What is this?

If one thing is clear from life in the first decades of the twenty-first century, it’s this: technology is complicated: It’s essential, useful, distracting, fun, burdensome, perpetually broken, breaking our bank accounts, breaking news, breaking society, replenishing life, threatening life, comic, tragi-comic, tragic.

Technology is challenging. This newsletter explores its complexity, providing you new ways of seeing it. Maybe even helping you cope with it.

Technocomplex started out as “daily missives” to students enrolled in a seminar I lead that explores “our complex relationships with technology.” The emails went out every weekday morning during the semester and highlighted points to consider, nagged about deadlines, offered interesting links related — sometimes quite loosely — to the immediate topic in the seminar.

Technocomplex carries forth the tradition of the missive, but appears less frequently and is available to everyone.

It’s not always about complexity and technology, though I’m surprised how much of our daily lives touch technology in a complicated way. Much of Technocomplex is neither technological/technical or complicated. Some of it is just funny, some mostly visual, some historical, some reflective and personal.

Who am I?

I’m Mark DeLong, one of the people who career counselors might describe as perplexing, at least as far as career is concerned. I began Technocomplex after having served as a teacher and leader in higher education in the humanities and in the sciences. For my last “gig” at Duke University, I directed research computing form the institution, which naturally brought me into close contact with the wide range of researchers at a vibrant research university. Researchers who practiced medicine, were engineers, bench scientists, humanists in library carrels, artists. My own publications have been tilted toward genomics and medical research — areas that of course fit nicely into my doctoral work in medieval and Renaissance literature and culture. My personal website is markdelong.me; email me at technocomplex@substack.com

I take the varied depth of my career and study and apply it to matters of technology, society, and culture. I teach a seminar in the fall at Duke on the topics.

I hope you’ll subscribe to Technocomplex. It’s free.

Subscribe to Technocomplex

Notes, links, and experiments on our complex relationships with technology. Gleanings, too, from recent reading and thinking.


Mark R DeLong

Interested in intersections of all kinds, now especially the play of technology, culture, and art. Hater of acronyms.