On theory & practice: why I left academia.edu

In the course of reducing my free labour and data provision to shady companies, I deleted my academia.edu account today. It had been on my mind for a while already, and reading “Should This Be the Last Thing You Read on Academia.edu?” by Gary Hall only gave the final push to do so.

I do not know much about this company that managed in only a few years to lock-in millions of university workers into their walled garden, applying, of course, all kinds of data analytics on what we all publish and selling it to the highest bidder.

I have never been particularly active on this honey pot site. The reasons I initially joined were rather mundane: being in the loop with latest papers on subjects I am interested in. But soon I noticed that this site is basically run with the same devasting social logics that all neoliberal trajectories entail: who is following whom, who is important, etc.

University workers seem to be particulary receptive for these social logics of digital cultures as we all are constantly reminded that if we don’t publish (of course at Elsevier!), our careers might not develop properly. University worker to large extends have internalized in the best (or worst) Foucauldian sense the gouvernementality of neoliberal subjects in an economy that is based on competition and kissing a.

This is so much more of a problem when the same authors that spent time and thought into critizing this matrix act in total conformity to it.

Well, at least one soul less is now captured by Richard Price’s profit machine.

Maybe you want to do the same? There a lots of other possibilities to publish and network. Starting with a simple blog like this. We really should practically be on the side of the open internet and stop contributing to its further closure and privatization. Think about it, fellow academians! Public space is scarce already. Why are we so stupid to enforce the privatization of the online space, too?

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