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TECH2002 Studies in Digital Technology Lecture Week 8 'Routines and Revolution'

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  • Talk of revolution is in the air – shift from manufacturing to the flow of information – ‘the information society’, the network society (Castells0. A revolution or remaking of the world caused by the Internet. The danger is that we follow a simple idea that it is technology that changes things, not us, the people bring technologies into the existing everyday world, and that change is not radical, but evolving as part of the continuities of history and the past. For instance Nicholas Negroponte argues that the information revolution is so forceful that there is no stopping the shift to ‘being digital’. But technology is nothing without people – and people make technology in social contexts. There have been important changes, but in many ways life continues as it has always done, but perhaps in new ways. New media technologies are constantly brought into the routines and traditions of everyday life. The way that we deploy technology is part of the way that society is and would like to be – technology is real, fantastic and virtual (symbolic and full of meaning beyond actuality of events). How do you bring new media technologies such as the web and mobile phones into your life – as a revolutionary change of life or as part of the ongoing routines of daily life?
  • Tech2002lecweekeight0809

    1. 1. Routines and Revolutions TECH2002 Studies in Digital Technology Andrew Clay 8
    2. 2. A ‘virtual revolution’? <ul><li>‘, in three 2011 80 per cent of active internet users will have avatars’ (Keegan, 2008) </li></ul>
    3. 3. Barack Obama – ‘being digital’
    4. 4. Obama – ‘the first Blackberry President’ <ul><li>If you make media differently social (many-to-many and two-way), a new situation is achieved in which public opinion is made visible and response is expected </li></ul>
    5. 5. <ul><li>‘ Some have dubbed him the first Blackberry President, as he can often be seen checking his mobile email device as soon as he gets off a plane. He is an iPod-tuned, Facebook-friendly, Twittering politician who fits right into the digital age and makes other leaders look analogue. He can communicate directly with the public via profiles on Facebook and MySpace, photographs on Flickr, videos on YouTube, text message feeds on Twitter and meetings on his own social network’. </li></ul>
    6. 6. <ul><li>How do new media contribute to the reproduction of social life? </li></ul><ul><li>What part is played by media in the routines and traditions of everyday life? </li></ul><ul><li>routines and revolution </li></ul>
    7. 7. Demon Mobile
    8. 8. media/theory (Moores, 2005) <ul><li>structuration, routines , traditions, dailiness, seriality, scheduling, ordinariness, hourliness, lifetime, eventfulness </li></ul><ul><li>globalisation, stretching, medium, shrinking, unevenness, network, flow, empires, permeability, virtuality </li></ul><ul><li>typology, mix, intimacy, grief, pathologisation, sociability, conversationalisation, face, friendliness, doubling </li></ul><ul><li>connotation, multiaccentuality, decoding, export, acts, context, technologies, tastes, fallacy, authentication </li></ul><ul><li>trust, inattention, reflexivity, risk, labour, performativity, MUDding, community, diasporas, dwellings </li></ul><ul><li>Time and space </li></ul>
    9. 9. Routines <ul><li>Day-to-day, ‘daily life’ </li></ul><ul><li>Regular round of activities </li></ul><ul><li>Habitual uses of time and space </li></ul><ul><li>Possibility of change in routines through new media technologies </li></ul><ul><li>Time – work, free time, leisure </li></ul><ul><li>Space – work, domestic, public </li></ul>
    10. 10.
