robertogreco + cyberspace   38

HEWN, No. 252
"We are incredibly bound to our mythologies. Of course we are. Mythologies – despite the popular usage of the term wherein “myth” equals “lie” – are our sacred stories. As such, these stories become capital-T true, even when they are so clearly capital-BS bullshit.

The technology industry’s power, I’d argue, is deeply intertwined with its sacred stories. And one of the most influential storytellers of Internet lore died this week: John Perry Barlow, best known as the author of the techno-utopian manifesto “Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace.” Or, depending on your social circles, I suppose, best known as a lyricist for the Grateful Dead. Or, depending on where you’re from, best known as a rancher and Wyoming native. I’ll say, as another Wyoming native, that these three elements of JPB’s life are inseparable: how tech culture envisions itself as “counterculture,” how it imagines its role in “revolution,” how it privileges “the individual” (often code for the lone, white, male hero).

“I can’t help but ask what might have happened had the pioneers of the open web given us a different vision – one that paired the insistence that we must defend cyberspace with a concern for justice, human rights, and open creativity, and not primarily personal liberty. What kind of internet would we have today?” April Glaser asks. We must rethink what has been mythologized, what and who is being mythologized when it comes to this technological world being built for us. Maybe these aren’t our sacred stories after all.

There was another tech hero with a moment of PR glory this week, of course: tech billionaire Elon Musk, whose company SpaceX successfully launched the Falcon Heavy, “the first time a rocket this powerful has been sent into space by a private company rather than a government space agency,” as The New York Times put it. The coverage of the rocket launch was mostly the coverage of Musk’s gimmicky decision to include as payload “a cherry-red Tesla Roadster once driven by SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, blasting tunes from David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’ with a spacesuit-clad ‘Star Man’ dummy strapped in the driver’s seat.” The coverage of Elon Musk’s companies is almost always coverage of Elon Musk. That’s how he wants it, of course. Journalists, as mythmakers, seem happy to oblige."
audreywatters  2018  edtech  technology  elonmusk  johnperrybarlow  myth  mythology  mythmaking  journalism  technosolutionism  pr  aprilglaser  donaldborenstein  spacex  publicgood  wealth  inequality  cyberspace  web  online  society  individualism  libery  justice  socialjustice  power  corporatism 
february 2018 by robertogreco
John Perry Barlow gave internet activists only half the mission they need.
"It was at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, of all places, where John Perry Barlow wrote “A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace” in 1996. That might have been an odd place for a poet and former Grateful Dead lyricist to pen a foundational document of internet activism, but it was also an apt one: Barlow’s manifesto, and the movement it undergirds, helped give us the dynamic—but also often deleteriously corporatized—internet we have today.

Barlow died on Wednesday at the age of 71. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, the cyber civil liberties organization that he co-founded in 1990—where I used to work—shared in a blog post that he passed quietly in his sleep. He leaves us a legacy that has shaped the mission of the people fighting for the open internet. That mission is an incomplete one."



"I can’t help but ask what might have happened had the pioneers of the open web given us a different vision—one that paired the insistence that we must defend cyberspace with a concern for justice, human rights, and open creativity, and not primarily personal liberty. What kind of internet would we have today?"

[via:https://tinyletter.com/audreywatters/letters/hewn-no-252 ]
johnperrybarlow  individualism  californianideology  libertarianism  internet  web  online  2018  open  openness  creativity  liberty  cyberspace  justice  socialjustice  humanrights  race  racism  inclusion  inclusivity  openweb  aprilglaser  government  governance  law  eff  policy  corporatism  surveillance  edwardsnowden  nsa  netneutrality  sopa  pipa  fcc  privilege  power  prejudice 
february 2018 by robertogreco
Fellow Prisoners – Guernica
"The best way to understand the world, writes Berger, is not as a metaphorical prison but a literal one. And what better way to inspire solidarity than seeing ourselves (them) as fellow prisoners?"



"The wonderful American poet Adrienne Rich pointed out in a recent lecture about poetry that “this year, a report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics finds that one out of every 136 residents of the United States is behind bars—many in jails, unconvicted.”

In the same lecture she quoted the Greek poet Yannis Ritsos:

In the field the last swallow had lingered late,

balancing in the air like a black ribbon on the sleeve

of autumn.

Nothing else remained. Only the burned houses

smouldering still.

***

I picked up the phone and knew immediately it was an unexpected call from you, speaking from your flat in the Via Paolo Sarpi. (Two days after the election results and Berlusconi’s comeback.) The speed with which we identify a familiar voice coming out of the blue is comforting, but also somewhat mysterious. Because the measures, the units we use in calculating the clear distinction that exists between one voice and another, are unformulated and nameless. They don’t have a code. These days more and more is encoded.

So I wonder whether there aren’t other measures, equally uncoded yet precise, by which we calculate other givens. For example, the amount of circumstantial freedom existing in a certain situation, its extent and its strict limits. Prisoners become experts at this. They develop a particular sensitivity towards liberty, not as a principle, but as a granular substance. They spot fragments of liberty almost immediately whenever they occur.

