John Rawls’ “veil of ignorance” holds that for just agreement to be achieved in society all parties must engage in political discourse without reference to their own positions and backgrounds. From this original position the weight of various social and cultural traditions is removed, allowing for decisions to be reached without undue bargaining advantage. This […]

Facebook Stalking

Over a decade ago Paul Virilio observed the following: “You will, in fact, understand nothing of the information revolution if you are unable to divine that it ushers in, in purely cybernetic fashion, the revolution of generalized snooping”. The “Facebook stalking” phenomenon has proven Virilio to be prescient. Let us be clear about what this […]


One of the central features of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter is the space in which the user can offer a temporary self-expression: the status update or the tweet. The status update on Facebook, along with the wall (the space where users write to other users publicly), is one of the few […]

Open Sky

The following is a review of Paul Virilio’s Open Sky that I wrote in 2009. It never got published, for whatever reason, but – despite its age and immaturity – it sums up the later reflections on Virilio represented by my previous post: Paul Virilio’s Open Sky was first published in French in 1995 (as La vitesse […]

Amazon V Apollo

I was working late on Saturday trying to get a lecture together on the work of Paul Virilio. I’ve always found Virilio’s work compelling despite his conservative moral position. He cites Papal pronunciations on new technologies as if they were social scientific studies and borders on the hysteric reactionary at times; for example, when he […]