Information greed — behavior strategy in which a person reduces the amount of information, which they share with subscribers in social networks, in favour of a deep study of the information coming to them and creation the final product on its basis: articles, studies, etc. (this concept is described by journalist Alexander Amzin in his book “Haphazard tips” [Russian edition “Бессистемные советы”]).

Person is a conductor of interesting information for his real and network friends and spends a lot of resources to find and share something interesting in social networks. Such activity brings a person nothing but weak communication and friends entertainment. Thus, person works on society, but gets nothing useful like payment, deep knowledge or skills.

Sharing information, person instantly receives reward for this social action expressed in “likes” or comments. This can be called quasi reward, because these approvals are poorly converted into social or financial capital, skills or personal growth of the person. You cannot earn respect and recognition, if you constantly show the raw material that may only underlie the final product.

“Informationally-greedy man” invests time and energy in the final product. This can be an article, a study or a book. Alexander Amzin notes that this behavior opens a new layer of information. This is the way time frees up for reflection on what they saw, arrangement of the notes, sifting out, and for the additional findings. Person begins to use mostly services with personal notes, and channels their efforts into a finished product creation, then discusses it in a narrow circle, and can use the Net only to talk over the unshaped ideas.

“Creation vs. Consumption” opposition — tablets and smartphones are convenient for consuming information and entertainment (reading news feeds, games, video) and inconvenient for content creation or thoughtful analytics.

Tablets and smartphones nearly resemble TV and radio in the way of information consumption, however surprising it sounds. Despite having the interactive features, mobile devices are more optimized for information consumption rather than for its processing. Touch screen interface often does not allow the user to control the process of working with information. Keyboard, mouse and pen are far more suitable for working with charts, tables, text editing or drawing. In addition, some programs for analysis or content creation have no mobile versions, or if they do have, these versions have limited functionality.

A feedback of the businessman from St. Petersburg: “I noticed that after the tablet had replaced my laptop, I started to devote noticeably less time to company analytics. Excel is not handy on the tablet: mouse absence makes it inconvenient to manage tables. If earlier I could actively engage in analytics on my laptop even on the road, now I need to take special time in the office.”

This leads to that the users of desktop computers become the only creators of content. The opposition “Creation vs. Consumption” is one of the factors which aggravates digital divide and needs to be overcame.

The New TV

The tablet and smartphone can be called a new TV or a new radio, these devices are totally couch-aimed. Given usage pattern is advantageous to the entrepreneurs who plan their businesses to be built on the principles of “attention economy”. In the future recommendation mechanisms will evolve to such an extent that the user will not need to make any effort to select and ingest information. Just get a smartphone and look.

Futurologist Alexander Bard (before becoming a techno philosopher he participated in the one-time hot trio “Army of Lovers”) in his book “Netocracy: The New Power Elite and Life After Capitalism” foretells the division of future society into two classes. The ruling class — netocracy, mobile citizens of the world. They form virtual elite groups using the Internet as a mean of social ties establishment. Netocrats participate in the values and meanings creation. And opposed to netocracy — the lowest oppressed tier of society — consumtariat (a kind of a consumer proletariat). Such people are usually called “couch potatoes”. They are lifelong TV viewers and feeble participants of the consumption chains. They are only capable of consumption, but not of making any new values.

Screens’ future

In the new perfect world personal screens will be only a part of the global advertising network. The screens will round us up, and sneak into our homes absolutely free (for instance, such a wording: “You can buy the same fridge, but with the screen, and it will cost you twenty percent cheaper!”). Contextual advertising will go beyond the Net. Google has already voiced confidence that in a few years, many companies worldwide will place advertising on the dashboards, thermostats, glasses, watches and other items. Even if you do not go online, advertising from the Internet will find you.

