The Poplar Tapes
There’s Nothing Wrong with Counting (Part3: Surveillance and Subject Formation)

There’s Nothing Wrong with Counting (Part3: Surveillance and Subject Formation)

June 15, 2019

The third and final instalment in our series on algorithms and the digital condition. In this episode Kiegan Irish and Alex Boos discuss what kinds of people we are becoming in a world dominated by communication media and surveillance. We talk about some of the implications of data collection for our daily lives and the way that companies and governments use data to incentivize certain kinds of behaviour. In the end, we speculate about ways of living and organizing around digital media that could serve as alternatives to the digital mechanisms of control and domination in the hands of the current ownership class.

Partial Series Bibliography:

Foucault, M. (1979). Panopticism. Harmondsworth: Penguin.
 
McLuhan, M. (2001). Understanding media. London: Routledge.
 
 
Stalder, F. (2018). The digital condition. Trans. Valentine A. Pakis. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.
 
Tufekci, Z. (2014). Engineering the public: Big data, surveillance and computational politics. First Monday,19(7).
 
Tufekci, Z. (2016, May 19). The Real Bias Built In at Facebook. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/19/opinion/the-real-bias-built-in-at-facebook.html
 
Zuboff, S. (2019). The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for the Future at the New Frontier of Power. London: Profile Books.

Corrections: It is said that Edward Snowden worked for the CIA when in fact he worked for the NSA, Kiegan gets his acronyms for shadowy government spies mixed up. 

There’s Nothing Wrong with Counting (Part2: Algorithms and the Market)

There’s Nothing Wrong with Counting (Part2: Algorithms and the Market)

June 11, 2019

In the second of our three-part series on algorithms and the digital condition, Kiegan Irish and Alex Boos discuss the relationship between algorithms and the market. We live in an age of social media and to understand what that means for ourselves and for our society it's important to learn about the market forces that motivate and organize the networks we use everyday. How do new digital technologies affect markets? How do algorithms affect the conditions of labour today? What kind of infrastructure is necessary to sustain our complex digital economies? We cover all this and more! 

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/09/big-data-algorithms-math-facebook-advertisement-marketing/

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/03/big-data-drones-privacy-workers

There’s Nothing Wrong with Counting (Part1: Polarization)

There’s Nothing Wrong with Counting (Part1: Polarization)

May 30, 2019

In Part One of our three part series on algorithms and the digital condition, Kiegan Irish and Alex Boos discuss what an algorithm is, the history of algorithms, and the way that algorithms function to polarize our political culture in a digital environment.

Chris Hedges on Hate

Chris Hedges on Hate

April 29, 2019

Kiegan Irish and Pat Case discuss a chapter from Chris Hedges latest book and decide if his criticisms of antifa are warranted. 

Environmental Racism and Pro-Pipeline Sentiment in Canada

Environmental Racism and Pro-Pipeline Sentiment in Canada

April 23, 2019

In this episode Kiegan Irish, Alex Boos and Alex Edwards discuss the movement in support of building pipelines in Canada and the constitutive environmental racism that comes along with it.