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The Digital Humanist: A Critical Inquiry

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ISBN: 9780692580448 Year: Pages: 262 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0120.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Computer Science
Added to DOAB on : 2019-06-12 09:24:37
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This book offers a critical introduction to the core technologies underlying the Internet from a humanistic perspective. It provides a cultural critique of computing technologies, by exploring the history of computing and examining issues related to writing, representing, archiving and searching. The book raises awareness of, and calls for, the digital humanities to address the challenges posed by the linguistic and cultural divides in computing, the clash between communication and control, and the biases inherent in networked technologies. A common problem with publications in the Digital Humanities is the dominance of the Anglo-American perspective. While seeking to take a broader view, the book attempts to show how cultural bias can become an obstacle to innovation both in the methodology and practice of the Digital Humanities. Its central point is that no technological instrument is culturally unbiased, and that all too often the geography that underlies technology coincides with the social and economic interests of its producers. The alternative proposed in the book is one of a world in which variation, contamination and decentralization are essential instruments for the production and transmission of digital knowledge. It is thus necessary not only to have spaces where DH scholars can interact (such as international conferences, THATCamps, forums and mailing lists), but also a genuine sharing of technological know-how and experience.

The Digital Dionysus: Nietzsche and the Network-Centric Condition

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ISBN: 9780692270790 Year: Pages: 286 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0149.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Media and communication
Added to DOAB on : 2019-06-12 09:24:35
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Can Nietzsche be considered a thinker of media and mediation, as the German media theorist Friedrich Kittler declared in his influential book Gramophone, Film, Typewriter? Nietzsche was a truly transdisciplinary thinker, one who never fit into his own nineteenth-century surroundings and who recognized himself as a “herald and precursor” of the future, of our globally-reticulated digital present. Perhaps not since Kittler has there been a study — let alone an anthology — that re-assesses and re-evaluates Nietzsche’s thought in light of the technically mediated and machinic conditions of the human in the age of digital networks.

Bigger Than You: Big Data and Obesity

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ISBN: 9780692652831 Year: Pages: 70 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0135.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Social Sciences
Added to DOAB on : 2019-06-12 09:24:36
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In her first inquiry toward a decelerationist aesthetics, Katherine Behar explores in this essay chapbook the rise of two “big deal” contemporary phenomena, big data and obesity. In both, scale rearticulates the human as a diffuse informational pattern, causing important shifts in political form as well as aesthetic form. Bigness redraws relationships between the singular and the collective. Understood as informational patterns, collectives can be radically inclusive, even incorporating nonhumans. As a result, the political subject is slowly becoming a new object. This social and informational body belongs to no single individual, but is shared in solidarity with something “bigger than you.” In decelerationist aesthetics, the aesthetic properties, proclivities, and performances of objects come to defy the accelerationist imperative to be nimbly individuated. Decelerationist aesthetics rejects atomistic, liberal, humanist subjects; this unit of self is too consonant with capitalist relations and functions. Instead, decelerationist aesthetics favors transhuman sociality embodied in particulate, mattered objects; the aesthetic form of such objects resists capitalist speed and immediacy by taking back and taking up space and time. In just this way, big data calls into question the conventions by which humans are defined as discrete entities, and individual scales of agency are made to form central binding pillars of social existence through which bodies are drawn into relations of power and pathos

The Critique of Digital Capitalism: An Analysis of the Political Economy of Digital Culture and Technology

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ISBN: 9780692598443 Year: Pages: 262 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0125.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Economics
Added to DOAB on : 2019-06-12 09:24:37
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Anything that can be automated, will be. The “magic” that digital technology has brought us — self-driving cars, Bitcoin, high frequency trading, internet of things, social networking, mass surveillance, the 2009 housing bubble — has not been considered ideologically. The Critique of Digital Capitalism identifies how digital technology has captured contemporary society in a reification of capitalist priorities. The theory proposed in this book is the description of how digital capitalism as an ideologically “invisible” framework is realized in technology. Written as a series of articles between 2003 and 2015, it provides a broad critical scope for understanding the inherent demands of capitalist protocols for expansion without constraint (regardless of social, legal or ethical limits) that are increasingly being realized as autonomous systems no longer dependent on human labor or oversight and implemented without social discussion of their impacts. The digital illusion of infinite resources, infinite production, and no costs appears as an “end to scarcity,” whereby digital production supposedly eliminates costs and makes everything equally available to everyone. This fantasy of production without consumption hides the physical costs and real-world impacts of these technologies.

