MDST 3703 F10 Seminar 4
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MDST 3703 F10 Seminar 4






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  • The Whole Earth Catalog Now Onlinein Books | January 10th, 2009 2 Comments  0Share10Between 1968 and 1972, Stewart Brand published The Whole Earth Catalog. For Kevin Kelly, the Catalog was essentially “a paper-based database offering thousands of hacks, tips, tools, suggestions, and possibilities for optimizing your life.” For Steve Jobs, it was a “Bible” of his generation, a kind of Google 35 years before Google came along.
  • Sharing a common cultural form

MDST 3703 F10 Seminar 4 MDST 3703 F10 Seminar 4 Presentation Transcript

  • Seminar 4 The World Wide Web
    Introduction to the Digital Liberal Arts
    MDST 3703 / 7703Fall 2010
  • Business
    Project meetings
    Be sure to sign up
    Reading responses going forward
    Log into the course blog
    Create a post
    Associate post with the category for the class, e.g.
    09-14 Responses
  • Overview
    Conclude Hypertext II by reviewing Hyperland
    Brief history of the Web as culmination of hypertext period and beginning of Web 1.0
  • HyperLand
    A documentary on the future of hypermedia created just as Tim Berners-Lee is inventing the World Wide Web
  • Digital Representation
    See two examples: Music and Stories
    (Hyperland Quotes on course site)
    What do these have in common?
  • Both show shapes of time
    everything is information
    shape = structure = code
  • Digital representation allows you to “see structure”
    shape = synchrony = everything-at-once
  • Picasso, Guernica, 1937
  • Hypertext?
  • Guernica example as hypermedia in both form and content
  • How does Hyperland envision the solution to too much information?
  • Agents
  • (agents are like angels)
  • Do the projects and technologies described in Hyperland resemble what we find on the web today?
  • A Brief History of the Web
  • The history of the Web is a story with three major subplots
  • Distributed Networks
  • Arpanet 1969
    First two nodes
    A military project (DARPA) to develop a network that could survive a nuclear attack
  • 1969
  • 1971
  • 1971
  • 1977
  • Hypertext
  • Nelson 1963
  • HyerpText
  • Digital Community
  • “From the moment people have connected computers to one another, we have been using them to talk to one another”
    Ethan Zuckerman
  • A paper-based database offering thousands of hacks, tips, tools, suggestions, and possibilities for optimizing your life
    Steve Jobs called it the conceptual forerunner of the World Wide Web and the Bible of his generation
    Stuart Brand, 1968--1972
  • Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link 1985
    An early BBS, outgrowth of the WWC
  • HTML, HTTP, and World Wide Web
  • Berners-Lee brought the three subplots together
  • World Wide Web 1989
    Involves all three dimensions
  • How it works …
    Hypertext = HTML
    A language for documents
    Networks = HTTP
    A language for computers (clients and servers)
    Purpose from the beginning
    Focuses on how people use information
    Both HTTP and HTMP build this requirement into their architecture …
  • What is the problem Berners-Lee was trying to solve?
  • “the problems of loss of information about complex evolving systems”
    The problem of knowledge management
    “Many of the discussions of the future at CERN … end with the question -- Yes, but how will we ever keep track of such a large project?”
    “When two years is a typical length of stay, information is constantly being lost. “
  • How does the shape of data in the web match its intended social use?
  • [Although CERN is] nominally organised into a hierarchical management structure, this does not constrain the way people will communicate, and share information, equipment and software across groups.
    The actual observed working structure of the organisation is a multiply connected "web" whose interconnections evolve with time.
    The system must allow any sort of information to be entered. Another person must be able to find the information, sometimes without knowing what he is looking for.
  • Hierarchy = appearance
    Network = reality
  • How is it possible to connect networks, hypertext, and digital community?
  • Networks connect computers
    Hypertext connects documents
    Communities connect people
    Each mode of connection shares a common cultural logic (in spite of cultural differences)
  • A weird mix of military, hippie, hacker, and academic cultures
  • . . . sharing a common cultural form
  • Effects and Affordances
  • Effect 1
    The social dimension overtook the computational one
    We still don’t have agents
    No true hypertext (according to Nelson)
    Instead, filtering has become socially mediated
  • Google 1999
  • Facebook 2006
  • We are left with social-semantic space
  • Effect 2
    The Network is the Medium
    Laws of the Realm
    Metcalf's Law
    Page Rank
    The Long Tail
  • Metcalfe's Law
  • Page Rank
  • The Long Tail
  • Six Degrees
  • How is content filtered in this new space?