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<nettime-ann> Just out: Off the Network
Ulises Mejias on Sat, 7 Sep 2013 11:30:15 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime-ann> Just out: Off the Network


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Friends and colleagues,

As more information about the NSA global surveillance program is coming out, I imagine I am not the only one who feels our worst suspicions have been confirmed. But despite the outrage, I imagine I am also not the only one who feels unable to stop voluntarily contributing to the invasion of my own privacy.

This is one of the paradoxes I examine in my new book, Off the Network: Disrupting the Digital World, which is finally available from the University of Minnesota Press. In it, I propose that digital networks increase opportunities for social and civic participation at the same time that they create certain kinds of inequalities, and I explore the question of how we would go about "unthinking" the network, and to what end.

You can pick up a paper copy from your favorite bookseller. Thanks both to Minnesota Press and SUNY Oswego, the book is also available in an open access format, so you can read or download the whole manuscript right now -- for free!

You can share the news by using the link offthenetwork.info (which redirects you to the publisher's page). Or you can send people to my personal website: ulisesmejias.com.

Thank you.

/Ulises

From the back cover:

"This is an extraordinary book. The 'paranodal' critique made in Off the Network demands that we look at the social spaces that lie between, and are ignored by, network nodes; at the material basis on top of which supposedly immaterial networks rest; and at the vertical structures of political economic power that control the apparent horizontality of networks. In doing so, Ulises Ali Mejias delivers a devastating intellectual slam against conventional thinking about the Internet from both the left and the right."
-- Nick Dyer-Witheford, coauthor of Games of Empire

"Off the Network shows us that centralization of online services is not accidental. Take a look behind the social media noise and read how algorithms condition us. Ulises All Mejias carves out a postaffirmative theory of networks. No more debates about whether you are a dog or not; identity is over. Power returns to the center of Internet debates. Off the Network disrupts the illusion of seamless participation--it sides with the resisters and rejecters and teaches us to unthink the network logic. Its message: don't take the network paradigm for granted." 
-- Geert Lovink, author of Networks Without a Cause

Off the Network is a fresh and authoritative examination of how the hidden logic of the Internet, social media, and the digital network is changing users' understanding of the world--and why that should worry us. Ulises Ali Mejias also suggests how we might begin to rethink the logic of the network and question its ascendancy. He argues that the digital network, touted as consensual, inclusive, and pleasurable, is also monopolizing and threatening in its capacity to determine, commodify, and commercialize so many aspects of our lives. Mejias shows how the network broadens participation yet also exacerbates disparity --and how it excludes more of society than it includes. The result is an uncompromising, sophisticated, and accessible critique of the digital world that increasingly dominates our lives.
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