entry at ↑boingboing … Continue reading

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relational reality revisited

Having ↵mentioned Alex ‘↑Rex‘ ↑Golub‘s ‘↓Being in the World (of Warcraft)‘ (2010), I allow myself to point you to my ‘The Stability of Cyberspace’ which I first presented at the Cyberspace 2005 International Conference, and which subsequently was published in the conference’s proceedings (2006).     In order to grapple with the problem of reality, Rex draws on ↑Alfred Schütz and ↑William James (Golub 2010: 24, 33, 39, 40)—the same choice I made in ‘↓The Stability of Cyberspace‘ [just uploaded the thing for your convenience]—here is the, somewhat preposterous, abstract: The lack of a suitable understanding of reality experienced by … Continue reading

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at tannhaeuser gate

  At boingboing they currently have ‘a ↑series of essays about movies that have had a profound effect on our invited essayists.’ The day before yesterday it was ↑Gareth Branwyn’s turn. From his ‘Like Tears in the Rain:’ I can’t really say what made such a fundamental impact on me. The dark noir mood of the film, certainly, and the questions it raises about the nature of life, memory, what constitutes humanity, and whether “androids dream of electric sheep…” What I didn’t know I was looking at was a cyberpunk aesthetic that I would soon become completely immersed in, through … Continue reading

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our mundane world

In a longer blogpost/essay ↑on his Rule 34 Charlie Stross wrote, among other things: We’re living in the 21st century: it’s not possible to write a novel that seriously explores modern life without a background that includes rapid, cheap international travel: the commercial space industry: smartphones and the internet and spam: social networking sites, Facebook and Twitter: the rapidly shifting reference points of life expectancy, gender roles, and politics.     The mundane world we live in is rapidly accreting the baroque trappings of a science fiction novel. The internet has exploded messily across the world around us: ignoring its … Continue reading

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fun times ahead

According to Kaspersky ↵Stuxnet has ↑an heir. Here are two snippets from Wired’s report on it—mind the rhetorics: “It’s pretty fantastic and incredible in complexity,” said Alexander Gostev, chief security expert at Kaspersky Lab. […]     “It took us half-a-year to analyze Stuxnet,” he said. “This is 20-times more complicated. It will take us 10 years to fully understand everything.” To my cyberpunk-infested mind this sounds as if some mysterious AI has written the thing, maybe even ↵Colossus himself … And if ↑this is true as well, there for sure are fun times ahead. … Continue reading

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teliasonera’s black boxes

Here’s the timely follow-up to ↵heretics house tripoli, an hour-long feature by the Swedish news show Uppdrag Granskning, investigating the entanglement of Swedish telecom giant ↑TeliaSonera with authoritarian regimes—especially in ex-Soviet states. From ↑Eva Galperin’s write-up at EFF: According to a recent investigation by the Swedish news show Uppdrag Granskning, Sweden’s telecommunications giant Teliasonera is the latest Western country revealed to be colluding with authoritarian regimes by selling them high-tech surveillance gear to spy on its citizens. Teliasonera has allegedly enabled the governments of Belarus, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Georgia and Kazakhstan to spy on journalists, union leaders, and members of … Continue reading

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heretics house tripoli

Much has been said and written about the role of social media and the Internet during the Arab Spring. Especially the liberating potentials of these technologies are discussed, even anthropologists are belabouring the topic. But, and that’s the ↵core theme of cyberpunk, technologies are fundamentally ambivalent. Just yesterday ↑Jamming Tripoli: Inside Moammar Gadhafi’s secret surveillance network by Matthieu Aikins was published by Wired: [The] activists would suffer greatly at the hands of Gadhafi’s spy service, whose own capabilities had been heightened by 21st-century technology. By now, it’s well known that the Arab Spring showed the promise of the Internet as … Continue reading

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