We are delighted to announce that Finn Brunton has successfully defended his PhD thesis: “Spam in Action: Social Technology and Unintended Consequences.” This is the first PhD completed in Aberdeen at the Centre for Modern Thought. Finn’s supervisors were Prof. Christopher Fynsk and Prof. Mario Biagioli.
In view of the high level of the achievement, we cannot resist citing one of the examiners: “As a social and technical history of the emergence of particular moral, social, political and material practices and assumptions, the thesis is a major contribution to our undertanding of the shape and trajectory of contemporary global socio-technical change … The thesis is beautifully written. A highly complex, intricate and mutually implicated set of processes, of both social and technical nature, are presented with accuracy, with clarity and with a literary panache that could only be possible with extraordinary knowledge of the subject under study, and an equally extraordinary analytic control over the issues and processes involved.”
Dr. Brunton will take up a postdoctoral research fellowship next year in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at NYU. He will pass the mantle of Centre webmaster to a worthy successor and will leave the fondest memories behind him. But ties, of the affective sort, and of the kind he has documented in this thesis, will keep us always in proximity. He will be in our hearts and in our bots.