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We Are All Public Figures Now
Ella Dawson über eine der creepiest Viral-Storys 2018: https://elladawson.com/2018/07/08/we-are-all-public-figures-now/

Gibts auch als Sort-Of-Kurzversion in <a href="https://twitter.com/MinovskyArticle/status/1014584128530997249">diesem Twitter-Thread</a>: „This is being shared around like it’s cute, but in reality it’s the kind of invasive nightmare that makes you want to become a hermit.“
The woman on the plane is unaware that the woman sitting in the row behind her is watching and recording her every move. Rosey Blair, the stranger she helped sit beside her boyfriend, is projecting a story on top of her interactions that soon takes the internet by storm. Her detailed breakdown of their conversation and body language racks up hundreds of thousands of likes and retweets. Blair herself begins to accumulate thousands of new Twitter followers.

Not long after the plane touches down in Texas, the hordes of strangers following Blair’s tweets are eager to discover the identities of the personal trainers from Dallas. A hunt begins to find her Instagram account. Later the man, her seatmate Euan Holden, participates in the growing media circus because he also gains a ton of twitter followers, or because it helps his career, or because it’s fun, or because it’s just too late to go back to the anonymity of before. […]

the media industry wants to broaden our definition of the public so that it will be fair game for discussion and content creation, meaning they can create more articles and videos, meaning they can sell more ads. The tech industry wants everything to be public because coding for privacy is difficult, and because our data, if public, is something they can sell. Our policy makers have failed to define what’s public in this digital age because, well, they don’t understand it and wouldn’t know where to begin. And also, because lobbyists don’t want them to.

I think a lot about us, the normal ones, the average citizens. The idea that our privacy is in jeopardy is a relatively new concept, born from the 2016 election and the Cambridge Analytica scandal. There’s growing awareness of just how much of our private lives we’ve ceded to Facebook. But even now, most of us feel safe online, because what do we have to hide? Who would care what we have to say? Who is watching us? What’s the worst that could happen? […]

A woman boarded a plane in New York and stepped off that plane in Dallas. She chatted with a stranger, showed him some family photos, brushed his elbow with her own. She wore a baseball cap over her face and followed him back on Instagram. At no point did she agree to participate in the story Rosey Blair was telling. After the fact, when the hunt began and the woman took no part in encouraging it the way Holden did, Blair tweeted a video in which she drawled, “We don’t have the gal’s permish yet, not yet y’all, but I’m sure you guys are sneaky, you guys might…”

Blair’s followers were sneaky. They did as they were told and immediately replied with screenshots of the woman’s Instagram account. They shared links.

When people called Blair out for this blatant invasion of privacy, she blocked them. Because she, apparently, could control her own boundaries. Later she tweeted about wanting a job at BuzzFeed.

I don’t know what the woman on the plane is thinking or feeling. I don’t know if she’s afraid or angry or mildly amused but inconvenienced. But I know how it feels to see strangers scrawling obscenities in a space you once considered safe, commenting alongside your friends and family members. I know the sour humiliation of knowing everyone in your life can see that strangers have written about you—your parents, your coworkers, your exes.

Even when the attention is positive, it is overwhelming and frightening. Your mind reels at the possibility of what they could find: your address, if your voting records are logged online; your cellphone number, if you accidentally included it on a form somewhere; your unflattering selfies at the beginning of your Facebook photo archive. There are hundreds of Facebook friend requests, press requests from journalists in your Instagram inbox, even people contacting your employer when they can’t reach you directly. This story you didn’t choose becomes the main story of your life. It replaces who you really are as the narrative someone else has written is tattooed onto your skin.

There is no opting-in, no consent form, no opportunity to take it all back. It feels like you are drowning as everyone on the beach applauds your swimming prowess. You are relevant, and that is the best thing you can be in this new world. What do you have to complain about? Why wouldn’t you want this?

