Streaming the Metamedia: Tweetwerverse, Mimezines, Streaming Cyber Consciousness and Extension of Man In The Datasphere
Man’s Inability to Close Doors and Decide Is Compounded By Information Overload
Social Media-"The Twitter" and the "Twitterverse"
Twitter and Twitterverse Are An Extension of Ourselves
"Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that allows users to send 'updates' (text-based posts, up to 140-characters long) via SMS, instant messaging, email, to the Twitter Website, or an application such as Twitterrific. Twitter was found in March 2006 by San Francisco start-up company Obvious Corp. In April 2007, Obvious LLC spun off the service as a separate entity under the name Twitter, Inc. with Jack Dorsey as CEO. (Twitter.)"
Being a newbie and having had a shortened encounter and participation with this new medium known as the Twitter, I was awestruck by what I have found in its that Data sphere whilst cruising the WWW Stream. On this Hub are my impressions using the Tweeter-the one on the white and a light Blue background icon or APP(Application?) and is fast churning put some modern social media theoretical spins, memes. zines, and empowerment of the user.
Tweeter-speak information or data spewing social network and coordination thereof, is spreading out like our nervous system is patterned in our bodies, also, spreading like the Universe is growing and barreling into the Spaces' Dark Matter.
The rate and generation of "Tweets", depends on who you "Follow" or "Unfollow," and is replete with many social networking interaction, intra-action, Retweeting and posting or venting and ranting-at times some use aphorisms and in the process are affects and effects that turn this "Social Networking Beast" into a complete "enveloping experience".
This is spreading, borne out of engaging and addicting new forms of communication enabled by the internet and all the new and emerging Gizmos, and in the process empowering the Users.It is also a new way of communicating all sorts of ideas and data by ordinary rich/poor. literate, illiterate, suave or ignorant/rural/city slicker, you add your understanding, the global scene that is the Tweeter, has transformed the way we live our live on Earth, do business, fights, communicate, think, acquire knowledge, disseminate information or Data, interact, interconnect, intra-communicate and go viral, merge and submerge in the Data Soup.
It does not matter, there is this transformation of an industrial society into a fully functional Technological society of the Jacques Ellul mode, the Twitter has introduced anew and unique way of handling, processing and distributing memes, zines and information circulation . On Board the Twitter is the world community in haste to inform, connect follow, find follower, send youtube streams, News agency with their streams bringing news and others peddling their wares within the context or space of 141 letters, broaden and make the Twitter user-friendly to their adherents.
Because I am new on Twitter, as of writing of this Hub at this point, I have received over 1200 tweets in an hour, The memes, zines and raw data and information in the stream are overwhelming; the messages, information, Data, public relations posts, all sorts of relations interactive probes, Musicians hawking their wares, Record stores selling and promoting vinyl, and all other paraphernalia of their productions, and then there are people who stream using famous quotations with their family, friends, other followers.
Others cull from all sorts of media sources and outlets and Tweet it by positing links through RTs,to groups of followers, or those of the one who Tweets Follow, big companies in the media and those big companies using the medium to their own end-are all what gives Tweeter the bubbly like effect, boomeranging and spread-eagled infiltration throughout the world is all about.
Thus far, these are my impressions as to what I have learned from the Twitter. I will further break this down below as to what these impressions have gleaned to me about the new inter and intra-communication, submerging/converging medium: Twitter.
It seems that the information glut and its speedy flow creates forgetfulness and constant need to be satisfied as at it pops and spirals to the receiver and at the speeds tantamount to that of the spreading and growing Universe.
Information gathering and knowledge seems to have come down to a 100-1000 per second delivery to the receiver, who has to inter- and intra-connect-merge and submerge to, latch on by login in or out in the streaming viral and primordial tweeter verse, wherein a user, upon receiving tweets they retweet to their followers and newcomers from ones Twitter receptacle with a name, picture and the information the Twitterer has virally cloned into the Web through disseminating the Data-glut and recycling or relaying the screen popping information or Data which comes at incredible and excellent speeds.
And need response and one to respond to-or one to depose or repose of it in proscribed ways that are germane to the Twitter; some have resorted to filling up their Tweeter communicative space with links and connection, grouping them in many and infinite orders; others tweet whole batches of information at the rate of a minute or less a tweet-purveying and throwing our mimezines and clogging the Cyber Space and Cyber consciousness. It is better at this juncture we learn a little bit about these message systems and meanings. Douglass Rushkoff explains Mimezines and Zines this way
"Take the virtual reality meme. While any convincing application of this technology is still years away. VR as an idea has brought together a wide assortment of countercultural figures. Timothy Leary and other psychedelics advocates immediately recognized the association between the virtual world and the acid trip. They both provided the user with access to a new world, apparently unbound by the laws of physical reality. Likewise, once people learn to make a fantasy true in a virtual or hallucinatory world, they bring back with them and inkling of how to create the same reality in the physical world.
The more people feel free to design reality, the more influence they will begin to have on the systems with which they interact.[I would swear that this was the coming of the Twitter-my addition] The spiritual connectedness people experienced on LSD in the sixties translated into the antiwar movement, a rebirth of radical politics and spirituality and eventually the feminist, environmental, and New Age movements... the memes of psychedelics, spirituality and revolution seem inextricably linked to virtual reality(VR)'.
Leary himself is most responsible for spreading awareness about the technology, as he toured the United State and Japan demonstrating and lecturing on VR throughout the late eighties. Sirius's Mondo 2000 magazine, which brought VR into the printed media, was most famous (in its previous incarnation as High Frontiers magazine) for its bold description of psychedelics and their effects, as described by men like Leary, William Burrough, Terence McKenna, and John Lily.
By bringing the memes of computers and drugs into the same place, Sirius linked forever the ideas of psychedelic hallucination and virtual reality simulation. An interesting way that will help humans to deal with the new technologies and realities that we see happening in the form of the Twitter and other Social Media.
Rushkoff further explains the ways and means and modus operandi of the viral World and reality functions and how this envelopes our extended selves and subverted consciousness:
Rushkoff writes: "To get these memes on mass media, to develop 'Wild Palms' from a comic book morphed into a fully fledged self-similar media world, complete with a companion book to explain the background and details. Stone and Wagner enlisted some of the leading meta-media theorists around today.
To invent the detail of the psychedelic drug, mimezine , they hired Gary Henderson, a Bay Area expert on designer chemicals and founder of Yang sportswear-a company that advertises "Clothing for Altered States" on the back cover of Mondo 2000. Even the name of the drug-mimezine is meant to evoke consideration of memes-or create the reality of a techno-spiritual cult. Stone needed to present them-as did Donahue-in most sensationalistic possible light.
While his own hopes for our culture are based in the psychedelic visions of Bob Dylan, The Doors, and other sixties poets and philosophers, only the hard-edged grim cyberterrorism of "Wild Palms" could successfully package these ideas into a marketable viral shell. But under the soap opera veneer of "Wild Palms" hid an army of metamedia activists whose own lifelong efforts at cultural conversion are just beginning to be realized.
Contributing to the commercial but meme-aware filmmakers like Stone, watered-down their own agendas,but slowly and meticulously prepared popular culture for future viral infection. What we see as Twitters and other social media, had their beginnings according to the narrative laid down and as described above by Rushkoff.
According to Rushkoff, Gary Henderson Radzik, an engineer came about with this Gaia hypothesis when he pondered that: "Nature just decided, 'Okay, if I want to get conscious, I'm gonna need technology to do it because these people don't have clear enough minds to use telepathy. They are too-cluttered.' Technology is an extension of nature, but people don't see it that way to help people understand and cooperate with Gaia's plan to link humanity together through media, Jody decided to promote the memes of chaos math.
"The biggest cultural enemy," according to Jody, "is fear". Tadzik's own guiding light in the development of his chaos ideologies has been Goddess Kali: "Kali represents the universe. She's got a sword and a severed head in her hand, and she's really scary, but she's also offering a blessing, 'Fear not. I know it Iooks scary as shit, but its's cool. If you approach me with humility I'm gonna take care of you."
Don't worry about it. It's frightening, but if you go with the flow, you're gonna be okay.' For me, the fractal and chaos attracotrs say the same thing. They show that random systems have limits to their behaviors. There's a 'from there',out they are beautiful. Have no fear. There is comfort. Plus, I thought that they just looked cool'. This gives us the ideas as to how we are as comfortable with the Twitter and other social media outlets because the conception of the Twitter came before the actual Twittering that we all experts of, today.
Rushkoff clarifies thus: "Radzik chose the symbols of viruses and chaos math for three reasons. The looked cool, they were technology promoting, and they had magical connotations. His intention was to wed the memes of chaos with the memes of viral invasion-this would bring his culture into a greater awareness of the frightening-looking methods Gaia is using to bring us together while keeping people reassured and comforted."
Through the use of 'self-justified memes used for "the sending out of a virus and that it is about the power of the subliminal imagery, they were able to provoke such tremendous cultural response. It showed that people really believed in the power of cultural memes as countercultural propaganda. The virus is able to play upon the paranoia of the imbibers of that media. Metamedia, the map of our collective cultural perceptions is reality, and the way you navigate that reality is through the media.
