[-empyre-] HYBRID BOOKWORK, Week Two - Paradoxical Publishing, Postmedia, Critical Aesthetics

Michael Dieter M.J.Dieter at uva.nl
Wed Feb 19 06:26:36 EST 2014

Thanks for the post Lukas! I'm also a bit late responding so
apologies, but I did want to just pick up on this point quickly...

"3 Post-Digital. After reading the mails from last week i asked my
friend about 'post-digital' and he said 'Alzheimers'. I thought this
was something, as it brought up the human connection, which i
completely miss in your notes. Also, it could be turned in as the
'space left by the absence of the digital' - a generative amnesia,
sort of. Unlearning learning, Tech drugs and the Kurzweil Cyborg, all
the archives etc come in here. Just my thoughts without juggle-stretch
terms too much."

Post-digital brain damage - this is one of the more interesting
definitions I've read! While I'm a bit skeptical of neurological
explanations for what the web has done to us ala Carr's Is Google
Making Us Stupid, continual partial awareness, overall cognitive
fatigue and a sense of informationally-induced distraction is
something I do recognize in myself. Sometimes I wonder if I'm just
getting older and have more responsibilities.

There is a real problem of our technologies being always on, too many
browser tabs open, the smart phone buzzing an email update, the
continual connection to social media streams - 24/7, real subsumption.
Of course, there's the obvious pharmacological dimensions of the info
attention economy as well, the rise of ADHD diagnoses, what Bifo
theorizes as the pharmacological character of the 'schizo-economy' -
including the need for 'panic' to be alleviated through the use of
cocaine, ritalin, speed, modafinil and other nootropics. Maybe
disciplinary software like Freedom and Anti-Social has something
post-digital about it, or more accurately, Morozov's locked up router
cable, smartphone and screwdrivers? That's the real neo-analogue

In any case, this backdrop of attention is crucial I think in terms of
how people deal with books today. It is something that Hayles, for
instance, has explored in her book How We Think within the context of
education and literary studies. Certainly, coping strategies have now
also become a major topic in the mainstream press, even when it comes
to ebooks as well -

- M.

Michael Dieter
Media Studies
The University of Amsterdam
Turfdraagsterpad 9
1012 XT Amsterdam

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