Sad by Design
On Platform Nihilism
Series: Digital Barricades
We live in a time of engineered intimacy, toxic memes and online addiction. Can we ever break free?
Sad by Design offers a critical analysis of the growing social media controversies such as fake news, toxic viral memes and online addiction. The failed search for a grand design has resulted in depoliticised internet studies unable to generate either radical critique or a search for alternatives.
Geert Lovink calls for us to embrace the engineered intimacy of social media, messenger apps and selfies, because boredom is the first stage of overcoming 'platform nihilism'. Then, after the haze, we can organise to disrupt the data extraction industries at their core.
Geert Lovink is a media theorist, internet critic and author of Zero Comments (Routledge, 2007), Networks Without a Cause (Polity, 2012), Social Media Abyss (Polity, 2016) and Sad By Design (Pluto, 2019). He founded the Institute of Network Cultures at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and teaches at the European Graduate School.
'Dystopian ... a scathing indictment of a technology that transforms the very notion of self into a sharing platform.' - Eva Illouz, author of 'Why Love Hurts: A Sociological Explanation'
'Sad by Design: on Platform Nihilism, despite the title, is not a sad book. It dissects our digital addictions with the dynamite power of critical theory. It's a savage journey into the heart of the digital self, and a wake-up call to break free of our own enslavement' - Donatella Della Ratta, author of 'Shooting a Revolution: Visual Media and Warfare in Syria'
'Geert Lovink, who is expertly familiar with digital dynamics - technological as well as social - provides in this book a searing criticism of platform nihilism, considered above all as a perversion of computational design' - Bernard Stiegler, author of 'The Age of Disruption: Technology and Madness in Computational Capitalism'
1. Overcoming the Disillusioned Internet
2. Social Media as Ideology
3. Distraction and its Discontents
4. Sad by Design
5. Media Network Platform: Three Architectures
6. From Registration to Extermination: On Technological Violence
7. Narcissus Confirmed: Technologies of the Minimal Selfie
8. Mask Design: Aesthetics of the Faceless
9. Memes as Strategy: European Origins and Debates
10. Before Building the Avant-Garde of the Commons
Hardcover ISBN: 9780745339351
eBook ISBN: 9781786804525
135mm x 215mm