"The strange attractors in this huge chaotic landscape are the identifiable gaps or blind spots in our ability to cooperate with each other. These are the lapses in the collective project we call culture, and they are gaping receptor sites for media viruses." (Rushkoff) Our culture is a perfect receptacle for the streams of the Metamedia to infiltrate and subvert our subliminal consciousness to cyber consciousness.
In this Hub, we will look much closely as to what has been alluded to by Rushkoff and my opening remarks about the Tweeter verse and its nitty-gritty. "Twitter was first conceived of and developed by software engineer Jack Dorsey through his podcasting company, Odeo, Inc (which later became the Obvious Corp.). Dorsey's goal in creating the service was to be able to compete in the DMS (Short message Service) market.
In March of 2006, Dorsey sent the first test official tweet of his service: "just setting up my Twttr" (Twttr being short for form for Twitter). Later that year, Dorsey and Evan William established Twitter.com and hired the familiar social media icons of Biz Stone and several others to help run the company. In April of 2007, Twitter incorporated itself, becoming the organization it is today (Glasser, 2007)
The Twitter and the Twitterverse
The Twitter is categorized as a microblogging web application that allows users to connect to one another through tweets. Tweets are short 140-character messages that are sent publicly to individuals (commonly called followers), or privately via direct messages (much like e-mail). Those who send messages are commonly called tweeters or twitterers. Tweeters answer a simple question: What are you doing?"; this prompt helps facilitate the creation of de-centralized, open social networks as opposed to centralized, closed networks.
Some people just follow other twitterers, looking at their tweet stream for interesting information, but others engage in conversations they find compelling or valuable for some reason. In 2006 and 2007, Twitter held steady at a few million tweets per day. In 2008, awareness of Twitter by Americans 12 years and older was just at 5%. In January of 2009 though, the service began to boom in the marketplace and by January of 2010 it exploded to upwards of 10 million tweets per day.
This explosion was not without consequences, most notably the inability to handle the amount of tweets sent and the inclusion of the infamous Fail Whale (Schroeder, 2009). Twitter has over 105 million registered users, an 87% awareness among those 12 years and older, attracts 190 million visitors per month, and generates 65 million tweets per day (Edison Research, 2010; Schonfield, 2010). These statistics will be quite different as of writing of this Hub, and this is due to the fact of the ever-changing nature of all social media, and specifically the evolution of the Twitter today.
Twitter's growth and immense popularity has produced a plethora of third-part applications that allow users to access their accounts from smart phones and portable [emerging] media devices as well as their computers, both PC and Mac (desktop and laptop). Several more popular programs include TweetDeck. Nmabu (currently only for Mac) Seesmic, HootSuite, Twitterlator, and Twitterific. In addition,there are services like bit.ly, and tinyurl.com that shorten URLs for tweets, and Twitpic, Yfrog, or Twitvid that post photos and/or videos (Faculty focus, 2010).
Twitter has spawned its own cottage industry,carving out a niche for those specializing in microblogging. Twitter in not generally known as a place for logical disputation, and the size limitations of Twitter messages place strong restrictions on the type of content that they can carry, but it is a purveyor of conveyor of data and information trends. Twitter messages are restricted to 140 characters or less, a requirement that was originally adopted to make it possible to send and receive twitter messages using cell phone SMS networks.
Because of this restriction, it is difficult to sustain prolonged arguments that depend on multiple argumentative moves and citation of evidence. While Twitter users have demonstrated the service's ability to share facts like breaking news(Kwak et al, 2010, Malice, 2009) has transformed the Twitter-from its message length, to the lack of persistence of conversation to be sustained, along with reasoned arguments using the service difficult.
Despite these restrictions, however, some of the messages in the data set took the form of traditional logical structures such as enthymemes, albeit very simple ones. We know that the Twitter enables persuasive responses of the users in and through the memes developed through streaming. This motion and modus operandi has been discussed as to its beginnings above. Now we see it as of its application in the contemporary Twitter, Web facilitated, enabled and assisted.
As it was previously pointed out, one of the features of text is that it is always present, while oral speech is not. That is, text has permanence that oral speech cannot attain. At the same time, most analysts implicitly assumed writing and reading were more or less a non-immediate experiences, involving distant encoding and deferred decoding. Reading and writing allow students to learn and even emulate literary or historical works on which the culture presumably depends.
It should be obvious, given the audience's reaction, that Zuckerberg and Lacy failed to persuade their audience of the abilities as speakers, the importance of the communication, and so on. This had an effect of affecting its particular users of this social media/medium and the audience attending the interview to be decontextualized-and therefore, able to be replicated to other, non-particular audiences-in its embodiment on the work.
Placed against their failure to persuade this particular audience were the numerous critiques of Zuckerberg and Lacy by the members of the Twitter network(Twitter verse),many of which were presented as refutation of the speaker's claims. While the audience critique featured a substantial number of personal attacks on the speakers, the many logical critiques of their claims were often overlooked by commentators (Hinckley, 2008; Scoble, 2008), and these critiques played a role in the audience being persuaded of their overall failure.
The mobilizing effects of the Twitter on its audience was displayed in the case just discussed. Zuckenberg and Lacy had not yet learned how the Twitter will work, affect and effect its users, and what those users will react like or perceive their Keynote address as being like. It would be instructive at this point to look much more closer as to how the Twitter works.
"As it was previously pointed out , one of the features of text is that its always present, while oral speech is not. The Zuckerberg-Lacy interview is unique as a social media case study in that the participants were both members of a traditional audience as well as readers and writers participating in a social network. This audience was a constant theme of the Twitter network, as numerous Twitter users noted the reactions of the audience during the interview.
"Interviewer asks about Zuckerberg's tendency to fire execs. Audience member in my row asks 'Can we fire *you* from this session?'" Similarly, after Zuckerberg responded to the one of Lacy's questions with a mildly snarky response, shame posted, "YES!!! Zuck just nailed her and the audience clapped for a minute!" These messages, and other like them, helped to reinforce the sense of some Twitter user that the speakers' performance was being universally derided by members of the physical audience.
While Miller and Charney (2007), following Ong (1991), point out that audiences or oral performances are "a present and participating collectivity" while readers of texts "are a distant and fragmented plurality(Ong), in this case a significant portion of the audience was both. These are some of the outcomes that precipitated the growth and usage of the Twitter by a community of Twitterers.
This dual status of many audience members led to the interesting result of the "distant and fragmented plurality" of readers becoming instead a largely unified group that accepted the proposition to others not in attendance at the event. As the reactions to the interview on Twitter became more extreme-and the audience reveled in their role as commentators criticizing the speakers-this led to a feedback loop, a kind of group identification in which the audience joined in solidarity against Zuckerberg and Lacy in particular."
This is of note because we should remember that the Twitter users are a "fragmented plurality, but maintain the plural power to affect and effect outcomes when they descend upon their prey in unison, though independently. This is one of the new ways of communication ushered-in by the users of the Twitter and the through the Web and on the Twitter site.
Because Zuckerberg and Lacy failed to intervene, or even merely interact, with the backchannelThe users of the Twitter in Tweeter verse, their silence served to reinforce this "us" versus "them" mentality. The participating collectivity of the audience used the powerful writing tools available to them in the form of the 'social network' to express their discontent.
For example, after an audience outburst in which one audience member shouted, "Beacon sucks!" at the stage-a critique of a failed, widely derided Facebook advertising venture-the audience member who yelled posted to Twitter, He [Zuckerberg] comes to SXSW interactive. He should expect and interactive keynote.
"Sorry if I offended, but not really that sorry." Like this user, many members of the audience expected an interactive keynote, and because that was not what they were presented with (and because they were so unhappy with what they did get), they revolted against the speakers, using Twitter as the primary means by which they identified with each other in opposition to them. (Miller/Charney, 2007)
This is one of the many cases that were to come wherein the Twitter became a hand tool for the users to sway consent which they might view as negative, or, they know, will bring a positive outcome to their displeasures and disagreement with the spinners of information, news, data and so on. Recall the SOPA saga and its debacle.
The Innards of the Twitter verse
If all communication is inherently performative, what social media services like Twitter add to the textual and written communication is their immediacy (or the sense of immediacy) inherent in oral performance. At the same time,most analysts implicitly assumed writing and reading were more or less non-immediate, experiences, involving distant encoding and deferred decoding. Reading and writing allow students to learn and even emulate literary or historical works on which the culture presumably depends.
Therefore, these tasks were subject to more careful planning, seemed to depend on "higher" mental functions, and seemed more important to teach and learn. There were obvious differences of presence, too. It does not matter where the book was written from but what it does it gives one a peripherally connected to the authors choice to write it.
Writing therefore is considered a solitary act of recreation and, except in an imaginative sense. In fact, a central myth of literature has always been the inspired, tortured, or bemused author who sat alone creating new worlds on pages that, after they were transported, became potent enough to move isolated readers to joy, to tears, or to action.
Once we reached the technological watersheds of the telegraph (which made writing and reading more interactive and spontaneous in an extended way and the radio, which made speaking and listening spontaneous even when communicators were distant) in media history, our communications distinctions became more blurred.
