This weeks bloggers focus on the economy, emotional reactions to mediated experiences, and of course, social media.
Trish explores photography and the complex reactions it evokes, especially when depicting suffering or violence. She offers Freud’s notion of the uncanny as a potential explanation: “How familiar and moving is the experience of waving goodbye as the car drives away from a loved one? We can all relate. Yet, we know that a war is making this lover’s farewell frighteningly tragic.”
Brad offers a breakdown of the recent Facebook Terms of Service controversy and considers the Facebook Group “Facebook Bill of Rights and Responsibilites” as a step in the right direction, but suggests that standardization may the way to go: “I think Facebook is on to something with their so-called “Bill of Rights”, though it remains to be seen how the idea will actually translate to policy. Personally, what I’d love to see is a Bill of Rights for online services in general, a standardized TOS…”
Akoto laments the precarious position of print media, trapped between achieving profitability and offering free content. In response, Jason frames the issue in a larger context: “It’s a sad reality impacting publishing companies, magazines, and both local and national news outlets. But I’d also add that free web content is possibly killing off all of the major culture industries…”
Dr. Garcia brings in her recent experiences with her granddaughter, a lecture by Bruno Latour and Yochai Benkler, and the economic crises to discuss social norms. Reflecting, she calls for “not only an economic stimulus ‘package’, but also–and more importantly-normative guidelines about how the American people’s monies should be spent.”
Also discussing the economy, Elika draws a parallel between Douglass North and Charles Darwin as two men examining long-term, slow evolutionary change: “While both men’s approaches are highly conducive to explaining long-termslow change, they would be hard-pressed to seemlessly fit their models in with sudden, jarring change. Such as an asteroid hitting the Earth and killing off the dinosaurs. Or the financial crisis wreaking havoc on both institutions and organizations.”
Garrison comments on a new haunting Tetris variant, considering the relationship between narrative and the mechanics of gameplay: “No matter how familiar those mechanics may be: As Tetris becomes a dark in body stacking, the pleasure of closure that should come with every completed row quickly dissipates.” Exercise
Ed. Note: I strongly recommend checking out both the game and the post by Raph Koster to which Garrison links. I played the game and found myself in a state of immense stress, torn between the compulsion to keep playing to delay losing, and wanting to hurry up and lose so it would end.
And on a lighter note
Recounting how a grassroots community in India used social media tools (and pink panties) to take collective action, Gaurav gives insight into the relationships between new media, activism, and cultural identity.
Jess Vitak is looking to rename her blog. Send in a suggestions to win some Vitak baked goods.
Some kitten comic relief thanks to Jed.
gnovis as course work
We’ve noticed that papers from our journal are finding their way into classrooms.
Peter Bell’s 2003 paper is required reading for a Digital Media Workshop at the University of Florida.
Lindsay Pettingill’s Summer 2008 paper on “Engagement 2.0″ is rumored to be required for a Media Studies course at the New School.
CCT visiting professor Kimberly Metzler included several articles from our “New Media, Technology & Democracy” Special Issue in her fall 2008 class on Politics and Persuasive Communication, and tapped one of Trish’s blog posts for her spring 2009 course on the Cultural Politics of Television.
Has anybody else come across gnovis articles being used in their courses? Leave a comment if you have… we’d love to know.