What Blair did and continues to do as she stokes the flames of this story despite knowing this woman wants no part of it goes beyond intrusive. It is selfish, disrespectful harassment. The violation of this woman’s privacy is less important than Blair’s growing platform and ambition. It is not a romantic comedy for the digital age, it is an act of dehumanization. It is a taking of someone else’s identity and privacy for your own purposes. That this is happening online makes it more, not less serious—its impact is instant, and anyone can join in the fun.
nct  ncpin  DasGeileNeueInternet  Privacy  Memetics  Viral 
12 days ago by walt74
How ASMR Became an Internet Phenomenon | The New Yorker
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxjfyBEIl7Q

Still don't really get ASMR, that's why I find it highly fascinating: „How the sounds of crinkling, whispering, and tapping induce euphoria.“
ncpin  ncv  VideoEssays  Sounds  Psychology  ASMR  Memetics 
7 weeks ago by walt74
Biology of Disinformation – Memes, media viruses, and cultural inoculation
By Douglas Rushkoff, David Pescovitz, and Jake Dunagan. April 24, 2018.
Political campaigns have always relied on values, visions, narratives, and ideologies to win votes. Whether virtuous or cynical, this effort comes down to propaganda: the leverage of social and psychological biases to promote a particular point of view.

Since Woodrow Wilson hired Walter Lippman to create the Creel Commission and win public support for our participation in World War I, social philosophers of all stripes have been debating the merits of manipulating people for political agendas. Lippman called for a “council of experts” to decide what would benefit the public, and an army of public relations specialists to convince them of what was in their own best interests. His protege, Edward Bernays, took an even more cynical stance, arguing that the public was just too stupid to make informed choices. Elites should figure everything out, and treat the masses like Pavlov treated his dogs...

Thoughts from the Authors

This collection of thoughts was recorded with the authors of "The Biology of Disinformation: Memes, media viruses, and cultural inoculation," Douglas Rushkoff, David Pescovitz, and Jake Dunagan, in order to provide some context for the paper, its themes, and its meaning for society.
Download the paper here: http://www.iftf.org/fileadmin/user_upload/images/DigIntel/SR-2002_IFTF_Biology_of_disinformation_tk_042618.pdf

Jake Dunagan: Propaganda goes back thousands of years. The idea of trying to influence and persuade people to not to just think differently but act differently, is as old as rhetoric and storytelling and culture.

David Pescovitz: There's been a long history of trying to figure out ways to use whatever media is at your fingertips to inform or misinform or coerce wide swaths of the population to believe something or do something. And that could be "buy this brand of soda" or "vote for this politician" or "blame immigrants for all your problems." So in that regard it's not entirely new, but what is new is the ability for most anyone to reach large numbers of people without the need for a deep pocketed middle man or a TV network.

Douglas Rushkoff: It was interesting to go back and look at the origins of public relations. The whole field was based on the underlying assumption that people need to be directed from above. They believed the masses are a clueless and dangerous mob, and that we can’t act in our own best interests without a benevolent elite telling us what to do and how to think. Since WWI, government and industry alike have questioned whether human beings in our society are capable of engaging thoughtfully and meaningfully in democracy.

DP: I first learned about memes as a concept before the web through the work of Richard Dawkins and through Doug's book, Media Virus. What I think happened is social media made it very obvious to people how ideas spread.

DR: In the early days of the web, the most aggressive users of media viruses were activists attempting to challenge the controllers of top-down media. They could launch their memes through the net, regardless of what the keepers of television wanted. When it got truly interesting, however, was when news networks like CNN began covering trending Tweets and Facebook posts - as if they were afraid to be left behind. So media activists realized that they now had the power to plant news stories. And they’d do so not by convincing some journalist to cover a story, but by creating an outrageous media phenomenon, or what in the language of viral media I called a sticky viral shell.

