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MAC129 What Is Cyberculture?
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MAC129 What Is Cyberculture?



Level 1 slides for the intro class to MAC129 Cyberculture

Level 1 slides for the intro class to MAC129 Cyberculture



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    MAC129 What Is Cyberculture? MAC129 What Is Cyberculture? Presentation Transcript

    • History, approaches, themes and examples
      • A slippery term to define
      • ‘ it is the culture of and in cyberspace’
        • (Read & Gessler, 1996: 306)
      • ‘ To define cyberculture is to engage in obsolescence’
        • (Read & Gessler, 1996: 306)
      • For a counterview see Silver (2000) http://rccs.usfca.edu/intro.asp
      • Cyberculture is the culture that has emerged, or is emerging, from the use of computer networks for communication, entertainment and business.
        • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyberculture
      • ‘ ... the study of various social phenomena associated with the Internet and other new forms of network communication . Examples of what falls under cyberculture studies are online communities, online multi-player gaming, the issue of online identity, the sociology and the ethnography of email usage, cell phone usage in various communities; the issues of gender and ethnicity in Internet usage; and so on.’
        • Lev Manovich (2002: 16)
      • ‘ one of the two or three most complicated words in the English language’
        • (Williams, 1983: 87)
      • Cyber = electronic?
      • Cyber = digital?
      • Cyberculture or cyberculture s ?
        • See Rheingold 1993
      • Early studies tended to be US focussed
        • (see ICANN )
      • One of the first to get connected
        • (see ARPANET)
      • Academic study has focussed on Anglo-American examples
      • 4 historical periods (see Jakub Macek, 2005 )
        • 1950s-1970s
        • 1970s-early 1980s
        • 1980s
        • L a te 1980s-mid 1990s
      • Cyberculture originates in the US hacker subculture
      • Cybernetic organism or ‘cyborg’ ( M. E. Clynes and S. Kline, 1960)
      • ‘ hypertext’ (T. H. Nelson, 1960)
      • Emergence of ARAPNET project (1963)
      • Cyberculture moves out of research institutes and universities
      • Intel’s miniature microprocessor (1971)
      • The Homebrew Computer Club
      • Success of microcomputers explode across North America and Western Europe
      • Subcultures emerge (computer games, virtual communities, the digital avant-garde, etc)
      • Hacker = criminal
      • Cyberculture becomes the norm
      • Spread of networked computers, unified by common software formats
      • Uptake of GUIs, HTML, etc
      • Study falls into two camps:
        • Dsytopia rants
        • Utopian raves
      • ‘ From one side, cultural critics blamed the Net for deteriorating literacy, political and economic alienation, and social fragmentation’
        • (Silver, 2000)
      • Cyberculture goes mainstream but with some strange depictions ….
      • Johnny Mnemonic
      • (1995, US, dir., Robert Longo)
      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bL_8Ugp9zI4
      • Revenge of the Luddites?
      • Techno-anxiety?
      • "life in the real world is far more interesting, far more important, far richer, than anything you'll ever find on a computer screen"
        • (Stoll, 1995: 13).
      • ‘ These highways -- or, more accurately, networks of distributed intelligence -- will allow us to share information, to connect, and to communicate as a global community. From these connections we will derive robust and sustainable economic progress, strong democracies, better solutions to global and local environmental challenges, improved health care , and -- ultimately -- a greater sense of shared stewardship of our small planet.’
        • (Al Gore, 1995, cited in Silver, 2000)
      • Playing with gender?
      • Sex in cyberspace?
      • Second Life ?
    • Conclusion
      • Cyberculture has a relatively short but rich history
      • Rapid acceleration of immersion in cyberculture
      • Pros/cons of this ‘new’ way of living?
      • Many arguments to be had….
      • Kate Connolly, 2007, ‘Second Life in virtual sex scandal’, The Guardian , available at http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2007/may/09/secondlife.web20
      • William Gibson, 1984, Neuromancer , New York: Ace Science Fiction
      • Jakub Macek, 2005, ‘Defining Cyberculture (v. 2)’ (trans: Monika Metykov á and Jakub Macek), available at http://macek.czechian.net/defining_cyberculture.htm
      • Lev Mancovich, 2002, The Language of New Media , Cambridge (Massachusetts): MIT Press.
      • Howard Rheingold, 1993, The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier , http://www.rheingold.com/vc/book/intro.html
      • Dwight W. Read & Nicholas Gessler, 1996, ‘Cyberculture’ in David Levinson and Melvin Ember (eds), Encyclopedia of Cultural Anthropology , New York: Henry Holt and Co. Available at http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/geog/gessler/cv-pubs/96cyber.htm
      • Kirkpatrick Sale, 1995, Rebels Against the Future: The Luddites and Their War on the Industrial Revolution: Lessons for the Computer Age, Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company.
      • David Silver, 2000, ‘Looking Backwards, Looking Forward: Cyberculture Studies 1990-2000’ in David Gauntlett (ed), Web.studies: Rewiring Media Studies for the Digital Age , London: Oxford University Press. Available at http://rccs.usfca.edu/intro.asp
      • Clifford Stoll, 1995, Silicon Snake Oil: Second Thoughts on the Information Highway , New York: Doubleday.
      • Raymond Williams, 1983, Keywords , London: Fontana.
      • Wikipedia, ‘Cyberculture’ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyberculture last accessed 3/10/2008
    • Images
      • Slides 4-6: Torley, http://www.flickr.com/photos/torley/3813317440/sizes/l/
      • Slides 7-8, 12: robjewitt, http://www.flickr.com/photos/robjewitt/3962862496/sizes/o/
      • Slides 13-14: rafeejewell, http://www.flickr.com/photos/raftwetjewell/3595416963/sizes/l/
      • Slide 16: musicmuse_ca, http://www.flickr.com/photos/42304632@N00/498016780/sizes/o/
      • Slide 17: Dr Karanka, http://www.flickr.com/photos/jkaranka/1484368168/
      • Slide 18: Corey Leopold, http://www.flickr.com/photos/cleopold73/2553585876/
      • Slide 22: viscousplatypus, http://www.flickr.com/photos/pneumatic_transport/354459878/
      • Slides 31-32: rafeejewell, http://www.flickr.com/photos/raftwetjewell/2965119497/sizes/l/
      • H a s the advent of cyberculture transformed how we relate to each other?
      • Have you ever experimented with your digital identity online to create a different version of yourself? (eg Second Life, Xbox Avatars, Nintendo Mii, etc). If so, how did you find this experience?
      • What does the future hold? Will it be a better tomorrow powered by information networks or will we become slaves to the machine?
      • Gender online: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=neottqW4owg
      • Sceptics (Postman):
      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49rcVQ1vFAY
      • Gibson in Second Life:
      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QeuEo-F3JI
      • Visions of the future:
      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlBgIO6Mp9A