Who dares dissent from the gospel according to Silicon Valley? There is – we are insistently told – no alternative to the invasion of capitalist cyberspace into all areas of consciousness and culture. Anyone who expresses even the mildest scepticism about social media and smartphones is roundly denounced as nostalgic. The old, desperate not to seem out of touch, rarely dare question the young’s compulsive attachment to their smartphones. Anti-capitalists join with
tycoons to celebrate the potentials of network society. In article after article, conference after conference, the “new” is routinely equated with “the digital”, to such an extent that is now difficult to remember a time when “technology” wasn’t a shorthand for communicative software. When mobile phones entered the marketplace, they were the object of mockery: who could be so self-important as to believe that they needed to be contactable everywhere and anywhere? Now, everyone is required to act like some cross between a hustler always on the make and an addict jonesing for contact.
But how has this model of progress, in which history culminates in the glorious invention of iPhones and apps, become so uncontested? And, if we attend closely, isn’t there a desperate quality to all this cheerleading? Addicts always rationalise their compulsions, but the desperation here belongs to capital itself, which has thrown everything at the great digital swindle. Capital might still swagger like some data cowboy, but iPhones plus Victorian values can only be a steampunk throwback. The return to centuries’ old forms of exploitation is obfuscated by the distracting urgencies of digital communication. Continue reading The Great Digital Swindle
It’s our birthday: Repeater started a year ago. For a publisher we had an abrupt beginning, coming into the world suddenly, without a great degree of planning or forethought, and crucially, without any authors or books. In the last year your goodwill and ongoing interest has helped keep us going, along with the hard work of our copy editors, proof readers, a type setter, designer, production editor, publicist and the support of our parent company, Watkins Media. A publisher that isn’t releasing books is a strange and sometimes frustrating oxymoron to be part of, and I am pleased to say that our behind the scenes work is now ready to go overground: our first releases will be in the shops on January 21st 2016, with eleven more books to follow over the next six months (details below). We currently have forty two authors under contract, all of whom show tell-tale signs of being possessed by genius and who will, at the very least, vindicate our work and your curiosity, in the years to come. Thank you again for the last twelve months. – Tariq Goddard
Dawn Foster – Lean Out – a powerful call for a more inclusive feminism in an age of austerity. Preorder now.
MKL Murphy – The Isle of Minimus. A highly original and darkly comic novel in one sentence – Hercule, a disgraced dwarf entertainer, emerges after years in isolation to lead a violent revolt in Las Vegas. Preorder now. Continue reading Forthcoming Repeater titles 2016
The first in an occasional series of Repeater playlists. Later posts will be themed or guest-selected, but for now, a selection of old & new tracks Repeater staff have been listening to recently, shoved together in a list. With contributions from Mark Fisher, Alex Niven, Tamar Shlaim and Tariq Goddard.
Elysia Crampton – Petrichrist
Continue reading REPEATER PLAYLIST #1