Author Archives: Matthew K. Gold

Thoughts for Next Week

As we approach the end of the semester, I wanted to thank all seminar participants for such a generative and lively semester. It has been wonderful to explore issues of the cloud, and cloud-based infrastructure with you!

For next week, please be prepared to discuss not only your final projects, but also the following two questions:

1. To what degree are social networks viable in an age of surveillance capital? To what degree can we separate the affordances of social networks — feeds, friends, interfaces — from the proprietary systems (Twitter, Facebook) that we have come to know? Are free software solutions any better, or are the part of (or at least related to) the problems we’ve identified in recent weeks?

2. What does an “infrastructural perspective” look like? How can it be applied? To what degree can it be employed like other critical lenses to shed light on various phenomena, and what kinds of actions, networks, and agencies does it reveal?

Looking forward to seeing you next week for our final class of the semester.

Follow-up to our introductory class

It was great to meet you all today!

Just after class, and in response to my tweet announcing the course syllabus, Jim Brown of the Digital Studies Center at Rutgers-Camden told me about a set of texts that might interest some of you:

While I don’t know that we’ll have time to read these comics in the classroom, some of you may be interested in them for your research projects. This exchange also demonstrates the usefulness of sharing our classroom work publicly as we go along — I don’t know that I would have found these comics on my own.