- Series: MIT Press
- Hardcover: 264 pages
- Publisher: The MIT Press (May 27, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0262034492
- ISBN-13: 978-0262034494
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #689,662 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Updating to Remain the Same: Habitual New Media (MIT Press) Hardcover – May 27, 2016
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Just when we thought there was nothing new to say about the internet, Wendy Hui Kyong Chun arrives with a fresh new take on the paradoxical twinnings that define network operations and cultures. In lively accessible prose, she deftly shows that the seeming antinomies, habit and crisis, in fact mutually define each other, merging to create 'update,' the event defining the present that is always already the historical future in network society. Highly recommended for anyone interested in contemporary media theory, network culture, and contemporary cultural theory.(N. Katherine Hayles, James B. Duke Professor of Literature, Duke University)
There is something pervasive and destructive about the fantasy that we, one by one, are the absolute center of a new digital world, that this world is customized for us like a perfect coat, tying us into 'networks.' Wendy Chun's remarkable Updating to Remain the Same takes on this saccharine fake-personalized 'YOU' and the superficially linked networks. Instead, she digs deep into the meaning of our digital habits, showing how the productive, generative everydayness of the habitual gets corroded in so much of new media into a pervasive sense of addictive updating to cope with threats -- condensed in her formula habit + crisis = update. Critical of the slothful, casual way that friendship, networks, even the YOU-self functions, Chun pushes us to think about new ways of establishing online collectivities, novel forms of memory and archive, hoping we can learn new forms of inhabiting the new media: loitering in public, safely. This is a terrific book, sharply critical, cautiously hopeful.(Peter Galison, Joseph Pellegrino University Professor in History of Science and of Physics at Harvard University)
In Updating to Remain the Same Wendy Chun offers a provocative analysis of how the internet, once praised as an anonymous, utopian space of the mind, has by the late 2010s become a space of total surveillance and privatized social media. The key to this transformation is that we have become both habituated to and inhabitants of new media. The update, Chun argues, is central to creating new habits of dependency at the heart of neoliberal capitalism.(Tim Lenoir, Distinguished Professor of Science & Technology Studies, Cinema and Digital Media, University of California, Davis)
About the Author
Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, who has studied both systems design and English literature, is Professor of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University. She is the author of Control and Freedom: Power and Paranoia in the Age of Fiber Optics and Programmed Visions: Software and Memory, both published by the MIT Press.
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Top customer reviews
as well as some historical perspectives that, even though I have lived through them, have been long forgotten (remember Pokemon Go?).
I think she is arguing that we need to create new norms (and laws) which allow us to thrive with the newer media, much like we did with mail tampering and wire tapping laws in previous generations. Just not sure how to do this.
Attached is a photo of the number of page folds I made in the book - which means I want to go back and refer to them many times in the future.
"code as law is code as police"
I especially appreciated her formulation of Habit + Crisis = Update, a look at how in today's online media we have moved from the reporting of news and catastrophes to a state of constant crisis driving endless calls for action and updates. It captures my (not nearly so clear) experiences very well, and she articulates her case for the model very well.
If you're used to STEM-style writing, some of Chun's analogies and connections may be a bit of a stretch --- but I find the associations and conclusions she draws very thought-provoking when considering how I'm seeing people interact with media today.