The MIT Press book we affectionately call 10 PRINT -- actually 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10 -- was an unusual project in several respects. The book focuses on a single line of now-unfamiliar code, code of the sort that millions typed in and modified in the 1970s and 1980s. The book contributes to several threads of contemporary digital media scholarship, including critical code studies, software studies, and platform studies. Also somewhat oddly, the book was written in a single voice by ten people: Nick Montfort, Patsy Baudoin, John Bell, Ian Bogost, Jeremy Douglass, Mark C. Marino, Michael Mateas, Casey Reas, Mark Sample, and Noah Vawter.
At this CMS colloquium, co-authors will discuss the nature of their collaboration, which was organized by Montfort, designed as a book by Reas, and facilitated by structured conversations and writing done online (using a mailing list and a wiki) as well as (in a few cases) in person. The writing of 10 PRINT is offered as a new mode of scholarship, very suitable in digital media but capable of being applied throughout the humanities. It brings some of the benefits of laboratory work and collaborative design practice to the traditionally individual mode of scholarly research and argument.
Continue reading "Podcast: "10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10"" »
From Boston.com, The Education Arcade's Scot Osterweil on games, Dewey, and how we learn at conferences:
With Dewey's ideas as the bedrock of our own practice as learning game designers, we may forget how little those ideas have penetrated beyond our circle of colleagues. But at Sandbox Summit, I had a chance encounter with the head of a trade group that represents toy makers. He had never heard of Dewey, or the notion that we learn best by doing, and was fascinated and affected by Gardner's talk.
That trade group leader was gaining new insight into the audience his industry serves, reminding me again that game designers need to be in an ongoing dialogue with a broader public. It was the kind of teachable moment that is peculiar to conferences designed to open up conversation between industry and academia. I'd argue that only in a setting like that would we have made the human connection that made that learning possible.
The joy of conferences and video games that teach -- Boston.com
- Roderick Coover, Temple University
- Theo Hug, University of Innsbruck
- Molly Sauter, MIT
- Dan Whaley, hypothes.is
- Moderator: James Paradis, MIT
Continue reading "Media in Transition 8: "Summing Up, Looking Ahead"" »
Amid disquiet over encroachments on privacy by government and corporations, another class of concerns has arisen: That some people (often young users of social media) are not respecting the traditional boundaries of privacy and are choosing to share "too much information." Do these people's technical skills outstrip their social skills? Are they unaware of how information can persist and potentially damage their reputation? Or are the stern adults who question this behavior clinging to an outmoded idea of privacy? Are the apps and algorithms and platforms of social media invisibly transforming norms of privacy and personal freedom?
- Feona Attwood, Middlesex University (UK)
- David Rosen, author
- Jonathan Zittrain, Harvard University
- Moderator: Nick Montfort, MIT
Continue reading "Media in Transition 8: "Oversharing: The End of Privacy?"" »
It is a truth universally acknowledged that digital technologies have immensely enhanced existing means of surveillance by government and corporations and have created powerful new instruments to monitor individual behavior. Do the ramifying systems for observing and recording our routine activities fundamentally threaten our privacy and freedom, as many have argued? In an era of dating mining and smart algorithms, is our awareness that we are being monitored, converted to bits and distributed among databases, changing the way we behave as citizens and individuals? Should it do so? Or is this framing of the question too pessimistic, ignoring the fact that many of the world's data collectors are or claim to be improving our lives by expanded productivity, services tailored to individual users, advances not merely in shopping but in health, education and public safety.
- Goran Bolin, Sodertorn University (Sweden)
- Kelly Gates, University of California, San Diego
- Jose van Dijck, University of Amsterdam
- Moderator: Ethan Zuckerman, MIT
Continue reading "Media in Transition 8: "Surveillance: Big Data and Other Watchers"" »
Notions of a "public sphere" have always incited skepticism and qualification, in particular the recognition of "counterpublics" that operate inside and at the margins of consensus discourse. Counterpublics can be spaces of political opposition - sites of resistance, civil disobedience, disruption - or spaces of play and self-fashioning, enabling the emergence of alt-, sub-, and fan cultures and alternative forms of community and identity. How is digital technology - and social media in particular - generating categories of identity and belonging that define themselves in opposition to established norms of personhood or community? How do the counterpublics of the digital age differ from those of the past?
- Cristobal Garcia, P. Universidad Catolica (Chile)
- Eric Gordon, Emerson College
- Henry Jenkins, USC
- Maria San Filippo, Harvard University
- Moderator: Noel Jackson, MIT
Continue reading "Media in Transition 8: "Counterpublics: Self-Fashioning and Alternate Communities"" »
Some great news from CMS research group Open Documentary Lab:
The MIT Open Documentary Lab is a recipient of an Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts! The grant will help the lab build a curated online database of interactive documentaries.
