The Ends of Sleep – Technology and Anxiety

Tech Angst

“to be perceived as ‘out of date’ or outmoded is less acceptable these days”

“A watch that can monitor sleeping patterns and send them to the cloud, where they will be stored and analyzed is, on the one hand, technologically impressive. But, again, it is worth considering why anyone would want Apple to be collecting all that information in the first place.”

Why Do We Care So Damn Much About the iWatch?
By Joe Kloc
Newsweek
9/8/14

The likely unveiling of a new Apple smart device is less than 24 hours away. The event has generated worldwide excitement about new features and functions. In recent years, such hysteria has become commonplace with product releases from Google, Apple or Amazon. To explore why that is, Newsweek got in touch with Columbia University modern art theorist Jonathan Crary, whose recent book, 24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep, examines why individuals crave these devices.

“The marketing of smart devices plays off the insecurities and anxieties people have of somehow ‘falling behind’ or losing a competitive edge in whatever professional or social sphere they inhabit,” Crary writes in an email. For example, one of the products many speculate will be released at the Apple event is the iPhone 6. According to the Los Angeles Times, some of the most popular rumors about the new device are that it will “produce better photos and video…provide a new wealth of physical sensations” and feature a durable “sapphire glass” screen. There is also speculation that it will include a stylus and a digital wallet to (theoretically) eliminate the need for credit cards.

(read more)

24-7-2

“A polemic as finely concentrated as a line of pure cocaine”
– Los Angeles Review of Books

24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep explores some of the ruinous consequences of the expanding non-stop processes of twenty-first-century capitalism. The marketplace now operates through every hour of the clock, pushing us into constant activity and eroding forms of community and political expression, damaging the fabric of everyday life.

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