How to Run a City Like Amazon, and Other Fables (2019)

30 October 2019, dusan

“Should cities be run like businesses? Should city services and infrastructure be run by businesses?

For some urban commentators, policy-makers, politicians and corporate lobby groups, the answer is ‘yes’ to both questions. Others are critical of such views, cautious about shifting the culture of city administration from management to entrepreneurship, and transforming public assets and services run for the common good into markets run for profit.

The stories and essays in this book explore how a city might look, feel and function if the business models, practices and technologies of 38 different companies were applied to the running of cities. They ask: what would it be like to live in a city administered using the business model of Amazon (or Apple, IKEA, Pornhub, Spotify, Tinder, Uber, etc.) or a city where critical public services are delivered by these companies?

Collectively, the chapters ask us to imagine and reflect on what kind of cities we want to live in and how they should be managed and governed.”

Contributors: Manuel B. Aalbers, Tooran Alizadeh, James Ash, Sarah Barns, Gavin Brown, Ryan Burns, Matthew Claudel, Jeremy W. Crampton, Ayona Datta, Martin Dodge, Leighton Evans, Jessica Foley, Jennifer Gabrys, Mark Graham, Tony H. Grubesic, Edward Helderop, Kara C. Hoover, Andrew Iliadis, Kurt Iveson, Glenn Kaufmann, Rob Kitchin, Agnieszka Leszczynski, Sophia Maalsen, Shannon Mattern, Harvey J. Miller, Cian O’Callaghan, Nancy Odendaal, Dietmar Offenhuber, Alison Powell, Lizzie Richardson, Gillian Rose, Jathan Sadowski, Kalpana Shankar, Joe Shaw, Harrison Smith, Monica Stephens, Linnet Taylor, Jim Thatcher, Pip Thornton, Anthony Vanky, Alberto Vanolo, Alan Wiig, Katharine Willis, Matthew Zook.

Edited by Mark Graham, Rob Kitchin, Shannon Mattern, and Joe Shaw
Publisher Meatspace Press, London, Oct 2019
Creative Commons BY-NC-SA License
ISBN 9780995577671
1357 paragraphs

Publisher

PDF, PDF (24 MB)

Jon McKenzie: Perform or Else: From Discipline to Performance (2001–) [EN, CR]

27 July 2017, dusan

“In Perform or Else Jon McKenzie asserts that there is a relationship cultural, organisational, and technological performance. In this theoretical tour de force McKenzie demonstrates that all three paradigms operate together to create powerful and contradictory pressures to ‘perform… or else’.”

Publisher Routledge, London, 2001
ISBN 0415247691, 9780415247696
x+306 pages

Reviews: Arthur Sabatini (Theatre J, 2002), Henry M. Sayre (Modernism/modernity, 2003), Bez Kershaw (New Theatre Quarterly, 2006).
Interview: Tim Edkins and Stevphen Shukaitis (ephemera, 2014).
Commentary and interview: Anna Street (2014).

Publisher
WorldCat

Perform or Else (English, 2001, 5 MB)
Izvedi ili snosi posljedice (Croatian, trans. Vlatka Valentić, 2006, 5 MB)

James R. Beniger: The Control Revolution: Technological and Economic Origins of the Information Society (1986)

26 April 2014, dusan

“James Beniger traces the origin of the Information Society to major economic and business crises of the past century. In the United States, applications of steam power in the early 1800s brought a dramatic rise in the speed, volume, and complexity of industrial processes, making them difficult to control. Scores of problems arose: fatal train wrecks, misplacement of freight cars for months at a time, loss of shipments, inability to maintain high rates of inventory turnover. Inevitably the Industrial Revolution, with its ballooning use of energy to drive material processes, required a corresponding growth in the exploitation of information: the Control Revolution.

Between the 1840s and the 1920s came most of the important information-processing and communication technologies still in use today: telegraphy, modern bureaucracy, rotary power printing, the postage stamp, paper money, typewriter, telephone, punch-card processing, motion pictures, radio, and television. Beniger shows that more recent developments in microprocessors, computers, and telecommunications are only a smooth continuation of this Control Revolution. Along the way he touches on many fascinating topics: why breakfast was invented, how trademarks came to be worth more than the companies that own them, why some employees wear uniforms, and whether time zones will always be necessary.”

Publisher Harvard University Press, 1986
ISBN 0674020766, 9780674020764
493 pages
via babyalanturing

Review (JoAnne Yates, The Journal of Interdisciplinary History, 1988)
Review (Krishan Kumar, Journal of American Studies, 1988)
Review (Kirkus Reviews)

Book-inspired website
Publisher

PDF (16 MB, updated on 2016-6-16)