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"One of the most provocative academic texts to be released in 2013."

By Clayton Dillard
Last(ing) Impressions

mejias_off coverActivism and academia would seen to go hand-in-hand, but often, too much of the former is seen as a detriment to the latter, thus leaving many an academic monograph equivocating its political inclinations. Such is not the case with Ulises Ali Mejias's Off the Network: Disrupting the Digital World - one of the most provocative academic texts to be released in 2013. Provocative, not because of extreme claims regarding network ontology per se, but because Mejias makes his claims so fluidly and sensibly, that poking holes in his line of thought becomes not only difficult, but undesired. The overall thesis, in an exceedingly reductive form, is that networks (or, as a singular presence, the network) create inequality amongst users while perpetuating a myth of equality through democratic access to information and the ability to increase social capital through social media usage. That is, the network episteme, as Mejias calls it, "reinforces a narrative where participation is productive, while nonparticipation is destructive."

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Off the Network