Mstu4016 f06 session15 wikiwork
This Week's Respondent
"We are in the midst of a technological, economic, and organizational transformation that allows us to renegotiate the terms of freedom, justice, and productivity in the information society. How we shall live in this new environment will in some significant measure depend on policy choices that we make over the next decade or so. To be able to understand these choices, to be able to make them well, we must recognize that they are part of what is fundamentally a social and political choice–a choice about how to be free, equal, productive human beings under a new set of technological and economic conditions."
I have been having this feeling that all of our readings and discussions focused on the power of new technologies so much as if it was actually getting bigger than human, bigger than us. Well I guess it can be true in a way but also it is us after all who made all this enormous changes in our communication technologies. I though it was important how he stressed on our roles as individuals or the members of a bigger transforming community and the way our level of understanding of the world around us affects our decision making and eventually the social and economic future of the society that we are living in. As he mentions, it is by the way we create and exchange information, knowledge and culture, and the use of the big range of legal and policy choices that “we can make the twenty-first century one that offers individuals greater autonomy, political communities greater democracy, and societies greater opportunities for cultural self-reflection and human connection."
Ting-Fang (Annie), Cheng
"We have in fact seen the rise of nonmarket production to much greater importance. Individuals can reach and inform or edify millions around the world. Such a reach was simply unavailable to diversely motivated individuals before, unless they funneled their efforts through either market organizations or philanthropically or state-funded efforts. The fact that every such effort is available to anyone connected to the network, from anywhere, has led to the emergence of coordinate effects, where the aggregate effect of individual action, even when it is not self-consciously cooperative, produces the coordinate effect of a new and rich information environment."
This resonates in Deibert's description of the postmodern hypermedia environment in which people all over the world are interacting and sharing information; simultaneously publishing for a massive audience while creating imagined, virtual niche communities. What makes this remarkable is that anyone with a computer and access to the web has this ability to broadcast his or her message to a global audience.
Actually, I like this quote better...
"The networked information economy provides varied alternative platforms for communication, so that it moderates the power of the traditional mass-media model, where ownership of the means of communication enables an owner to select what others view, and thereby to affect their perceptions of what they can and cannot do. Moreover, the diversity of perspectives on the way the world is and the way it could be for any given individual is qualitatively increased. This gives individuals a significantly greater role in authoring their own lives, by enabling them to perceive a broader range of possibilities, and by providing them a richer baseline against which to measure the choices they in fact make."
"The bourgeoisie, by the rapid improvement of all instruments of production, by the immensely facilitated means of communication, draws all, even the most barbarian, nations into civilisation. The cheap prices of its commodities are the heavy artillery with which it batters down all Chinese walls, with which it forces the barbarians' intensely obstinate hatred of foreigners to capitulate. It compels all nations, on pain of extinction, to adopt its culture and its principles of intellectual ownership; it compels them to introduce what it calls civilisation into their midst, i.e., to become bourgeois themselves. In one word, it creates a world after its own image. But the very instruments of its communication and acculturation establish the modes of resistance which are turned against itself."
Walls being battered down... really?
Lessig, chairman of the board of Creative Commons, riposted that copyright reform advocates are "commonists," not "communists." -- One can only wonder how powerfully that one-letter distinction played in the mass media.
A battle over the framing of public messages...
Discussions about symbolism are important here-- social movements are largely impacted by the “cognitive frames” or “cultural discourses” especially when it comes to motivating people. The defining feature of a social movement is not so much the norms or position it espouses but the methods it uses to institutionalize the changes it is attempting to make.
A battle over the framing of public messages
Discussions about symbolism are important here-- social movements are largely impacted by the “cognitive frames” or “cultural discourses” when it comes to motivating people.
Historically, there has been a dynamic interaction between commons and private property. It is likely that neither could exist in socially productive forms without the other. Look at telecom in the US: one might view the breakup of AT&T into separate companies and the introduction of less-regulated, competing long distance telephone companies as the ultimate in creating a market. But the introduction of long distance competition was predicated upon the construction of an “equal access” regime granting long distance competitors "nondiscriminatory interconnection" rights to specific local exchange facilities at specified rates. In essence, the creation of a competitive market in long distance was accomplished by socializing the interface between long distance and local telephone systems.
"According to the Babel objection, when everyone can speak, no one can be heard, and we devolve either to a cacophony or to the reemergence of money as the distinguishing factor between statements that are heard and those that wallow in obscurity.
The second-generation critique was that the Internet is not as decentralized as we thought in the 1990s.
The emerging patterns of Internet use show that very few sites capture an exceedingly large amount of attention, and millions of sites go unnoticed.
In this world, the Babel objection is perhaps avoided, but only at the expense of the very promise of the Internet as a democratic medium."
This passage addresses an interesting point about the familiar claim or even assumption that the Internet is democratizing because of its supposed decentralized structure and voice. This stems the question of if decentralization automatically means equal opportunity in voices. It also distinguishes a difference between content production and audience reception of content to determine equality, and in what.
Valerio Borgianelli Spina
Some sites are much more visible and widely read than others. This is true both when one looks at the Web as a whole, and when one looks at smaller clusters of similar sites or users who tend to cluster. Most commentators who have looked at this pattern have interpreted it as a reemergence of mass media - the dominance of the few visible sites. But a full consideration of the various elements of the network topology literature supports a very different interpretation, in which order emerges in the networked environment without re-creating the failures of the mass-media-dominated public sphere. Sites cluster around communities of interest... . In each of these clusters, the pattern of some high visibility nodes continues, but as the clusters become small enough, many more of the sites are moderately linked to each other in the cluster. Through this pattern, the network seems to be forming into an attention backbone. "Local" clusters - communities of interest - can provide initial vetting and "peer-review-like" qualities to individual contributions made within an interest cluster. Observations that are seen as significant within a community of interest make their way to the relatively visible sites in that cluster, from where they become visible to people in larger ("regional") clusters. This continues until an observation makes its way to the "superstar" sites that hundreds of thousands of people might read and use.
I thought this was a pretty interesting description of how validation in a decentralized "attention economy" works. Of course, not all sites get organized into these kinds of communities of interest...