[SIGCIS-Members] Vinsel "An Unresolved Issue: Evgeny Morozov, The New Yorker, & the Perils of "Highbrow Journalism"

Lee Vinsel lee.vinsel at gmail.com
Sun Oct 12 11:39:40 PDT 2014

Dear Sharon,

Thank you for your suggestions and comment. I have updated the original
posting in light of your suggestions, providing better info both on Medina
and Mills. I think you are right about being hyper-explicit in referencing

I also agree with your comment. Many people have been saying that this is
an issue of generosity and lack thereof.

I have a follow up blog post coming out tomorrow, which builds on more
recent information re: Morozov and The New Yorker. I think it might be more
effective at getting both of them to move.

Very best,


On Sat, Oct 11, 2014 at 3:25 PM, Sharon Traweek <traweek at history.ucla.edu>

>  Hi
> I am very impressed with Lee Vinsel's analysis of the issues we have been
> addressing and I am eager to circulate it far and wide. I do have a
> suggestion and a comment.
> First, the suggestion: since Morozov and Nasser did not give adequate
> citation to the works they summarized, I think it is important that we do
> so in writing abut these matters. Here they are:
> * Eden Medina [MIT PhD], Informatics and Computing, Indiana University
> * http://www.indiana.edu/~histweb/faculty/Display.php?Faculty_ID=69
> <http://www.indiana.edu/~histweb/faculty/Display.php?Faculty_ID=69>
> Cybernetic Revolutionaries: Technology and Politics in Allende’s Chile*
> [MIT, 2011] http://mitpress.mit.edu/books/cybernetic-revolutionaries
> * Mara Mills [PhD Harvard], Media, Culture, & Communication, NYU
> "...She is completing a book (On the Phone: Deafness and Communication
> Engineering) on the significance of phonetics and deaf education to the
> emergence of "communication engineering" in early twentieth-century
> telephony; this concept and set of practices later gave rise to information
> theory, digital coding, and cybernetics. ..."
>  http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/faculty_bios/view/Mara_Mills
> Access her publications at http://maramills.org/publications/
> Next is my comment:
> I was surprised/amused that Browne regards the New Yorker as "highbrow
> journalism." Essays have been written in the UK and US for over 75 years
> differentiating class-based cultural consumption practices using the
> phrenological metaphors of low brow, lower-middle brow, middle brow, and
> upper-middle brow. See citations for many of those essays at:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middlebrow
> The New Yorker often has been mentioned as an exemplar of upper-middle
> brow culture; for an example, see William Deresiewicz, "Upper Middle Brow:
> The culture of the creative class," *The American Scholar*, 4 Nov 2012
> http://theamericanscholar.org/upper-middle-brow/#.VDaufue0blU
> One part of his argument is that upper middle brow culture consumption
> practices are aspirational and such practices  support upper brow cultural
> production. However, Morozov’s and Nasser’s work for the *New Yorker *and
> the *Atlantic* could not support the consumption of Eden Medina’s and
> Mara Mills’ academic work because the readers have not been given the
> proper names for the work being summarized.
> Sincerely,
> Sharon Traweek, Gender Studies, UCLA
>  ------------------------------
> *From:* members-bounces at sigcis.org [members-bounces at sigcis.org] on behalf
> of Lee Vinsel [lee.vinsel at gmail.com]
> *Sent:* Saturday, October 11, 2014 5:55 AM
> *To:* sigcis
> *Subject:* [SIGCIS-Members] An Unresolved Issue: Evgeny Morozov, The New
> Yorker, and the Perils of "Highbrow Journalism"
>   Dear SIGCIS Members,
>  The Medina-Morozov situation continued to bother me, so I decided to
> write something about it. If you want me to remove reference to you or add
> such a reference (in cases where I write things like "One historian . . .),
> please let me know. Also please let me know if I have said anything
> inaccurate or even if you disagree with my argument. I believe that the
> kinds of arguments I make in this post can be right or wrong, and if I find
> that I have been wrong I will both make corrections and apologize publicly
> via the same venue.
> https://lee-vinsel.squarespace.com/blog/2014/10/11/an-unresolved-issue-evgeny-morozov-the-new-yorker-and-the-perils-of-highbrow-journalism
>  Sincerely,
>  Lee
>  --
> Assistant Professor
> Program on Science and Technology Studies
> College of Arts and Letters
> Stevens Institute of Technology
> Hoboken, NJ 07030
> AmericanScience.Blogspot.com
> Twitter: @STS_News

Assistant Professor
Program on Science and Technology Studies
College of Arts and Letters
Stevens Institute of Technology
Hoboken, NJ 07030
Twitter: @STS_News
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