New Dark Age James Bridle
The most significant crises of our age – climate change, spiralling economic inequality, fundamentalist politics, and information overload – are, for James Bridle, chiefly crises of cognition above all else. While the internet has made the world feel more visible than ever before, our inadequate ability to think this new world has led us into a paradoxical age of darkness, a time in which the knowable becomes ever more distorted by the complex informational systems in which we are fully embedded.
The links Bridle explores between state surveillance, global financial systems, computational thinking, climate change, platform capitalism, and right-wing populism (not to mention the startling, nightmarish world of children’s YouTube) provide little salve next to the scale, complexity and urgency of these issues. However, what New Dark Age does offer is a crucial lens through which we might begin to think the systems we have built, a lens that recognises the legacies of colonial power which emerge through them, and understands that deleting your Facebook is not enough.