Archive

Jonny Sun and Jonathan Zittrain on Joke Tweets, Memes, and Being an Alien Online

I think I kind of have float­ed through the world feel­ing like an out­sider and feel­ing a bit like an alien, I guess. And along the way I’ve met so many oth­er peo­ple who have felt like that too, and I think this is a cel­e­bra­tion of that kind of diver­si­ty and of that kind of out­sider­dom.

The Things of the Internet
Reflections on Object Culture and Internet Culture

The Internet meme frame­work is a use­ful way to under­stand a cer­tain range of object pro­duc­tion, a cer­tain sort of infor­mal pro­duc­tion that com­bines net­worked modes of pro­duc­tion sim­i­lar to shanzhai or the hat print­ing, with the glob­al reach of the Internet and glob­al ship­ping ser­vices as well. The abil­i­ty to move bits and atoms with just as much ease and effi­cien­cy.

An Xiao Mina at Biased Data

When we think about net­work graphs and we talk about how the net­work effects that make up an impor­tant part of how social move­ments and how infor­ma­tion is dis­trib­uted online, there’s this assump­tion in those visu­al­iza­tions that every node in that net­work is equal. But very often, and you can slice data in many dif­fer­ent way, the lan­guages that we speak actu­al­ly lim­it the net­works that we have access to and that we’re inter­act­ing with. 

The Computer as Extended Phenotype

The com­put­er is being used for so many things that I claim that we have to con­sid­er the com­put­er as part of our extend­ed phe­no­type. It’s just a part of a thing that has evolved with us using memes.

Virality, Uncreativity and the End of Self-Expression

With social media, the com­pelling oppor­tu­ni­ties for self-expression out­strip the sup­ply of things we have to con­fi­dent­ly say about our­selves. The demand for self-expression over­whelms what we might dredge up from the inside, from our true selves. So the self that we’re express­ing in social media has to be posit­ed else­where. We start to bor­row from the net­work. We start to bor­row from imag­ined future selves that we can project. We start to bor­row from the media them­selves and from oth­er kinds of con­tent cir­cu­lat­ing there that we can now con­sti­tute our­selves with.

Meme Warriors and Media Viruses: Theorizing the Persuasive Political Power of the Web

[The] per­sua­sion mod­el advanced by Rushkoff and Lasn is par­tic­u­lar­ly use­ful for think­ing crit­i­cal­ly through a vari­ety of recent politically-oriented web phe­nom­e­na like pro­file pic­ture chang­ing cam­paigns, polit­i­cal viral videos, hash­tag activism and the like. 

Lulz Will Find a Way: How Meme Culture is Empowering civic Engagement in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Among oth­er things [The Cute Cat Theory] sug­gests that ordi­nary online tools and plat­forms, the kind that peo­ple com­mon­ly use to share innocu­ous con­tent such as cute pic­tures of cats make it pos­si­ble for non-activist users to cre­ate and dis­sem­i­nate activist con­tent online.

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