***

On an ordinary day, when nothing is happening and the crises announced hourly are the old familiar ones—and the politicians are declaring yet again that without them there would be catastrophe—people as they pass one another exchange glances, and some of their glances check whether the others are envisaging the same thing when they say to themselves; so this is life!

Often they are envisaging the same thing and in this primary sharing there is a kind of solidarity before anything further has been said or discussed.

I’m searching for words to describe the period of history we’re living through. To say it’s unprecedented means little because all periods were unprecedented since history was first discovered.

I’m not searching for a complex definition—there are a number of thinkers, such as Zygmunt Bauman, who have taken on this essential task. I’m looking for nothing more than a figurative image to serve as a landmark. Landmarks don’t fully explain themselves, but they offer a reference point that can be shared. In this they are like the tacit assumptions contained in popular proverbs. Without landmarks there is the great human risk of turning in circles.

***

The landmark I’ve found is that of prison. Nothing less. Across the planet we are living in a prison.

The word we, when printed or pronounced on screens, has become suspect, for it’s continually used by those with power in the demagogic claim that they are also speaking for those who are denied power. Let’s talk of ourselves as they. They are living in a prison.

What kind of prison? How is it constructed? Where is it situated? Or am I only using the word as a figure of speech?

No, it’s not a metaphor, the imprisonment is real, but to describe it one has to think historically.

Michel Foucault has graphically shown how the penitentiary was a late eighteenth-, early nineteenth-century invention closely linked to industrial production, its factories and its utilitarian philosophy. Earlier, there were jails that were extensions of the cage and the dungeon. What distinguished the penitentiary is the number of prisoners it can pack in—and the fact that all of them are under continuous surveillance thanks to the model of the Pantopticon, as conceived by Jeremy Bentham, who introduced the principle of accountancy into ethics.

Accountancy demands that every transaction be noted. Hence the penitentiary’s circular walls with the cells arranged around the screw’s watchtower at the center. Bentham, who was John Stuart Mill’s tutor at the beginning of the nineteenth century, was the principal utilitarian apologist for industrial capitalism.

Today in the era of globalization, the world is dominated by financial, not industrial, capital, and the dogmas defining criminality and the logics of imprisonment have changed radically. Penitentiaries still exist and more and more are being built. But prison walls now serve a different purpose. What constitutes an incarceration area has been transformed.

***

Twenty years ago, Nella Bielski and I wrote A Question of Geography, a play about the Gulag. In act two, a zek (a political prisoner) talks to a boy who has just arrived about choice, about the limits of what can be chosen in a labor camp: When you drag yourself back after a day’s work in the taiga, when you are marched back, half dead with fatigue and hunger, you are given your ration of soup and bread. About the soup you have no choice—it has to be eaten whilst it’s hot, or whilst it’s at least warm. About the four hundred grams of bread you have choice. For instance, you can cut it into three little bits: one to eat now with the soup, one to suck in the mouth before going to sleep in your bunk, and the third to keep until next morning at ten, when you’re working in the taiga and the emptiness in your stomach feels like a stone.

You empty a wheelbarrow full of rock. About pushing the barrow to the dump you have no choice. Now it’s empty you have a choice. You can walk your barrow back just like you came, or—if you’re clever, and survival makes you clever—you push it back like this, almost upright. If you choose the second way you give your shoulders a rest. If you are a zek and you become a team leader, you have the choice of playing at being a screw, or of never forgetting that you are a zek.

The Gulag no longer exists. Millions work, however, under conditions that are not very different. What has changed is the forensic logic applied to workers and criminals.

During the Gulag, political prisoners, categorized as criminals, were reduced to slave-laborers. Today millions of brutally exploited workers are being reduced to the status of criminals.

The Gulag equation “criminal = slave laborer” has been rewritten by neoliberalism to become “worker = hidden criminal.” The whole drama of global migration is expressed in this new formula; those who work are latent criminals. When accused, they are found guilty of trying at all costs to survive.

Over six million Mexican women and men work in the U.S. without papers and are consequently illegal. A concrete wall of over one thousand kilometers and a “virtual” wall of eighteen hundred watchtowers were planned along the frontier between the U.S. and Mexico, although the projects have recently been scrapped. Ways around them—though all of them dangerous—will of course be found.

Between industrial capitalism, dependent on manufacture and factories, and financial capitalism, dependent on free-market speculation and front office traders, the incarceration area has changed. Speculative financial transactions add up to, each day, $1,300 billion, fifty times more than the sum of the commercial exchanges. The prison is now as large as the planet and its allotted zones can vary and can be termed worksite, refugee camp, shopping mall, periphery, ghetto, office block, favela, suburb. What is essential is that those incarcerated in these zones are fellow prisoners.

***

It’s the first week in May and on the hillsides and mountains, along the avenues and around the gates in the northern hemisphere, the leaves of most of the trees are coming out. Not only are all their different varieties of green still distinct, people also have the impression that each single leaf is distinct, and so they are confronting billions—no, not billions (the word has been corrupted by dollars), they are confronting an infinite multitude of new leaves.

For prisoners, small visible signs of nature’s continuity have always been, and still are, a covert encouragement.