    11. 11. ‘ Threat of young viewers turning off’ (2007) <ul><li>viewing habits are changing </li></ul><ul><li>under-30s now watch 40 per cent of their 'television' by downloading it over the internet or viewing it 'on demand' rather than watching it as it is broadcast </li></ul><ul><li>More than 10 per cent of viewing by young people is already online, with the youngest groups (under 24) spending the most time on the internet </li></ul><ul><li>Unsurprisingly, perhaps, 73 per cent of the under-30s surveyed are using the internet more than they did three years ago, and 43 per cent of under 30s are watching less TV </li></ul>
    12. 12. <ul><li>The number of viewers engaging in other activities while they tune in seems to be higher than previously estimated: 81 per cent of under-30s do something else while watching TV </li></ul><ul><li>among 15- to 17-year-olds the figure is 86 per cent. That suggests that TV is not getting 100 per cent of younger viewers' attention </li></ul><ul><li>Young viewers typically use social networking sites or talk on the phone while the TV is on rather than using 'competing forms of entertainment' like a PC console or radio </li></ul><ul><li>Fewer people under 30 - 71 per cent - do other activities while using the internet, although 86 per cent of 15- to 17-year-olds do so </li></ul>
    13. 13. Slide 13: playing card nicknames <ul><li>‘ Many individual cards have picked up nicknames over the years. For example, the four of clubs is often known as Ned Stokes, the Devil's four-poster, or the Curse of Mexico; the queen of clubs, Queen Bess; the nine of diamonds, the curse of Scotland; the king of hearts, the suicide king (because he appears to be stabbing himself through the head); the king of diamonds, the man with the axe; the ace of clubs, the horseshoe; the ace of spades, old frizzle’ ( ) </li></ul><ul><li>The Joker card only appeared in 1857, hundreds of years after the first packs of cards </li></ul>
    14. 14. Slide 13 Group and Social network
    15. 15. <ul><li>most people with children say having children made them consume less TV </li></ul><ul><li>moving in with a partner boosts consumption: those who marry or cohabit spend 35 per cent of their free time in front of the box </li></ul><ul><li>More importantly, older age groups still watch the way their parents did: on the sofa </li></ul>
    16. 16. <ul><li>greater choice encourages more viewing - under-30s who already have a bigger choice of channels are viewing more TV than their peers. </li></ul><ul><li>Under-30s with Freeview, Sky or Cable watch 5 per cent more TV than those with terrestrial only, and ownership of a personal video recorder like Sky Plus or Tivo increases viewing by 7 per cent. Under-30s with multi-channel TV also express greater satisfaction with the programmes on offer </li></ul>
    17. 17. <ul><li>What can broadcasters and programme-makers do to accentuate this trend, besides boosting their presence on the internet or posting clips on YouTube? One answer is to create shorter content that is easier to consume online and many broadcasters are starting to experiment with this </li></ul><ul><li>'The industry should be very worried indeed about teenage viewing habits in particular,' claims OC&C director Paul Zwillenberg. 'If they don't respond they won't be able to deliver eyeballs to their advertisers. There has been a dramatic and rapid shift in the media consumption habits of under-20s and they need to start doing today what they should have done yesterday but plan to do tomorrow. They've got to throw away the old commissioning handbook and use all the platforms out there‘ (Robinson, 2007) </li></ul>
    18. 18. Mark Ravenhill – playwright and Guardian columnist
    19. 19.
    20. 20. Andrew Keen – The Cult of the Amateur (2007) <ul><li>‘ We need to reform rather than revolutionize...let’s not go down in history as that infamous generation who, intoxicated by the ideal of democratization, killed professional mainstream media. Let’s not be remembered for replacing movies, music and books with YOU! Instead, let’s use technology that encourages innovation, open communication, and progress, while simultaneously preserving professional standards of truth, decency and creativity’ (Keen, 2007, pp.204-205) </li></ul>
    21. 21. Small Pieces Loosely Joined <ul><li>David Weinberger (2002, Flap Copy) </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Unlike previous technologies, such as the phone or fax, the Web is a permanent public space that gathers value every time someone posts a Web page, or responds on a discussion board, or replies to a mail list. The result is that the Web is a second world, layered on top of the real world, that’s drawing into it more and more of our social life lives together’ </li></ul><ul><li>the web is just media? - not a separate layer of real life - but media use as part of everyday life </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunity to transform the patterns of everyday life? </li></ul>
    22. 22. Cyberspace – symbolic power of the imagination <ul><li>‘ the conceptual space where computer networking hardware, network software and users converge’ (Gauntlett, 2000, p.220) </li></ul>
