Sign up for our literacy platform for free for reading at home

Waste: A New Media Primer

Authors: Simanowski, Roberto
Publisher: MIT Press
BISAC/Subject: SOC052000, PHI000000
ISBN: 9780262350310, Related ISBNs: 0262350319, 0262536277, 9780262350310, 9780262536271
Classification: Non-Fiction
Number of pages: 152,
Audience: General/trade
Synopsis: On Facebook and fake news, selfies and self-consciousness, selling our souls to the Internet, and other aspects of the digital revolution.

With these engaging and provocative essays, Roberto Simanowski considers what new media has done to us. Why is digital privacy being eroded and why does society seem not to care? Why do we escape from living and loving the present into capturing, sharing and liking it? And how did we arrive at a selfie society without self-consciousness?

Simanowski, who has been studying the Internet and social media since the 1990s, goes deeper than the conventional wisdom. For example, on the question of Facebook's responsibility for the election of Donald Trump, he argues that the problem is not the “fake news” but the creation of conditions that make people susceptible to fake news. The hallmark of the Internet is its instantaneousness, but, Simanowski cautions, speed is the enemy of depth. On social media, he says, “complex arguments are jettisoned in favor of simple slogans, text in favor of images, laborious explorations at understanding the world and the self in favor of amusing banalities, deep engagement in favor of the click.” Simanowski wonders if we have sold our soul to Silicon Valley, as Faust sold his to the Devil; credits Edward Snowden for making privacy a news story; looks back at 1984, 1984, and Apple's famous sledgehammer commercial; and considers the shitstorm, mapping waves of Internet indignation—including one shitstorm that somehow held Adidas responsible for the killing of dogs in Ukraine. “Whatever gets you through the night,” sang John Lennon in 1974. Now, Simanowski says, it's Facebook that gets us through the night; and we have yet to grasp the implications of this.

Sign up for our literacy platform for reading at home

LightSail includes up to 6,000 high interest, Lexile aligned book titles with every student subscription. Other titles are available for individual purchase.

Watch the power of

Lightsail in action

×

SUPPORT GROWING READERS

Immediately Engage Students
Immediately Engage Students
Simple intuitive design has classrooms reading within minutes.
Exponentially Grow Reading Time
Exponentially Grow Reading Time
Students love the LightSail experience and naturally spend more time reading.
Accelerate Literacy Development
Accelerate Literacy Development
Students reading 25 minutes a day on LightSail are seeing 2+ years of Lexile growth in a single year.

LightSail Education is a comprehensive Lexile and standards-aligned, literacy platform and digital e-book library. Including multimodal learning functionality and featuring books from leading publishers, LightSail holistically assesses and nurtures each student on their reading and writing-to-learn journey, throughout elementary, middle, and high school.

*LightSail offers a 2,000 or a 6,000 title bundle with its student subscriptions. Other titles are available for individual purchase.