Extinction Internet

Our Inconvenient Truth Moment

Paperback, 80 pages

Published Sept. 4, 2022 by Institute of Network Cultures.

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3 stars (3 reviews)

3 editions

Very abstract, but also on my wavelength

4 stars

I kind of had to push through this one like an abstract art house movie where you spend about 50-75% of the time thinking "I have no idea what the **** this person is talking about" and then the remainder is filled with bits of genius.

I finished this because it was short but I wouldn't necessarily recommend searching this one out.

Having said that, it reframed my thoughts on the nature and existential roadmap of the internet at our current period of time in a way that no other piece of writing has.

Networking at the end of time

3 stars

Extinction Internet is a nice artistic object, a good pocket-sized bite of theory and meme-aesthetic that satisfies a need to keep up to date with one of the thought-leaders on network theory. The text is the inaugural lecture delivered by author Lovink for his new position as head of Network Cultures at the University of Amsterdam.

Overall, this is like other pieces of Lovink's writing but more concise and delivered as a call to action. It is nice to read to keep on the pulse of contemporary theory, and it finishes dramatically, but I would only recommend this to people who are already interested in network theory. Strangely for a lecture from 2022, if it had been delivered only a few months later I think the references to AI would have been much more pronounced as they line up with many of Lovink's predictions. Perhaps that is for the next …

"How to salvage the ‘techno social’...without falling back into offline romanticism?"

No rating

Lovink writes like Adorno - a steady march of aphorisms, arranged in paragraphs. This is worth reading for a set of observations about how to reimagine the internet after platforms:

"The proposition here is a renewed notion of social networks with an emphasis on caring, tools for intergenerational computation that serve problem-resolution on all levels of the stack of crises. This is embedded thinking in which the question no longer is what we can do with the never-ending stream of downloadable apps that come and go from TikTok, Ethereum, Dall-E, Zoom and Clubhouse to BeReal and their hidden extractivism agendas. Let’s stop building Web3 solutions for problems that do not exist and launch tools that decolonize, redistribute value, conspire and organize." (48)