Hephaestus Reloaded

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ISBN: 9781950192359 9781950192366 Year: Pages: 118 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0258.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Philosophy --- Languages and Literatures
Added to DOAB on : 2019-12-13 11:21:03
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Hephaestus Reloaded / Efesto Reloaded, presented in a bilingual (English/Italian) publication, and whose five authors are from Greece, Italy, and the US, invokes as its first inspiration the myth of Hephaestus who embodied a twofold entity: both disabled and technically capacious. The myth of Hephaestus has been passed across the centuries as an ancient metaphor signifying the idea of becoming-world, in which any distinction between the natural and the artificial, or the organic and the technical, is blurred. Human beings, by virtue of their physical vulnerabilities and limits, have enhanced their technological powers to the point of transcending their own given nature. At present, a variety of critical discourses in disciplines such as philosophy, history, aesthetics, and cognitive sciences pay attention to our becoming-hybrid (organic and mechanical beings) – unleashing a space for research that probes the concept of transcendence. Each of the contributions in this book addresses – through its own peculiar perspective, method and experimental style – a new way to approach the role of transcendence in socio-cultural life.In the Occidental history of ideas, the notion of transcendence has received at least three canonical articulations that are challenged by this book: religious (Judeo-Christian traditions), philosophical (Platonic-intellectual universality of ideas), and scientific (the objective and technological turn of knowledge). Nonetheless, it is with the rise of cybernetics, with its digital and virtual modalities of systems, networks, and knowledge, that our human environment emerges as a source of knowledge in itself -- not simply as an object but rather as an immersive agency in which nature, knowledge, technique merge. The transcendence of the actual and the virtual into a “third” element is construed and analyzed in this book through conceptual schemes that rely on a post-binary or non-binary understanding of coincidences, triangulations, hybrids, or post-human combinatorics. What is ultimately explored is how transcendence is ejected from strictly theological, philosophical, or scientific groundings and emerges as a germinating point of becoming (something else).

Tar for Mortar: "The Library of Babel" and the Dream of Totality

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ISBN: 9781947447509 9781947447516 Year: Pages: 106 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0196.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Languages and Literatures
Added to DOAB on : 2019-06-12 09:24:31
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Tar for Mortar offers an in-depth exploration of one of literature’s greatest tricksters, Jorge Luis Borges. His short story “The Library of Babel” is a signature examplar of this playfulness, though not merely for the inverted world it imagines, where a library thought to contain all possible permutations of all letters and words and books is plumbed by pious librarians looking for divinely pre-fabricated truths. One must grapple as well with the irony of Borges’s narration, which undermines at every turn its narrator’s claims of the library’s universality, including the very possibility of exhausting meaning through combinatory processing. Borges directed readers to his non-fiction to discover the true author of the idea of the universal library. But his supposedly historical essays are notoriously riddled with false references and self-contradictions. Whether in truth or in fiction, Borges never reaches a stable conclusion about the atomic premises of the universal library — is it possible to find a character set capable of expressing all possible meaning, or do these letters, like his stories and essays, divide from themselves in a restless incompletion? While many readers of Borges see him as presaging our digital technologies, they often give too much credit to our inventions in doing so. Those who elide the necessary incompletion of the Library of Babel compare it to the Internet on the assumption that both are total archives of all possible thought and expression. Though Borges’s imaginings lend themselves to digital creativity (libraryofbabel.info is certainly evidence of this), they do so by showing the necessary incompleteness of every totalizing project, no matter how technologically refined. Ultimately, Basile nudges readers toward the idea that a fictional/imaginary exposition can hold a certain power over technology

