Hashtag determinative: how the internet is changing us

Type
Article
Category
Technology
The internet
Writing

Where they coexist, (and they needn’t) spoken and written language are tightly bound to the social and technological regimes that they animate. Technologies of writing – from hammer, chisel, and stone tablet, to ink and parchment or the modern keyboard – influence how specific systems of writing will emerge.

One of the most interesting developments on the internet has been the emergence of the pound (#) symbol as a linguistic figure, for its use in hashtags. What exactly ‘#’ is, is not immediately apparent.

hashtag
Z
Type
Article
Category
Democracy
Far right
United States

Žižek during Trump: rhetoric and philosophical impotence

Wikileaks was quick to post to Facebook a video of Žižek endorsing Trump as his candidate of choice. A post-election interview has him repeating, somewhat chastened in the rainy streets of Manhattan, that Trump is unconscionable but preferable to Clinton. What do his claims amount to now that that possibility is fact? What might before the election have passed as a hope for a radical displacement of what Žižek calls ‘status quo’ Democratic exceptionalism, now promises something more radical than even Žižek had in mind.

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Type
Reflection
Category
Writing

On writing ghosts

Fiction is the product of the things we shied away from as children – whether that was strangers, darkness, or (in my case) a particularly scary episode of Baywatch. Fiction is the people we have loved, the sex we have had, the places that haunt us. Fiction is the stories of our families, our childhood friends. It is whether we believe in ghosts or heaven or hell.

Kath and Kim_article
Type
Article
Category
Class
Culture
Television

Our suburban contempt

All narratives use character types to some degree, but if those types are static, immovable, and fail to be complicated by mediating detail, we have a problem. Notions of ‘suburban values’ provide an excuse to relax into character types, encouraging us to see the other as somehow less culturally dimensional or their worlds as less complex.

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Type
Polemic
Category
The media
Trump

Truth: executed by political consensus

Of all the improbable things that we are being asked to believe, it seems a growing number of people are settling for the idea that Macedonian teenagers posing as journalists and agents of Vladimir Putin posing as internet commenters swung the US presidential election for Donald Trump. It was fake news who done it, making commentators declare that Mark Zuckerberg could well be the most dangerous person on the planet.