A BOOK ABOUT TAKING CONTROL OF OUR DIGITAL LIVES
Digital technologies should be making life easier. And to a large degree they do, transforming everyday tasks of work, consumption, communication, travel and play. But they are also accelerating and fragmenting our lives affecting our well-being and exposing us to extensive data extraction and profiling that helps determine our life chances.
Is it then possible to experience the joy and benefits of computing, but to do so in a way that asserts individual and collective autonomy over our time and data?
Drawing on the ideas of the ‘slow movement’, Slow Computing sets out numerous practical and political means to take back control and counter the more pernicious effects of living digital lives.
Bristol University Press, £14.99
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Liesbet van Zoonen
In this two-part podcast for the Transforming Society blog we outline the key ideas of the book. In part 1, we discuss the consequences of digital technologies, focusing on time acceleration and data extraction. In part 2, we look at practical ways in which we can create more balanced digital lives, both individually and collectively.
Alistair Fraser is a lecturer in the Department of Geography at Maynooth University, Ireland. His research focuses on the interaction of agrarian change and the food economy, based on research fieldwork in South Africa, Uganda, and Mexico. He is now conducting research on the way digital technologies, such as precision agriculture and curated social media, alter the geographies of food. He is the author of Global Foodscapes: Oppression and Resistance in the Life of Food (Routledge, 2016) and numerous articles in academic journals, and is an editor of the journal Human Geography.
Rob Kitchin is a professor in the Maynooth University Social Sciences Institute, Ireland. He wrote his first article about the internet in 1995 and has conducted extensive research on digital technologies and their impact on society. He is (co)author or (co) editor of 30 non-fiction books including, Mapping Cyberspace (Routledge, 2000), Code/Space: Software and Everyday Life (MIT Press, 2011), The Data Revolution (Sage, 2014), Understanding Spatial Media (Sage, 2017), Digital Geographies (Sage, 2018), The Right to the Smart City (Emerald, 2019), and How to Run a City Like Amazon, and Other Fables (Meatspace Press, 2019). He has been an editor of three leading geography journals and editor-in-chief of the 12-volume International Encyclopedia of Human Geography (Elsevier, 2009). He is a recipient of the Royal Irish Academy’s Gold Medal for the Social Sciences.
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