Platform Capitalism Reading Group at the University of Cambridge

In recent discussions of capitalist transformation, the notion of the ‘platform’ has come to play a prominent role in conceptualising our present circumstances and imagining our potential futures. There are many criticisms which can be raised of the platform metaphor, however we believe it provides a useful hook through which to make sense of how social, economic, political, cultural and technological factors are collectively contributing to systemic transformation.

This intensive five week reading group explores platform capitalism, the growing focus on the platform and its implications for sociological and educational research. Each session will be an informal discussion of two papers, chapters, essays or talks:

The meetings will take place from 4pm to 6pm in DMB 2S5 in The Donald McIntyre Building in the Faculty of Education at the University of Cambridge. This is a fifteen minutes walk from Cambridge train station and we welcome all attendees. We would appreciate if you could e-mail your intention to attend to so we can update you with further details.

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  1. The one problem with a digital platform – something very obvious in states like India with its stupid cyber control (this is frightening because they – the individuals or groups controlling it – are stupid) easily turns it into a spectre of 1984 of George Orwell as well as a instrument to effect control and brainwashing. Something akin to earlier communist regimes one read about in WW Chinese or Vietnamese Prisoner camps – but in this case using the digital platform to disrupt services while in real life complement those with coercion & crime-terror junks. A very basic delegitimizing already. Second, is their rank criminal status as a state that is privatized by its various crime-terror groups that actually double up as it’s political parties but without exception.
    With the digital platform already so severely compromised, one doubts their existence as purely service platforms or capacity to do so. While India is a medieval third world state that barely is away from the medieval peasantry in self-awareness or capacities – this fear only magnifies itself. Given its much touted self-status riding hard military power linked to its purchases of military hardware – it is a dangerous situation.

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