Personalized advertising the film «Minority Report»


Craftsmen and artists who work closely with the tool note that “special mode of interaction with material and model, subtle shades and consistency distinction is a different and very deep and absorbing world […] open only to those who actually constantly nurse the tools and natural materials” (quote of an artist Oleg Paschenko). For example, when the artist draws in pencil, he feels the pressure, the slightest changes in color, paper resistance. An artist’s tool also defines the mode of interaction with the model. So, the path of the pen when drawing repeats the movement of an artist’s eyes when they look carefully at the architectural ensemble of the medieval Cathedral. As sharply noted by one paintress, interaction mode with touch-screen can be described as “poking”, which is then extended by people to interaction with the world around them.

Open awareness — the state when the mind balances between concentration and scattered attention, evoking new ideas. In this state, a person perceives reality as it is, listens to the inner voice, and reflects on previous experience. It is rather common to grasp the sudden insights and solutions to the actual problems. Open awareness is the source of the most creative thoughts.

Another name of this state is “ineluctable modality of the visible”. The term owes its origin to the novel “Ulysses” written by James Joyce. So calls his state Stephen Dedalus when walking on the sea shore in the third episode of the novel. This term Joyce calls the state in which a person keeps track of their thoughts without trying to control them and freely perceives everything that is happening. In this state the brain synthesizes incoherent, at first glance, ideas and feelings, and then turns them into a new meaning. The brain doesn’t focus on the one particular problem, and consequently consciousness catches random associations, which leads to the innovative discoveries.

Keenness on gadgets contributes to the fact that modern people rarely experience the open awareness state. Network gadgets place a person in the endless chain of notifications and messages that call for attention. Social networks continuously hold out cutting-edge information. The state of boredom and loneliness become elusive and unbearable. Even when a person is on their own, they are rarely left alone with their thoughts.

Reactionary character of thought

People both work and play with information, simply by changing its type. This permanent cognitive load impedes free wandering of thoughts, and it gets more and more difficult for people to come up with new ideas and to realize their personal experience as well. Instead of letting the thoughts flow freely and unite into contiguity, the new way of thinking is being formed. Such mindset implies that most thoughts of a human are not independent impulses, but a reluctant answer or reaction to the information coming from the Internet. The secondary character of this way of thinking is obvious.

There is hardly anything more natural to a man than attempts to understand themselves. Every day we think over our behavior, analyze feelings and motives. Technologies are a part of our lives — the further, the greater their impact. It means that our condition, relationships with close ones, friends and colleagues also depend on new world structure. The “Digital Vocabulary” project, laid-back, by dint of observations and researches explains where we have come to, where we are going to, and why everything is the way it is. In other words, it gives meaningfulness to our actions.

Anastasia Chernikova
IT Journalist, Editor at Hopes & Fears

The Digital Vocabulary Project is a nuanced perspective to how we, digital media practitioners and theorists look at the digital landscape. The Internet of Things and Big Data have massively revolutionized our lives in profound ways. These technological and structurally changes to our personal and professional lives, has brought about social, cultural and political implications. This nuanced perspective is what project presents to its readers. As a marketing communications professional I have seen numerous studies and analyses written about how the digital revolution is and will continue to create tremendous economic opportunities for brands and marketers. I have also heard perspectives on how consumer behavior is greatly influenced through these advancements in technology. But what Alex and Dmitriy bring to the table is a psychological and sociological perspective to these changes. The Digital Vocabulary Project zeros in on the central theme of digital anthropology — which is increasingly important in this day and age, as we progress into an even more technologically advanced world.

Florent D’Souza
Consultant. Aspiring entrepreneur. Strategist. Marketing communications professional. Polymath.

Our most precious, irreplaceable resource is our time. For me personally, books are one of the wisest ways we can invest that time. A book is the direct transfer, mind to mind, of the thoughts of another human being. Today, we are assailed by a thousand distractions every hour, as various sources of information compete for our attention. Those of us who grew up in the pre-Internet era know the slow time experience of immersion in a powerful or moving book. And when we switch our attention to Facebook, or Reddit, or any of a million and one other potential distractions, we are losing our time to an insidious digital addiction.

