Table of Contents



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1 The History and Future of Ideas

Part I: Reading Digits

Part II: A Short History of Representation – From Print to User

2 Cultural Studies, Creative Industries, and Cultural Science

Why is Cultural Studies not an Evolutionary Science?

Part I: Past – Cultural Studies

Part II: Present – Creative Industries

Part III: Future – Cultural Science

3 Journalism and Popular Culture

Part I: Popular Culture – Subject or Object?

Part II: Methodological Considerations

4 The Distribution of Public Thought

‘Public Thought’ and Shirky’s Shock

Average Collapse

Journalistic Collapse

Academic Collapse

Keening at a Wake

Sequence of Collapse

Every Time You Torrent

An Invisible College – At the Airport

Signaling the Quality of Public Thought

Digital Literacy: ‘Look at Moi!’

Trust Me, I’m a Doctor?


5 Television Goes Online

Cultural Climate Change

‘That Sign Needs Changing’

Less Popular?

More Democratic?

From Coronation Street to Corrie

More Democratic . . . and Sillier?

What Say You?

Implications for Media Studies

6 Silly Citizenship

Citizenship: Child’s Play?

History or Science?

The ‘Good Citizen’

Evolving Citizenship

Cultural Citizenship

Media Citizenship

Productive Citizens

Silly Citizenship

Discursive Citizenship in the Era of New Media

Ordinary Publics, New Media, and Cultural Citizenship

Arty-Farty Citizenship?

7 The Probability Archive

Institutions of Memory

From Objectivity to Quantum Theory

Modernity’s Essence Archive

Broadcast Television as Essence Archive

The Probability Archive

Plenitude of the Sign

The Internet as a Probability Machine (Or, How to ‘Cast’ the First Stone)

Amazingly Unlikely

The Veblen Question

The Olduvai Imperative

8 Messaging as Identity

Message – What Message?

Part I: Interdisciplinary Encounters

Part II: Madness, or Method?

Part III: Evolution of Homo Nuntius

Part IV: Fashion as ‘the Message’ of Homo Nuntius

9 Paradigm Shifters

Trickster the Entrepreneur

Cultural Science: System, Agency, Disruption, Change

New Firms

The ‘A’ Word

Distributed Talent

Lying Worm and Cry Baby

Structural Change

Bridging Culture and Science




To Tina Horton


Tra la la la la la la la!

Ha! ha!

(Hector Berlioz, ‘Ronde des paysans,’ La Damnation de Faust, 1846)

As they say, the message is in the song!

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