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LECTURE 6 - Cyberculture


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LECTURE 6 - Cyberculture

  1. 1. <ul><li>What we are going to consider in the lecture today: </li></ul><ul><li>SECOND LIFE </li></ul><ul><li>What is the public sphere? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the social space? </li></ul><ul><li>What is meant by democracy? </li></ul><ul><li>Can the Internet help promote democracy? </li></ul><ul><li>How can Habermas’ analysis for communicative action be related to the Internet and democracy? Relate this to Lee Salter’s article in your course reader. </li></ul><ul><li>Do electronic technologies infiltrate private space, and / or democratic rights, or can they be used to empower? </li></ul><ul><li>We need to be forever mindful of governmental control and governance laws that diminish the ability of the Internet to support democracy effectively. </li></ul><ul><li>Street Art – Flash Mobbing </li></ul>
  2. 3. What is Second Life? Second Life is an on-line multi-user environment in which participants interact with each other in a three-dimensional virtual world. Second Lifers build whatever they want (scenery, buildings, vehicles, clothing, body enhancements, etc.). The environment is open-ended, the richness of content limited only by the imaginations of the inhabitants.                                The technology is derived from the same software used by on-line massively multi-user role playing games (MMORPGs) like World of Warcraft. Unlike those systems, Second Life is not a game. There are no objectives, no pre-defined roles, no levels or goals. Second Life is a 3D multi-user development platform that gives the participants control of their environment. There are currently more than three million registered users, a number that has been growing rapidly for the past year.
  3. 4. User-generated content The “prosumer” or “produser” “ produsage” “ rip, mix, burn” Can we presume grip,fix,turn?
  4. 5. YearlyKos Convention - n. yier-lee-KOS k&n-'ven(t)-sh&n An annual convention gathering people from all walks of life who belong to the Netroots community, the US-based (but globally focused and inclusive) non-partisan grassroots political action community that uses the Internet and blogs as primary tools for: expressing viewpoints, building consensus, acting to change the status quo, mobilizing huge numbers of people and informing each other and the world about current events, grassroots actions, networks, meetings, policy and more.
  5. 6. Reuters: So there may be code in the future where your avatar is tied to your real-life nationality and then based on that nationality certain restrictions may or may not come into play? Philip Rosedale: Right. If the local restrictions that countries for example are making on avatars, if those restrictions are well-published and transparent and in the public light, I think we’re going to get to a good overall set of choices. Countries will make the right choices about how they want to restrict people’s use in Second Life if they can see what other countries are doing rather than us being the sole decider of what’s right locally.
  6. 7. Surveillance as a tool to control urban space. “ You have zero privacy anyway…”Scott McNealy, Sun Microsystems.
  7. 8. There are many difficulties when considering how citizens can contribute to the public sphere as what spaces are actually public?
  8. 9. If the public sphere is now the sphere of surveillance, consumption, homogenisation and alienation, can the citizen use the medium of the Internet to reinvigorate the public sphere?
  9. 10. “ Indeed, in the sense of the informal, as opposed to the eighteenth-century bourgeois, public sphere, perhaps the Internet may act as a facilitating mechanism . If Habermas’s requirement of the informal public sphere is that it ‘has the advantage of a medium of unrestricted communication’ whereby it is more adept at perceiving problem situations, widening the discourse community and allowing the articulation of collective identities and need interpretations, then there must be a medium to facilitate this”. Salter, L. (2003). Democracy, New Social Movements, and the Internet: A Habermasian Analysis . In Ayers, M.D. & McCaughey, M. (Eds.), Cyberactivism: Online Activism in Theory and Practice (pp.117-139). New York & London: Routledge.
  10. 11. Idealists believe that social media improves the processes described above by giving us more efficient tools for discussion and for 'acting out' what comes out of these discussions. But the problem is that, in practice, democracy does not unfold so neatly. Mills argued that an unequal distribution of power and knowledge allows a small elite to impose its viewpoint on the population (through the media, for instance) while convincing them that it is the people's will that the elite is carrying out on its behalf. Authentic democracies require an informed public to operate. Conversely, oligarchies require the consensual passivity and ignorance of a mass. But what role exactly do publics and masses play in each situation?
  11. 12. The legitimacy of the system depends on the lifeworld. (according to Habermas) Therefore this provides possibilities for the creative practitioner.
  12. 13. Ars Electronica A new culture of everyday life is now upon us, bracketed by the angst-inducing scenarios of seamless surveillance and the zest we bring to staging our public personas via digital media. One in which everything seems to be public and nothing’s private anymore. Panopticon or consummate individual liberty? At symposia, exhibitions, performances and interventions, the 2007 Ars Electronica Festival will delve into what the public and private spheres have come to mean and the interrelationship that now exists between them.
  13. 14. Human beings themselves comprise the interface between the abstract, digital world and the material, analog one. In which form does this network-data-world really manifest itself in our physical everyday-life-space? What is being fed back into physical space from the “cyberspace” into which data has been fed for so long now? How do these digital innovations influence our actions in everyday life? In the form of objects, installations, interventions, performances and workshops, *Second City* on Linz’s Marienstraße will take the developments of recent years to the extreme—and perhaps slightly beyond—and attempt to get to the bottom of the issues inherent in them…. What happens when established forms of digital communication are transferred directly into physical, public space? What status does privacy have in that world and in this one? In which light do digital artifacts appear when they, in their form adapted to digital space, are transformed into concrete physical objects? Aram Bartholl
  14. 16.
  15. 18. The 2007 Digital Future Project found that online communities can serve as a catalyst for social activism, with almost two-thirds of online community members who participate in social causes through the internet stating that they are involved in causes that were new to them when they began participating on the internet. In addition, 43.7 per cent of online community members participate more in social activism since they started participating in their virtual world.
  16. 20. Chapter II : Anti-War Protest and Rootscamp I attend an anti-war protest on Virtual Capitol Hill and meet up with folks from RootsCamp, a progressive organizing group that leads weekly meetings in Second Life.
  17. 26. Flinders St. Station, Melbourne, 120 people, each wearing one yellow dish-washing glove and pointing at the sky.
  18. 29. APC ActionApps is a free software content management system initiated by the Association for Progressive Communications ( APC ) APC - Internet and ICTs for social justice and development See how ActionApps can help your group publish better and faster online. Learn about—or join—the free software project behind ActionApps.
  19. 30. Online organisations such as the APC (Association for Progressive Communications) http:// have a central aim: The APC Vision: &quot;A world in which all people have easy,equal and affordable access to the creative potential of ICTs to improve their lives and create more democratic and egalitarian societies&quot; The APC Mission: &quot;The Association for Progressive Communications is a global network of civil society organisations whose mission is to empower and support organisations, social movements and individuals in and through the use of information and communication technologies to build strategic communities and initiatives for the purpose of making meaningful contributions to equitable human development, social justice, participatory political processes and environmental sustainability.&quot; This mission statement was approved at the 1997 APC Council meeting in South Africa. APCNews: Civil society's monthly e-bulletin on strategic uses of the Internet to promote social justice and equality.