The Messy Edge of the Liminal Space

Tweet from @finnbrownhill about my talk, with picture of me at podium

These are my notes for a talk I gave at the Messy Edge, a conference curated by Laurence Hill as part of Brighton Digital Festival 2019, at the University of Sussex on October 18 2019.

I am become twitter, distractor of worlds
Today is about transgression
It’s about finding boundaries and then not quite crossing over.
It’s about refusing to accept that this is the best world that can be built on the foundations of the digital technologies we have come to accept as the core of the modern world.
It’s also about acknowledging just how much today’s world differs from that which underpinned the development of our current politics, philosophy, art, society, and lies beneath our assumptions about gender, race and sexuality.
Marx argued that the economic structure of society determined its social and political superstructure
Well the network is below economics, like quarks are below protons. 
And we now live in a world shaped by that network.
This has happened because sometime in the last twenty-five years the boundary between offline and online dissolved, as the sound of the dialup modem faded into history and the networked supercomputers in our pockets offered us a permanent connection to the infosphere.
It happened while we were using Netscape Navigator, ICQ, AIM, MSN Messenger, Twitter, Facebook, Sina Weibo, M-PESA, Grindr and Tinder and TikTok
At some point we found that there was a new space, and more and more of us – initially the wealthy, the privileged, the powerful – occupied it. 
We have not left, and it has grown.
And today many of us occupy the space behind the screen, beyond the world, where the edges are unclear, blurred… messy.

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When My World Changed: Forty Years of Cambridge

St Catharine's College in darkness

I had just turned 19 when arrived in Cambridge in October 1979, with a full grant and a maintenance payment which meant it didn’t cost me or my parents anything.

I’d been brought up by my mum in a council house on one of the tougher council estates in Corby, Northants, and we weren’t in a position to pay fees or well-disposed to taking out loans and if it hadn’t been for the implementation of the Robbins Report I doubt I’d have gone to any university.

Find out about the Robbins Report 

Corby was a thriving new town with a massive steelworks when we moved there in 1965, moving down from Tyneside with my mum and sister. One of my earliest memories is arriving in Brixham Walk, parking near a lamppost and walking from the road to the house in the dark. We lived there for the next fourteen years.

I wrote something about Corby library 

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