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Otherwise Engaged
Critical Analytics and the New Meanings of Engagement Online

Otherwise engaged refers to our time as a time of dis­trac­tion. As a time when social media is actu­al­ly begin­ning to focus our atten­tion on things that are dis­tract­ing. And I want to talk a lit­tle bit about first of all of our new—and it’s going to sound like an oxy­moron, but it’s our new sort of dis­tract­ed modes of engage­ment.

The Real Name Game

Citizenship, after not think­ing about it for a while, feels like some­thing we’re all think­ing about quite a lot these days. In the words of Hannah Arendt, cit­i­zen­ship is the right to have rights. All of your rights essen­tial­ly descend from your cit­i­zen­ship, because only coun­tries will pro­tect those rights.

Hardware, Software, Trustware

The cul­ture gap at the cen­ter of the debate we’re hav­ing today is a cul­ture gap between peo­ple who build hard­ware and peo­ple who build soft­ware. And those cul­tures have been diverg­ing since the 1950s.

John Klensin’s Internet Hall of Fame 2012 Induction Speech

When many of the peo­ple in this room were begin­ning to lay the ground­work for the net­work in the 60s, I was work­ing as a polit­i­cal sci­en­tist and wor­ry­ing about com­mu­ni­ca­tions pat­terns and how those worked.

Randy Bush’s Internet Hall of Fame 2012 Induction Speech

We mean well, but we also do good and we also do dam­age. Well-meaning Americans did some­thing called the Leland Initiative, which broke net­work­ing in the indige­nous net­works in ten African coun­tries and empow­ered the PTT monop­o­lies.

A Network of Sorrows: Small Adversaries and Small Allies

In an envi­ron­ment where every­body can pick up every­body’s tools, we’re all weird­ly empow­ered now. And I mean kind of weird in an almost fey sense like, our pow­ers are weird, they make us weird, and they make our our con­flicts weird. It’s again that idea that our tools are inter­act­ing with our human flaws in real­ly real­ly inter­est­ing ways.

Looking to Ants to Better Understand Collective Behaviour

How can we extend what we are learn­ing about how sim­ple local inter­ac­tions in ant colonies or in brains, in the aggre­gate, pro­duce the col­lec­tive behav­ior of the group and the way that it responds to chang­ing con­di­tions? How can we extend what we’re learn­ing about col­lec­tive behav­ior in oth­er sys­tems to begin think­ing about col­lec­tive behav­ior in human social orga­ni­za­tions?

Four Trends for the Digital World

This quote’s from Andy Warhol. He was look­ing at America and say­ing America’s dif­fer­ent. He’s say­ing, Well, Elizabeth Taylor’s drink­ing Coke and I’m drink­ing Coke and the bum on the street’s drink­ing Coke, and it’s all the same thing.” For the first time in his­to­ry, mass mar­ket cul­ture has allowed us all to enjoy the same thing. This is not cham­pagne. The bum on the street can’t afford cham­pagne.

The Platonic Network

I want­ed to give you a lit­tle bit of per­spec­tive on Otlet’s broad­er vision, which I think is in a way even more inter­est­ing as a ref­er­ence point for think­ing about some of the changes we’re see­ing today as our lives are increas­ing­ly reshaped by tech­nol­o­gy and net­works. What Otlet offers is a dif­fer­ent way into that space, and a dif­fer­ent way of think­ing about what a net­worked world could look like.

Re-calling the Modem World: The Dial-Up History Of Social Media

Where did the Internet come from? And in order to answer that ques­tion, you would have to have a pret­ty clear idea of what you mean when you say the Internet.” I sus­pect that if we were to poll every­body in the room, we would have a vari­ety of dif­fer­ent, some­times con­tra­dic­to­ry, some­times incom­pat­i­ble, some­times over­lap­ping, def­i­n­i­tions of the Internet.”

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