The speaking/listening arena, however, continued to be more immediate, spontaneous, multi-sensory, and above all, social. The arena of writers/was still largely a "deferred" one in which reading is often radically divorced from writing in time and space; writing and reading, therefore, encouraged styles that were often self-consciously strategic, unisensory, oriented toward persuasion, and, above all, individualized and often idiosyncratic.
Writers spinout webs of thought and reasoning for their readers that listeners wold never put up with from speakers, especially in an electronic age. Written and spoken modes offered their own advantages, of course. Speech, especially in face-to-face situations, provides more holistic clues to meaning, including a speaker's appearance, vocal tone, and gestures. Written texts invite, presume, and, in fact, shape a more linear rationality.
Newspapers have placed themselves at the nexus of vast networks of context, and have been able to spin out complicated stories and nuances that broadcasters can only hint at. Still, in the midst of this change, what never seemed to change was that the point of origin, in effect, of news and entertainment-of information-was always 'out there'.
Someone, elsewhere had to decide that I needed to know what they wanted to say or write. Audiences, in a sense, were at the beck and call of message producers. In the process, they became consumers in the functional sense, into the service of communication entrepreneurs.
One more idea and thought to be added is the fact that, whereas message receivers have been writing on the senders throughout the century, the basic vocabulary of communication's conventional wisdom is called into question by the new deferred digital presence of on-line networks.
The new and emerging environment emphasizes messages that do not necessarily seem directed or aimed at receivers at all, messages that seem somehow to "float" between people. Floating messages function in ways similar to how human speech is accessible to any listener within earshot.
Whereas directed messages presuppose the sender's (preceded) purposes, floating messages presuppose the listener's (potential) purposes. Reading in such an environment,it seems, takes on central characteristics of listening, with interesting consequences for presence and immediacy. That is why below I will talk about what it might all mean.
Viral Twittering and Listening.
Twitter is a social medium that allows individuals to share short messages with a network of other users. As with other social network sites. Twitter users establish connection via the mechanism of Following, and it appears that these users interact with each other in unique ways compared to other, similarly configured sites (Huberman, Romero, & Wu, 2009). When someone follows another user on Twitter, his or her messages are displayed in a unified feed, or timeline.
Twitter users can initiate conversations through the use of @replies (i.e., @johnmjones) or through tagging their messages by placing a number sign, oh hashtag, in front of a keyword or phrase (#SXSW). With these tools-followed lists, @replies, and hashtags-Twitter users are able to monitor messages as they appear on the network.
There is evidence in the data set to suggest that users followed Zuckerberg-Lacy interview backchannel this way. For example, near the end of the interview, a user who goes by the name Maslowbeer posted the following message, "Had to remove my Treo's battery because I made the mistake of tracking #zuckerberg and #scsw during the interview." Like maslowbeer, mobilediner posted that he or she was "liking the live tweets from Zuckerberg keynote," while ms_sloanev used @reply to inform mjlambie that he or she would give you the highlights of Zuck keynote (if there are any)."
In short, it is clear that individuals were using Twitter to track the interview, both by posting messages about the interview and actively seeking out similar posts from other users. This conversational use of the Twitter backchannel was the basis of the persuasive uses of Twitter during the interview (Kwak, Lee, Park and Moon, 2010). (With a few exceptions, Twitter users are referred to by their usernames, and their messages will be presented as they are posted to the site, leaving typos and other grammatical oddities intact.)
The Twittering Haze
Miller and Charney (2007) argue that writing has four unique effects when compared with oral communication: first, writing alters "the particularity of an oral situation," (p.54) replacing it with the "decontextualized and universalized space" (p. 584) of the text; second it emphasizes logic over the direct persuasion of an audience, replacing what "an immediate audience is willing to accept [with] what any rational hearer should accept; third, it "transforms an audience into readers" who must be addressed as a decontextualized abstraction rather than a particular group of individuals; and, finally, it "transforms performance into text.
The argument is that social media represents a hybrid of 'oral' and 'written' communication, demonstrating the features of both, Communication via social media often retains the particular nature of oral communication, for example, users of social networking sites frequently only interact with a small group of friends who they know offline (Boyd & Ellison, 2007), yet the fact that their messages are inscribed on such platforms make those messages susceptible to the "decontextualized and universalized space" (Miller & Charney, 2007).
In other words, the context in which the reader finds a particular text can be divorced from the context for which the author originally wrote it. Twitter deconstructs that reality and brings forth a new way of human communications in combined way of reading and text decontextualizing content because it has become a floating meme susceptible to be interpreted on received or known in a context far from its originally intended context.
Twittering Mode As Social Media Glue
Miller and Charney (2007) make the following two claims as to "how writing alters the dynamic between audience and speaker established by oral performance. First, they claim that, "Text fixes meaning in ... that discourse ceases to be an event" but rather "becomes a proposition," and, second, citing (Ricoeur 1981), they state that, "written text dissociates propositional meaning from authorial intention," allowing it to "achiev[e] a kind of autonomy. They argue that, then, that oral performance is "an event" and the meaning of that 'event' is attached to "authorial intention," or the speaker's will to communicate.
This characterization is placed against writing, which is propositional and disconnected from the intentions of the author in that it can be read or otherwise consumed independently of its author once the text is inscribed. Social media combine these affects, mingling the immediate-or the feeling that one is witnessing an event that is directly connected to a particular speaker or speakers-with the propositional.
This leaves social media users with the impression that the propositions in questions are doubly true, by virtue of their being both immediate and permanent. This combination of immediacy and permanence is detectable in the critique of Lacy's interviewing techniques by the Twitter audience.
Audience members were convinced that she was not interviewing Zuckerberg well, and this opinion is evident in a message in which he /she tells Lacy, "FEEL THE ROOM. THEY HATE THE QUESTIONS YOU ARE ASKING." All the Twittering came from the "audience of Twittering a*******," . "These results were in many cases attributable to the unique feature of social media, which in this case, combined the features of oral and written communication by means of networking technology (Scoble, 2008)
Social media are both particular and universal, allowing for direct, timely interactions between users whole also preserving those interactions just as writing preserves communication. Social media are both specifically persuasive, in that they deal with an immediate audience, and also susceptible to the logical claims of the universal, rational audience. Because Zuckerberg and Lacy failed to persuade their immediate audience, it was relatively easy for that audience to be convinced of the rational (irrational) claims written in the Twitter network.
Social media also erase the distinctions between audiences, agains mixing the 'particular' with the 'universal'. Finally, social media are both performative and propositional, combining the features f oral performance with the permanence of textual output and the seeming solidity that this permanence lends to communication.
The dualistic and plural nature of the Twitter qualifies it as a completely new way of inter/intra-personal communication in the realm of human and additionally, that of the technological gadgetry in their being able to converge and submerge affording the users independently, community divergent and convergent possibilities that make it a favorite amongst its users. This glues the disparate decontextualized users into an extended and diversified manner coherent with the community of Twitterers
Personalization; Interactivity; Engagement & Collaboration: Twitter
Having cited and culled extensively from Noor Al-Den and Hendricks with their referenced support of their postulation about the Twitter, we now examine the Twitter as to how it presently working. In this case, I will use my own observation and citations, along with participation into the Twitter verse to elicit some changed or unforeseen challenges and operations as we head into 2012 and beyond. But before we do that, we will try to put the discourse discussed above by various social media writers as to how it ties in with the introductory remarks I have made in the open salvo of this diatribe.
Having now gotten the parameters of the functioning of the Twitter and its users or twitterers, we are now face to face what Rushkoff spoke about: the psychelidization of the Twitter audience as they are bombarded by streamed data with abundant alacrity and constancy. The "particularity of an oral situation, replaced by the 'decontextualized and universal space' of what the replacement of "an immediate audience is willing to accept] what any rational hearer should accept and ends up "transforming an 'audience' into readers", by "transforming performance into text".
Through this mode of operation, the Twitter is affecting its users personally, through interactivity, engagement and collaboration. By unleashing such power to the audience and individual user, data become decentralized and decontextualized in space and time: on the gizmos from where the audience exercises this power. The audience automatically become disseminators of viral messages and splurge them into the Data sphere with all types of meta media as outlets.
They use their power of selection and other intra-communication techniques and machine applications to make viral any issue to their desire and immediacy as an advantage. There are other aspects as what I will call "Twitter-personal" interactive interaction which the scripted messages stream and being regulated with the blocking technique for those Twittering long, segmented and short message about issues of society, business and so on.
As has been discussed above, the audience in the Twitter verse is functioning within a burgeoning and expanding social media entity which gives them anonymity or exposure, which in either case, they retain the power of affecting information dissemination to another level that they were never able to before the coming of the Twitter. People not only receive Tweets, but they use the information to inform their followers and this snowballs into a constant viral feed to individuals in the world and socially gathering everything from the Tweeter verse.
That is the kind of the individual power we are talking about. Used to be News Agencies were the Gatekeepers of news dissemination, now, ordinary individuals tweet links for their follower to check up, in real time and with further links, which the audience selects and spread to others, and so goes the memes, mimezines, ethymemes, zines and data which when streaming extends many in more ways and still is growing and continues to endlessly flow in the Web's viral bowels and tentacles, becomes immediate and permanent and personalized.