***

Today the purpose of most prison walls (concrete, electronic, patrolled, or interrogatory) is not to keep prisoners in and correct them, but to keep prisoners out and exclude them.

Most of the excluded are anonymous—hence the obsession of all security forces with identity. They are also numberless, for two reasons. First because their numbers fluctuate; every famine, natural disaster and military intervention (now called policing) either diminishes or increases their multitude. And secondly, because to assess their number is to confront the fact that they constitute most of those living on the surface of the earth—and to acknowledge this is to plummet into absolute absurdity.

***

Have you noticed small commodities are increasingly difficult to remove from their packaging? Something similar has happened with the lives of the gainfully employed. Those who have legal employment and are not poor are living in a very reduced space that allows them fewer and fewer choices—except the continual binary choice between obedience and disobedience. Their working hours, their place of residence, their past skills and experience, their health, the future of their children, everything outside their function as employees has to take a small second place beside the unforseeable and vast demands of liquid profit. Furthermore, the rigidity of this house rule is called flexibility. In prison, words get turned upside down.

The alarming pressure of high-grade working conditions has obliged the courts in Japan to recognize and define a new coroners’ category of “death by overwork.”

No other system, the gainfully employed are told, is … [more]
johnberger  prisoners  solidarity  metaphor  2011  adriennerich  yannisritsos  zygmuntbauman  imprisonment  panopticon  jeremybentham  capitalism  nellabielski  power  tyranny  hanstietmeyer  cyberspace  misinformation  rumors  commentary  humankind 
january 2017 by robertogreco
Werner-Herzog comenta en I am Werner Herzog, the filmmaker. AMA.
"Q: You’ve covered everything from the prehistoric Chauvet Cave to the impending overthrow of not-so-far-off futuristic artificial intelligence. What about humankind's history/capability terrifies you the most?

A: It's a difficult question, because it encompasses almost all of human history so far. What is interesting about this paleolithic cave is that we see with our own eyes the origins, the beginning of the modern human soul. These people were like us, and what their concept of art was, we do not really comprehend fully. We can only guess.

And of course now today, we are into almost futuristic moments where we create artificial intelligence and we may not even need other human beings anymore as companions. We can have fluffy robots, and we can have assistants who brew the coffee for us and serve us to the bed, and all these things. So we have to be very careful and should understand what basic things, what makes us human, what essentially makes us into what we are. And once we understand that, we can make our educated choices, and we can use our inner filters, our conceptual filters. How far would we use artificial intelligence? How far would we trust, for example into the logic of a self-driving car? Will it crash or not if we don't look after the steering wheel ourselves?

So, we should make a clear choice, what we would like to preserve as human beings, and for that, for these kinds of conceptual answers, I always advise to read books. Read read read read read! And I say that not only to filmmakers, I say that to everyone. People do not read enough, and that's how you create critical thinking, conceptual thinking. You create a way of how to shape your life. Although, it seems to elude us into a pseudo-life, into a synthetic life out there in cyberspace, out there in social media. So it's good that we are using Facebook, but use it wisely."
via:savasavasava  wernerherzog  2016  reading  ai  artificialintelligence  humanity  humans  humanism  criticalthinking  coneptualithinking  thinking  howwething  howwelearn  socialmedia  cyberspace  redditama 
july 2016 by robertogreco
It’s not Cyberspace anymore. — Data & Society: Points — Medium
"There is a power shift underway and much of the tech sector is ill-equipped to understand its own actions and practices as part of the elite, the powerful. Worse, a collection of unicorns who see themselves as underdogs in a world where instability and inequality are rampant fail to realize that they have a moral responsibility.

They fight as though they are insurgents while they operate as though they are kings.

What makes me the most uncomfortable is the realization that most of tech seems to have forgotten the final statement that Barlow made:
May it be more humane and fair than the world your governments have made before.

We built the Internet hoping that the world would come. The world did, but the dream that drove so many of us in the early days isn’t the dream of those who are shaping the Internet today. Now what?"
2016  danahboyd  cyberspace  johnperrybarlow  power  internet  capitalism  web  online 
february 2016 by robertogreco
bell hooks talks to John Perry Barlow - Lion's Roar
"John Perry Barlow: We’ve already been separated by information to an alarming extent. The difference between information and experience is that when you’re having an experience, you’re in real-time contact with the phenomena around you. You’re able to ask questions with every synapse in your body of the surrounding conditions. What I’m hopeful about is that because cyberspace is an interactive medium in a human sense, we’ll be able to go through this info-desert and be able to have something like tele-experience. We’ll be able to experience one other genuinely, in a truly interactive fashion, at a distance.

bell hooks: One of the things I think about is what it means to be communicating when you’re not aware of the specifics of who people are. You can’t respond to their looks, which are so central to the mechanisms of domination in our society. We judge on the basis of what somebody looks like, skin color, whether we think they’re beautiful or not. That space on the Internet allows you to converse with somebody with none of those things involved.

John Perry Barlow: There’s something problematic here, and I go back and forth on it all the time. I want to have a cyberspace that has prana in it. I want to have a cyberspace where there’s room for the breath and the spirit.

bell hooks: Well, that’s what I haven’t found, Barlow.

