Koons Crooks: Iterating Grace (2015)

6 December 2015, dusan

A pseudonymous pamphlet satirizing startup culture.

Self-published in June 2015
[36] pages
HT Denisa Kera

Commentary: Alexis C. Madrigal, cont., NYT.

PDF (4 MB)

Matthew Fuller, Andrew Goffey: Evil Media (2012)

30 November 2013, dusan

Evil Media develops a philosophy of media power that extends the concept of media beyond its tried and trusted use in the games of meaning, symbolism, and truth. It addresses the gray zones in which media exist as corporate work systems, algorithms and data structures, twenty-first century self-improvement manuals, and pharmaceutical techniques. Evil Media invites the reader to explore and understand the abstract infrastructure of the present day. From search engines to flirting strategies, from the value of institutional stupidity to the malicious minutiae of databases, this book shows how the devil is in the details.

The title takes the imperative “Don’t be evil” and asks, what would be done any differently in contemporary computational and networked media were that maxim reversed.

Media here are about much more and much less than symbols, stories, information, or communication: media do things. They incite and provoke, twist and bend, leak and manage. In a series of provocative stratagems designed to be used, Evil Media sets its reader an ethical challenge: either remain a transparent intermediary in the networks and chains of communicative power or become oneself an active, transformative medium.”

Publisher MIT Press, 2012
ISBN 0262304406, 9780262304405
235 pages

Review: Nicholas Holm (Media Int’l AU, 2013).
Evil media on Monoskop wiki

Publisher

PDF (updated on 2016-10-13)
HTML (added on 2015-8-28)

See also YoHa, et al., Evil Media Distribution Centre, 2013.

Thomas Pynchon: Bleeding Edge (2013)

24 September 2013, dusan

It is 2001 in New York City, in the lull between the collapse of the dot-com boom and the terrible events of September 11th. Silicon Alley is a ghost town, Web 1.0 is having adolescent angst, Google has yet to IPO, Microsoft is still considered the Evil Empire. There may not be quite as much money around as there was at the height of the tech bubble, but theres no shortage of swindlers looking to grab a piece of whats left.

Maxine Tarnow is running a nice little fraud investigation business on the Upper West Side, chasing down different kinds of small-scale con artists. She used to be legally certified but her license got pulled a while back, which has actually turned out to be a blessing because now she can follow her own code of ethicscarry a Beretta, do business with sleazebags, hack into peoples bank accountswithout having too much guilt about any of it. Otherwise, just your average working momtwo boys in elementary school, an off-and-on situation with her sort of semi-ex-husband Horst, life as normal as it ever gets in the neighborhoodtill Maxine starts looking into the finances of a computer-security firm and its billionaire geek CEO, whereupon things begin rapidly to jam onto the subway and head downtown. She soon finds herself mixed up with a drug runner in an art deco motorboat, a professional nose obsessed with Hitlers aftershave, a neoliberal enforcer with footwear issues, plus elements of the Russian mob and various bloggers, hackers, code monkeys, and entrepreneurs, some of whom begin to show up mysteriously dead. Foul play, of course.

With occasional excursions into the DeepWeb and out to Long Island, Thomas Pynchon, channeling his inner Jewish mother, brings us a historical romance of New York in the early days of the internet, not that distant in calendar time but galactically remote from where weve journeyed to since.

Will perpetrators be revealed, forget about brought to justice? Will Maxine have to take the handgun out of her purse? Will she and Horst get back together? Will Jerry Seinfeld make an unscheduled guest appearance? Will accounts secular and karmic be brought into balance?

Hey. Who wants to know?

Publisher Penguin, 2013
ISBN 0698142683, 9780698142688
496 pages
via tyl3rdurd3n

Review (Evgeny Morozov, Frankfurter Allgemeine)
Review (Justin St. Clair, Los Angeles Review of Books)
Review (Jonathan Lethem, The New York Times)
Review (Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal)
Review (Tim Martin, The Telegraph)
Review (Gary Lippman, The Paris Review)

Publisher
Google books

Download (removed on 2013-10-9 upon request of the publisher)