Various joyful encounters with the dystopias of affective capitalism
To develop a theoretical understanding of the dystopic conditions of affective capitalism we will need to grasp its various manifestations in everyday life. The most recent and conspicuous of these appearances is perhaps Facebook’s notorious attempt to engineer the emotions of their users (Kramer et al., 2014). In 2014, Facebook carried out an experiment involving the manipulation of the emotional content of posts and measuring the effect these manipulations had on the emotions of 689,003 of its users in terms of how contagious they became.
Common as silence
All this – all the meanness and agony without end
I sitting look out upon
See, hear and am silent.
- Walt Whitman, ‘I Sit and Look’
The organisation and politics of social forums
This special issue of ephemera focuses particularly on the close relationship between the organisation and politics of Social Forum spaces. That is, since many people regard Social Forums as important political spaces, with the potential to radically transform politics – and therefore society itself – we feel it is important to consider the way these events are organised as a window into the politics, i.e. the power relations, they produce.