Blog Wrap up: New media: tools, toys, or a way of being.

Once again, on gnovis bloggers discuss the constant negotiation made between our lives and new media, with varying degrees of acceptance.

On Gnovis…

Brad suggests that engaging podcasts may be the ideal way to take a break from thesising, without down shifting your mental gears.

I’ve discovered a counterintuitive concept that is equally key for intense, thesis-like research: productive distraction, intentional distraction that wipes away my negative thoughts and re-energizes me for more thesis work.

Jed discusses the joys, while acknowledging an unavoidable learning curve, of all-in-one ubiquitous phone use.

The ability to access and store massive amounts of information on my phone has radically altered my behavior as well. I have, what is for some, an exasperating habit of arriving at the airport with no confirmation papers for my plane ticket, hotel reservation, or conference registration.

Jason presents an ambivalent discussion of facebook and twitter’s importance/effectiveness in contemporary politics.

But in politics does this friend requesting pissing contest really matter? And Perhaps we’ll come to ‘de-friend’ a politician when we grow unhappy with his/her performance.

If Jason’s blog interests you, check out Theresa Schlafly’s article in gnovis’ special summer issue.

Margarita introduces programs that visualize Darwin’s tree of life but retains a critical stance regarding the metaphor used and the complexity of such representations.

I also wonder about the use of the metaphor…if there are in fact more than one way in which species are connected (and given all that we have learned about networks), wouldn’t a web of life be more appropriate?

Check it out, keeping in mind that your relationship to the world is far more complex than any tree of life visualization, no matter how high tech, can possibly depict.

 

Elsewhere in Gtown and CCT

Kevin on Blurring Boarders follows up on Guarav Mishra’s blog coverage of the Mumbai terrorist attacks. Kevin suggests that new crisis mapping application could facilitate self-filtering news consumption in less time.

My belief is that there is a sweet-spot for this spectrum of signal-to-noise filters – somewhere between (1) the exhausting work of reading all the information/analysis coming out of a crisis and (2) the lackadaisical, third-hand accounts which are colored by personal bias and memory.

In Dr. Garcia’s Networked Economy class, Elika reviews the dichotomy of sustaining vs. disruptive technology and their effect (or lack there of) to initiate change within institutions.

I picture a firm whose structure, whose team dynamics, whose internal information flows all mirror the information flows coming from the firm’s established customers. Thus, the true essence of being “held captive” is being held captive with respect to information.

And beyond…

On my new fav blog Bright Lights after Dark, omplains that films are becoming homogonous and bland. He attributes this to standardize ‘craftsmanship’.

It has to do with film schools churning out competent gear-heads eager to show off their expensive educations with key lighting and tracking shots instead of dropping acid and going off to Vietnam or whatever heart of darkness is in vogue this year.

 

Also thinking about craft vs. art, Garrison writes about the mostly ‘misses’ and occasional ‘hits’ produced with Machinima.

While we frequently applaud tools and technologies that promise to level the playing field, the fact of the matter is that a good toolset is never enough. Good storytelling is a craft that is not easily mastered.

And finally: this comic strip for no real reason, other then the fact that I could not help myself. Enjoy and have a great long weekend!