John Perry Barlow: Well, I haven’t either. The central question in my life at the moment is whether or not it’s possible to have it there. That’s what I’m really trying to figure out. Dialogue is not just language. The text itself is a minimal portion of the overall conversation. The overall conversation includes the color of your skin, and includes the way I smell, and includes the way we feel sitting here on the stoop with our thighs touching.

It’s not that there’s anything particularly healthy about cyberspace in itself, but the way in which cyberspace breaks down barriers. Cyberspace makes person-to-person interaction much more likely in an already fragmented society. The thing that people need desperately is random encounter. That’s what community has."
1995  bellhooks  johnperrybarlow  internet  web  online  society  domination  patriarchy  via:alexismadrigal  cyberspace  prana  communication 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Matthew Battles: Going Feral on the Net: the Qualities of Survival in a Wild, Wired World on Vimeo
"How do we balance the empowering possibilities of the networked public sphere with the dark, unsettling, and even dangerous energies of cyberspace? Matthew Battles blends a deep-historical perspective on the internet with storytelling that reaches into its weird, uncanny depths. It’s a hybrid approach, reflecting the web’s way of landing us in a feral state—the predicament of a domestic creature forced to live by its imperfectly-rekindled instincts in a world where it is never entirely at home. The feral is a metaphor—and maybe more than just a metaphor—for thriving in cyberspace, a habitat that changes too rapidly for anyone truly to be native. This talk will weave critical and reflective discussion of online experience with a short story from Battles’ new collection, The Sovereignties of Invention."
feral  matthewbattles  internet  via:tealtan  2012  web  online  cyberspace  networkculture  dogs  storytelling  paulford  everchanging  uncertainty  unnatural  discomfort  middlegrounds  survival  wild  caution  nomansland 
june 2014 by robertogreco
New Degrees of Freedom
"Did cyberspace mix up your circadian rhythm? Have you lost your mind to the global brain? Do you energetically perpetuate an economy of boundaryless social and working life? Experiencing an “investiture crisis”? The physical world looks different against the landscape of the Internet. Immeasurable digital choices mark our bodies; frustrates them. Can we live our online projections? Have you ever considered “power dressing” by means of a real-life avatar?

--

Throughout time, from wheel to book to clothing, humans have created mediating technologies to extend their physical or mental faculties.

Early Internet mediums reached out for autonomous space and flexible identity. In these virtual confines, one could present oneself as one imagined oneself to be; projection and representation became flattened. One could be many things and in many places at the same time.

Such affordances, or cyber-body freedom, have gradually disappeared as cyberspace has shifted away from a text-based environment dominated by user-generated role-playing and chat environments where anonymity and invented identities prevailed. The space has now become a visual arena where we are subject to constant imaging, surveillance, and the workings of information economy.

In effect, every new link between one’s online and offline identities removes a “degree of freedom”—each connection subsequently severs a limb from one’s Internet avatar. Multiple simultaneous lives, accelerated to Internet speed, incrementally meet their deaths; minds, metamorphosed into a global brain, are disconnected.

In the computer room, one finds oneself with a single body whose functional capacity exists in one point in space and time. And while humans are typically seen as psychophysical entities, limited by the frame of the body, this condition no longer seizes us in our self-understanding.

If the body cannot be emancipated online—indeed the Internet has proved to be not virtual enough—let us imagine new modes of existence in the physical world. Perhaps we should stretch out from the confines of what has become a normative space and start a process of self-actualization (again) inside human bodies. For this, we need a series of aberrant identifications beyond social essences—ones connected to us by way of names, titles, and degrees. We need to use bodily production and exchange beyond our structural limits, determining new zones within known space.

It is time to assume physical formlessness.

--

Like amoebas or acrobats, real-life avatars strive for autonomy in time and space by means of shape shifting. They demonstrate new ways of living in bodies—such as lending one’s body to another, being nebulously anywhere, or constantly reassembling—thus augmenting the presence of those that they represent.

The project of the real-life avatars operates twofold. On the one hand, they represent a precarious social and working life made of flesh—a critical illustration, exaggerating existing power relations through to their logical end point. On the other hand, they reappropriate the means of immaterial production, connecting bodies and minds in subversive ways—a means to self-actualize, or take time off, offline, off time.

--

New Degrees of Freedom is a media project by Jenna Sutela, with graphic designer Johanna Lundberg and collaborators."

