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Media, Technology & Culture 1.2: Yesterday’s New“s

We’re con­tin­u­ing our series of install­ments, focus­ing on what makes new media new. Or put anoth­er way, how new are new media, real­ly?

Media, Technology & Culture 1.1: Messages about the Medium

We’re going to talk at length about new media. And in our first few install­ments we’re going to begin by think­ing for a bit about what makes a medi­um new.

Institutions in the Age of Algorithms, and Why We Still Need Them

If you look at human his­to­ry all the way through, we orga­nize our­selves in dif­fer­ent ways. Tribes, reli­gions, guilds, states, more recent­ly com­pa­nies and net­works. And what these insti­tu­tions do is they sort of cod­i­fy val­ues and beliefs, and they they trans­port them across the gen­er­a­tions. So we see this phe­nom­e­non that when you cod­i­fy val­ues in insti­tu­tions, you give those val­ues longevi­ty.

What Should We Know About Algorithms?

When I go talk about this, the thing that I tell peo­ple is that I’m not wor­ried about algo­rithms tak­ing over human­i­ty, because they kind of suck at a lot of things, right. And we’re real­ly not that good at a lot of things we do. But there are things that we’re good at. And so the exam­ple that I like to give is Amazon rec­om­mender sys­tems. You all run into this on Netflix or Amazon, where they rec­om­mend stuff to you. And those algo­rithms are actu­al­ly very sim­i­lar to a lot of the sophis­ti­cat­ed arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence we see now. It’s the same under­neath.

Holding To Account

I’m glad those social net­works pro­vide those ser­vices. I think it’s impor­tant for the dia­logue to hap­pen that way. But it can’t be the only way for us to have pub­lic dis­course. Online, we only have these spaces that are owned by pri­vate com­pa­nies. We don’t have pub­lic parks.

Empowerment Through Cooking

In 2004, after work­ing for more than ten years as a cook, I vis­it­ed a favela for the first time. I saw in cook­ing a way to train peo­ple, and so I offered a voca­tion­al train­ing pro­gram in a local insti­tu­tion.

Data and Oil

I come here today because I’m excit­ed about data but also because I’m ter­ri­fied. I’m ter­ri­fied that we are hav­ing progress with­out cul­ture in the world of data. And as we’ve seen with these failed indus­tries before, progress with­out cul­ture does not work.

The Conversation #17 — Laura Musikanski

What’s key…is that we all need to work togeth­er. There’s no way for all of us to know about each oth­er. We’re in that part of this new way of being that there’s too many play­ers. It’s too chaot­ic. There is no cen­ter, there is no hub. But we need to find ways to work togeth­er, and to lose the idea that any one of us is the solu­tion. Because if any one of us were the solu­tion, we wouldn’t be where we are now.

The Conversation #5 — Andrew Keen

We’ve got two para­dox­i­cal trends hap­pen­ing at the same time. The first is what I call in my book the cult of the social,” the idea that on the net­work, every­thing has to be social and that the more you reveal about your­self the bet­ter off you are. So if your friends could know what your musi­cal taste is, where you live, what you’re wear­ing, what you’re think­ing, that’s a good thing, this cult of shar­ing. So that’s one thing that’s going on. And the oth­er thing is an increas­ing­ly rad­i­cal­ized indi­vid­u­al­ism of con­tem­po­rary, par­tic­u­lar­ly dig­i­tal, life. And these things seem to sort of coex­ist, which is para­dox­i­cal and it’s some­thing that I try to make sense of in my book.

Traditional Knowledge and Copyright: the Implications for Digitising Pacific Island Cultural Heritage Collections

So what would this mean for those with an inter­est in dig­i­ti­za­tion? Despite being a new legal frame­work, the pro­pos­al may lead to some famil­iar prob­lems for cul­tur­al her­itage insti­tu­tions. Many of you are aware of the prob­lem of orphan works in copy­right. This is where the own­er of a pro­tect­ed work is uniden­ti­fi­able or uncon­tactable, and because they can’t be found it fol­lows that they can’t grant per­mis­sion to oth­ers to copy their work.

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