Sunday Book-Thought 99

New media exist at the bleeding edge of obsolescence. They are exciting when they are demonstrated, boring by the time they arrive. Even if a product does what it promises, it disappoints. If an analysis is interesting and definitive, it is too late: by the time we understand something, it has already disappeared or changed. We are forever trying to catch up, updating to remain (close to) the same; bored, overwhelmed, and anxious all at once. In response to this rapidly cycling and possibly manic depressive time scale, much analytic, creative, and commercial effort has concentrated on anticipating or creating the future, the next big thing: from algorithms that sift through vast amounts of data in order to suggest or predict future purchases to scholarly analyses that assess the impact of technologies that do not yet exist. What matters most: figuring out what will spread and who will spread it fastest.
Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, Updating to Remain the Same: Habitual New Media (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2016), p. 1.

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