[See also: http://www.twinfactory.co.uk/index.php/jenna-sutela-space-time-and-the-body/ ]
jennasutela  johannalundberg  internet  identity  freedom  art  avatars  movement  dance  newmedia  multimedia  offline  online  2013  form  formlessness  circadianrythms  cyberspace  immaterialproduction 
september 2013 by robertogreco
The overlapping consensus | booktwo.org
"At the Do Lectures in Wales, in a field, overcome by irritation at the privileging of the artisanal and handmade, I remember writing in my notebook that “things virtual are more real than they are here, they stand better for ourselves than we do; it is us who are transient and insubstantial.” … This division, between online and off, is a mental illusion, one we propagate to keep ourselves sane for lack of better metaphors, just as we keep our physics safe through wave/particle duality. The notion of things coexisting along different axes of definition terrifies the animal brain—it always has. But we nevertheless live these dualities, these muliplicities, all the time. I am in a square in the Raval in Barcelona, I am everywhere. The network is here but not here but everywhere. These things are not the same, but they overlap in ever more concrete, confusing ways; the consensual hallucination is not dreamed but always with us and between us."
jamesbridle  digital  physical  irl  networks  networkculture  culture  2012  networkedculture  via:Preoccupations  digitaldualism  cyberspace  reallife  web  online  internet  offline  reality  life 
july 2012 by robertogreco
The IRL Fetish – The New Inquiry
"In great part, the reason is that we have been taught to mistakenly view online as meaning not offline. The notion of the offline as real and authentic is a recent invention, corresponding with the rise of the online. If we can fix this false separation and view the digital and physical as enmeshed, we will understand that what we do while connected is inseparable from what we do when disconnected. That is, disconnection from the smartphone and social media isn’t really disconnection at all: The logic of social media follows us long after we log out. There was and is no offline; it is a lusted-after fetish object that some claim special ability to attain, and it has always been a phantom."

"The clear distinction between the on and offline, between human and technology, is queered beyond tenability. It’s not real unless it’s on Google; pics or it didn’t happen. We aren’t friends until we are Facebook friends. We have come to understand more and more of our lives through the logic of digital connection. Social media is more than something we log into; it is something we carry within us. We can’t log off.

Solving this digital dualism also solves the contradiction: We may never fully log off, but this in no way implies the loss of the face-to-face, the slow, the analog, the deep introspection, the long walks, or the subtle appreciation of life sans screen. We enjoy all of this more than ever before. Let’s not pretend we are in some special, elite group with access to the pure offline, turning the real into a fetish and regarding everyone else as a little less real and a little less human."
human  reality  life  cyberspace  digitaldualism  facebook  fetishism  web  sherryturkle  reallife  offline  online  2012  nathanjurgenson  irl  from delicious
june 2012 by robertogreco
LILEKS (James) :: The Bleat
"I’m 53. I feel the same way about it. I don't claim it as mine, even though I was here first, watched it grow up…I may not inhabit it in the sense that I feel required to check in on Foursquare or share every damned atom of information, but this mindset is not limited to people who grew up think they have the wisdom of the ages because they had a hotmail account when they were ten…

Perhaps “uncomfortably” worked better in the original Polish; maybe there’s an idiomatic implication to the word that would help me understand him better. Oh, right: global culture is more important than language, so nevermind. But while every system can be replaced, it is wishful thinking to believe this means it’s replaced by something better. Unless he equates efficiency and better suited to his needs as “better.” Isn’t there a moral component to consider? Whether or not something is good? Or are “more opportunities” sufficient? You can Godwin that construct with ease."
webculture  tunnelvision  cyberspace  youth  democracy  piotrczerski  online  web  generations  2012  webgen  digitalnatives  jameslileks  from delicious
february 2012 by robertogreco
We, the Web Kids - Pastebin.com
"We grew up with the Internet and on the Internet. This is what makes us different; this is what makes the crucial, although surprising from your point of view, difference: we do not ‘surf’ and the internet to us is not a ‘place’ or ‘virtual space’. The Internet to us is not something external to reality but a part of it: an invisible yet constantly present layer intertwined with the physical environment. We do not use the Internet, we live on the Internet and along it. If we were to tell our bildnungsroman to you, the analog, we could say there was a natural Internet aspect to every single experience that has shaped us. We made friends and enemies online, we prepared cribs for tests online, we planned parties and studying sessions online, we fell in love and broke up online. The Web to us is not a technology which we had to learn and which we managed to get a grip of. The Web is a process, happening continuously and continuously transforming before our eyes; with us and through us…"

[Update: Response by Alan Jacobs: http://ayjay.tumblr.com/post/18029873515/participating-in-cultural-life-is-not-something ]

[Update 2: Lengthy response, take-down: http://www.lileks.com/bleats/archive/12/0212/022212.html ]

[Chaser: http://metalab.harvard.edu/2012/02/twitter-nprs-morning-edition-and-dreams-of-flatland/ ]

[Cross-posted by Alexis Madrigal: http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/02/we-the-web-kids/253382/ ]
participatoryculture  criticalpractice  memories  govenment  dialog  cooperation  socialstructure  anarchy  anarchism  freedom  change  society  democracy  webculture  culture  cv  prostheticmemory  externalmemory  reality  anonymous  ACTA  2012  piotrczerski  digitalnatives  webkids  manifesto  cyberspace  dialogue  manifestos  from delicious
february 2012 by robertogreco
Audio Archives | Douglas Coupland & William Gibson | Key West Literary Seminar
"…Coupland leads Gibson through a discussion on culture, technology, & the craft of writing. “What makes us human,” Gibson says, “is our ability to recognize patterns, & to externalize forms of synthetic memory that preserve those recognized patterns.” The internet & its attendant communications technologies, Gibson argues, are a natural evolution of this synthetic memory, the current iteration of the cave painting human ancestors used to record their activities. These technologies function as a “global instantaneous memory prosthesis” & aspire to a transparency of experience whereby distinctions btwn the “virtual” & “real” are thoroughly dissolved. “We are already the borg,” Gibson says.

