[P2P-F] CAMRI Seminar (Sep 25): Vincent Mosco on the Political Economy of Cloud Computing and Big Data

Christian Fuchs christian.fuchs at uti.at
Wed Aug 21 13:43:00 CEST 2013

Vincent Mosco
To the Cloud: Big Data in a Turbulent World
September 25, 2013
Room A7.03, Harrow Campus, University of Westminster, Communication and 
Media Research Institute (CAMRI), London: Northwick Park tube station 
(Metropolitan Line)
Full information:

Opening talk of this autumn’s CAMRI Research Seminar Series 
(announcement of further dates/events will follow)

Participation is free and everyone is welcome. Please register at latest 
until 22 September by sending an email to Christian Fuchs: 
christian.fuchs at uti.at.

This presentation offers an account of the political, economic, social 
and cultural issues emerging from the growth of cloud computing. It 
starts by situating cloud computing as a major force in the 
globalisation of informational capitalism and in the advance of a 
particular way of knowing, what I call digital positivism. It proceeds 
to examine the origins of cloud computing in the movements that arose in 
the pre-internet era to create an information utility.
The presentation then defines cloud computing, describes its major 
characteristics, and identifies the leading corporate, and government 
cloud players. In doing so, it describes the battles for market power 
among a handful of companies such as Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, 
Facebook, and Rackspace, the rapid and, for some, worrisome, expansion 
of the government cloud, the internationalisation of cloud computing, 
and the emergence of bottom-up community cloud projects.
Next, it considers how the cloud is being marketed and mythologised 
through advertising, social media, corporate and government research, 
industry lobbying, and marketing events. Massive promotion is essential 
because dark clouds are gathering over the industry including the 
environmental problems created by data centres; concerns over privacy, 
security, and surveillance; and labour issues, particularly the impact 
on IT departments, and more generally on knowledge workers whose jobs 
are threatened by the cloud. The presentation concludes by offering a 
technical and a cultural critique of big data, digital positivism, and 
the cloud’s “way of knowing.”

Dr Vincent Mosco is Professor Emeritus, Queen's University, Canada. He 
is formerly Canada Research Chair in Communication and Society and 
Professor of Sociology. He is author of many works, including The 
Political Economy of Communication, second edition (Sage, 2009), The 
Laboring of Communication: Will Knowledge Workers of the World Unite 
(co-authored with Catherine McKercher, Lexington Books, 2008), and The 
Digital Sublime: Myth, Power, and Cyberspace (MIT Press, 2004).

Christian Fuchs
Professor of Social Media
University of Westminster,
Communication and Media Research Institute
http://fuchs.uti.at, http://www.triple-c.at
+44 (0) 20 7911 5000 ext 67380

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