Jonathan Crary, "Scorched Earth: Beyond the Digital Age to a Post-Capitalist World" (Verso, 2022)

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In this uncompromising essay, Jonathan Crary presents the obvious but unsayable reality: our ‘digital age’ is synonymous with the disastrous terminal stage of global capitalism and its financialisation of social existence, mass impoverishment, ecocide, and military terror. Scorched Earth: Beyond the Digital Age to a Post-Capitalist World (Verso, 2022) surveys the wrecking of a living world by the internet complex and its devastation of communities and their capacities for mutual support.

This polemic by the author of 24/7 dismantles the presumption that social media could be an instrument of radical change and contends that the networks and platforms of transnational corporations are intrinsically incompatible with a habitable earth or with the human interdependence needed to build egalitarian post-capitalist forms of life.

Dr. Jonathan Crary is the Meyer Schapiro Professor of Modern Art and Theory at Columbia University in the Art history and Archeology Department. He is a prolific art and culture critic and is the co-founder (and co-editor) of Zone Books. Professor Crary has been the recipient of Guggenheim, Getty, Mellon, and National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships and has been a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. In 2005, his teaching and mentoring were recognized with a Distinguished Columbia Faculty Award. Dr. Crary is also the author of Techniques of the Observer: On Vision and Modernity in the Nineteenth Century, Suspensions of Perception: Attention, Spectacle and Modern Culture (winner of the 2001 Lionel Trilling Book Award), and 24/7 (a finalist for the 2016 Terzani International Literary Prize).

Cody Skahan (cskahan@ksu.edu) is an anthropologist by training, starting an MA program in Anthropology at the University of Iceland in August 2022 as a Leifur Eriksson Fellow. His work focuses on the intersections of queerness, environmentalisms, and tourism in Iceland. Cody has a blog here where he sometimes writes about Games User Research and will totally, 100% in the future post the podcast and other projects he is working on.

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