New deadline: OBS* Special issue – As Formas Contemporâneas dos Conflitos e das Apostas Digitais

The submission deadline of papers for the thematic issue of OBS*, on the theme As Formas Contemporâneas dos Conflitos e das Apostas Digitais, edited by Vânia Baldi and Jorge Martins Rosa, was postponed to August 26th 2018. The call is repeated below.

Submissions should follow the manuscript format guidelines for OBS*, available at

For questions, please contact special issue guest editors Vania Baldi and Jorge Martins Rosa:

Manuscripts will go through a peer review process, and the special issue is planned to appear in the last issue of 2018 of OBS*

Though such a trivial operation as a long division is already the application of an algorithm, the term has never been so widely used as in recent times.

The notion of algorithm applies currently not only to a step by step rendering of logical operations, but also, and increasingly, to complex computational processes involving large amounts of data, aiming at the extraction of all kinds of correlations, the maximization of the efficacy of communication, of decision making, and also the anticipation of future trends. Predicting the future is, besides, a favoured battlefield in which contemporary powers place
their bets in order to become more influent.But is that future merely an expectation of what is most likely to happen or something that those very same algorithms produce? Does the future invent itself, can it be unexpected, or is it inscribed in the metadata that intelligent automatisms decodify?

Concurrently with this ascension of algorithms, the so-called knowledge and information society appears to reveal itself as one in which everything is automatically recorded and transfigured by
targeting, shaping a generalized fragmentation of the social fabric into detached and fanatically polarised clusters. Are sociotechnical devices producing a culture of identitarian ghettos and of radical oppositions that is allergic to all dialectic sensibility?

The recent debate on “post-truth” seems to confirm the emergence of a “disinformation society” grounded on “confirmation biases”, on “cybercascades” and on “echo chambers”. Desintermediation has thus shown its counterpart, fallacious credulity. It is therefore imperative to understand the relation between emotive reactions to digital contents and the cultural capital of internauts, concerning the moral, political and social issues that are the protagonists of network disputes.

The contemporary wave of populisms seems to be grounded on this until recently ignored cybercultural feature, that is now threatening the emancipatory social ideal that was promised with the access to the digital world. As Christian Fuchs (2017) forewarned, the proliferation
of nationalisms and authoritarianisms evokes a not so distant past, seeming to confirm the concern that History is repeating itself, while at the same time we are experiencing phenomena that herald a new era, phenomena that are the offspring of technologies such as social social
media, data, the Internet of Things, cloud computing, among others.The old and the new seem to be intertwined in the present in particularly complex ways.

Technological transformation must not, however, be considered as the sole determining cause. Its potential effects toward the emergence of cultural polarizations and populisms are likewise filtered by narratives and ideological world views that contribute also to a definition of the Internet today as an arena for political and economical hegemony. We must therefore understand and discuss how it may contribute (or not) to these new populisms and how it is defined and used either by their leaders or by other actors or organizations.

It is a multidimensional topic, with a span that covers journalistic, epistemic, esthetical, ethical, political, educational, sociotechnical and cybercultural issues. With this special issue of the journal OBS * we intend to identify and understand some of the fields that are at the forefront in these dimensions of the digitization of reality.

2018-07-09T11:19:45+00:00July 9th, 2018|Categories: ICNOVACalls|