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Metaphors of Internet

Ways of Being in the Age of Ubiquity


Edited By Annette N. Markham and Katrin Tiidenberg

What happens when the internet is absorbed into everyday life? How do we make sense of something that is invisible but still so central? A group of digital culture experts address these questions in Metaphors of Internet: Ways of Being in the Age of Ubiquity.

Twenty years ago, the internet was imagined as standing apart from humans. Metaphorically it was a frontier to explore, a virtual world to experiment in, an ultra-high-speed information superhighway. Many popular metaphors have fallen out of use, while new ones arise all the time. Today we speak of data lakes, clouds and AI. The essays and artwork in this book evoke the mundane, the visceral, and the transformative potential of the internet by exploring the currently dominant metaphors. Together they tell a story of kaleidoscopic diversity of how we experience the internet, offering a richly textured glimpse of how the internet has both disappeared and at the same time, has fundamentally transformed everyday social customs, work, and life, death, politics, and embodiment.

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Chapter Twenty-Two: Hurricane Season: Annual Assessments of Loss (Daisy Pignetti)



Hurricane Season: Annual Assessments of Loss

daisy pignetti

10, September, 2017: The Weather Channel’s 24-hour coverage of Hurricane Irma repeatedly predicts the worst for South Florida. On CNN, Anderson Cooper appears in his signature black t shirt and rain slicker, reporting from Fort Myers, Florida.

Adrianna is there. She’s my best friend since the third grade. She fled there from the nearby town of Cape Coral, from a house she’s lived in for less than three months. She wanted to stay at work, a hospice care facility, to help both patients and staff, but when Irma turned west, emergency officials ordered mandatory evacuations in that zone. By this time, it was too late to drive north to join her parents and sister (who three days before drove 14 hours to the town of Montgomery, Alabama), so she’s taking shelter in her mother-in-law’s third floor apartment.

How do I know these details? Facebook.

I haven’t actually heard Adrianna’s voice in four months, when I last visited her over Memorial Day weekend. Like so many these days, we text rather than call, and message via Facebook rather than send emails. When she first moved to Florida from our hometown of New Orleans after our sophomore year of high school, we would write letters. After all, long distance phone calls were pricey in the early 1990s. When I moved to Tampa in 2003, we saw each other much more...

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