“If there is to be a livable future, it will be a future offline”

The New Dark Age

Sunday, 1 January 2023 — Canadian Dimension

Jonathan Crary’s new book excoriates the digital world of late capitalism

Review by Owen Schalk 

Scorched Earth: Beyond the Digital Age to a Post-Capitalist WorldScorched Earth: Beyond the Digital Age to a Post-Capitalist World

Jonathan Crary

Verso, 2022

At this point, it is a commonplace that the techno-optimist promises of the Internet’s early proponents were either naïve or lies.

Claims of the system’s power to connect far-flung individuals and enrich one’s social life are risible. In the West, at least, the Internet’s primary effect has been to dissipate social energies into simulated flickers of friendship, comradery, or antagonism that more often than not ripple into nothingness before any deeper human experience can take root, rendering a large chunk of one’s time and attention pointless beyond the fact that it can be monetized to the benefit of seemingly omnipresent tech companies.

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