Thursday, 7 January 2010

WEEK 7: A web of opinions (more discussions- Different points of view)

INFORMATION FROM THE WIKI PAGE: We looked at 5 views of the internet as outlined by Charles Leadbeater. 

1. Just a tool

the importance of the internet is overblown it's the same as we have always done
- just quicker, bigger audience eg. ebay is just a large and convenient flea market.

2. big but becoming dull: dull = integrated into everyday lifeBig changes can lead to big gains but only after the technological changes have become integrated but it's a long time before we really see what impact the internet will have, if any.  Saying Big changes can lead to big gains but only after the technological changes have become integrated contradicts big but becoming dull. It doesn't consider time, that the internet will continue long after all the living of this generation die, nor does it consider the acceleration of technological developments or what it might be like for someone in the world who is just learning for the first time about the internet.  Digital environments allow us to create new ways of  using the internet, and people will always be renewing and adding modified updated content. 

3. big but BADThere are 3 reasons why some people see the internet as bad:

1. killing experts & professionals - mass amateurism
2. dependency on web - eroding independent thought - dumbing down
3. eroding privacy & identity

4. big and getting bigger FAST: For those holding this view, they see the internet as mainly good but there are different views as to why it is good:
a. more diversity, choice, frictionless markets, free stuff, choice, capitalist cornucopia, long tail
b. community & collaboration, commons production, peer to peer, non market, non hierarchical, open source, wikipedia, we think, communitarian utopia.
c. different options for organising ourselves, get the things that matter done, innovation & knowledge sharing, collaboration, professionals & amateurs (but will all this social networking, new conversations, actually help in tackling major issues like environmental problems?)

5. big, good - could become bad
growth of the internet = pollution in the internet
spam, malware, surveillance, invasion of privacy, trivia, chaos, abuse of net = clogged up

This view sees the current self-organisation as only a passing phase, it needs traditional control someone to organise it - this leads to paid for access the internet needs someone, business or maybe governments to regulate it, clean it up, build areas of easy quick access, free from spam, trivia etc paid for access would of course mean that not everyone would have the same access. It is interesting that we talk about THE internet, one internet. It wasn't always like that, for example Compuserve and AOL started as walled off parts of the world wide web. 

It is important to be aware of these different views so that as you walk into this new and ever expanding world, you have your eyes wide open and are able to see the implications for your own creative practice.

* Traditional control/organisation is not versatile in a virtual environment such as the internet which is ever changing and ever growing. It thus follows that the way we use, view, organise, control and influence this environment must be adaptable to the substance in question. There is an ever increasing abundance of information that can not traditionally be dealt with. This is what's exciting about technology today and change will make the best of it. The internet IS a tool, I agree with this, but the fact that it is such a diverse and effective one means that what it is used to do sometimes has implications on people that really effects how they feel, what they know and what they want to do, so its probably a little bit more than 'just' a tool. Just like how the printing press was more than a tool.  All grand technological and cultural advances have a good side and a bad side. The good (in my opinion) always overrides that bad, mainly because things like photosynthesis astound me to such an extent that I oblivious to overriding negativity, although not totally ignorant in being aware of negative  things like manipulation, fraud, theft and abuse that would take place with or with out the internet.

NOTE and question: Ebay is not a flea market at all, its an auction. There is no haggling on ebay, only bidding perhaps an element of betting.  Its not comparable to a flea market at all because the whole point of a flea market if the physical experience of the masses of old junk you can find- this aesthetic is integral to the purpose of the flea market, even though there is loads of junk on ebay too. Similarly one could probably sell a broken glass in a wet cardboard box for 2p at a flea market, or at least try but its highly unlikely that anyone would do this on ebay (not impossible though of course).  For starters this is not cost effective on a pay account.  Its notable the impact of the revenue of ebay and paypal the impact of this on modern economics and our relation ship with it and things like online banking, shopping etc.
This stance neglects that SELF ORGANISATION automatically takes the most effective route. Education and awareness through the internet concerning dangers and forums where people can discuss this is definitely favorable over 'traditional control/organisation/leadership'. What is exactly meant by this anyway? It does not make sense to me, he could mean a feudal system equivalent for all I know. Governance and leadership should always be a response to what is needed, be adaptable and relative to its time. Else any possible regulation processes could threaten progress by being outdated.

QUOTE: Self-organization is a process of attraction and repulsion in which the internal organization of a system, normally an open system, increases in complexity without being guided or managed by an outside source. Self-organizing systems typically (but not always) display emergent properties.

Here is video from Below is an extract from his website that is an excellent example of the collaborative nature of the internet and what that nature can lead too and how it connects to physical environments all over the world. 

Matt is a 32-year-old deadbeat from Connecticut who used to think that all he ever wanted to do in life was make and play videogames. Matt achieved this goal pretty early and enjoyed it for a while, but eventually realized there might be other stuff he was missing out on. In February of 2003, he quit his job in Brisbane, Australia and used the money he'd saved to wander around Asia until it ran out. He made this site so he could keep his family and friends updated about where he is. A few months into his trip, a travel buddy gave Matt an idea. They were standing around taking pictures in Hanoi, and his friend said "Hey, why don't you stand over there and do that dance. I'll record it." He was referring to a particular dance Matt does. It's actually the only dance Matt does. He does it badly. Anyway, this turned out to be a very good idea. A couple years later, someone found the video online and passed it to someone else, who passed it to someone else, and so on. Now Matt is quasi-famous as "That guy who dances on the internet. No, not that guy. The other one. No, not him either. I'll send you the link. It's funny."

The response to the first video brought Matt to the attention of the nice people at Stride gum. They asked Matt if he'd be interested in taking another trip around the world to make a new video. Matt asked if they'd be paying for it. They said yes. Matt thought this sounded like another very good idea.
In 2006, Matt took a 6 month trip through 39 countries on all 7 continents. In that time, he danced a great deal.
The second video made Matt even more quasi-famous. In fact, for a brief period in July, he was semi-famous.
Things settled down again, and then in 2007 Matt went back to Stride with another idea. He realized his bad dancing wasn't actually all that interesting, and that other people were much better at being bad at it. He showed them his inbox, which, as a result of his semi-famousness, was overflowing with emails from all over the planet. He told them he wanted to travel around the world one more time and invite the people who'd written him to come out and dance too.
The intro of this presentation in 2008 will give you a summary of Matt's dancing all over the world followed by a lecture by Dr. Jeff Sutherland about how high performance depends on the self-organizing capability of teams.

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