In medias res: end-of-the-semester reading list
Due to end-of-the-semester activities posting has been slow the last couple of weeks. But my exams are finished and I've submitted grades so here's a celebratory news roundup:
- Wired reported on Sergey Brin of Google: China, SOPA, Facebook Threaten the ‘Open Web’
In an interview published Sunday, Google’s co-founder cited a wide range of attacks on “the open internet,” including government censorship and interception of data, overzealous attempts to protect intellectual property, and new communication portals that use web technologies and the internet, but under restrictive corporate control.
There are “very powerful forces that have lined up against the open internet on all sides and around the world,” says Brin. “I thought there was no way to put the genie back in the bottle, but now it seems in certain areas the genie has been put back in the bottle."
- From Gigaom: 3 key lessons from Facebook & Zynga’s shopping spree. Among the educational insights:
The post-social world is an “attention economy.” If you don’t have engagement, you don’t have attention and if you don’t have attention – well you don’t have anything really.
- Gizmodo asks Douglas Rushkoff about his geek origins (VIDEO).
- And another Douglas Rushkoff video, this one from Motherboard TV.
- Noam Chomsky and Chris Hedges are two of the plaintiffs is a lawsuit filed over the National Defense Authorization Act.
- Danah Boyd wrote a piece for the Guardian: Whether the digital era improves society is up to its users – that's us
In the 1970s, the scholar Herbert Simon argued that "in an information-rich world, the wealth of information means a dearth of something else: a scarcity of whatever it is that information consumes. What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients."
His arguments give rise both to the notion of "information overload" but also to the "attention economy". In the attention economy, people's willingness to distribute their attention to various information stimuli create value for said stimuli. Indeed, the economic importance of advertisements is predicated on the notion that getting people to pay attention to something has value.
- UW professor and author of Castells and the Media Philip N. Howard: How to Predict Political Crisis With Your News Feed:
If one wanted to track three trends likely to have the most impact on international relations over the next decade, what three trends could help us anticipate global political crises? At the top of my news feed are items about who is in jail and why, rigged elections, and social media.
- Critical media theorist Douglas Kellner on school shootings:
School shootings and domestic terrorism have proliferated on a global level. In recent months there have been school shootings in Finland, Germany, Greece, and other countries as well as the United States. Although there may be stylistic differences, in all cases young men act out their rage through the use of guns and violence to create media spectacles and become celebrities-of-the-moment.
Class dismissed, have a great summer!