Archive for Geekology
Google’s Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen published this piece in the November/December 2010 issue of Foreign Affairs. It was a notable step up from the “Cyberspace and Democracy” article in the same issue. Read an excerpt below.
The advent and power of connection technologies — tools that connect people to vast amounts of information and to one another — will make the twenty-first century all about surprises. Governments will be caught off-guard when large numbers of their citizens, armed with virtually nothing but cell phones, take part in mini-rebellions that challenge their authority. For the media, reporting will increasingly become a collaborative enterprise between traditional news organizations and the quickly growing number of citizen journalists. And technology companies will find themselves outsmarted by their competition and surprised by consumers who have little loyalty and no patience.
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Earlier this week, The American Interest Online ran a though-provoking article about the implications of the Internet on society entitled “You Are What You Click” by Sven Birkerts. Here are a few of the highlights of the piece, which is certain to be on interest to e-junkies:
… the prospect that the digital revolution is not just the latest human adventure or the next transformation the species must adapt to, but a force created by humans that is in big ways rewriting the whole human script. Yet he cannot seem to bring himself to do more than offer it a bag of peanuts.
Earlier this week, the New York Times ran an interesting op-ed piece by Jaron Lanier, author of “You Are Not a Gadget.” The eye-catching title of the article is “The First Church of Robotics.” It’s definitely worth a read. Here are a few of its highlights:
By allowing artificial intelligence to reshape our concept of personhood, we are leaving ourselves open to the flipside: we think of people more and more as computers, just as we think of computers as people.
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The era of the Web browser’s dominance is coming to a close. And the Internet’s founding ideology—that information wants to be free, and that attempts to constrain it are not only hopeless but immoral— suddenly seems naive and stale in the new age of apps, smart phones, and pricing plans. What will this mean for the future of the media—and of the Web itself?
Read the entire article at The Atlantic.
- …competitive markets are ill-suited to handle information as a commodity. The problem is that information differs from the traditional commodities.
Unlike industrial goods, which wear out and become obsolete, information can become more valuable over time as more as people can find more applications for and implications of the information.
In addition, markets are supposed to ration scarce goods that people produce, but information, once produced, is not scarce at all. Once known, people can reproduce information for almost no cost whatsoever. As a result, competition would mean bankruptcy for whoever invested in the production of information. Read the rest of this entry » » »
The Public Domain is the rule, copyright protection is the exception. Since copyright protection is granted only with respect to original forms of expression, the vast majority of data, information and ideas produced worldwide at any given time belongs to the Public Domain. In addition to information that is not eligible for protection, the Public Domain is enlarged every year by works whose term of protection expires. The combined application of the requirements for protection and the limited duration of the copyright protection contribute to the wealth of the Public Domain so as to ensure access to our shared culture and knowledge.
Copycense recently raised an interesting question on Twitter, asking if, instead of trying to carefully define what qualifies as “fair use,” we might be better off trying to define what constitutes “unfair use.”
Unfortunately, people rarely think about copyright this way. Most people consider copyright to be the rule, and things like the public domain and fair use to be exceptions. With the rise of the information age, this is a problem. In an attempt to address the issue, some people over at Communia have assembled a wonderful Public Domain Manifesto to set down some general principals that establish the groundwork for reforming copyright.
Surfing through Tumblr this morning, I stumbled across a girl who uncovered this gem at the library where she works: Music, Sound and Silence in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It sounded so intriguing that I searched around and found this preview chapter. I’m not sure I want to spend thirty dollars on it, but I definitely need to get my hands on this book.
Product Description: The intense and continuing popularity of the long-running television show “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (1997-2003) has long been matched by the range and depth of the academic critical response. This volume, the first devoted to the show’s imaginative and widely varied use of music, sound and silence, helps to develop an increasingly important and inadequately covered area of research – the many roles of music in contemporary television. In addressing this significant gap, this book provides an exemplary overview of the functions of music and sound in the interpretation of a television show. This is done through analyses that focus on scoring and source music, the title theme, the music production process, the critically acclaimed musical episode (voted number 13 in Channel Four’s “One Hundred Greatest Musicals”), the symbolic and dramatic use of silence, and the popular reception of the show by its international fan base. In keeping with contemporary trends in the study of popular musics, a variety of critical approaches are taken from musicology, cultural studies, and media and communication studies, specifically employing critique, musical analysis, industry studies and hermeneutics.