The Other Side of the Digital

The Sacrificial Economy of New Media

2021
Author:

Andrea Righi

The Other Side of the Digital

A necessary, rich new examination of how the wired world affects our humanity


Andrea Righi deconstructs contradictions inherent in our digital world, examining how ideas of knowledge, desire, writing, temporality, and the woman are being reconfigured by our sacrificial economy. The Other Side of the Digital provides a necessary, in-depth cultural analysis of how the political theology of the new media functions under neoliberalism.

Our tech-fueled economy is often touted as a boon for the development of our fullest human potential. But as our interactions are increasingly turned into mountains of data sifted by algorithms, what impact does this infinite accumulation and circulation of information really have on us? What are the hidden mechanisms that drive our continuous engagement with the digital?

In The Other Side of the Digital, Andrea Righi argues that the Other of the digital acts as a new secular God, exerting its power through endless accountability that forces us to sacrifice ourselves for the digital. Righi deconstructs the contradictions inherent in our digital world, examining how ideas of knowledge, desire, writing, temporality, and the woman are being reconfigured by our sacrificial economy. His analyses include how both our self-image and our perception of reality are skewed by technologies like fitness bands, matchmaking apps, and search engines, among others.

The Other Side of the Digital provides a necessary, in-depth cultural analysis of how the political theology of the new media functions under neoliberalism. Drawing on the work of well-known thinkers like Jacques Derrida, Jacques Lacan, and Ludwig Wittgenstein, as well as Carla Lonzi, Luisa Muraro, and Luciano Parinetto, Righi creates novel appraisals of popular digital tools that we now use routinely to process life experiences. Asking why we must sign up for this sort of regime, The Other Side of the Digital is an important wake-up call to a world deeply entangled with the digital.

The Other Side of the Digital

Andrea Righi is associate professor of Italian studies at Miami University. He is author of Italian Reactionary Thought and Critical Theory: An Inquiry into Savage Modernities and Biopolitics and Social Change in Italy: From Gramsci to Pasolini to Negri. He coedited, with Cesare Casarino, Another Mother: Diotima and the Symbolic Order of Italian Feminism (Minnesota, 2018).

The Other Side of the Digital

Contents


Acknowledgments


Introduction: The Sexed Truth of Neoliberal Digitality


1. Transcendence: Moses, or The Other of the Other


2. Knowledge: Online Fee-Ding as the Solution to Meno’s Paradox


3. Desire: The Ballistic Sexuality of Drones and Tinder


4. Writing: The Quantified Self and Digital Accountability


5. Temporality: Turks, Mammets, and Digital Crowdworking Platforms


6. Woman: Love and Automated Profit


7. Hysteria: The Moses of Bernardo Bertolucci


8. Passivity: The Other as Other


Notes


Index