Amidst a confusing plurality, Felix Stalder argues that are three key constituents of this condition: the use of existing cultural materials for one's own production, the way in which new meaning is established as a collective endeavour, and the underlying role of algorithms and automated decision-making processes that reduce and give shape to massive volumes of data. These three characteristics define what Stalder calls 'the digital condition'. Stalder also examines the profound political implications of this new culture. We stand at a crossroads between post-democracy and the commons, a concentration of power among the few or a genuine widening of participation, with the digital condition offering the potential for starkly different outcomes.
This ambitious and wide-ranging theory of our contemporary digital condition will be of great interest to students and scholars in media and communications, cultural studies, and social, political and cultural theory, as well as to a wider readership interested in the ways in which culture and politics are changing today.
Preface to the English Edition vii
Introduction: After the End of the Gutenberg Galaxy 1
I. Evolution 11
The Expansion of the Social Basis of Culture 12
The Culturalization of the World 35
The Technologization of Culture 41
From the Margins to the Center of Society 56
II. Forms 58
III. Politics 125
Against a Lack of Alternatives 174
Notes and References 176