Inter/Intra Activity and Access
The Rearview Mentality In a technological Environment
Access ... signifies the ability to do what everybody else can do and to make use of what everybody can use; access means the liberty to take advantage of resources. (Wurman, 1990) We are also informed by Heim that, "The abundance lies not only in the manipulation of text on one's own computer and data storage but also in the magical word which will replace libraries: access. As we have seen in previous discourses, the nature of digital text is characterized by linkage and in an essential way." The way we view and consume the media has totally changed and is still in a state of flux.
We now confront a new watershed of technology. Some have called it time when we can look simultaneously backward and forward in order to recognize the varying influences of both "old media" and "new media(Rice & Associates, 1984); Taylor & Saarinen, 1994) Looking backward, we see the modernizing influences of transmitted packages, as Berger and Kellner describe… This "Directedness Theory", i.e., looking forward, we see newer media that operate by the very different assumptions of what appears to be an access theory. The new media stress certain characteristics more than older forms like print, radio, film, or television. Several interdependent characteristics are especially important
They involve computers at basic levels of person(s)-with-persons(s) connection. Consider:
- The shift from isolated single-author writing to "word processing," which often involves multi-author manipulation of texts (Heim, 1987);
- Shopping via the World Wide Web or researching via online database like Lexis/Nexis or Dialog;
- Highly interactive, talk-like writing via e-mail and electronic bulletin board services.
2. They involve merged media,merged human senses, and thus more immersive experiences. Consider:
- The extent to which satellite digital technology, computers, and phone lines have merged to facilitate viewer participation with, and control over, a myriad of specialized television channels;
- How "virtual reality" simulations immerse individuals' experience immediately in sensations that both are, and aren't, "present"-how virtual travelers can at the same time "be there" without living "here" (Rheingold, 1991).
3. They shift means responsibilities, thus involving audiences more as co-authors than as receivers Consider:
- The branching choices invited by hypertext software, the versatile vastness of CD-ROM technology, and the multitude of "user"-determined choices in videodisks and CDs, all of which make messages available differently to different persons (in some new fiction), the question for the "reader/listener" isn't. "how does the story end,"" but "how do my choices shape the ending?"
- Messages that once were intended to serve a single purpose are now literally multifaceted and suggest multiple meanings (the programmers' work is infinitely reprogrammable by others); in terms of discourse, we are moving, in other words, from a modern era of statements and certainty into a "postmodern" era of questions, ambivalences, and linkages.
4. They rearrange time and place sensibilities. Consider:
- The linear 'cause-to-effect' and 'here-to-there' assumption of directness theory have given way to more multi causal views and message ambiguities;
- Previous assurances of what is and isn't real no longer seem to apply. Where, for example, is the "original" message in an e-mail system to found. When I send one e-mail to one person and what's called on my system a "cc" ('carbon-or complimentary-copy') of it to another person, neither literally is n original, and neither copy,because both are composed at the same time, available to addressees at the same time, and their texts are indistinguishable apart from the headings. As each is sent, what's on my screen vanishes (unless I explicitly save a "copy"-of what?-for myself)!. For the first time in the history of human communication, texts can be both originals and copies simultaneously. In other words, our former habits of talking about communication are outmoded.
5. They blur the traditional modern concepts of power and responsibility. Consider:
- It used to be clear that to 'respond' to a message, someone else needed to "author" it first.When revolutionary movements took over countries, they seized centers of message production (newspapers, broadcast facilities) first, because power meant the ability to control message production. Now, increasingly, the respondents-to the presence of databases, for example-re author, reconfigure or edit messages at will. Although persons seeking power have always sought to control access to information, anyone now interested in power must consider access first, not just as a consequence of message production. Corporate employees who are fired unexpectedly sometimes get their first clue when their e-mail account can't be accessed;
- It's harder with all this in mind to conceptualize brainwashing or propaganda as the imposition of outside or centralized authority on the will of helpless citizens; more worrisome is an information poverty in some social groups based upon differential access to common resources (Barlow, 1995) Propaganda is no more the issue because those who provide information, have no control as to its dissemination, and
Virtual Listening and Mediated Communications Means
In order for us to fully understand who tweets and why, we will defer to Palfrey and Gasser who writes: Interestingly enough, the champion of Twitter is not the digital native: those born after 1980, when social digital technologies ... came online. Nor is it just the business savvy advertising executive. Twitter is used by businesses, government agencies, professors, journalists, Artists, Musicians, Celebrities and public relations practitioners. Parents and grandparents are also getting on the Twitter bandwagon, and media personalities alike.
Twitter is spreading everywhere, spreading faster than gossip about a celebrity foible. But who exactly is tweeting and why are they doing it? This is something that public opinion research companies are beginning to ask themselves (among other things).
According to a 2010 Pew Internet & American Life Project (Smith & Rainie, 2010) research report (run by Pew Research Center), 8% of American adults who go online use Twitter than older adults; minorities (African-Americans and Latinos) are twice as likely to use Twitter as White users; and urban residents are twice as likely to use Twitter as rural users. finally, 24% of Twitter users check their account several times per day, while 21% never check it (Smith & Rainie, 2010)
And what do tweeters tweet? Again, according to the Pew (Smith & Rainie, 2010) report, here are the top categories:
- Updates to personal life, activities or interests; Work-related activities; Sharing links to news stories; Posting humorous or philosophical observations about life; Re-tweet material from other tweeters; send message to people; share photos and videos, and tweet their location.
- In other words, people tweet pretty much anything and everything. An article on Bit Rebels tries to answer this question from a non-scientific perspective. Belardo (2010) delineates seven different types of tweeters, including:
The Content Provider; The Twitter DJs; The Retweeter; The Time and Weather Announcers, The quotes and Inspiration Giver; The Help Brigade; The Conversationalist [I add the Facilitators; Occupiers; Revolutionaries, etc.).
Within this confluence of activities, of users and activists, etc., we have the Facilitator: they utilize Twitter as a means to both enrich and augment their traditional fa-to-face or other mediated communications. Facilitators ask and answer questions, provide links, argue, offer commentary, follow up o statements, begin and add to conversations, and the like.
For them, Twitter becomes a tool that enables immediacy among vast virtual networks of individuals and groups. In creating, maintaining and enhancing their online relationships, Facilitators see Twitter as a means to an end of sorts. Tweets are perceived as part of the e transactional dialogue between multi participants in a de-centralized digital network. Facilitators are managers of information, of relationships, and of tact.
They know how and why Twitter manages the communication process and uses it to their advantage. Some people, though, use Twitter for the distinct purpose of providing information on new products or tweet random thoughts. They inhabit one typology dominantly but can switch depending on purpose. So that, understanding the types of users is much like utilizing Kolb's 1984 learning styles (concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualization, and active experimentation) or experimenting with the ways in which humans encounter and utilize new knowledge (visually, aurally, tactilely, etc.). So that, the Twitter is a completely new way which extends orality, reading and text into one wormhole of metamedia communication
Reading And Listening Virtual Digital Data
Ong's "Secondary Orality"
We now explore as to how typography orality and the 'internalization' collides or melds with electronic to move the communications paradigm into the coming centuries and millennium. Ong elaborates these issues , albeit briefly, thus: "The electronic transformation of verbal expression has both deepened the commitment of the word to space initiated by writing and intensified by print and has brought consciousness to a new age of secondary orality". ...
Despite what is sometimes said, electronic devices are not eliminating printed books but are actually producing more of them. Electronically taped interviews produce "talked" books and articles by the thousands which would never have seen print before taping was possible. The medium here reinforces the old, but of course transforms it because it fosters a new, self-consciously informal style, since typographic folk believe that oral exchange should normally be informal (oral folk believe that oral exchange should normally be formal).
Moreover, as earlier noted, composition on computer terminals is replacing older forms of typographic composition, so that soon virtually all printing will be done in one way or another with the aid of electronic equipment. And of course, information of all sorts electronically gathered and/or processed makes its way into print to well the typographic output.
Finally, the sequential processing and spatializing of the word, initiated by writing, and raised to a new order of intensity by print, is further intensified by the computer, which maximizes commitment of the word to space and to (electronic) local motion, and optimize analytic sequentiality by making it virtually instantaneous: This means that communication of the Twitter has undergone all these processes that I am describing in the paragraph above.
Ong further adds that: "At the same time, with telephone, radio, television and various kinds of sound tape, electronic technology has brought us into the area of "secondary orality'. This new orality has striking resemblances to the old its participatory mystique, it's fostering of communal sense, its concentration on the present moment, and even its use of formulas.
But it is essentially a more deliberate and self-conscious orality, based permanently on the use of writing and print, which are essential for the manufacture and operation of the equipment and for its use as well. Secondary orality is both remarkable like and remarkably unlike primary orality . Like primary orality, secondary orality has generated a strong group sense [a la-Twitter], for listening to spoken words forms hearers into a group, a true audience, just as reading written or printed texts turns individuals in on themselves.