    23. 23. Virtuality and new media <ul><li>Virtual worlds </li></ul><ul><li>Videogames </li></ul><ul><li>immersive media (going through the screen) </li></ul><ul><li>the experiences of being conscious in one place (a virtual world) while the body is in another (the physical and material world) </li></ul><ul><li>‘ actuvirtuality’ (Jacques Derrida) – real-life is produced as events in time and space where the virtual (such as teletechnology or what we think) is part of actuality </li></ul><ul><li>The actual and the virtual are not separate realms – they are part of actuality </li></ul>
    24. 24. Butler (2002) ‘The Internet and the World Wide Web’ <ul><li>Technological characteristics in relation to online multiplayer games and virtual reality: </li></ul><ul><li>Hyperactive interactivity </li></ul><ul><li>Decentralised exchange of data </li></ul><ul><li>Communication among dispersed participants </li></ul><ul><li>A shared virtual space </li></ul><ul><li>Disrupted nonlinear narrative trails </li></ul><ul><li>A graphically sophisticated user interface </li></ul>
    25. 25. ‘ Getting hooked on an internet role-play fantasy’ The Times, 1 February 2002 <ul><li>MMORPGS (massively multiplayer online role playing games) </li></ul><ul><li>So addictive that they have been likened to drugs and caused a moral panic </li></ul>
    26. 26. View the video at
    27. 27. Impossible to separate the technological from the cultural significance of the Web? <ul><li>Promotes ‘teamwork, social interaction, problem-solving and positive peer communication’ (Sony) </li></ul><ul><li>Promotes social interaction and boosts self-esteem – a positive means of escaping daily pressures (Mark Griffiths, Nottingham Trent University) </li></ul><ul><li>But ‘secondary addicts’ may play to escape personal problems (Mark Griffiths) </li></ul><ul><li>Causes obsessive addiction leading to family neglect? </li></ul>
    28. 28. Visions of the Future (2007) <ul><li>BBC television three-part series presented by Michio Kaku (‘leading theoretical physicist and futurist’) </li></ul><ul><li>we are using knowledge about the world to control and shape it </li></ul><ul><li>‘ The Intelligence Revolution’ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>artificial intelligence and virtual worlds </li></ul></ul><ul><li>‘ The Biotech Revolution’ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>genetics and biotechnology </li></ul></ul><ul><li>‘ The Quantum Revolution’ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>quantum physics </li></ul></ul>
    29. 29. ‘ The Intelligence Revolution’ <ul><li>machine intelligence –avatars </li></ul><ul><li>intelligent machines – robots </li></ul><ul><li>artificial human intelligence – cyborgs </li></ul><ul><li>ubiquitous computing </li></ul>
    30. 30. Watch the whole programme on Zuke696’s channel in 5 parts (especially the part on avatars) at
    31. 31. <ul><li>Digital technologies ‘are hybrids of technical, material, social and economic facets’ (Bolter and Grusin, 1999, p.77) </li></ul><ul><li>Values? </li></ul><ul><li>personal experience of users </li></ul><ul><li>systems and designers </li></ul><ul><li>contextualizing of technology in culture </li></ul>
    32. 32. Values <ul><li>Values are the principles, standards and qualities that people regard as being worthwhile or desirable </li></ul><ul><li>Values can be social, moral, economic, political, technological and so on </li></ul><ul><li>Everything we do is informed by what we feel or value, what we need or would like </li></ul><ul><li>We make evaluative judgments about things and values are coded in the things that we use and what we do with them </li></ul>
    33. 33. <ul><li>Values </li></ul><ul><li>Andrew Keen : the new media of Web 2.0 is a threat to the professional standards of traditional media </li></ul><ul><li>Mark Ravenhill : online media are new and democratic </li></ul><ul><li>Michio Kaku : technology has revolutionary potential to bring about ‘visions of the future’ </li></ul>
    34. 34. Values <ul><li>What are your values about the media? </li></ul><ul><li>What is worthwhile or desirable about media to you? </li></ul><ul><li>What do you think are the values of Web 2.0 and social media? </li></ul><ul><li>Try to write the answers to these questions down and think about them. </li></ul>
    35. 35. Bibliography <ul><li>Bolter, J. D. and Grusin, R. (1999) Remediation , Cambridge, Mass., MIT Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Butler, J. G. (2002) ‘The Internet and the World Wide Web’, in Harries, D. (Ed.) The New Media Book , London, BFI. </li></ul><ul><li>Gauntlett, D. (Ed.) (2000) Web.Studies , London, Arnold. </li></ul><ul><li>Keegan, V. (2008) Art, music, gossip – it’s (virtually) all there in my parallel universe [WWW] Available at (Accessed 21 November 2008). </li></ul><ul><li>Keen, A. (2007) The Cult of the Amateur , London and Boston, Nicholas Brealey. </li></ul><ul><li>Robinson, J. (2007) Threat of young viewers turning off [WWW] Available at (Accessed 18 November 2007). </li></ul><ul><li>Weinberger, D. (2002) Small Pieces Loosely Joined , Cambridge, Mass., Perseus. </li></ul>