Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

The Digital Emergence of the Public/Private Authority


Published on

My presentation at the 2009 Computers and Writing Conference at UC Davis. This presentation redefines Web 2.0 as Web 3.14 and utilizes this model to create a bridge that aids in the further examination of the emerging private authority.

Published in: Education, Business
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

The Digital Emergence of the Public/Private Authority

  1. 1. The Digital Emergence of the Public/Private Authority Casey McArdle Ball State University Computers & Writing 2009
  2. 2. Re-examine the Public Sphere and the Private Authority by re-examining Web 2.0
  3. 3. Tim O’Reilly & Web 2.0 (2005) Web 1.0 Web 2.0 DoubleClick Google AdSense Ofoto Flickr Akamai BitTorrent Napster Britannica Online Wikipedia personal websites blogging evite and EVDB domain name speculation search engine optimization page views cost per click screen scraping web services publishing participation content management systems wikis directories (taxonomy) tagging (“folksonomy”) stickiness syndication
  4. 4. Why O’Reilly gets Web 2.0 wrong: Web 2.0 The Real Web 2.0 “ The central principle behind the success of the giants born in the Web 1.0 era who have survived to lead the Web 2.0 era appears to be this, that they have embraced the power of the web to harness collective intelligence” (O’Reilly). The development and creation of websites that utilize the nature of the web as a means to communicate via online constructs set in place and/or created by the designer to utilize such constructs. Essentially : for the web by the web.
  5. 5. Web 2.1? Web 2.5? Web 3.0? Web 3.14 (Web π ) Anything created for the web to utilize the medium is Web 2.0 – thus, there is no web 2.1, 3.o, etc because it falls under Web 2.0. Anything created that goes beyond Web 2.0 is no longer of the Web and thus is something completely different. We might as well call it Web 3.14
  6. 6. What does this have to do with Habermas? To clarify my view of the web, it is important that I first clarify Habermas and his views concerning the public and private spheres. For Habermas, the creation of these spheres came from his social observations and his belief that modernity “is largely the product of the Enlightenment dream of a free and just society guided by the light of reason” (Leitch 1742). Thus, the “Enlightenment was an effort of the western traditional intelligentsia to liberate itself from religious domination and to establish control over its own speech” (Disco 167).
  7. 7. Habermas’ Spheres Habermas’ Spheres & The Web Private Public Public Authority Civil Society Family/Internal Letters – Market (Important actions happen) Communication - Point of Negotiation, meaning, and reinterpretation of values. State – Courts Companies – Lobbyists Private Public Private Authority Civil Society Family/Internal Educational Market place – consumers ( Advertisers, revenue, information Some negotiation (eBay) – or “buy now” search engines, browsers, software, hardware, ISP’s, etc.
  8. 8. Public/Private Authority What is authority? <ul><ul><li>Sociologist, political scientists, and many other scholars seek an understanding of authority, as it is a force to be reckoned with, regardless of governmental structure. In democracies, totalitarian regimes, post-communist societies, and even states deep in the violent throws of civil war, authority looms as a phantom hovering over both leadership and citizenry. In any political setting, authority is exercised, blocked, debated, accepted, and most of all, noticed with passion... it is difficult to define authority precisely, though people tend to think they “know” it when they see it. (Herbst 483) </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Public/Private Authority Controlling the Web <ul><ul><li>If the Internet is, or is able to become, a public sphere according to this Habermasian model, it would have to offer an arena for individuals to interact free of constraints. These interactions must have the potential to influence civil society and the state, and the public discourse that is generated in this site must be “legitimized” by the scrutiny and challenge of other citizens and the stake holders in the debate. (Weisser 50) </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Perceptions of the Web
  11. 12.
  12. 13. Civil Society For Habermas, there must be a “civil society” for the public sphere to work: civil society private persons congregate who are not acting in any official capacity when they gather, who do not know each other intimately, and who meet primarily to talk and exchange opinions... we must strive to fully reintegrate the discourses of modern science, art, and politics with the everyday perspectives of a life-world in which people strive to secure a decent existence for themselves and their loved ones. (Leitch 1743-1744)
  13. 14. Blogosphere – Private Sphere Using Web 3.14 If an essential part of Web 2.0 is harnessing collective intelligence, turning the web into a kind of global brain, the blogosphere is the equivalent of constant mental chatter in the forebrain, the voice we hear in all of our heads. It may not reflect the deep structure of the brain, which is often unconscious, but is instead the equivalent of conscious thought. And as a reflection of conscious thought and attention, the blogosphere has begun to have a powerful effect. (O’Reilly)
  14. 15. Different Lens Function of Web 3.14 Basically, “any web application can be seen as software above the level of a single device. After all, even the simplest web application involves at least two computers: the one hosting the web server and the one hosting the browser. And as we've discussed, the development of the web as platform extends this idea to synthetic applications composed of services provided by multiple computers” (O’Reilly).
  15. 16. “ Electronic Publication and the Narrowing of Science and Scholarship” ~ by James A. Evans (2008) Feedback Loop “ Evans analyzed more than 34 million journal articles and found that the number of citations in science papers has declined in the past ten years. More worrisome still, the remaining citations have become far less diverse, with scientists citing the same, popular papers over and over again. The immediate result is a feedback loop: The frequency of citations has made more popular papers easier to find online, which increases their popularity further — and so on. The end result, according to Evans, is an ‘acceleration of consensus’ — in other words, as the Web grows more powerful, the range of scientific discourse shrinks” (VSL).
  16. 17. “ A Philosophical-Political Profile” by Jürgen Habermas A Call to Action “ I would also expect a critical theory to perform the task of making possible enlightening interpretations of situations, which affect our self-understanding and orientate us in action” (Habermas 216). For Habermas, “those domains of action which are specialized for the transmission of culture, social integration or the socialization of the young, rely on the medium of communicative action and cannot be integrated through money or power” (Habermas 219).
  17. 18. Building a Digital Bridge This can help illuminate the Digital Emergence of the Private Sphere Web 3.14 The Private Authority By re-examining the basic constructs of the web. Understanding the multitude of “publics” and the lens afforded by the Private Authority.
  18. 19. Works Cited Disco, Cornelis. “ Critical Theory as Ideology of the New Class: Rereading Jurgen Habermas. ” T heory and Society 8.2 (1979): 159-214. Habermas, Jurgen. “ A Philosophico-Political Profile. ” Readings in Contemporary Rhetoric . Ed. Karen A. Foss, Sonja K. Foss, and Robert Trapp. Illinois: Waveland Press, 2002. 130-145. Herbst, Susan. “ Political Authority in a Mediated Age. ” Theory and Society 32.4 (2003): 481-503. Leitch, Vincent B. Ed. et al. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism . New York: W.W. Norton, 2001. O’Reilly, Tim. What is Web 2.0: Design patterns and business models for the next generation of software . 2005 O’Reilly Network. 10 June 2009. <>. Very Short List . 8 December 2008. Electronic Publication and the Narrowing of Science and Scholarship. 10 June 2009. <>. Weisser, Christian R. Moving Beyond Academic Discourse: Composition Studies and the Public Sphere . Illinois: Southern Illinois University Press, 2002.