notes and links from the session on Friday 12 November 2010

This week we looked at the internet. This is a crucial element in any understanding of digital environments.

We looked at 5 views of the internet as outlined by Charles Leadbeater.

1. Just a tool

the importance of the internet is overblown
it's the same as we have always done
- just quicker, bigger audience
eg. ebay is just a large and convenient flea market

2. big but becoming dull

dull = integrated into everyday life
big changes can lead to big gains but only after the technological changes have become integrated
but it's a long time before we really see what impact the internet will have, if any

3. big but BAD

there are 3 reasons why some people see the internet as bad:

1. killing experts & professionals - mass amateurism
2. dependency on web - eroding independent thought - dumbing down
3. eroding privacy & identity

4. big and getting bigger FAST

for those holding this view, they see the internet as mainly good but there are different views as to why it is good:

a. more diversity, choice, frictionless markets, free stuff, choice, capitalist cornucopia, long tail
b. community & collaboration, commons production, peer to peer, non market, non hierarchical, open source, wikipedia, we think, communitarian utopia
c. different options for organising ourselves, get the things that matter done, innovation & knowledge sharing, collaboration, professionals & amateurs (but will all this social networking, new conversations, actually help in tackling major issues like environmental problems?)

5. big, good - could become bad

growth of the internet = pollution in the internet
spam, malware, surveillance, invasion of privacy, trivia
chaos, abuse of net = clogged up

this view see the current self-organisation as only a passing phase
it needs traditional control
someone to organise it - this leads to paid for access
the internet needs someone, business or maybe governments to regulate it, clean it up, build areas of easy quick access, free from spam, trivia etc
paid for access would of course mean that not everyone would have the same access

It is interesting that we talk about THE internet, one internet. It wasn't always like that, for example Compuserve and AOL started as walled off parts of the world wide web.


It is important for you to be aware of these different views so that as you walk into this new and ever expanding world, you have your eyes wide open and are able to see the implications for your own creative practice.


You might find these links interesting:

Charles Leadbeater:
Charles Leadbeater's We Think ideas in a short video:

BBC - Virtual Revolution

We also looked at some of the footage from The Virtual Revolution a major BBC documentary series

On the BBC site you can watch, download and edit a huge selection of footage from the series. You can download and edit some of it yourself as a reflective piece of work for your final assessment and to be shown as part of the final elective event on 21 January 2011. This re-edit or remix can be humorous, series, thought provoking or bizarre. You don't even have to edit the video, if you want to make an object, or print for example using some of the footage that is also fine – remember that this is for your final assessment instead of 500-700 written words so it needs to be a bit more than a just choosing one 2 minute clip to show.
This is cassette boy's humorous take on remixing the footage:
This is a free online basic video editing sort of thing
You can visit the Digital Resource Centre at Peckham Road and learn basic video editing as well

Tasks for this week:
1. Add a reflection about this session to your blogs (and if you haven't done so yet add a link to your blog on the student blogs page)
2. Watch this video on and remember the interactive transcript link, it is already available in 20 languages!
3. Start watching the BBC Virtual Revolution footage and planning your final piece

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