English | September 22nd, 2020 | ISBN: 1788739280 | 256 pages | EPUB | 0.49 MB

A brilliant probe into the political and psychological effects of our chag relationship with social media.


In surrealist artist Paul Klee’s The Twittering Machine, the bird-song of a diabolical machine acts as bait to lure humankind into a pit of damnation. Leading political writer and broadcaster Richard Seymour argues that this is a chilling metaphor for our relationship with social media.

Former social media executives tell us that the system is an addiction-machine. We are users, waiting for our next hit as we like, comment and share. We write to the machine as individuals, but it responds by aggregating our fantasies, desires and frailties into data, and returning them to us as a commodity experience. Through journalism, psychoanalytic reflection and insights from users, developers, security experts and others, Seymour probes the human side of the machine, asking what we’re getting out of it, and what we’re getting into.

This is a story about desire and violence, as well as writing. It is also a story about what we might be writing ourselves into, culturally and politically. This book is an attempt, as much as anything else, to work out a new langauge for thinking about what is coming into being.

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