Friday, December 11, 2015

DHQ Review // Silicon Valley and Silicon Slopes

My review of Alice Marwick's Status Update is now available on Digital Humanities Quarterly.  Marwick's book is in many ways an ethnography of Silicon Valley entrepreneurial culture as it's lived through social media and it's an illuminating description of life lived in a distinct time and in a distinct place.  Living here in Utah in 2015 I keep asking: do her descriptions have applicability here and now as well?

Apropos of the above question long term I would like the Weber State Center For Technology Outreach to invite in a few speakers who can talk about Silicon Valley culture and compare it to Utah's own indigenous entrepreneurial culture (which is sometimes called Silicon Slopes).  A couple of years ago Vauhini Vara at the New Yorker ran a piece called How Utah Became The Next Silicon Valley.  It's time for some followup reflections.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Wasting Time

 In today’s busy, technology-driven world, time is of the essence. An award-winning scholar and author will explore how previous generations have grappled with wasted time at Weber State University, Oct. 21 at 1:30 p.m. in the Stewart Library Hetzel-Hoellein Room. More...

Sunday, August 16, 2015

All Is Vanity - Denigration of Selfies as a Form of Social Regulation (or: "iphone, iphone in my hand, who is the fairest in the land?)

In Ann Burns' Self(ie)-Discipline: Social Regulation as Enacted Through the Discussion of Photographic Practice (discussed also in Nathan Jurgenson' s What is a Selfie?)  Burns argues that commentary about selfies has "a regulatory function" that not only " acts as a cloaked expression of sexist attitudes but also defines and stigmatizes a specific group of subjects."  Whether this is true or not it reminds me a bit of Charles Allen Gilbert's 1892 drawing titled "All Is Vanity:"

I came across the above in Claire Tanner's Vanity, 21st Century Selves ( MacMillan, 2013).

Toward the end of "What Is A Selfie?"  Jurgenson suggests that the term "selfie" is somewhat fluid and that we should study those changing meanings since the "fluid meaning of selfie tracks the fluid meaning of the self."  As we continue our own research on "whether the internet makes people narcissistic" (and other present day anxieties about the internet) this seems like a worthy investigation.  And one that could also be complimented by investigating the fluid significance of words like vanity, humility, narcissism and self-promotion.

Friday, April 3, 2015

A Dangerous Wandering Presentation at Weber State

Matt Richtel's very engaging presentation at Weber State University on March 19th sponsored by the Technology Outreach Center, the Provost's Office, the College of Arts and Humanities, the Psychology Department and the Neuroscience Program.