In The Swarm. Digital Prospects

In The Swarm. Digital Prospects

107 pages


Genre: Sociology, Philosophy, Essay, Nonfiction
“The shitstorm represents an authentic phenomenon of digital communication.” Byung-chul Han

Digital communication and social media have taken over our lives. Byung-Chul Han counters the cheerleaders for Twitter revolutions and Facebook activism by arguing that digital communication is in fact responsible for the disintegration of community and public space and is slowly eroding any possibility for real political action and meaningful political discourse. Digital communication enables instantaneous, impulsive reaction, meant to express and stir up outrage on the spot.  Meanwhile, the public, the senders and receivers of these communications have become a digital swarm—not a mass, or a crowd, or Negri and Hardt's antiquated notion of a “multitude,” but a set of isolated individuals incapable of forming a “we,” incapable of calling dominant power relations into question, incapable of formulating a future because of an obsession with the present. Han, one of the most widely read philosophers in the world today, describes a society in which information has overrun thought, in which the same algorithms are employed by Facebook, the stock market, and the intelligence services. Big Brother has been succeeded by Big Data. 

German title: Im Schwarm - Ansichten des Digitalen
ISBN: 978-3-88221-037-8
Publisher: Matthes & Seitz Berlin
Publication date: 2013
Print run: 6
Sold to: Poland, Turkey, Egypt, Taiwan, China, Brazil, Portugal, Denmark, Italy, France, Sweden, Spain, United States, South Korea

Sample translation

English translation available

"According to Han, the digital causes us more problems than it offers us solutions. A recommended reminder. Not only to those who still believe in the blessings of the digital."
- Eva Horvatic, Die Presse