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Sad by Design

Sad by Design

On Platform Nihilism

by Geert Lovink

Series: Digital Barricades

We live in a time of engineered intimacy, toxic memes and online addiction. Can we ever break free?
Sadness is now a design problem. The highs and lows of melancholy are coded into social media platforms. After all the clicking, browsing, swiping and liking, all we are left with is the flat and empty aftermath of time lost to the app.

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'

Series Preface
Introduction: Society of the Social
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

Published by Pluto Press in May 2019
Paperback ISBN: 9780745339344
eBook ISBN: 9781786804525

135mm x 215mm

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