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Death Glitch: How Techno-Solutionism Fails Us in This Life and Beyond (Hardcover)

Death Glitch: How Techno-Solutionism Fails Us in This Life and Beyond By Tamara Kneese Cover Image
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Description


An accessible yet erudite deep dive into how platforms are remaking experiences of death
 
“A compelling collection of case studies about how technology breaks down when faced with the messiness of mortality.”—Gabriel Nicholas, Washington Post

 
Since the internet’s earliest days, people have died and mourned online. In quiet corners of past iterations of the web, the dead linger. But attempts at preserving the data of the dead are often ill-fated, for websites and devices decay and die, just as people do. Death disrupts technologists’ plans for platforms. It reveals how digital production is always collaborative, undermining the entrepreneurial platform economy and highlighting the flaws of techno-solutionism.
 
Big Tech has authority not only over people’s lives but over their experiences of death as well. Ordinary users and workers, though, advocate for changes to tech companies’ policies around death. Drawing on internet histories along with interviews with founders of digital afterlife startups, caretakers of illness blogs, and transhumanist tinkerers, the technology scholar Tamara Kneese takes readers on a vibrant tour of the ways that platforms and people work together to care for digital remains. What happens when commercial platforms encounter the messiness of mortality?

About the Author


Tamara Kneese is a visiting scholar at the Center for Science, Technology, Medicine, and Society at the University of California, Berkeley. She lives in Oakland, CA.

Praise For…


“A compelling collection of case studies about how technology breaks down when faced with the messiness of mortality.”—Gabriel Nicholas, Washington Post


“This vital, colorful ethnography shows that tech’s perverse ingenuity does not stop even at death. But tech thereby gets death wrong, mistaking as glitch the very condition of human flourishing.”—John Durham Peters, Yale University

Death Glitch brilliantly reveals how death disrupts Silicon Valley’s best-laid plans: from early efforts to delete pages of dead Facebook users to startups for digital estate planning that die before their clients. An insightful and original take on the limits of techno-solutionism.”—Wendy Chun, author of Updating to Remain the Same: Habitual New Media



Product Details
ISBN: 9780300248272
ISBN-10: 030024827X
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication Date: August 15th, 2023
Pages: 272
Language: English