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A firsthand account and incisive analysis of modern protest, revealing internet-fueled social movements’ greatest strengths and frequent challenges To understand a thwarted Turkish coup, an anti–Wall Street encampment, and a packed Tahrir Square, we must first comprehend the power and the weaknesses of using new technologies to mobilize large numbers of people. An incisive observer, writer, and participant in today’s social movements, Zeynep Tufekci explains in this accessible and compelling book the nuanced trajectories of modern protests—how they form, how they operate differently from past protests, and why they have difficulty persisting in their long-term quests for change. Tufekci speaks from direct experience, combining on-the-ground interviews with insightful analysis. She describes how the internet helped the Zapatista uprisings in Mexico, the necessity of remote Twitter users to organize medical supplies during Arab Spring, the refusal to use bullhorns in the Occupy Movement that started in New York, and the empowering effect of tear gas in Istanbul’s Gezi Park. These details from life inside social movements complete a moving investigation of authority, technology, and culture—and offer essential insights into the future of governance.
One of the signal developments in democratic culture around the world in the past half-decade has been the increasing power of social media to both spread information and shape opinions. After the Arab Spring of 2011, many pointed to the liberating potential of platforms like Facebook andTwitter. Yet five years later, as many Americans reeled in shock from the election of an authoritarian bullshit artist (using philosopher Harry Frank's technical definition of the term), a few perceptive observers began looking at new at the social and political effects of dominant social mediaplatforms, particularly Facebook. And they did not like what they saw.The media studies and IP scholar Siva Vaidhyanathan is one of those sharp observers, and in Anti-Social Media he argues that our descent into dystopia stems in no small part from trends that have developed in the online world. The 2016 election saw a remarkable and dispiriting increase of peoplehiving themselves off within ideological echo chambers and treating fake news as real. Vaidhyanathan provides a structural explanation of why this happened, and he has located a culprit: social media, and more specifically Facebook. The founders of Facebook may have had (some) good intentions, buthe contends that they have created a Frankenstein's monster that they have neither the will nor capacity to rein in. Fake news abounds, and the algorithms that undergird the platform drive people inexorably to news sites that conform to their ideological predilections - which Facebook can figure outwith ease. Serious news reporting, already in a parlous state, has suffered even more as people on platforms like Facebook (meaning most people) are bombarded by both snippets of news from multiple sources and ads that look like news. Deliberative democracies require informed citizenries able todistinguish facts and falsehoods. By weakening those skills, social media is eroding the very foundations of our democratic republican culture. Social media-driven false news campaigns and ideological echo chambers are not only visible in the US, either - they are clearly on the rise in Europe andacross the developing world too. Vaidhyanathan closes by offering offers a number of smart policy proposals that attack the problem, but they will undoubtedly be hard to enact. But the first order of business when facing a significant new crisis is to recognize its existence and explain what it is.Anti-Social Media promises to be that path-breaking initial step toward understanding how social media is quickly undermining not only centuries of democratic progress, but civil society itself.
The Smartphone Paradox is a critical examination of our everyday mobile technologies and the effects that they have on our thoughts and behaviors. Alan J. Reid presents a comprehensive view of smartphones: the research behind the uses and gratifications of smartphones, the obstacles they present, the opportunities they afford, and how everyone can achieve a healthy, technological balance. It includes interviews with smartphone users from a variety of backgrounds, and translates scholarly research into a conversational tone, making it easy to understand a synthesis of key findings and conclusions from a heavily-researched domain. All in all, through the lens of smartphone dependency, the book makes the argument for digital mindfulness in a device age that threatens our privacy, sociability, attention, and cognitive abilities.
Scholars across the humanities, social sciences, and information sciences are grappling with how best to study virtual environments, use computational tools in their research, and engage audiences with their results. Classic work in science and technology studies (STS) has played a central role in how these fields analyze digital technologies, but many of its key examples do not speak to today’s computational realities. This groundbreaking collection brings together a world-class group of contributors to refresh the canon for contemporary digital scholarship. In twenty-five pioneering and incisive essays, this unique digital field guide offers innovative new approaches to digital scholarship, the design of digital tools and objects, and the deployment of critically grounded technologies for analysis and discovery. Contributors cover a broad range of topics, including software development, hackathons, digitized objects, diversity in the tech sector, and distributed scientific collaborations. They discuss methodological considerations of social networks and data analysis, design projects that can translate STS concepts into durable scientific work, and much more. Featuring a concise introduction by Janet Vertesi and David Ribes and accompanied by an interactive microsite, this book provides new perspectives on digital scholarship that will shape the agenda for tomorrow’s generation of STS researchers and practitioners.
What does it take to change the world? This book will show you how to harness the power of CASCADES to create a revolutionary movement! If you could make a change—any change you wanted—what would it be? Would it be something in your organization or your industry? Maybe something it’s in your community or throughout society as a whole? Creating true change is never easy. Most startups don’t survive. Most community groups never get beyond small local actions. Even when a spark catches fire and protesters swarm the streets, it often seems to fizzle out almost as fast as it started. The status quo is, almost by definition, well entrenched and never gives up without a fight. In this groundbreaking book, one of today's top innovation experts delivers a guide for driving transformational change. To truly change the world or even just your little corner of it, you don’t need a charismatic leader or a catchy slogan. What you need is a cascade: small groups that are loosely connected but united by a common purpose. As individual entities, these groups may seem inconsequential, but when they synchronize their collective behavior as networks, they become immensely powerful. Through the power of cascades, a company can be made anew, an industry disrupted, or even an entire society reshaped. As Satell takes us through past and present movements, he explains exactly why and how some succeed while others fail.

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