Anthony J. Pennings, PhD


Digital Destruction

Posted on | November 30, 2010 | No Comments

I was talking with a woman the other day whose husband is losing her job because “films don’t use film anymore.” Yes, I responded, another case of digital destruction.

She was intrigued by the term, so we discussed it a bit more. I take no credit for coming up with the name, but the conversation did make me wonder how I picked up the term and how it should be used. Of course I was familiar with theJoseph Schumpeter’s notion of “creative destruction” is used often by free-market economists to rationalize the economic penalties of new innovations. The term was coined by Joseph Schumpeter and is mainly associated with Karl Marx, who had used a similar notion to refer to the destructive tendencies inherent in capitalism. At the conclusion of our discussion I told her I thought “digital destruction” can help us understand much of what is going on in our current global economy.

Although I have often been quite optimistic about the changes brought on by these technologies at times, I don’t want to discount the destructive aspects of the microprocessor revolution and its impact on real people. As someone who monitors the effects of media and IT, I knew I wanted to pursue this notion of the destructive aspects of digitalization. So this is the start. I created this writing category, and a Google search quickly found the following presentation, which I thought began to address my friend’s situation and provides a powerful array of images.

Kodak and the Digital Destruction of Value Chains de Chris Sandström


AnthonybwAnthony J. Pennings, PhD is Professor at the Department of Technology and Society, State University of New York, Korea. Originally from New York, he started his academic career Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand before returning to New York to teach at Marist College and spending most of his career at New York University. He has also spent time at the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. When not in the Republic of Korea, he lives in Austin, Texas.


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    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.

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