Biological viruses, on which I based the viral media metaphor, have two main features: a sticky protein shell, and genetic material inside it that wants to replicate. The virus travels freely through the body as long as its shell is not recognized as a virus. That’s why it needs to be novel; we have not developed an immune response. It latches onto our cells, and injects its genetic material, which then competes with our own. If the viral code can find a weak spot in our DNA in which to nest, it ends up getting replicated along with our DNA every time the cell divides. That happens until we learn to recognize the shell, and grow immune. Likewise, a media virus needs a novel, unprecedented use of media to act as its shell. An outrageous recording, Tweet, surveillance video, or live stream. Once it spreads, the virus only infects our society if it can challenge our cultural code. The weaker our code - as in the case of race, immigration, or gender issues - the more effectively it can embed itself.

JD: I think these are some of the new features of current propaganda and computational propaganda, disinformation, and fake news, and all of those things that are going around now is that they understand at a population level what can hit really effectively, but also they are able to target minds in a way that is very effective. And so these psychological profiles that can be derived from our social media activities, our purchasing power, all these bits of patterns, all these bits of information that come together that allow a much more targeted kind of intervention into our thinking, and be much more effective. I think that's where we're heading, almost hijacking our minds in a way, where we can't even help it. They just work. And they can override our thinking capacity, and they know how to do that.

DP: I think that there's not going to be a technological solution, that's almost like playing Whac-A-Mole. It's really about being able to honestly look at why we are so susceptible and less about how they are so effective. It's about how and why we're so vulnerable to a particular meme and that's where the bigger and the harder conversations can be found. I think having those conversations is really the only way we're going to develop a kind of cultural immunity to weaponized memes and disinformation.

JD: I think that's why the biology metaphor comes in and is more apt, because biological entities change their own environment for their own ends, they adapt, they exploit. They do all of these things that machines don't do. Machines are predictable, not getting into machine learning or anything like that but just typical machines. You turn a crank and you have an expectation that you should be able to know what's coming. With biological entities, that's much less certain. So information acting in a biological system is unpredictable, and by definition, adds unpredictability to its system. So that's what information does, and so it is, as they say, the opposite of neutral. And that's our design challenge: To take that understanding of information and then how do we deal with it? Not to deny it and not to go back to the safety of false certainty, but to design for the complexity that we know that we're living in and that we need to address.

DR: Well, this is an arms race for control of public opinion, so any technological solution is bound to be met with a countermeasure. The only long term answer is to build up the resilience - the cultural immune system - of our society. It's the humans who have to learn how to live in this world, not the machines. The more we ask the machines to solve the problem of human autonomy in a digital age, the more dependent we are on whoever is controlling the machines.

Instead, we must become smarter media users and consumers. When we engage with a media platform, we have to ask ourselves “where am I? What is this technology for? What does it want from me?” Second, we must build our cultural immunity by speaking openly and honestly about the issues that concern us. Repressed issues are fuel for viral assault. Unless we are able to discuss these issues, together, then they’re going to serve as trigger points. We can’t hang onto our confused code any longer. Not in such a highly connected, digital media environment.

DP: This paper came about bouncing ideas around with Marina Gorbis and Douglas Rushkoff, and later Jake Dunagan. Thinking about memes as a biological metaphor for the spread of information, what can that metaphor teach us about disinformation and propaganda. Then we started thinking about the possible technological solutions to these challenges and then thinking about the idea of a cultural immune response, even that phrase provokes some fantastic conversations. So, once we had these kinds of conversations we were able to start to develop a framing. The opportunity to work with people who are and who have been studying and exploring this space for decades and being able to ask and push on the very hard questions with them is something that I don't take for granted.
ncpin  ncp  DasGeileNeueInternet  Memetics 
7 weeks ago by walt74
After Authenticity
the authenticity-based value system, subcultural identities, aesthetics, and the specific form of commodity capitalism involved are all interrelated. [Venkatesh Rao] sees premium mediocrity as a “rational adaptive response” to being thrust into insecure economic circumstances, but we have already observed that the conditions for an authenticity aesthetic were developing long before the financial crisis triggered its eruption. On the other hand I’m reminded of Marx’s assertion that everything comes down to economics “in the last instance.” Maybe Venkat’s not wrong.

