Civic Lunch Talks: Joachim S. Wiewiura, "The Signaling Public"

flickr: haru__q

February 15, 2018
12:00pm — 1:00pm ET


Join Civic in hosting Joachim Wiewiura (PHD Fellow, University of Copenhagen, Center for Information and Bubble Studies) for a lunch talk with a Q&A to follow.

Talk Description:

The "networked" public sphere: what is it, and what are its limits?

Wiewiura explores the limitations and possibilities of examining the "network" within the framework of political philosophy. Networks are often understood either as the conduits for activity (as enabling frameworks) or the grouped activity of persons (as relations), but both neglect the main function of the public sphere: signaling.

Wiewiura suggests that the public sphere can be defined by the sum of its signaling activity, while networks are relevant in their capacity of being signal transmitters. Networks are important to understand the variety of components and strategies that are in creating signals, but the public sphere minimally exists only in so far as signals are provided by networks. Media ecologies are thus opinion climates which hold a tension between the production of signals (due to e.g. misinformation, informational pathologies in group behavior, computational propaganda, cyber warfare) and the real distribution of opinion. Wiewiura argues that this tension is the main problem for investigating the public sphere today, both empirically and theoretically.

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