Roberto Simanowski – Data Love: The Seduction and Betrayal of Digital Technologies

data loveData love is about our love for data and its love for us. “The point is: people need data. Need to get it. Need to give it. Need to share it. Need to do things with it.” Rather than perceive data as neutral, you may even brag about it. Data love then is “about appreciation of being able to understand, perceive and process data altogether for the enjoyment and progress of all sentient beings.” Are you visioning a utopia or dystopia? Roberto Simanowski‘s Data Love: The Seduction and Betrayal of Digital Technologies was first issued in German, but after revision with recent developments translated into English as well.

Time flies, especially on this topic, where Julian Assange and Edward Snowden are almost forgotten, teenagers think that Snapchat is safer than Instagram or Facebook, and privacy settings of popular apps and networks keep changing for the sake of the companies behind these. Big data mining is not a byproduct of media development; it is its logical consequence. The form it will take, what cultural and social side effects it will produce, and the ideas and reflections one can have about it from the perspective of philosophy, politics, sociology, or cultural studies, are the subject of this book.

Simanowski renders from countless European, primarily German scholars and politicians, shows insights of the way the love for numbers invaded the understanding and teaching of languages, sociology, and business. People will share more than they’re aware of. For governments and companies, this thriving data set is a gift, enabling them to better respond to citizen and customer concerns, to precisely target specific target specific demographics of the population, and, with the emergent field of predictive analytics, to predict what the future will hold. Learn different perspectives such as Adorno’s critical theory, Foucault’s surveillance society, or Deleuze‘s control society as well. Big data and Big brother are definitely related. A revolution might already be triggered, although we don’t understand it fully yet. Data Love may help you grasp perspectives and rethink your position to the way you get and share data.

About the author

Roberto Simanowski is a professor of digital media studies and digital humanities in the English and Creative Media Departments at the University of Hong Kong. He is the author and editor of several books, including Digital Art and Meaning: Reading Kinetic Poetry, Text Machines, Mapping Art, and Interactive Installations (2011) and Reading Moving Letters: Digital Literature in Research and Teaching (2010).

Also read: Big data is a big deal. Here’s what you need to know about it (Blosm.org)