Anthony J. Pennings, PhD

WRITINGS ON DIGITAL STRATEGIES, ICT ECONOMICS, AND GLOBAL COMMUNICATIONS

Building Dystopian Economies in Facebook’s Metaverse

Strangely relevant to the new emergence of virtual environments like Facebook’s Metaverse, the talk was held in downtown New York City at the Woolworth Building, known as the “Cathedral of Commerce” when it was built in 1913. The location was strangely appropriate given the topic, a wrap-up of a year-long project at New York University on Second Life. The project involved an animation class taught by Mechthild Schmidt-Feist, and my class, the Political Economy of Digital Media. I still have the tee-shirt my students gave me that says “Got Linden?” a reference to Second Life’s currency, the Linden.

Memes, Propaganda, and Virality

Discussion of the power of memes and their ability to be diffused virally.

YouTube Meaning-Creating (and Money-Making) Practices

Note: This is required reading for my Visual Rhetoric and IT class. Youtube has emerged as the primary global televisual medium, attracting about 1.3 billion viewers from countries around the world with over 5 billion videos watched every day. People suck up some 3.25 billion hours of YouTube videos each month and over ten thousand […]

Lasswell and Hall – Power and Meaning in Media

Harold Dwight Lasswell was one of the founding influences on the formation of the study of communication, media studies, and sociology. Stuart Hall was a Rhodes Scholar from Jamaica who helped pioneer an area of research at Birmingham Open University that was later coined British Cultural Studies. Both contributed significantly to media studies during their […]

Spreadsheets and the Rhetoric of Ratios

In this post, I examine the figuring of ratios as a conceptual technique for constructing systems of understanding in the modern political economy. The ratio is an important mathematical device for reality construction in a wide range of activities, but their role in financial and management environments are especially notable. These type of ratios are […]

Digital Spreadsheets – Techno-Epistemological Power over People and Resources

In previous posts, I wrote that digital spreadsheets had emerged as a constitutive technology that can shape perceptions, organize resources, and empower control over the lived experiences of people and the dynamics of social organizations. In this post, I look at how communicative, command, and cultural dynamics provide an important context for the use of […]

We shape our buildings and afterwards our buildings shape us

One of Marshall McLuhan’s most celebrated intellectual “probes” was a paraphrase of Winston Churchill’s infamous “We shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us.” Churchill was addressing Parliament some two years after a devastating air raid by the Nazis destroyed the House of Commons and was arguing for its restoration, despite the major challenges […]

YouTube: Alice’s Rabbithole or Hypertext to Hell?

Edited remarks from the conference on YouTube: Ten Years After November 20, 2015 Hannam University Linton School of Global Business I’m happy to be a part of this commemoration of YouTube’s tenth year anniversary and thank Dr. Youngshin Cho for being our keynote speaker and enlightening us with his very informative talk.[1] Hopefully, you are […]

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  • About Me

    Professor at State University of New York (SUNY) Korea since 2016. Moved to Austin, Texas in August 2012 to join the Digital Media Management program at St. Edwards University. Spent the previous decade on the faculty at New York University teaching and researching information systems, digital economics, and strategic communications.

    You can reach me at:

    apennings70@gmail.com
    anthony.pennings@sunykorea.ac.kr

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    The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of my employers, past or present.