Book launch: Geert Lovink - "Sad by Design, On Platform Nihilism"

October 2, 2019 | Anubha Sarkar

Book launch of Sad by Design, On Platform Nihilism (Pluto Press) with author Geert Lovink

In this presentation Dutch media theorist, internet critic and founder of the Institute of Network Cultures will discuss the dark side of the net. The mental state of internet users is tragic. Instead of empowerment and self-organisation, we mostly see anger, anxiety and despair. How did we end up like this? The lecture will zoom in on the widespread techno-sadness that is produced by dominant social media platforms through ‘behavioural modification’ (also known as ‘nudging’) with the aim to lure users back to same old app, exposing them to even more personalized ads. Instead of empowerment and diversity we witness a ‘chilling effect’ of hyper conformism. How can we dismantle these ‘prediction markets’ and reclaim the social?


Geert Lovink is a Dutch media theorist, internet critic and author of Uncanny Networks (2002), Dark Fiber (2002), My First Recession (2003), Zero Comments (2007), Networks Without a Cause (2012), Social Media Abyss (2016) and Sad by Design (2019). In 2004 he founded the Institute of Network Cultures at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. His centre organizes conferences, publications and research networks such as Video Vortex (online video), Unlike Us (alternatives in social media), Critical Point of View (Wikipedia), Society of the Query (the culture of search), MoneyLab (internet-based revenue models in the arts). Recent projects deal with digital publishing and the future of art criticism. He also teaches at the European Graduate School (Saas-Fee/Malta) where he supervises PhD students. Email: geert[at]xs4all[dot]nl.

Date: 12th December, 2019

Time: 6-8pm

Venue: Village Roadshow Theatrette, State Library of Victoria, 328 Swanston Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000

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