…Coupland & Gibson address cultural phenomena including Whole Foods grocery chain & Levi’s jeans, & thinkers including Marshall McLuhan & Jaron Lanier. They also explain why Facebook is like a mall & Twitter is like the street, & ask whether life is best understood as a story or as a spreadsheet."
levis  wholefoods  jaronlanier  marshallmcluhan  web  internet  memoryprosthesis  memory  patternrecognition  human  communication  tolisten  writing  technology  cyberspace  douglascoupland  facebook  twitter  2012  williamgibson  beatles  from delicious
february 2012 by robertogreco
Paris Review - The Art of Fiction No. 211, William Gibson
"“I was walking around Vancouver, aware of that need, and I remember walking past a video arcade, which was a new sort of business at that time, and seeing kids playing those old-fashioned console-style plywood video games. The games had a very primitive graphic representation of space and perspective. Some of them didn’t even have perspective but were yearning toward perspective and dimensionality. Even in this very primitive form, the kids who were playing them were so physically involved, it seemed to me that what they wanted was to be inside the games, within the notional space of the machine. The real world had disappeared for them—it had completely lost its importance. They were in that notional space, and the machine in front of them was the brave new world…"

"When I’m writing a book I get up at seven. I check my e-mail and do Internet ablutions, as we do these days. I have a cup of coffee. Three days a week, I go to Pilates and am back by ten or eleven. Then I sit down and try to write. If absolutely nothing is happening, I’ll give myself permission to mow the lawn. But, generally, just sitting down and really trying is enough to get it started. I break for lunch, come back, and do it some more. And then, usually, a nap. Naps are essential to my process. Not dreams, but that state adjacent to sleep, the mind on waking."
writing  literature  fiction  williamgibson  cyberspace  parisreview  interviews  neologisms  videogames  arcades  gaming  exquisitecorpse  from delicious
june 2011 by robertogreco
CYBER-COMMUNISM by Richard Barbrook | Imaginary Futures
"Within the Net, working together by circulating gifts is now a daily experience for millions of people. As well as in their jobs, individuals also collaborate on collective projects in their free time. Freed from the immediate disciplines of the marketplace, work can increasingly become a gift. The enlightened few are no longer needed to lead the masses towards the future. For the majority of Net users are already participating within the productive relations of cyber-communism…Having no need to sell information as commodities, they spontaneously work together by circulating gifts. All across the world, politicians, executives and pundits are inspired by the rapid expansion of e-commerce in the USA. Mesmerised by neo-liberal ideology, they fail to notice that most information is already circulating as gifts within the Net. Engaged in superseding capitalism, Americans are successfully constructing the utopian future in the present: cyber-communism."
communism  cyberspace  capitalism  richardbarbrook  internet  networks  networkculture  networkcommunities  communities  cyber-communism  californianideology  gifteconomy  economics  sharing  copyright  modernism  modernity  commodities  abundance  cognitivesurplus  1999 
june 2011 by robertogreco
William Gibson says cyberspace was inspired by 8-bit videogames
"I was walking around Vancouver, aware of that need, and I remember walking past a video arcade, which was a new sort of business at that time, and seeing kids playing those old-fashioned console-style plywood video games. The games had a very primitive graphic representation of space and perspective. Some of them didn’t even have perspective but were yearning toward perspective and dimensionality. Even in this very primitive form, the kids who were playing them were so physically involved, it seemed to me that what they wanted was to be inside the games, within the notional space of the machine. The real world had disappeared for them-it had completely lost its importance. They were in that notional space, and the machine in front of them was the brave new world."
williamgibson  cyberspace  definitions  neologisms  vancouver  britishcolumbia  games  videogames  sciencefiction  scifi  bc  from delicious
june 2011 by robertogreco
Colin Ward, Anarchism as a Theory of Organization (1966)
"This is a remarkable text that shows the affinities between anarchy and the principles of organization of complex systems composed by many interconnected units. Perhaps, only when a mechanical worldview will be replaced by a cybernetic one, anarchy as organization will be finally recognized and accepted, probably under a different name."
anarchism  politics  anarchy  theory  organization  organizations  hierarchy  colinward  cyberspace  web  internet  digital  1966  government  authority  leadership  society  administration  institutions  deinstitutionalization  lcproject  deschooling  unschooling  from delicious
january 2011 by robertogreco
Op-Ed Contributor - Google's Earth - NYTimes.com
"Google is not ours. Which feels confusing, because we are its unpaid content-providers, in one way or another. We generate product for Google, our every search a minuscule contribution. Google is made of us, a sort of coral reef of human minds and their products. …

We never imagined that artificial intelligence would be like this. We imagined discrete entities. Genies.…

If Google were sufficiently concerned about this, perhaps the company should issue children with free “training wheels” identities at birth, terminating at the age of majority. One could then either opt to connect one’s adult identity to one’s childhood identity, or not. Childhoodlessness, being obviously suspect on a résumé, would give birth to an industry providing faux adolescences, expensively retro-inserted, the creation of which would gainfully employ a great many writers of fiction. So there would be a silver lining of sorts."
williamgibson  google  internet  scifi  cyberspace  fiction  future  privacy  surveillance  technology  cyberpunk  2010  coral  from delicious
september 2010 by robertogreco
About Flow: Doors of Perception 7 on Flow
"But an equally important use of information is much more vague. It’s why we read newspapers every day, exchange idle gossip or attend conferences. It’s why we suffer an education. We’re not seeking a specific piece of information. We’re accumulating a semi-random collection of data, ideas and gut feelings which have no immediate or apparent use.

