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Power, Sex, Platform Wars... Register Autumn Lectures tackle them all

OK, the sex part not so much... this time

By Team Register, 5 Oct 2017

Lectures We've got a brace of cracking Register lectures coming up over the next two months that dive into digital culture past and present. And we really want you to be there.

On October 17, Brian Alleyne, of the Department of Sociology at Goldsmiths, will join us to discuss how geek and hacker culture has always tended to fracture along techno-tribal lines. As a former programmer turned sociologist, Brian is the perfect guide to the, let's say, heated exchanges and tribal conflicts that reach back to the earliest days of personal computing, through games console flamewars, Mac vs. PC, Android vs. iOS, and the ongoing Linux vs. everything else. Tickets here.

Brian will show how these platform war stories construct the "self" and the "enemy" and how these stories display features of "schismogenesis" – in this case a process of mutually reinforcing amplification of minor differences into major divides.

Once we've sorted out why techies are forever at war, we'll turn our minds to who is really pulling the strings in the digital, and non-digital world these days.

Carl Miller will join us on November 7 to talk about his efforts to track down and expose the new forms of power that shape, guide and limit each of our lives, on and offline. Carl is the co-founder of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media and a visiting fellow at Kings College London, and has researched all this for his upcoming book, Power, due next year, which will examine how control and liberation are wrapped up together in the digital age.

Carl's investigations have taken him from interviews with South Korea's hikikomori – who never, ever leave home, and live their lives entirely online – to rockstar e-sports gamers, Russia's lords of fake news and disinformation, and the political parties obsessed with digital campaigning. Tickets here.

Both talks take place at the Yorkshire Grey on Theobalds Road, London. The doors will be open from 6.30pm, with the talk proper kicking off at 7pm. And yes, there'll be refreshments, both liquid and solid – as well as highly trained mediators, should you get into any arguments regarding open systems versus walled gardens, NES vs. SMS, etc.

After each lecture proper, we'll break for a drink and a bite, before opening the floor to what should be – given the touchy nature of the topics at hand – a raucous Q&A session.

So, what are you waiting for? Book your ticket now and refuel your brain. ®

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