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The Life InformaticNewsmaking in the Digital Era$
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Dominic Boyer

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451881

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451881.001.0001

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Epilogue Informatic Unconscious

Epilogue Informatic Unconscious

On the Evolution of Digital Reason in Anthropology

(p.152) Epilogue Informatic Unconscious
The Life Informatic

Dominic Boyer

Cornell University Press

This epilogue returns to the question of how studying the impact of digital information and communication on contemporary news journalism brings into focus a parallel legacy of digital mediation and digital thinking in anthropology. It first explores the concept of “digital reason” through Sigmund Freud, examining how digital thinking has seeped into the foundations of epistemic activity in anthropology and the human sciences; indeed in discovering the ways that it has informed entire theoretical paradigms and analytical styles without disclosing its true intuitive basis. It then turns to the mechanization of computation in the early twentieth-century which led to the information theory. The theory paved the way for a new phase in the industrialization of computation and communication. The chapter concludes with a discussion of when the first signs of digital reason become visible in anthropological knowledge and how this eventually led to the study of the informatics preconscious.

Keywords:   digital information, digital communication, contemporary news journalism, digital mediation, digital reason, anthropology, Sigmund Freud, computation, informatics preconscious

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