We build up this semi-random cloud of mental stuff to equip ourselves with a continually updated ‘feel’ for events—so that, when in the hazy future a need or opportunity arises, facts and intuitions will hopefully fuse into patterns that allow us to take actions appropriate to their context. We also hope that, while wandering and wondering in this space, we might stumble across valuable facts or ideas which, had we sought them, might not have been found. Let’s call this imaginary cloud ‘a space for half-formed thoughts’."

[via: http://plsj.tumblr.com/post/938736809/a-space-for-half-formed-thoughts ]
creativity  cyberculture  cyberspace  media  technology  theory  flow  williamgibson  sensemaking  patterns  patternrecognition  information  memory  generalists  crosspollination  crossdisciplinary  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  alberteinstein  philliptabor  2002  half-formedthoughts  thinking  knowledge  data  retrieval  context  words  logic  play  expression  understanding  invention  design  psychology  imagination  space  substance  robertomatta  matta-clark  spacial  vagueness  fluidity  gordonmatta-clark  from delicious
august 2010 by robertogreco
John Perry Barlow - Wikiquote
"Your legal concepts of property, expression, identity, movement, and context do not apply to us. They are all based on matter, and there is no matter here." from A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace (1996)
quotes  johnperrybarlow  cyberspace  independence  ownership  1996  freedom  matter  expression  property  identity 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Mirrorshades Postmodern Archive
"Ever wonder where the authors of science fiction get their ideas? Judge the process for yourself in the MIRRORSHADES Postmodern Archive on the WELL. It's a mix of weblog, archive, and commonplace book, plucked out of Bruce Sterling's email and from websites worldwide. Currently tracking: art, science, design, environmental catastrophe, crime, virtual war, rip-off cybercreeps, dead media, anarchy, spooks, sickening outrages and cheering developments.
brucesterling  sciencefiction  scifi  internet  future  web  culture  technology  writing  literature  cyberpunk  cyberspace  mirrorshades 
march 2009 by robertogreco
OLPC-toting Rwandan students flock to airport for free WiFi - Engadget
"OLPC may be facing some tough times as of late, but there's no denying that the little-laptop-that-could has made an impact where it's been distributed, as evidenced by this latest indication of the project's reach in Rwanda. Apparently, in addition to helping students with their schoolwork, the laptop is also teaching them the fine art of finding free WiFi, and this particular group seems to have quickly discovered that the Kigali International Airport is one of the best spots in town. And just what are they using the laptops to look up in their time outside the classroom? Bruce Lee and Jean-Claude Van Damme, who, coincidentally, also brings the world together in his own special way."

