In this interview with Professor Geert Lovink, I take him up on a number of issues in his book, ‘Networks without a cause: A critique of social media‘
He sounds very much like a techno-pessimist. When I first read the book, the first thing that struck me was the sense of despair that runs through all the chapters. With chapters devoted to Facebook and the crisis of identity, big data and the ‘Googlisation of our lives,’ and a proposition to divorce the study of social media from media studies, there appeared to be no other way to understand Geert.
And that was the starting point of my interview with him conducted via Skpe. When I asked him what was the source of the despair I felt running through his book, Geert describes his frustration that the Internet has become too centralized and cites cloud computing as evidence. He feels it was time the Internet went back to the original format of small networks.
I am sure you will enjoy the video made in 2014 as part of an MA Social Media programme at the University of Westminster. You’ll find the issues discussed are as relevant today as they were then.