Moonbit

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ISBN: 9781950192335 9781950192342 Year: Pages: 152 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0260.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Agriculture (General) --- Languages and Literatures
Added to DOAB on : 2019-07-27 11:21:02
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"Moonbit is a hybrid work comprised of experimental poetry and a critical theory of the poetics and politics of computer code. It offers an extended intellectual and creative engagement with the affordances of computer software through multiple readings and re-writings of a singular text, the source code of the Apollo 11 Guidance Computer or the “AGC.” Moonbit re-marks and remixes the code that made space travel possible. Half of this book is erasure poetry that uses the AGC code as the source text, building on the premise that code can speak beyond its functional purpose. When we think about the 1960s U.S. space program and obscure scientific computer code, we might not first think about the Watts riots, Shakespeare, Winnie the Pooh, T.S. Eliot, or scatological jokes. Yet these cultural references and influences along with many more are scattered throughout the body of the code that powered the compact digital computer that successfully guided astronauts to the Moon and back and in July of 1969. Moonbit unravels and rewrites the many embedded cultural references that were braided together within the language resources of mid-century computer code. Moonbit also provides a gentle, non-expert introduction to the text of the AGC code, to digital poetics, and to critical code studies. Outlining a capacious interpretive practice, Moonbit takes up all manner of imaginative decodings and recodings of this code. It introduces some of the major existing approaches to the study of code and culture while provide multiple readings of the source code along with an explanation and theorization of the way in which the code works, as both a computational and a cultural text."

Massa por Argamassa

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ISBN: 9781950192458 9781950192465 Year: DOI: 10.21983/P3.0264.1.00 Language: Portuguese
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Languages and Literatures
Added to DOAB on : 2019-09-16 11:21:03
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"Mass by Mortar presents an in-depth exploration of one of the greatest illusionists in literature, Jorge Luis Borges. His tale" The Library of Babel "is an illustrious example of its playful ability, though not only because of the inverted world imagined in it in the past. which a library, which supposedly contains all possible combinations of all letters, words, and books, is searched by devout librarians for divinely prefabricated truths, for one also has to deal with the irony of Borges's narration, which constantly puts check the narrator's claims about the universality of the library, including the very possibility of exhausting the possible meanings through a combinatorial process.

Post Memes

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ISBN: 9781950192434 9781950192441 Year: Pages: 423 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0255.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Media and communication
Added to DOAB on : 2019-11-13 11:21:03
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Art-form, send-up, farce, ironic disarticulation, pastiche, propaganda, trololololol, mode of critique, mode of production, means of politicisation, even of subjectivation -- memes are the inner currency of the internet’s circulatory system. Independent of any one set value, memes are famously the mode of conveyance for the alt-right, the irony left, and the apoliticos alike,  and they are impervious to many economic valuations: the attempts made in co-opting their discourse in advertising and big business have made little headway, and have usually been derailed by retaliative meming. Post-Memes: Seizing the Memes of Production takes advantage of the meme’s subversive adaptability and ripeness for a focused, in-depth study. Pulling together the interrogative forces of a raft of thinkers at the forefront of tech theory and media dissection, this collection of essays paves a way to articulating the semiotic fabric of the early 21st century’s most prevalent means of content posting, and aims at the very seizing of the memes of production for the imagining and creation of new political horizons.With contributions from Scott and McKenzie Wark, Patricia Reed, Jay Owens, Thomas Hobson and Kaajal Modi, Dominic Pettman, Bogna M. Konior, and Eric Wilson, among others, this essay volume offers the freshest approaches available in the field of memes studies and inaugurates a new kind of writing about the newest manifestations of the written online. The book aims to become the go-to resource for all students and scholars of memes, and will be of the utmost interest to anyone interested in the internet’s most viral phenomenon.

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