[Related: Kids in Guinea Study Under Airport Lamps: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/19/AR2007071901225.html OR http://www.mylot.com/w/newsarticle/336286.aspx ]
olpc  africa  education  learning  wifi  cyberspace  cyberculture  technology  children  mobile  twitchboard  culture 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Never mind the technology, where’s the learning? » Blog Archive » Psychology of Cyberspace - The Online Disinhibition Effect
"Online safety is a developing theme with lots of educational resources becoming increasingly available, but there are few resources for teachers to enable them to understand the psychology of cyberspace. Part of the craft of the teacher though is knowing enough about how humans react to a given environment so that they can teach their students how to cope in situations."
via:hrheingold  psychology  online  internet  ict  teaching  schools  learning  privacy  perception  cyberspace  social 
february 2009 by robertogreco
"Cyberspace and the American Dream: A Magna Carta for the Knowledge Age," Future Insight, Aug. 1994
"we constitute the final generation of an old civilization and, at the very same time, the first generation of a new one...Next, of course, must come the creation -- creation of a new civilization, founded in the eternal truths of the American Idea."
via:preoccupations  cyberspace  1994  history  internet  manifestos  knowledge  civilization  change  generations  classideas  society  estherdyson  alvintoffler  cyberculture  online 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Is There a There in Cyberspace?
"And we must remember that going to Cyberspace, unlike previous great emigrations to the frontier, hardly requires us to leave where we have been. Many will find, as I have, a much richer appreciation of physical reality for having spent so much time in v
via:preoccupations  johnperrybarlow  cyberspace  community  virtual  online  internet  plae  space 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Cyberspace: The Community Frontier - 11/15/2002 - Library Journal
"Communities need...physical element...Libraries will be places where people will go to exchange ideas & librarians will be...guiding people to information, knowing where to find it...the objective is not silence but conversation"
libraries  future  internet  information  learning  lcproject  community  conversation  social  place  library2.0  economics  johnperrybarlow  via:preoccupations  knowledge  cyberspace  books  2002 
july 2008 by robertogreco
ABC News: Obama's 'Cybergenic' Edge: How McCain and Obama Operate in Cyberspace Could Determine Election's Outcome
"To win, candidates must now be "cybergenic" — able to surf, blog, IM and twitter their way into the hearts of activist "netizens...mediagenic contrast between Obama and McCain also is not tilting in McCain's favor"
twitter  barackobama  smartmobs  cybergenics  media  elections  politics  2008  johnmccain  internet  web  cyberspace  microblogging  paulsaffo 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Mute magazine - Culture and politics after the net
"joy of hacking comes more from creation of something new & clever not simply ‘breaking’ into a system while still maintaining its previous paradigm. Breaking into a system to explore how it works [qualifies]...for commercial gain [does not]"
politics  internet  net  governance  power  networks  government  protocols  hacking  anarchy  anarchism  digital  sovereignty  privacy  timberners-lee  cyberspace  alexandergalloway  vintcerf  history  policy  corporations  google  theory  microsoft  w3c 
may 2008 by robertogreco
Adobe - Design Center : The fake-space race: Design and the future of travel
"Current attempts at verisimilitude seem to underestimate our imaginative capacity, while tripping our deceit sensors. It's a matter of timing. The world needs artful telepresence more urgently than ever before. Can we please get on with it?"
johnthackara  sustainability  travel  telecommunication  communication  telepresence  presence  virtual  haptics  sensing  remote  video  videoconferencing  videophones  telecoms  perception  cyberspace  distance 
april 2008 by robertogreco
Cyberbullying Suicide Stokes the Internet Fury Machine
"Cyberbullying case leads to a teen girl's suicide, and an internet mob forms to take justice into its own hands. Experts say it's just the latest example of a social imperative running amok online."
activism  cyberbullying  vigilantism  mob  socialscience  socialnetworking  myspace  cyberspace  behavior  human  groups  internet  online  web  justice  society 
november 2007 by robertogreco
In Korea, a Boot Camp Cure for Web Obsession - New York Times
"But these young people are not battling alcohol or drugs. Rather, they have severe cases of what many in this country believe is a new and potentially deadly addiction: cyberspace."
korea  addiction  internet  online  computers  technology  cyberspace  society  web 
november 2007 by robertogreco
William Gibson: The Rolling Stone 40th Anniversary Interview : Rolling Stone
"...our grandchildren will find quaintest about us is that we distinguish digital from real, virtual from real. In future, that will become literally impossible...distinction between cyberspace and that which isn't is going to be unimaginable."
williamgibson  futurism  cyberspace  culture  ubicomp  pessimism  optimism  scifi  sciencefiction  science  fiction  technology  interviews  cybernetics  digitalnatives  future  nanotechnology  nuclear  environment  ubiquitous  society  biology  cyberpunk  books  gamechanging 
november 2007 by robertogreco
Preoccupations: Sherry Turkle: 'what will loving come to mean?'
"If you have trouble with intimacies, cyberintimacies are useful because they are at the same time cybersolitudes."
culture  internet  robots  japan  age  sherryturkle  gamechanging  comments  objects  intimacy  technology  psychology  society  human  emotions  cyberspace  interface  web  online  computers  ai  brain  mind  self  identity  continuouspartialattention  time  slow 
october 2007 by robertogreco
EFF: Leaving the Physical World by John Perry Barlow (For the Conference on HyperNetworking, Oita, Japan)
"The first half of my life was about landscape, place, dirt, physicality, facts, and experience. I now find myself trying to understand a world which has moved off the territory, where such things exist, and onto the map, where they are replaced simulatio
eff  johnperrybarlow  cyberspace  internet  society  physical  relationships  work  history  janejacobs 
september 2007 by robertogreco
Clive Thompson on How Twitter Creates a Social Sixth Sense
"It's almost like ESP, which can be incredibly useful when applied to your work life...Twitter substitutes for the glances and conversations we had before we became a nation of satellite employees."
twitter  socialnetworking  communication  culture  socialnetworks  socialsoftware  internet  collaboration  awareness  attention  experience  networking  participation  productivity  relationships  messaging  blogging  online  friends  storytelling  mobile  tumblr  clivethompson  web2.0  social  community  visualization  dunbar  collectivism  cyberspace  jaiku  psychology 
july 2007 by robertogreco
Edge: BEWARE THE ONLINE COLLECTIVE By Jaron Lanier
"Blogs often lead to such divisiveness that people end up caring more about clan membership than truth after a while."
web  internet  collectivism  sharing  society  trends  culture  socialsoftware  socialnetworks  blogs  commentary  cyberspace  social  etiquette  mobs 
december 2006 by robertogreco
Seoul: Until Now! - Emil Goh
"His currently most ambitious project is on the particular Internet culture in Korea relating to the “Cyworlds” that are created on a number of web-pages. Here young (and not-so-young) Koreans create their own Internet blogs, where they establish alte
art  interesting  life  design  society  culture  technology  urban  korea  cyberspace  pixelart  photography  social  socialsoftware  homes  space  living  interiors  architecture 
october 2006 by robertogreco

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