One thing is certain: the authenticity aesthetic served as a cohesive for all of these developments. It tied the spectrum of consumable items, spaces, and identities into a single unified visual experience. There could be no more perfect illustration of this entire series of events than Paste Magazine’s 2009 and 2015 satirical “Evolution of the Hipster” photo series. In the 2010-2015 session note the unironically worn authenticity goods (TOMS, Red Wings, leather dopp kit), the startup references, and the visibly inflating tech wealth of the demographic.

If your garage craft beer brand didn’t make it big, at least you could learn to code and join a startup. Unfortunately, when your new WeWork office displays the same hand-lettered signage as your neighborhood coffee shop, has the same brick walls as your fast casual farm-to-table lunch spot, and advocates the same “do what you love” message celebrity entrepreneurs have told you since grade school, it becomes impossible to think outside of authenticity politics. […]

No wonder millennials, the Authentic Generation, all seem to think they can be the next Steve Jobs. If you believe in a “true self” that can be discovered or achieved you’re not a far cry from believing in destiny. Worse still, you could start extrapolating all sorts of conclusions from an imaginary “truth” at your “center.” It does not escape my attention that exactly this kind of assumption is at work whenever someone asserts absolute speech rights based purely on the combination of unique identities they can lay claim to. The more differentiated the self, the more defensible this demand tends to be. Identitarianism is mirrored in—would not be possible without—the widespread preoccupation with authentic selves. In the future we may be able to look back at toxic wantrepreneurship, white entitlement, and identity politics both “left” and ethnonationalist as being underwritten by the same philosophical blunder.

After Authenticity

Meanwhile, years of semantic slippage had happened without me noticing. Suddenly the surging interest in fashion, the dad hats, the stupid pin companies, the lack of sellouts, it all made sense. Authenticity has expanded to the point that people don’t even believe in it anymore. And why should we? Our friends work at SSENSE, they work at Need Supply. They are starting dystopian lifestyle brands. Should we judge them for just getting by? A Generation-Z-focused trend report I read last year clumsily posed that “the concept of authenticity is increasingly deemed inauthentic.” It goes further than that. What we are witnessing is the disappearance of authenticity as a cultural need altogether.
nct  ncpin  DasGeileNeueInternet  Memetics  Fashion  Capitalism  Economy  Marketing 
9 weeks ago by walt74
That’s the Problem: Nothing Proves Anything
Joseph Natoli über Meme als Algorithmen, die automatisch Narrative erzeugen und durch Fakten nur schwer widerlegt werden können.

Link: https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/05/11/thats-the-problem-nothing-proves-anything/
Nothing will come of anything now because nothing proves anything.

I call this a new paradigm, perhaps modeled on an erroneous rendition of a postmodern mindset in which truth is not a component of reality but what we ourselves say about ourselves, our actions, and the world we inhabit. We inhabit our own narratives, a “worlding” of what we make of anything.

The erroneous part enters when we then assume that “we” is first person singular and that the “I” is somehow free and outside dominating narratives of all stripes, present and past. This misconception and illusion leads to the meme/algorithm that “nothing proves anything to me except what I choose to accept.”

This describes our “post-truth” state. It is a far cry from the view that everything or nothing are both chosen and proven within a context in which choice and proof are always already narrated. By this, I mean that we live within our culture, in the broad sense of culture as Raymond Williams defines it as a whole way life, in an inherited and accreting array of narrations of the world. Our personal narration is shaped and emerges thusly. It’s a process, as we are now fond of saying. The cultural narrative may be a monologue shared by all or a confusion of clashing tweets, vying for supremacy. Nonetheless, such comprises a narrated reality frame within which we struggle to make everything mean something.

Because our president is no more than a kind of representing avatar of the post-truth attitude, a presidency we were not prepared for but for whom we have already prepared the way, and he is a passing presence, I find it more worthwhile to focus on what will remain after he’s gone.

And that is this deep and dark revelation now inhabiting the American mass psyche: “Nothing proves anything.” […]

A special set of circumstances and conditions must exist for nothing to prove anything. We have now created and live within such in cyberspace.