But secondary orality generates a sense for groups immeasurably larger than those of primary oral culture - McLuhan's 'global village'. Moreover, before writing, oral folk were group-minded self-consciously and programmatically. The individual feels that he or she, as an individual, must be socially sensitive. Unlike members of a primary oral culture, who are turned outward because have had little occasion to turn inward, we are turned outward because we have turned inward. In a like vein, where primary orality promotes spontaneity because the analytic reflection we have decided that spontaneity is a good thing.
We plan our happenings carefully to be sure they are thoroughly spontaneous." And Ong sums up thus: "The contrast between oratory in the past and in today's world well highlights to the contrast between primary and secondary orality. Radio and television have brought major political figures as public speakers to a large public than was ever possible before modern electronic development. Thus in a sense orality has come into its own more than ever before. But it is not the old orality…
The old-style oratory coming from primary orality is gone forever. Only quite elderly persons today can remember what oratory talk was like when it was still in living contact with its primary oral roots. Others perhaps hear more oratory, or at least more talk, from a major public figures than people commonly heard a century ago. But what they hear will give them very little idea of the old oratory reaching back from pre-electronic times through two millennia and far beyond, or of the oral lifestyle and oral thought structures out of which such oratory grew."
We are in the instant cyber surfing/pop-ups and real-time streaming modals embedded within the Web which brings real time to micro-seconds of feed and a Data sphere akin to the Primordial Soup that had preceded the Big Bang and is now Human communication reality and is appearing to close-in on the speed of light/life in its technique blitzing man's conscious into the Dark Matter that is the Tweeter verse. How did this site of the Twitter evolved? In a short excerpt, Lisa Loves Linguistics, offers us a peek of this phenomenon in their article:
Twitter verse, Twittizen and Twitterazzi
In 2006, the social network Twitter gained world-wide popularity. This so-called 'microblogging' service enables its users to steadily send and receive messages named tweets. Consequently users can be said to be depicted as birds (although they are not directly called birds) that twitter: the conceptual metaphors (according to a Lakoff & Johnson-model) could be formed as USERS ARE BIRDS and MESSAGING IS TWITTERING… Moreover, a little bird is part of the Twitter logo. This is one zoomorphic metaphor that developed in the last few years and refers to computer users and is evidently part of the common language vocabulary. In fact, it is highly productive and it seems there is virtually no limit to new creations:
- twitterverse = twitter+(uni)verse. "The cyberspace area of twitter. This naturally extends beyond twitter.com to anywhere you can twitter, which includes cell phones." (UD) This metaphorically motivated compound perfectly fits into our conceptualization of the INTERNET IS SPACE, e.g., cyberspace, MySpace or Open (Richard, 2004: 204)
- Cyberspace refers to "the totality of the world's networked computers, which form a huge virtual space" (FDC). Via a browser suers can explore the virtually infinite vastness of cyberspace. Furthermore, seen while browsing through Guardian's Website, the development of the twitterverse is compared to the Big Bang Theory and even a graphic was created that is said to be based on The Independent's classic "How the Universe began" However, at first sight it is strikingly reminded me of a celestial map which as well perfectly fit the THE INTERNET IS SPACE and the TWITTER IS A UNIVERSE metaphors.
- twittizen + twitt(er) + (cit)izen: "citizen of the twitterspace, someone who resides in the cyberspace area of the twitter. Someone who twitters." (UD) In analogy to the compound netizen, this creation reveals that we conceive of the Internet A city or community (Richard 2004) where we sort of live. We participate in communities, have and make friends, we chat and shop etc., etc. Clearly our conceptualization of the Internet as a city, i.e., as a virtual reality, is the basis of such highly creative compounds.
- Finally, twitterazzi + twittter-(papa)razzi us a certain kind of twittizen who "having a celebrity or pseudo-celebrity on sight, immediately snap a picture of said famous person and tweets about it." (UD) This compound shows that real life social structures are transferred to the Internet, twitterazzi are somehow online paparazzi (Provided by Lisa Loves Linguistics)
- Then we have these other words: "Tweeple"- People who use twitter.com-twitter speak for people; tweeterholic a person who is addicted to the tweeter; twat is an acronym for "the War Against Terrorism"; a user-created conjunction from Tweeter and Peeps, usually referring to the "Followers" of the person using the word.
- Meme is the fundamental unit of information, analogous to the gene in emerging evolutionary theory of culture, or, a pervasive thought pattern that replicates itself via cultural means; a parasitic code, a virus of the mind especially contagious to children the impressionable; etymology: meme: derived fro Greek mimema, 'something imitated; Santa Claus is a more persistent meme than weasel frosting.
- Memes (rhymes with dreams) are similar to a computer virus, in the way they spread quickly over a network, or group of computers. The difference is that they are a sort of virus of the human mind. An idea, or thought that spread quickly, or one that occupies your thoughts that is tough to remove.
- Memoroid is a concentration of memory and hemorrhoid. Bad memories as in memories that are a pain in the a**. (Provided by Urban Dictionary)
The connection of the Twitter and the Twitterverse to the Expanding universe it is because as it is embedded with the Web, it facilitates for streaming Data to be amplified and disseminate into the farthest expanding reaches of the Internet: it is also an extension of ourselves same as the nervous system extends itself inside our bodies. It is at this juncture that we now look at the origins of these memes and what role do they play in our communal Twitter communication.
Origins of Memes and Zines
In order for us to understand and acknowledge how the new Twitter verbiage and jargon came into existence, we have to trace the origins of Zines and Memes. This historical background is to give the reader the sense and knowledge of the origins of the communication styles, facilitated by the Cyber Primordial Soup/Matter/or Streams. In this case, we will refer to Douglas Rushkoff's rendition of this history, and he goes forth and informs us thus:
Using the same basic formula as Eclipse Enterprises, tens of thousands of small groups and individuals gather up their favorite memes and publish low-circulation magazines called "zines." Zines began as newsletters for science fiction fans in the late fifties. A particularly avid fan would type up ten or so carbon copies of his thoughts about a new book or film and then mail them to his friends who would respond by mail and then see their own comments in the next "issue."
Mark Frauenfelder the editor of 'boing boing' is keenly aware o the place of zines in the media and meme pools: Network television, national magazines, and book publishers in the overground media rely upon advertising sales incomes or public funding and as a result must appeal to a large audience to ensure their survival. To guarantee the continuing support of a large segment of a population, these external carriers must contain memes that are consistent with the ideosphere, or memetic, ecology of that group.
Overground media reacts allergically to mutant memes, usually by destroying the external carrier by burning it or banning it or inciting the meme police to incarcerate the human propagator and "hir" [a meme-word meaning his or her] dangerously contagious to the nervous system.While Mark is not quite ready to acknowledge the fact that the overground media's "allergic reaction" to certain memes often contributes to their spread, he does recognize the important relationship between memes and their carrier.
Each meme, especially a new or "mutant" meme, must find a carrier-a viral shell-capable of delivering it to ready individuals, even if they are in the minority. The mass media is understandably unwilling to provide passage for memes that will be unpopular with their audiences. They are in business.
Zines on the other hand, coming out of science fiction, have a history of considering and promoting cutting edge ideas. Unlike commercial magazines, zines have always been produced and funded out of a passion for an individual's ideas and a desire to print and reiterate the feedback of the audience.
Zine shave no obligation to please everyone. This more or less gives one a better picture as to why the Twitter functions as it does today. The origins of zines and memes were the early inter-interactive means of social media using magazines and other alternative media and mediums. The Twitter is somehow their modern counterpart using the World Wide Web to reach to farthest part of its audience even in unknown places,since the cell phone provide for the Twitter access as part of their configuration. They also have characteristics as described above on memes or zines above,and are the same as the decentralized and decontextualized context and content that is the memes and zines that are swirling in the twitter feeds and streams
"People who read and produce zines are self-consciously interested in media viruses. Like Mark, they see the world of zines as a "Primordial Soup" or genetic pool. This is where social evolution takes place. To take part in zines is to participate in the memetic engineering of our future. The mainstream media is likened to the dinosaur, an evolutionary dead end, while wild mutation, erotica, and experimentation are taking place in the zine ocean.
[Social Media are Primordial Soups and Web Stream that enable and facilitate for communal inter/intra-action. Zines are experienced by their creators and readers as an orgiastic frenzy of memes. They are the conceptual equivalent of free, unprotected sex. Only in this case, unexpected pregnancies and transmission of viruses are desired results."
(Rushkoff) I might as well could have been talking about the Twitter, the Twitter verse and its present-day audience who are sending our unprotected and uncensored [which create a psychedelic mindset, churned by computer gizmos allowing feeds and streams to pour down from it through the Internet/Web. Whatever one tweets out into the cybersphere and mixing it with the present-day Data pool that is contained in and into the World Wide Web, help to extend human communication and human beings and Self.
This is akin to the explosion of the Universe as it was created and is now hurtling into the Spaces' Dark Energy or Matter and lighting it up into forever: So, that is how the Twitter works like today as we engage in its socializing and dissemination thereof-along with its spreading capabilities and abilities into the Web Glut and Space, with humanity in Tow.
