Ulises Ali Mejias discusses his book Off The Network: Disrupting the Digital World with Chris Richardson. Mejías is associate professor of Communication Studies and director of the Institute for Global Engagement at the State University of New York, College at Oswego. He is a media scholar whose work encompasses critical internet studies, network theory and science, philosophy and sociology of technology, and political economy of digital media. He is the principal investigator in the Algorithm Observatory project. His new book, The Costs of Connection: How Data is Colonizing Human Life and Appropriating it for Capitalism is co-authored with Nick Couldry and forthcoming from Stanford University Press in 2019.
"Much more than a history book, Todorov frames the encounter between Europe and America as an incommensurability that continues to define our world, a communication problem as much as a philosophical one. Science fiction often imagines what our encounter with an alien culture would be like, but Todorov does an amazing work of showing how 'othering' is at the foundation of our modernity."
"A good follow up to Todorov, Memmi discusses what colonization does not only to the oppressed, but to the oppressor. The context, however, is the 20th century, not the 16th, which illustrates in a stark manner the legacy of coloniality."
“To understand what happened between the events Todorov describes, and what Memmi discusses, we need to understand the history of capitalism. This classic by Eric Wolf describes that phenomenon as a global development, connecting multiple trends to show how the histories of the Global North and the Global South are intertwined as a result of colonialism.”
“Ellul describes how capitalism's rationality is expressed by 'technique,' the social force that drives everything towards efficiency.”
“Bolaño's story about violence and death is a slow punch in the gut, a many-storied hydra chronicling hundreds of femicides in norther Mexico (based on the actual Ciudad Juarez murders). Nothing to do with technology, colonialism or capitalism, at least not directly. Although to me, the novel still hints at the old and sinister forces that have shaped our realities.”