Paul Michael Privateer is an American postmodern cultural and technology philosopher. Presently he is the founder and CEO of Data Insight Solutions, a Seattle-based data systems consulting service that provides clients with contemporary strategies for creating, updating or modifying organizational knowledge management systems. He is also the Pacific Northwest Organizer for Seattle Data for Good (PNW) in Meetup. His interest in data sciences is at the center of his national initiative to apply data analytics, probability models, pattern recognition, predictive analytics and psychological informatics to the reduction of adolescent and school violence. See NoSchoolViolence.org
Early life and education
Privateer was born in NY to a second generation Italian-French family who moved to Los Angeles in the 1960s. He served as a SAC missile telemetry system and reconnaissance specialist in the U.S. Air Force, received his B.A. and M.A. from California State University Stanislaus, and obtained a Ph.D. in Postmodernism from the University of California, Davis. His dissertation was completed with a Fulbright grant at the Université de Genève, studying under Jacques Derrida, Jean Starobinski, and Michel Butor
Privateer has taught at San Jose State University, the University of Southern Mississippi, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Arizona State University where he was tenured in both the Consortium for Science Policy and Outcomes and the Film and Media Program. During his tenure Privateer served as a Visiting Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and as an Apple Fellow. During graduate school Privateer worked as an NBC reporter and producer.
Privateer created The Privateer Group™, a strategic and knowledge management consulting corporation from 1995 to 2002. Clients included Dun and Bradstreet, IBM, Intel, Probusiness, Sun Microsystems, Accenture, Spherion, and Unisys.
Privateer is exploring how historical, technological, economic and social information behaviors create systems of power and class structures. The history of information reveals the dominance of the monolith, ritualized spaces for the centralized collecting and distribution of authoritative information, evident in contemporary society in the powerful space accorded the "screen" as a nexus point for computer, film, narrative and television content creation and distribution. He argues that the monolith tradition is becoming more and more in conflict with demands for greater capitalization of information given these forces: advances in the semantic Web; a new generation of social media technologies enhancing social networks, community development and entrepreneurial potential; significant demands for new marketplaces driven by individuals seeking profit from their own generated content; increases in specialized skills and knowledge requiring new open and more accessible marketplaces; corporations, businesses, and organizations discovering the value of social media but lacking the tools and strategies for enterprise wide integration; and the growth of digital capital and demands for more digital marketplaces.
As information becomes more abundant, significant increases in digital capital will create more economic opportunities and social networks. This trend will cause greater conflict with the monolith tradition, tensions already evident globally with web information censorship issues between providers and countries or national security operations. In essence the forces of economic expansion will grow in conflict, challenging traditional cultural centers of authority. The demand for information and its monetization will cause significant changes and threats to pre-internet age institutions.
Privateer advocates for the expansion of web-based populist economic sectors or multiple social capitalisms, as a countermeasure to monopolistic transnational companies, that will revive the middle class and help promote economic justice. His focus on social capital revives the spirit of community that drove early web innovators— Douglas Engelbart, Stewart Brand, researchers at PARC, Well.com, the Institute of Noetic Sciences, the young idealists at Apple, Jaron Lanier and other 60s influenced techies—those who envisioned the Internet as means to achieve a transcendent society, rather than as a predominately military or corporate.com technology or corporations who have appropriated social media without paying users for their generated content.
In the media
- New York Times, September 6, 2006, When Film School Isn’t Enough, the EnterTech Age Dawns
- BBC 4, February 8, 2007, Thinking Allowed Program, re: Inventing Intelligence (Blackwell, 2006). http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/factual/thinkingallowed/thinkingallowed_20060208.shtml
- NPR, "Revolutions In Learning," aired January and March 1997.
- CNN, ABC, New York Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Apple Imagine series related to
Odyssey Project, 1994–1997
Awards and honors
- Fulbright Grant, 1984.
- NEH Advisory Fellow, 2005.
- UC Cyberinfrastructure Institute Participant, July 2006.
- Professor of the Year Award, Arizona State University, 2007.
- Privateer, Paul Michael. Kavanaugh 1 - The Oracle Virus. Seattle: Digital Book Guild, 2016.
- Privateer, Paul Michael. Educating the Future: New Century Schools, Social Capital And The Age of New Economies (forthcoming, 2016).
- Privateer, Paul Michael. Inventing Intelligence: A Social History of Smart. London: Blackwell, January 2007.
- Privateer, Paul Michael. Romantic Voices: Identity and Ideology in British Literature, 1789–1850. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1992.
- Privateer, Paul Michael. "Digitizing the Universe: The New Alphabet and the Global Battle for Human Nature," International Journal on Technology, Knowledge and Society, 2007, Volume 3, 14-20.
- Privateer, Paul Michael. "Postmodernism and Replication Technologies: A Theory into the Mechanics of Culture." International Journal on Technology, Knowledge and Society, 2006, 71-75.
- Privateer, Paul Michael. "Circuits, Simulations, and Viruses: A Case Study of Media Brandscapes." Applied Semiotics, 15, May 2005, 1-10.
- Privateer, Paul Michael. "Transdisciplinary Programs and The Future of Higher Education." Transdisciplinary Journal of Emergence, Issue 2 – No. 2 (Fall 2004) 61-70.
- Privateer, Paul Michael. "Academic Technology and The Future of Higher Education." Journal of Higher Education, January–February, 1999, 70 (1), 60-79.