The shallow accretions of Internet data doses are finely tuned to captivate our attention, titillating our minds with illusory promises of satisfaction which can never be fulfilled except by more of the same, in an endless cycle of meme, news flash and tawdry ‘human interest’ stories, optimized with click-bait headlines. What we gain in content, we lose in meaning.

We are also losing our privacy, our innocence and most importantly, we are losing the ability to think deeply about important subjects. As long as we embrace too-easy gratification, we will continue to remain in thrall to the digital domination of instant information. I am concerned that human beings are subjecting themselves to a new way to trigger neuro-chemical changes in our brains, that may ultimately lead to a decline in the quality of our human relationships.

I therefore advocate and support the message of entering slow time. Take a hike in nature. Disconnect from the constant digital flood. Interact with your friends. Share a meal together. Switch off from every external distraction, and embrace the flow of life beyond the digital fix. Your future may depend upon it.

Paul Gillingwater
Journalist & Filmmaker. Managing Editor at The Local Austria

“Digital Vocabulary” is an extremely time-sensitive project. A few years ago, warnings regarding new technologies could be considered far-fetched. However, today we understand that the principle “I’ll turn it off if I please” no longer works: technology has been long now deciding when it is time to switch us on and off — by operating cycles, TV-program schedules, alarm clocks in smartphones, mobile apps, games and wearable devices. An important thing is that operational guidelines go hand-in-hand with theory. Thus, it allows not only to adapt to the prevailing conditions but also to suggest how the situation will develop further. And then, apparently, the next initiative by “Digital Vocabulary” authors will be required — new technologies and social changes are not long in coming.

Anton Gumenskiy
Media Researcher, Lecturer Theory of Communication Faculty of International Journalism at MGIMO

I’m getting old, the twinkle in my stardust is fading like a birthday candle. I remember the time when a friend told me about a lecture he’d just attended, it was a time with no personal computers and no mobile phones – yes, such a time actually existed, I was born in that time. My friend told me that the lecturer had said “In the future, there will be two kinds of people, technocrats and technopeasants,” Well, here we are in the future (a future sadly bereft of hover scooters) and I guess that prophetic lecturer was right. I had chosen to be on the side of the technopeasants because I figured that the world of theatre, “to which I am shackled like a boozer to his bottle, a dogged gambler to his game…” would not be impinged upon by the technological revolution. Well, I was wrong and the reason I was wrong is because the technological revolution has gotten rid of the actor and replaced him with an uber-marionette of cosmic proportions – it has changed the mind of man – it may be that we are no longer able to “hold a mirror up to nature” as creative artists but that the quantum and intra worlds of meta-linguistics are actually dragging us by the ego into the whirlpool of narcissism, where we are being devoured by vicious metal sharks and turned into bloody chum – until that is the human voices of digital detox wake us, “and we drown.”

Martin Cooke
Artistic Director, English Actors International

The “Digital Vocabulary” is a unique project. Nowadays, a great many write about technology’s impact on mankind (I’ve read almost everything of that, therefore my judgement can be called authoritative), but only Alex and Dmitry could comprehend, make it loud and simple, show it from an unexpected point of view, bring in their own insights and create a fabulous in its depth analytical portal, which considers all the aspects of the homo digitalis life. It is remarkable that both voluntarily Internet-addicted and committed techno luddites and media ascetics would find a lot of exciting things. Highly recommended to all fans of pushing the boundaries of reality: “Digital Vocabulary” provides a detailed 3D-model of the digital world and tools to its contemplation.

Irina Gusinskaya
Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Head of Interactive Publishing at Alpina Publisher

It’s about time someone(s) put together a GPS for navigating the digital gadget landscape. And Alex and Dmitriy have succeeded in this wonderfully! More than a dictionary of terms that only a geek could love, this vocabulary introduces and explains key terms in both their technical and cultural significance. Moreover there are highlighted key sentences in each section for those who have only an “Internet minute” to cover the material.

Tom Mahon
Technology Publicist, Journalist and Activist
Author “Charged Bodies: People, Power, and Paradox in Silicon Valley”
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