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Western University
Media, Information and Technoculture
Media, Information and Technoculture 2500A/B
John Reed

MIT STUDY NOTES Issues with Digital Property – Nov 2 1. The Commons (property that belongs to everyone) a. Open Commons: no single person has exclusive control (sea, sky). We have regulations and agreements. b. Limited Commons: degrees of regulation (ex. Freeway/highway) 2. Capitalism, Enclosure and Property a. Enclosure: accumulation by dispossessions i. Colonization: - destruction of natural economy - confiscation of land - creation of export-only economy - ex. Potosi, Brazil  mine, over 8,000,000 people died to extract the materials that they mine - powerlessness was created to enable capitalism - majority world finances industrial revolution for minority north th ii. England in 17 Century - Labour pool created by eviction - Tied to industrial rev, carried out by parliament - Raise taxes, drive farmers off land and into mines - Ex. Common property VS enclosure b. Capitalist Property i. Features - Production of goods by private companies for profit - Competition within scarcity - Ex. Clip from Glen Gary, Glen Ross - People put up with bad workplace to pay bills - Innovation: always trying to innovate, exciting, but is also a THREAT - Ex. Ford and mass production - Not enough willing labour force - Software isn’t scarce ex. Inception ii. The Blob is a metaphor for capitalism, everything is absorbed to feed this machine, absorbed for and by profit iii. Property and digital property rights  culture (expression) is MADE into property. Innovation  threat. iv. Major Changes: - Opt-in is now OUT (automatic protection of property, regulates all works now) - Regulation of use - Digital = copyable - Threatens idea of private property, from originator  server  browser. - Email makes copies, mp3s are copies, streaming  we have to REGULATE the way we USE 3. Digital Tech and Enclosure a. Legal Means i. E.U.L.A  end of user licensing agreement ii. T.O.S  Terms of service - Both are a means of social control and limit the ways people use a product - Ex. iTunes nuclear missiles - Regulation of communication iii. D.R.M  digital rights management (technocratic approach) iv. It’s not about copy control, but control of USE - Can’t modify software if code is compiled - Source code is key for free software 4. Culture is Remix a. Ex. Sarcarm (say something in a different way) b. You can only copyright the FORM that an idea takes c. Language becomes property - Ex. William burroughs and the cut-up method - Playing with images, laws regulating our communication 5. Culture is Fluid, Copywrong and DRM are not (they are standardized, technocratic and automated) 6. Crowd Sourcing: youtube, Wikipedia, blogging 7. New profit centres 8. Free software and Copyleft a. Ex. Firefox b. Freedom to run, copy, distribute, etc. Medium, Interface, and Meta-Medium – Nov 9 1. Alan Kay a. Father of graphical user interface software (GUI) b. 1972 – Dyna Book Proposal (interactive screen) c. Xerox – Documents with words and pictures. 2. Medium is the message a. McLuhan – “Medium is the Massage” 1967 i. White and Black image = we tends to focus on one thing only ii. Figure = focus, ground = ignore. Figure seems to have a structure. The figure is the technology, ground is side effects. 3. Medium is the massage. - We don’t notice the message - You have to gorget about other details - We are massaged by the tech. The message exists within the medium - Only when we go without do we realize - These tech are OURSELVES but enhanced a. Acoustic Communication i. Boundless ii. Ear = all-involved (brain is responding, even when asleep) iii. speech b. Writing Communication i. Fragmented/detached c. Type/Print i. Mass-produced, industrialization of language and communication ii. Can’t change this, can’t evolve/alter iii. Standardization, Centralization iv. These rearrange the existing ratio d. Electronic (TV for McLuhan) i. We are back to acoustic  info continuously pours upon us, hard to focus through chaos, this new medium enables a lot of unacceptable behavior (ex. Chat Roulette) 4. Media Avoidance a. We incorporate and extend technology into our life. 5. What is an interface?  point contact between systems a. Software Interface i. Between different types of software ii. Between different apps b. User Interface i. Between human and computer ii. Idea Memex (1945): memory extends, associative, non-linear iii. Mother of all Presentations (1968) Doug Engelbart iv. First graphical OS v. First Home Video Game System (Odyssey, had to tape it to screen) c. Physical Interface i. Organic and Inorganic (interacting with the interf
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