Invited talk about “Internet Prosumption in Contemporary Capitalism” at the ESA 2011 Conference

On September 9th, I have given an invited semi-plenary talk about “Internet Prosumption in Contemporary Capitalism” at the 10th Conference of the European Sociological Association (topic: “Social Relations in Turbulent Times”) that took place at the University of Geneva in Switzerland.

Social Media and the UK Riots: “Twitter Mobs”, “Facebook Mobs”, “Blackberry Mobs” and the Structural Violence of Neoliberalism

The UK riots are not a “Blackberry mob”, not a “Facebook mob” and not a “Twitter mob”; they are the effects of the structure violence of neoliberalism. Capitalism, crisis and class are the main contexts of unrests, uproar and social media today.

Nuclear Catastrophe, Fukushima, The Fourth World War, Immateriality, Forsmark, “the Information Society” and the Red-Green Crisis of Capitalism

We do not live in an immaterial information society. Rather, Fukushima’s inhumanity, the masses of human lives that it will destroy and kill, is indicative of the materiality of capitalism – its bestial, life-threatening, human-killing materiality. Fukushima stems from the immanence of the expansive, accumulation-based mode of production in the various capitalisms. The Fourth World War has not taken on the form of a nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union, it is happening now. The Fourth World War has a double feature, a red one and a green one

Special issue of tripleC: Capitalist Crisis, Communication & Culture

“Capitalism […] is approaching an apocalyptic zero-point” (Slavoj Žižek).

What is the role of communication in the general situation of capitalist crisis?
The global economic downturn is an indicator of a new worldwide capitalist crisis. The main focus of most public debates as well as of economic and policy analyses is the role of finance capital and the housing market in creating the crisis, less attention is given to the role of communication technologies, the media, and culture in the world economic crisis. The task of this special issue of tripleC is to present analyses of the role of ICTs, the media, and culture in the current crisis of capitalism. The seven papers focus on the causes, development, and effects of the crisis. Each paper relates one or more of these dimensions to ICTs, the media, or culture.

WikiLeaks – Alternative Internet Medium and Watchdog Platform – and the Critique of the Power Elite

The truth about the WikiLeaks Afghanistan documents is that the platform has the potential to make visible the scale of brutality, violence, and horror of warfare and military conflicts. WikiLeaks can be seen as an alternative media project: it tries to provide information that uncovers the misuse of power by powerful actors, it is an Internet-based medium that enables critiques of power structures. The problem of the WikiLeak self-description is that in the first third of the text, only documenting government corruption is mentioned, whereas documenting corporate irresponsibility and corporate crimes is not. The problem that remains is that in the WikiLeaks self-description, corporate crimes and corporate corruption are only mentioned late and that the notion of civilizing corporations is adopted.

“The world will be better if you share more“: Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook, and Economic Surveillance

The August 2010 issue of Wired Magazine features a story about privacy on Facebook. Is Facebook intended for, as Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg says, “making the world a better place”, or are there other ends?

International Sociological Association (ISA) World Forum, Day 4: John Urry; Public Sociology

On the fourth, final day, of the ISA World Forum, John Urry gave a talk on “Sociology and Climate Change” and there was a concluding debate on public sociology.