Consider that the discourse that matters now goes on in social media. And its delivery system, namely, the Smartphone, has curtailed our already fractal attention span to text and twitter dimensions. The deeply rooted meme of “more is better,” derived from our acquisitive “getting and spending” prime directive, has left us with a “discourse” field of viciously quarreling combatants on any matter, mostly of no matter, that fad and fickleness of mind post.

Nothing proves anything when everything indiscriminately and mindlessly floods the field.
Memetics  DasGeileNeueInternet  ncpin  nct  Storytelling  Neur 
10 weeks ago by walt74
Pâro: The Feeling That Everything You Do Is Somehow Wrong
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7l2hUp0CkQ

Das Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows ist wieder da und demnächst auch als Buch http://www.dictionaryofobscuresorrows.com/.

“Believe those who seek the truth, doubt those who find it.” –André Gide

📖 ETYMOLOGY: From 'par 0' (par zero), a theoretical hole on a golf course, which would mean it’s already too late—that no matter how well you hit the ball, you’ve already fallen behind. Compare the Spanish 'paro,' a stoppage or freezing up. The circumflex over the â is a tiny symbol of someone trying for something then retreating.

♬ MUSIC
Epidemic Sound: http://www.epidemicsound.com
"Dismantle" by Peter Sandberg | "So Mellow" by Jon Björk

AUTHOR'S NOTE:
Over the last century, most dictionaries have quietly shifted their mission from prescription to description, which means they try to tell you not just what people *should* do, but what people *actually* do. I think this is a wonderful thing. Here's hoping the rest of the media will give it a try someday.
ncpin  ncv  Language  Media  VideoEssays  Poetry  DasGeileNeueInternet  Memetics 
10 weeks ago by walt74
The myth of an ending: why even removing Trump from office won’t save American democracy
the desire for a dramatic explosion of the Trump presidency at times seems to blend into a desire for the dramatic blowup of the American political system altogether, a sense that we need some apocalyptic event that will wipe the slate clean and revitalize our democracy in one big revolutionary motion. It’s no accident that the rise of Trump has coincided with fearful but titillated worries about coups d’état, collapses into tyranny, and even a second American civil war or secession. These concerns are partially specific to Trump. But they reflect worries that transcend him too.

The reality is that Trump’s removal or resignation from office, while desirable, would not do much to change the trajectory of America’s political institutions. And the mounting desire for something cataclysmic that could change their trajectory strikes me as dangerous. The best we can do, I fear, is to muddle along and try our best to keep things from getting worse. And the less we accept that, and the more we escape into fantasias of collapse and redemption, the harder making those modest incremental improvements will be. […]

Humans, as the late literary critic Frank Kermode argued in his book The Sense of an Ending, crave narrative structure. “We are surrounded by [chaos], and equipped for coexistence with it only by our fictive powers,” he writes. We can’t see the world as a sequence of events, one right after another, with no end or resolution in sight. “To see everything as out of mere succession,” he observes, “is to behave like a man drugged or insane.”

We can’t see what’s happening to American politics as just a succession of events that, in themselves, mean nothing. They have to be leading up to a climactic Götterdämmerung in which our slate is wiped clean. This is the yearning behind bold predictions of the Trump administration’s collapse, or of a dramatic descent into tyranny at Trump’s hand.

We fantasize about an early, dramatic end to the Trump years in part because that signals a return to normalcy and a rejection of all the dysfunctions he symbolizes. For more sophisticated observers who know that the forces that produced Trump will continue after he’s gone, you see either a wallowing into dystopia — musing about an American descent into outright tyranny, of the kind occurring in the formerly democratic Hungary and Poland right now. Or you see fantasies of utopia, as in Bernie Sanders’s characterization of the anti-Trump resistance as a broader “political revolution, something long overdue” that will sweep into power “an agenda that works for the working families of our country and not just the billionaire class.”
DonaldTrump  Politics  Storys  nct  Memetics  Dystopia  Utopia  ncpin 
12 weeks ago by walt74
Post-Authenticity and the Ironic Truths of Meme Culture
What is changing, I argue, are the cultural formats people are using for discussion — the carrier waves for this signal. This is where “authenticity” isn’t a useful claim any more, having been wholly co-opted and commodified into its opposite. Culture and the way we communicate — shaped by media affordances — have become more complex, ironic, and multi-layered than that.

