Digital culture and ego-surfing culture

What are the new forms of Culture in contemporary societies?
Contemporary societies? Culture was one of the two themes of the 2014 Sciences Po competition. Digital technology was the theme of the 2019 regional Sciences Po exam. The study of new forms of contemporary culture fits perfectly into the framework of a Contemporary Issues exam.

The digital world and culture

Published in the June issue of Philosophie Magazine, this article presents a new culture of the internet: ego-surfing.

New culture of the internet: ego-surfing

Mathematicians Jean-Paul Delahaye and Nicolas Gauvrit define a “culturomics” or “digital science of culture”, thanks to internet databases, and in particular the library developed by Google Books, which gathers 50 million books from 40 of the world’s largest libraries.

The article reveals a new practice: ego-surfing, which aims to measure the notoriety of people. By noting the number of results that Google offers for the search of a name (“Google’s index”), to the number of citations of articles by scientists (H-index), or mentions in books scanned by Google (n-gram index).

A New Face of World Culture

The author of the article concludes:“It is possible that a new face of world culture will emerge from all these kinds of ego-surfing (…) A culture that evaluates itself by citation more than by reference, by the known more than by the exceptional, by quantitative notoriety more than by qualitative recognition.”

Thus,“the culture industry, described by Adorno as early as the 1930s, has found it measuring tools.

→ Find the Philosophy Magazine article

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