Rushkoff concludes thus: "Zines are an opportunity for readers to select the wool they wish to pull over their own eyes. Rather than blinding them to reality, the zines present alternative realities to the ones that mainstream media foists upon them the rest of the day. Zine readers do not see themselves as ostriches hiding from reality; they are independent thinkers, disconnecting from the particularly mind-numbing mainstream media deluge that has replaced reality."
Sounds like the audiences who are prowling and streaming down the Twitter verse mixing, collecting, sharing, following, Retweeting and propagating all zines and memes that are the stock in trade and communications ecology of Twitterville in the 21 century.
The Twitter Now, Today and Future
What the Twitterers are able to accomplish when they engage in their acts of communicating with each other, is that, In their combination of the characteristics of oral and written communication, it is possible to argue that social media present a new form of persuasion. Social media are both particular and universal, allowing for direct, timely interactions just as writing preserves communication.
Social media are both specifically persuasive, in that they deal with an immediate audience, and also susceptible to the logical claims of the universal, rational audience. Social media also erase the distinctions between audiences with readers, again mixing the particular with the universal. Finally,social media are both performative and propositional, combining the features of oral performance with the performance of textual output and the seeming solidity that this permanence lends to communication.
Social networking has greatly expanded the opportunity of people to connect with family, friends and acquaintances. The general nature of sites like Facebook and Twitter makes conversations about television programs more likely without joining a particular discussion group. Social networking is thus more like the watercooler than an online discussion board. (Hsia, 2010)
Now that we have a better picture of how the Twitter function(although it may not be all that is there to it), we nonetheless will take a look at some theoretical postulations that attempt to give us another angle to this net work. Physicist Ernest Hutten writes: "...The behavior of an organized system, the action of an organism, or human activity cannot be explained in terms of causal energy transmission alone ... information rather than causality describes processes in, or between organized systems.
The most general model of a natural process on which scientific explanation may be based is no longer the movement of a particle under the action of a force, but the storage (or organization) and the transmission of information within a system. This is the genetic model. The new departure made by modern information theory was that it broke way from classical ideas about communication.
It abandoned determinism, and with it simplicity. Information theory did not regard a message as a separate, independent object, but as part of an organized system, related to the other parts, even if those existed as possibilities. As I have been saying, these theories predate the Twitter, but one may as well be describing the operational techniques of the modern-day Twitter.
Let's Put This Into Perspective
In this part of the Hub we will utilize the musings and counsels of Media Ecologist Neil Postman extensively regarding the effects and affects of technological change, theory and evolution.
"In America," Postman writes, Orwell's prophesies are of small relevance, but Huxley's were well under way toward being realized. For America is engaged in the world's most ambitious experiment to accommodate itself to the technological distractions made possible by the electric plug. ...As nowhere else in the world, Americans have moved far and fast in bringing to a close the age of the slow-moving printed word, and have granted to television sovereignty over all of their institutions.
By ushering in the Age of Television, America has given the world the clearest available glimpse of the Huxleyan future. ...An Orwellian world is much easier to recognize, and to oppose, than a Huxleyan future. I fear that our philosophers have given us no guidance in this matter. Their warnings have customarily been directed against those consciously formulated ideologies that appeal to the worst tendencies in human nature.
But what is happening in America is not the design of an articulated ideology. No Mein Kampf or Communist Manifesto announced its coming. It comes as the unintended consequence of a dramatic change in our modes of public conversation. But it is an ideology nonetheless, for it imposes a way of life, a set of relations among people and ideas, about which there has been no consensus, no discussion and no opposition.
Only compliance. Public consciousness has not yet assimilated the point that technology is an ideology. This, in spite of the fact that before our very eyes technology has altered every aspect of life in America during the past eighty years.(Postman)
Postman adds: "..To be unaware that technology comes equipped with a program for social change, to maintain that technology is neutral, to make the assumption that technology is always a friend to culture is, at this late hour, stupidity plain and simple. Moreover, we have seen enough by now to know that technological change in our modes of communication are even more ideology-laden than changes in our modes of transportation.
Introduce the alphabet to a culture and you change its cognitive habits, its social relations, its notions of community, history and religion. Introduce speed-of-light transmission of images and you make a cultural revolution. Without a vote. Without polemics. Without guerrilla resistance. Here is ideology, pure if not serene.
Here is ideology without the usual TV programming diet. There is a certain poignancy in this, since there are no people who more frequently and enthusiastically use such phrases as "the information age," "the information explosion," and "the information society." We are apparently advanced to the point where we have grasped the idea that a change in forms, volume, speed and context of information means something, but we have not gotten any further."
Go Figure... Got To Figure
What is information? Or more precisely, what are information" What are its various forms? What conceptions of intelligence, wisdom and learning does each form insist upon? What conceptions does each form neglect or mock? What are the main psychic effects of each form? What is the relation between information and reason? What is the kind of information that best facilitates thinking? Is there a moral bias to each information form? What does it mean to say that there is too much information? How could one know?
What redefinitions of important cultural meanings do new sources, speeds, contexts and forms of information require? Does television, for example, give a new meaning to "piety," "patriotism," to "privacy"? Does television give new meaning to "judgment" or to "understanding"? How do different forms of information persuade? Is a newspaper's "public" different from television's "public? [Are both audiences of these mediums different from the "audiences " of the emerging and converging media"?-[my two cents] How do the different information forms [mentioned in this paragraph] dictate the type of content that is expressed? (Postman)
Postman process to further inform us thus: "For no medium is excessively dangerous if its users understand what its dangers are. It is not important to those who ask the questions and arrive at my answers or McLuhan''s (quite different answers, by the way). This is an instance in which the asking of the question is sufficient. To ask is to break the spell. To which I might add that questions about the psychic, political and social effects of information are as applicable to the computer as to television.
Although I believe the computer to be a vastly overrated technology. I mention it here because, clearly, Americans have accorded it their customary mindless inattention; which means that they will use it as they are told, without a whimper. Thus, a central thesis of computer technology-that the principal difficulty we have in solving problems stems from insufficient data-will go unexamined. Until, years from now, when it will be noticed that the massive collection and speed-of-light retrieval of data have been of great value to large-scale organizations but have solved little of importance to most people and have created at least as many problems for them as they may have solved.
In any case, the point I am trying to make is that only through a deep and unfailing awareness of the structure and effects of information, through a demystification of media, is there any hope of our gaining some measure of control over television, or the computer, or any medium. How is such media consciousness to be achieved? There are only two answers that come to mind, one of which is nonsense, and can be dismissed almost at none; the other is desperate but it is still all we have."
These are the questions and suggestion above posed by Postman, of which he ends up by counseling us: "What I suggest here as a solution in what Aldous Huxley suggested as well. And I can do no better than he. He believed with H,G. Wells that we are in a race between education and disaster, and he wrote continuously about the necessity of our understanding the politics the political and epistemology of media.
For in the end, he was trying to tell us that what afflicted the people in the "Brave New World" was not that they were laughing instead of thinking, but that they not know what they were laughing about and why they had stopped thinking. If one thinks about it, this is what is happening to the present-day Technological Society-most people are now nearly technologically dependent on gadgets and their techniques that are submerged and embedded therein.
The Twitter is an Extension of Us and Through Media
McLuhan's vision of the role of technology in these questions is that it subtly shapes the 'environment in which events occur'. Additionally, we are different beings by virtue of the way in which technologies are no mere-add-ons to ourselves. McLuhan believed that culture is affected by technology via the impact on social structures but also by the ways in which it changes us in a more personal fashion…
He believed that, "Sense ratios or patterns of perception" are altered by technologies. According to McLuhan's theory, technologies alter the manner in which we habitually process information, incline us ore toward some learning styles than other (depending on the technology). Technologies can affect our information processing on other ways as well. The role of memory and inferential abilities in an oral culture, for instance, are quite different from in our culture. In our culture, you 'know' poetry when you read it and have absorbed the atmospheres and can infer something about political, social, and literary context of the work.
Tests at university do not require students to show how well they have memorized the poems. In an oral culture, however, your knowledge of poetry would very much be a matter of how much you could recite. The emphasis in knowledge acquisition tends to be much more literal and the capacity to memorize large amounts of material is essential. These differences between these cultures are a direct result of different technologies (McLuhan)
The moulding influence of technology on culture, then, is profound according to McLuhan. It certainly needn't offer a complete explanation to any question we ask, but is far more important a factor than we have commonly understand. Technology may not 'determine' culture in many ways (what, of value, is done with it, for instance) but by its's nature and influence on people, technology will shape and control the scale and form of human association and action.
In his book, "Understanding The Media" McLuhan writes: The electric light is pure information. It is a medium without a message, as it were, unless it is used to spell out some verbal ad or name.... Whether the light is being used for brain surgery of night baseball is a matter of indifference. It could be argued that these activities are in some way the "content" o the electric light, since they could not exist without the electric light.