Gathering examples of interactive documentaries from around the world, the open documentary database will be fully searchable and will include key information about projects. The database will keep pace with the rapidly growing number of interactive documentary projects and include historical precedents of the genre, as well as cutting-edge examples.
“As new players armed with new technologies redefine the documentary form, we look forward to providing a map and compass to help navigate this new terrain,” said OpenDocLab Principal Investigator William Uricchio. “The interactive documentary marks the sector’s most important development since the days of cinéma vérité and direct cinema, and MIT’s Open Documentary Lab is delighted to bring these new forms to a larger public.”
NEA Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa said, "The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support these exciting and diverse arts projects that will take place throughout the United States. Whether it is through a focus on education, engagement, or innovation, these projects all contribute to vibrant communities and memorable opportunities for the public to engage with the arts.” Over 1,500 grant applications were reviewed by a panel of experts convened by the NEA, with the organization disbursing more than $26.3 million in grants.
For a complete listing of projects recommended for Art Works grant support, please visit the NEA website.
Keep an eye on this blog for project updates about the OpenDocLab database in the coming months. We look forward to sharing our progress with you!
Recent provocations (boyd and Crawford, 2011) about the role of "big data" in human communication research and technology studies deserve an outline of the value of anthropology, as a particular kind of "big data".
Mary L. Gray, Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research New England and Associate Professor of Communication and Culture at Indiana University, will walk through the different dimensions of social inquiry that fall under the rubric of "big data". She argues for attending to different dimensions rather than scales of data, more collaborative approaches to how we arrive at what we (think we) know, and critical analysis of the cultural assumptions embedded in the data we collect. By moving from the "snapshot" of quantitative work to the "time-lapse photography" of ethnography, she suggests that researchers must imagine "big data" as an on-going process of modeling, triangulation, and critique.
Gray's current research includes work on ethnographically-informed social media research, compliance cyberinfrastructures in universities and their impact on emerging media research, online labour, and the importance of location and place in the context of mobile technologies. Her book Out in the Country: Youth, Media, and Queer Visibility in Rural America examined how youth in rural parts of the United States fashioned "queer" senses of gender and sexual identity and the role that media--particularly internet access--played in their lives and political work.
Continue reading "Podcast, Mary L. Gray: "Size Is Only Half the Story: Valuing the Dimensionality of BIG DATA" " »
Ta-Nehisi Coates and Mark McKinnon
In the 2012 presidential campaign, a handful of media outlets deployed "fact-checking" divisions which reported the lies and distortions of the candidates. Some commentators have argued that these truth-squads exposed the inadequacy of standard print and broadcast coverage, much of which seems more like entertainment than news. This forum will examine the changing role of the political media in the U.S. Is our political journalism serving democratic and civic ideals? What do emerging technologies and the proliferation of news sources mean for the future?
Ta-Nehisi Coates is a senior editor at The Atlantic where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues for TheAtlantic.com and the magazine. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.
Mark McKinnon is a senior advisor of Hill & Knowlton Strategies, an international communications consultancy, a weekly columnist for The Daily Beast and The London Telegraph, and is a co-founder of the bipartisan group No Labels. As a political advisor, he has worked for many causes, companies and candidates including former President George W. Bush, 2008 Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain, late former Texas Governor Ann Richards and Congressman Charlie Wilson.
Download, or watch below.
Continue reading "Video, "News or Entertainment? The Press in Modern Political Campaigns"" »
Lisa Song, a 2009 alumna of the Graduate Program and Science Writing, as just been announced as a Pulitzer Prize winner for national reporting, as part of team that authored "The Dilbit Disaster: Inside the Biggest Oil Spill You've Never Heard Of. The reporting itself began as a seven-month investigation into a 2010 spill of Canadian tar sands oil into the Kalamazoo River.
It was originally published with InsideClimateNews. From their announcement:
The Pulitzer-winning entry included a three-part narrative by McGowan and Song, who described the unfolding of the Michigan oil spill from the point of view of those directly involved--residents; state, local and EPA officials at the scene; scientists; and spokesmen with Enbridge Inc., the company responsible for the spill. As the three-year anniversary of the spill approaches, oil is still being removed from the Kalamazoo River.
Song followed up with articles that revealed critical gaps in federal pipeline safety regulations, while Hasemyer focused on how Enbridge's rebuilding of the ruptured pipeline is affecting the lives of people along the route.