Towards a grey ecology

Stefana Broadbent, Claire Maris

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The concept of “grey ecology” was introduced by P. Virilio in 2010 as a way of thinking about the by-products of the digital revolution on the human mind. Virilio argued that, just as risks and accidents are intrinsic to technological innovation, so pollution is the side effect of progress, to some extent its “normal” but unacceptable companion. While some risks of the digital era are well known (e.g. the end of privacy, state control, viral attacks, network meltdowns, data theft) and active efforts are made to reduce their occurrence and limit their effects, there is little thought about, or concern for, the effects of digital pollution. Defining pollution as the slow degradation of natural resources, this chapter suggests that, in the digital era, this concerns one of the fundamental human resources: our attention.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Onlife Manifesto: Being Human in a Hyperconnected Era
Subtitle of host publicationbeing human in a hyperconnected era
Place of PublicationDordrecht
PublisherSpringer International Publishing Switzerland 2014
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9783319040936, 9783319040929
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Attention
  • Grey ecology
  • Identity
  • Intimacy
  • Privacy
  • Relational self

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