This fact merely underlines the point that "the medium is the message" because it is the medium that shapes and controls the scale and form of human association and action. the content or uses of such media are as diverse as they are ineffectual in shaping the form of human association"
Postman in one Chapter of his wrote, "The Improbable World" suggests that the principal Key to technopoly's assault. [In the Age of Technopoly, technology is not merely the dominant factor within culture; rather, technology seeks to redefine our culture (and reality)]. Electric technologies are the extensions of our nervous system. With the arrival of electronic technology. Man extended, or set outside himself, a live model of the central nervous system itself.
"When information moves at the speed of signals in the central nervous system, man is confronted with the obsolescence of all earlier of acceleration, such as road and rail. What emerges is a total field of inclusive awareness. It is a principle aspect of the electric age that it establishes a global network that has much of the character of our central nervous system. Our central nervous system is not merely an electric network, but it constitutes a single unified field of experience." Postman succinctly surmised my postulation of us being extended by the Twitter in his own way, of which I concur
Social Login, Social Sharing, And Social Commenting, With User Profile Data
It is at this point that I will point out to a few things that indicate our being extended by the Media we use and how that affects us in turn-by being extended through the medium itself. Today you have directories that allows you to let your users to Log In, Comment and Share via their accounts on popular social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Vkontakte and much more.
When McLuhan, who coined the term "Global Village," talks of"The Extensions Of Man," he is referring to how n individual or society creates or makes use something that extends the human body or mind in an innovative way. McLuhan also cautioned that every technological extension also results in the amputation or modification os some extension. For example, the loss of the Morse Code skills with the development of voice-based radio.
Online social networks and SecondLife extend our sense of community. However, they also diminish relationships based on "face-to-face" oral communication. Come to think of it, how many times, in these tech times, has one come across people in the same room or house instant messaging/texting each other?
McLuhan developed a scientific basis for this thought, what he termed the "tetrad." The tetrad allowed McLuhan to apply four laws, framed as questions, to a wide spectrum of mankind's endeavor, and thereby give us a new tool for looking at our culture. As the 'new medium,' these tetrads also apply to the Internet, a technology that was just being conceived at the time(in the early sixties).
- The first of these question, or laws is: "What does it 9the medium or technology extend?" In the case of a car, it would be the feet. In the case of blogging it would be paper, and extension of the voice.
- The second question is: "What does it make obsolete?" One might argue that the automobile makes walking obsolete. The growth of e-mail is making the personal letter sent through the postal service obsolete.
- The third question asks: "What is retrieved?" The automobile could retrieve one's sense of adventure lost after the US Westward expansion. The sense of community returned with the spread of online social networks(like Twitter, Facebook , etc.)
- The fourth question McLuhan asks is: "What does the technology reverse into if it is over-extended?" For example, an overextended automobile culture makes some song for a more pedestrian lifestyle. similarly, the over-extension of Internet culture engenders a need for being unplugged from the network
Extended Self In Focus
Above we have discussed how extension of man by technology affects and effects its users. In this part of the Hub wee look briefly, by specifically how this extension manifests itself in our daily use and application of and within the present-day social media.In order for one to be a participant in social media like FB, posting becomes one of the key actions that are required of one. So that we have plugins which extend or mind, speech, seeing and thinking ways of interaction by allowing us or enabling us to do 'Social Login,' 'Social Sharing, and 'Social Infrastructure' and so forth. Let us Look much more closely at these ways in which we become, as agents, extended through us using them:
1. Social Login: Eliminates traditional registration and lets your users sign up in few seconds with the existing IDs such as Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Vkontakte and over 20 more. This increases ones sign-up rate up to 15% and you can quickly build a loyal customer base.
2. Social Sharing: This lets users share your Web content on over 90 social networks resulting into dramatic increase in referral traffic.
3. Social Commenting:
Ones users ca ow post comment with their social IDs. Option available to auto approve comments for social ID providers.
4. User Profile Data And Social Analytics
Every time a user logs in, it fetches user profile data and store them in your WordPress database. These data and IP based data are used to present a unique social analytics to understand your userbase.
5. Single Sin-On: Enables single sign-on in your WordPress multisite website. This plugin supports both domain-based and/or directory-based features of multisite WordPress.
6. The Culture of the Twitter
Plugin Live Demo (this can be found on the Websites of : WordPress; Buddy Press; BBPress)
The Techniques And Effects And Affects Of Plugins
Techne en Vogue
Below, then are the new ways through which and in which these news features work and affect us. Above was breaking down the features under whose specialized functioning make us understand and use them. They give us a broader picture as to here to go to perform certain takes and gather information and so forth. Below I will try and break down what this plugin feature do and enable its users to do, and how stretched-out are its users and being extended in the Datasphere and/or the social networks and so on.
The extension of men has taken on a new turn and the jargon used may sound businesslike, but its interconnected and interactional. How we become affected today through the use of these mediums in captured succinctly below. Although I will not have time to explain all fully, I will list them below just to capture the essence of how we are being constantly extended with each feature and each operation we perform on this e and emerging, and merging media.
The Plugin Features In The Datasphere Detangled
- One is enabled to add social login interface (the widget) on any page that supports up to 32 ID Providers
- You can now choose as man ID Providers as you want
- Users can register by logging in with social ID such as GMail, Twitter, Facebook, etc, and they will not require usernames and passwords
- Support legacy account mapping you for your existing WordPress user accounts to social login
- It automatically creates account for the users after logging in with their existing IDs
- New layout for Social Commenting
- Auto approves User's Comments from Social ID provider
- Automatically store commenting data in your WordPress database
- Social Counter to increase our web presence
- Enhanced social sharing with lots of customization
- Plug and play of various clean and fresh social icon sets available in LoginRadius account
- Multisite support enabled for domain-based and directory based
- Fully compatible with s2member and multisite (both together)
- Fully compatible with Buddypress and bbPress
- Show social login interface (the widget) multiple times on a single page
- Choose social icon themes and lo (Widget design)
- Completely customize the login interface — add your own icon theme and login design!
- Position the Social Login interface (widget) — "embed in or beside WP login/register form
- Options to show Social login interface (widget) on login, register, comment page
- Personalize ID Providers i.e., integrate Facebook, Google, Twitter apps in to our LoginRadius so that it will show your website name/logo in the ID Provider's login pop-ups
- Enable e-mail verification of end users
- API connection options for cURL or fopen
- Custom Login Redirection i.e., set a URL to redirect your users after login in
- Custom Logout Redirection i.e., set a URL to redirect your users after logging out
- Allows users to post comments with the social account
- The comment will appear with user's name, his/her avatar image and link to his/her profile
- Option to automatically approve user's comments if they post with their social account
- Eliminate spamming spamming, no chance of spam comments!
- Enable Social Sharing widget on your WordPress site
- Options to add Social Sharing widget on Homepage, posts, feeds, content, pages, etc.
- Users can share contents on over 90 social networks, can send contents in an e-mail or can print
- Choose Social Sharing interface designs
- Every time a user logs in, it fetches user profile data and stores it in you WordPress database
- Get social avatar of your users and show the avatar in the widget, comments and profile
- You'll be the owner of these data and can export anytime from database
- Twitter does not provide e-mail address, so in case a user logs in with Twitter, a pop-up window will appear asking users to fill his/her e-mail address and that can be verified (not default setting, you have to configure as per installation document)
- A nice clean and clean user-friendly WP admin U/I with tab structure with various options for social login, sharing and commenting
- Manage everything from our WAP admin
- UI to manage Customize Social Login interface postion - embed in or beside WP login register form
- E-mail verification for end user after successful login
- API connection check feature for error notification
- No programming skills required
- It's simple, secure and reliable
- User will get the password for traditional login system
- REST API access and HTTPS support
- Enable API connection check
- Available in 9 languages - English, french, Spanish, Russian, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Brazilian and German
- 24/7 quick and the best support from technical team.
- List of Integrated ID Providers
- Four Square
Other Social Plugins:
- Magento, PrestaShop
- Vanilla forum
- Zen Cart
- X-cart and DotNetNuke
( Above Information is culled from WordPress.org)
Technique and Technology en vogue
Communication, media and information has really taken on a new turn. If McLuhan tells us that, "technologies are the extension of our nervous system," this could not have been encapsulated any better than the several paragraphs about that have given us the generic name of the plugin and how they work :
how we use them, and they in turn respond to our prodding's-affecting, effecting and changing us too in the process, that, the whole act continually changes as we engage and interact with the medium and inter-/intra-connected with them in the viral primordial stream, and as that changes us in the process, the more our traditional communication of the 20 century: The news ways of communicating as described above, are 21 century modes and ways-and-means of communication-right into the future.
Whether you are a social network addict, a novice dabbler, or you are thinking about trying online networking, you probably have some questions about the advantages and disadvantages of social networking. For example, can it really increase one's productivity or does it just waste valuable time? How safe is it? Before you invest too heavily in online social communities, be sure to do your due diligence so you're aware of the risks versus the rewards. According to Donna Cosmato, here is what you need to know to help you make an informed decisions.
