the machine stops

  ‘↓The Machine Stops‘ is a science fiction short story or novella by ↑E. M. Forster, first published in 1909. Here is the story’s setting as ↑Wikipedia’s plot summary has it: The story describes a world in which most of the human population has lost the ability to live on the surface of the Earth. Each individual now lives in isolation below ground in a standard ‘cell’, with all bodily and spiritual needs met by the omnipotent, global Machine. Travel is permitted but unpopular and rarely necessary. Communication is made via a kind of instant messaging/video conferencing machine called the … Continue reading

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96 hours later

↑96 hours to the stone age at ↑GigaOM complements ↵behind closed doors and ↵telegeography. The story asks, especially in respect to information technology, what will happen when electrical power won’t be delivered anymore. Well, an apocalypse in the strict sense of the term will happen—a revelation. It will be revealed to all of us in unblinking clearness, on how much hardware around us we depend, which in turn depends on electricity.     The gist of this kind of speculation is informed by scientific methodology: Take an element, or a whole category of elements, out of a system and see … Continue reading

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cybermind

↑MARSHALL, JONATHAN PAUL. 2007. Living on cybermind: Categories, communication, and control. New York: Peter Lang.  Cybermind is an Internet mailing list, originally founded in 1994 to discuss the issues and problems of living online. It proved exceptionally fertile and is still going strong thirteen years later.      This book is an ethnographic investigation which follows Cybermind members in their daily lives on the List, and explores the ways they look at the world, argue, relate online life to offline life, use gender, and build community. Perhaps the most comprehensive history of an Internet group ever published, it includes detailed … Continue reading

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nextgen anthropology jobs

The following excerpts are from a 24 August 2009 ↑press release by Gartner, Inc., a consultancy company focussed on ‘information technology research and advisory […],’ on their report called ‘Social science meets technology in next-generation jobs’:  As individuals and organizations progress in their adoption and leverage of the Web, new work streams and needs will arise, resulting in companies utilizing social sciences to fill next-generation technology jobs […].  The sprawling use of consumer technology is spurring the demand for new skills in the workplace. Gartner said that during the next five years, consumer adoption of technology will accelerate as individuals … Continue reading

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top 100 anthropology blogs

… and some reminiscences of the world’s first anthropological weblog  It doesn’t matter if you’re studying capuchins in South America or the social interactions in American college bars, there is a blogger out there who shares your interests. University students, academics, professors and those who just love anthropology have helped to create a great assortment of online discourse about the field. We’ve compiled a ↑list of 100 that are definitely worth a read. The list compiled by Christina Laun definitely is worth a read, especially as it is structured and commented. What strikes me the most is how much ‘the … Continue reading

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anthropology coming of age

welcome to the 21st century    Since quite a time ↵I was eagerly awaiting ‘↑Coming of age in Second Life: An anthropologist explores the virtually human‘ by ↑Tom Boellstorff—it just arrived with yesterday’s snail-mail, so I had not yet the chance to read Tom’s book from front to back cover. Until now I only read chapter 1 ‘Subject and scope,’ plus a dozen or so random paragraphs from throughout the book. Hence I am not yet qualified to deliver a review, instead I will jot down just some thoughts.  Although ‘↑Second Life‘ (SL) is not the focus of my own … Continue reading

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nine per cent

Dear ↑Mr. President, Come take a walk with me … ;-) ‘Tis a strange realm, cyberspace. Since a couple of years here at ↑Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU), the institution where I am working—or am pretending to do so, there is a lot of talk about the university’s corporate identity, its profile, its international publicity, and so on. Well, you people up there, treat me well if you care about the international reputation of our house. Treating me well starts with calling me Mr. Nine Per Cent [not to be confused with ↑50 Cent] from now on … here is a snippet … Continue reading

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