About: With the vast majority of Facebook users caught in a frenzy of ‘friending’, ‘liking’ and ‘commenting’, at what point do we pause to grasp the consequences of our info-saturated lives? What compels us to engage so diligently with social networking systems? Networks Without a Cause examines our collective obsession with identity and self-management coupled with the fragmentation and information overload endemic to contemporary online culture.
With a dearth of theory on the social and cultural ramifications of hugely popular online services, Lovink provides a path-breaking critical analysis of our over-hyped, networked world with case studies on search engines, online video, blogging, digital radio, media activism and the Wikileaks saga. This book offers a powerful message to media practitioners and theorists: let us collectively unleash our critical capacities to influence technology design and workspaces, otherwise we will disappear into the cloud. Probing but never pessimistic, Lovink draws from his long history in media research to offer a critique of the political structures and conceptual powers embedded in the technologies that shape our daily lives.
‘This book proposes a new kind of memory for the computer: counter-memory, revisiting recent posts, deep presents and near-miss futures, always challenging us to ask of, and to invent, the nature of networks.’
– Matthew Fuller, Centre of Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths College
‘Geert Lovink is our Tin Tin. Like that canny adventurer, he travels the world discovering new frontiers of both folly and invention. In place of Tin Tin’s trusty dog Snowy, he takes with him a quick wit and independent mind. He has a detective’s eye for the real story behind the bright assurances of the twenty-first-century networked culture.’
– McKenzie Wark, Professor of Culture and Media, The New School, and author of Gamer Theory
‘Lovink is one of the most brilliant and original theorists around today. Every word he writes elicits a repsonse.’
Simona Lodi on The Huffington Post: What Happens When Networks Are Without a Cause? Geert Lovink Answers in His Last Book
Geert Lovink, Networks Without a Cause: A critique of Social Media: Cambridge, Polity Press, 2011. ISBN: 9780745649672