It turns out, even people who share fake news stories are trying to tell a kind of truth too.

At SXSW Edu this year, technology researcher danah boyd argued that we’ve been rather uncharitable in our analyses of why people share fake news. The assumption is that people really believe the claims they share — that is, they’re ill-informed; that is, they’re stupid. It turns out not to be quite so simple:

“Yet, if you talk with someone who has posted clear, unquestionable misinformation, more often than not, they know it’s bullshit. Or they don’t care whether or not it’s true. Why do they post it then? Because they’re making a statement. The people who posted this meme [shown below] didn’t bother to fact check this claim. They didn’t care. What they wanted to signal loud and clear is that they hated Hillary Clinton. And that message was indeed heard loud and clear. As a result, they are very offended if you tell them that they’ve been duped by Russians into spreading propaganda. They don’t believe you for one second.”

Link: https://medium.com/s/story/post-authenticity-and-the-real-truths-of-meme-culture-f98b24d645a0
ncpin  nct  Memetics  DasGeileNeueInternet  Kids  Youth  Media 
12 weeks ago by walt74
Upload-Filter für alle außer Google, Facebook & Co?
Der Koalitionsvertrag zwischen CDU/CSU und SPD spricht sich gegen die Einführung von Upload-Filtern zur Urheberrechtsdurchsetzung aus. Auf EU-Ebene legt der deutsche CDU-Abgeordnete Axel Voss jedoch nun einen Vorschlag vor, der weiterhin Upload-Filter vorsieht und die Dominanz von großen Internetunternehmen sogar noch verschärfen könnte.
nct  ncpin  Memetics  Copyright  Politics 
february 2018 by walt74
Upload-Filter: Eine Gefahr für die Netzkultur
Ein EU-Vorschlag zur Urheberrechtsreform schreibt Plattformen das Vorab-Filtern aller Inhalte vor. Kritiker befürchten den Missbrauch als Zensurinfrastruktur. Auch im Koalitionsvertrag kritisieren Union und SPD die Filter als „unverhältnismäßig“, doch ein führender EU-Politiker der CDU hält erst recht daran fest. Das Vorhaben könnte Wikipedia bremsen und viele Meme aus dem Netz fegen.
nct  ncpin  Memetics  Copyright  Politics 
february 2018 by walt74
Susan James: Emotional Responses to Fiction: A Spinozist Approach
Some human passions are stronger and more intense than others. Rage, for example, is stronger than irritation, and hatred is stronger than dislike. Love can be stronger than fear, or the other way round. We habitually describe passions as strong or weak, and assess them in these terms. (Her rage was excessive, her love insufficient.) In doing so, we draw on an ancient metaphor that clearly makes some phenomenological sense. But what does the strength of a passion consist in?

Since the metaphor has been around for such a long time there will be more than one detailed answer to this question, but in this lecture I shall begin by sketching a relatively stable interpretation of passionate strength and its counterpart, passionate weakness. I shall go on to consider what this metaphor can explain about our passions, and what it conceals.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fji0auKdXVs
Video  Lectures  Philosophy  ncv  ncpin  Memetics  Fiction  Storys 
february 2018 by walt74
Missing Link: Cyberwar in der Trump-Ära - gezielter Angriff auf die Idee von Wahrheit
Geisteswissenschaftler machten sich daran, das schwammige Konzept der informationellen Kriegsführung zu entschlüsseln und Auswege aufzuzeigen. Ihnen zufolge ziehen Wirtschaft, Militär und Politik beim Cyberwar an einem Strick.
DasGeileNeueInternet  ncpin  Politics  Philosophy  Memetics  nct 
february 2018 by walt74

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