allan siegel on Sun, 4 May 2014 17:19:59 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> a political economy of new media

Excerpt from: Astra Taylor’s book "The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age.”
"I definitely thought there was something missing, a critique or an analysis that really emphasized the economic underpinnings of this technological transformation; what I thought was missing, to use the academic phase, was a political economy of new media. And in that sense there wasn’t a book written for a popular audience that was a left critique of the Internet. Because there was Nicholas Carr’s good book “The Shallows,” which I actually quite liked. And Jaron Lanier’s more eccentric and interesting books. But they’re not leftist manifestos.

I felt like there’s something missing from those books too, about the continuation of not just economic hierarchies, which of course I’m paying attention to, because that’s what political economy is all about, but also social hierarchies. And both of them are very concerned with the way that creators have been demoted, and the devaluation of literature, and Jaron Lanier writes about the hive mind. But for me, as a woman, you have to cheer the toppling of the canon and hierarchies because otherwise there’d be no space for you. And to me, being a progressive is wanting progress, wanting change. But I want the change to be toward something more just, more inclusive, more diverse. And so I do think there’s something about being a leftist but also just being a feminist that puts a different twist on this.”


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