The social network scene enable people to make it easier or faster way to make a connection than via the social network. Although Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and MySpace are probably the most well-known communities, there are new websites popping up regularly that are dedicated to allowing people to connect and to interact via the Internet…
Through such sites, individuals make new friends or business connections or extend their personal base connecting and interacting with friends, and friends of friends, and so on.(This is one of the many ways that social media extends man-I have also shown extension of man as the Article of WordPress has tabulated above). with this interconnection one can 1) Find Romance; 2) Seeking a new job; 3) Locating assistance; 4; Getting and giving product and service referrals; 5) Receiving support from like-minded individuals; 6) Making or receiving advice on career or personal issues
In many ways, social communities are virtual equivalent of meeting at the general store or at church socials to exchange news and get updated on friend and families. Snail mail pen pals have been replaced by virtual avatars and private messages sent via the social network
Commonality Of Interest:
When you opt to participate in a social network community, you can pick and choose those individuals whose likes and dislikes are similar to yours and build your network around those commonalities. For instance, if you are a Chess aficionado or a book lover, you can find and interact with those who share your interests. Because you are connecting digitally instead of having to physically attend meetings, you have the luxury of joining more groups and communities. You can meet with your friends anytime you have an iInternet connection and whenever you find them online.
Real Ttimeime Information Sharing
Many social networking sites incorporate an instant messaging feature, which means you can exchange information in real time via a chat. This is a great feature for teacher to use to facilitate classroom discussions. In addition, the Internet is the ultimate online textbook. Students no longer need to takeout six library books at a time. Much of what they need to know they can find online.
School is not the only setting where this type of real-time information sharing can be beneficial. Social networking can provide a tool for managers to utilize in team meetings, for conference organizers to use to update attendees and for business people to use as a means of interacting with clients.
Whether you are a non-profit organization who needs to get the world out about you upcoming fundraiser or a business owner marketing a new product or service, there's no better way to get your message in from of millions of people 24/7. The best part is that you can spread the world through social media and networking profiles for free. You can promote one product, service or idea or many because you are limited only by the amount of time you wish to invest on the endeavor.
The Disadvantages Of Online Communities
1. Face-To-Face Connections Are Endangered:They reduce or eliminate face-to-face socialization. Because of the autonomy afforded by the virtual world, individuals are free to create a fantasy persona and can pretend to be someone else. It's hard to say no, be rude, or ignore someone when you are looking them in the eye. It's incredibly easy and quick to 'unfriend' or 'unfollow' someone or simply block their efforts to make a connection. Just one click of the mouse and your problems are over.
Unfortunately, this feature of online socialization cheats people of the opportunity to learn how to resolve conflicts in the world outside the Internet and it could retard or cripple one's social skills and development Tweens and teens are at risk, because those are the years they are learning to interact with other to build and maintain relationships. 41 percent of the teens spend their time posting messages. They are not spending this time in face-to-face interactions with their peers or others nor are they developing necessary social skills for future success.
2. Cyberbullying and Crimes Against Children:
Use of social networks can expose individuals to harassment or inappropriate contact from others. Unless parents are diligent to filter the Internet content to which their families are exposed, children could be exposed to pornography or other inappropriate content. 93 percent of the 12 to 17 teens use the Internet; 63 percent of them use the Internet daily. Such high usage increases the risk of they're being victims of cyberbullying or other cyber crime.
3. Risks Of Fraud Or Identity Theft:
Whether you like it or not, the information you post on the Internet is available to almost anyone who is clever enough to access it. Most thieves need just a few vital pieces of personal information to make your life a nightmare and if they successfully steal your identity,it could cost one dearly. 24 million Americans put their personal information at risk by posting it on public sites such as social communities-according to a report on CNET.
4. Nielsen Report explains that social networking can be a big waste of time that sucks 17 percent of our Internet time down the non-productivity drain. While it is true that some of that time is likely spent in making and maintaining important business, social or professional connections. It is also true that it is easy to become distracted and end up spending valuable time on games, chats or other non-related activities. Dorie Clark of the Huffington Post reported that Facebook users spend about six hours each month on the site, while social networkers spend three times as much time on those communities as they do on other online activities like e-mail.
I finally add up to the piece above that whilst we are intoxicated and enamored with the new technologies and their capabilities, we also need to train ourselves on how to Log Out and Shut down the Computer and the Web for some hours at a time-in order to reset our minds, given all I have just discussed above as to how the new social media extended us as its users and on other times we become addicted to it,to the detriment of our life-long friendships we have built in face to face interaction over the decades.
The Culture Of The Twitter
Cross further adds: "Everything is changing!" a startled Today Show news anchor blurted out, blinking into the camera as she finished reading the morning headlines. It's true, nothing's going to be the same. A Tsunami of electronic media has overtaken us on the Internet, transforming everything in its path. It's a revolution, and no one quite knows where we are headed. Way back in the 29 century, media guru Marshall McLuhan predicted that electronic technology was going to change the world, turning it into a village and sending people back to their tribes.
It's already happened. In the 2121st century of the blog, Twitter, and social media networks, we are already living in a global village online, sorting ourselves out into tribes of opinion, lifestyle and ideology. If how people communicate determines how they think, live, and behave, as McLuhan said, we are well on our way to cataclysmic changes in those ways of thinking, living and behaving.
It feels as if the whole world is on the cusp of monumental change, at "an unchartered frontier, as New York Times columnist Frank Rich characterized it. Maybe the www web address stand for wild, wild, web [or, to add my two cents, world, wild, web]. Blogs, Twitter, and social media networks on the World Wide Web have opened up the conversation and leveled the playing field for ordinary people to express themselves without the usual media and information gatekeepers.
Bloggers of every description and ideological stripe put out news bulletin and op-ed on a relentless hourly basis, covering everything from current events to the latest news and stories, talk, gossip, chats, monologues and so forth. (Cross)
In Bloggerati, Twitterati, Cross writes the following excerpt and they say: "Let's go back to Marshall McLuhan for a minute: Any technology tends to create a new human environment. Script and papyrus created the social environment we think of in connection with the empires of the ancient world.
The stirrup and the wheel created unique environment of enormous scope. ...Printing from movable types created a quite unexpected environment-it created the PUBLIC." Print", as McLuhan noted, "transformed society from an auditory/oral culture to a visual culture," altering the ratio among our sense. Now, "in our time, the sudden shift from the mechanical technology of the wheel [and print] to the technology of electric circuitry represents one of the major shifts of all historical time.' What would he say about the Internet and Twitter?
Certainly these offer a totally "new human environment," one that we ourselves aren't even able to categorize yet. We certainly mine McLuhan's mantra. "The Medium Is The Message," for clues, maybe even reversing it, in the case of the Twitter, to "The Message Is The Medium," where the high volume of social connectivity and interactive messaging has created a brand-new cultural matrix for the exchange of ideas.
As a constant stream of real time information (and, maybe, information overload). Twitter has meant an enormous upswing in up-to-the minute communication among the global population. The "alchemy of the Web," as one social observer calls it, is giving a mass audience access to culture and engineering social transformation on a larger scale than ever before. But critics of Twitter point to the predominance of the hive mind in such social media, the kind of 'groupthink' that submerges independent thinking in favor of conformity to the group, the collective.
New York Times columnist David Carr calls this "the throbbing networked intelligence." Others call it dangerous and dumb. People may fear embarrassment of being thought stupid because on Twitter they are performing publicly and in a group. They tend to conform even when they are showing off. Twitter doesn't squelch clever or obscene remarks, but it does exert social pressure and foster an "ambient awareness," as technology guru Clive Thompson calls it."(Cross)
Streams from the Twitter-Cryptic verse
Reuters reports that, "Twitter is much more than a social network and has no time to waste worrying about newcomers like Google+ as it becomes more important as an information service and builds it advertising business," co-founder Jack Dorsey said on Sunday. We have a lot to concern ourselves with, just building Twitter," Dorsey said when asked at a technology conference wether he was worried that Google's won fledgling network would come after Twitter.
"Social is just one part of what we do. We think of it as an information utility," he said, describing Twitter as a personal new service as much as a social network. "You don't have to tweet at ll," he told the DLD conference in the German City of Munich. "The biggest value is finding out what's happening in your world in real time."
Twitter, which lets people send 140-character messages, or tweets, to groups of followers, has more than 100 million active users. Investors are eagerly awaiting a market float that could value the company at around $8 billion.
Reuters continues to inform us that, "Skeptics contend that the site has not yet proved it can make money. But Dorsey, who is the company's executive chairman, said advertisers were proving willing to pay to promote their tweets, accounts and trends. Our Business model has been in development for quite some time, and it works," he said.
Twitter is expected to have made about 140 million in revenue last year, according to an estimate by industry research firm eMarketer. Dorsey said Twitter was building a team in Germany, where privacy concerns run high and engagement with Twitter has been relatively low. He added that the company was always open to making acquisitions to acquire talent int wanted.
Dorsey is also the founder and chief executive of fast-growing mobile payments start-p Square, which he said he wanted to expand internationally this year. "We would love to com to Europe, and we're going to work very, very hard this year to bring it outside the United States," he said. "We're looking at China. We're looking all over Asia."
In another article written in the The Next Web Conference 2012 this is what they reported: Twitter has taken measures to be able to block specific content on a country-by-country basis, the company announced in a blog post. Its title, 'The Tweets Still Must Flow,' is a reference to the famous post Twitter published last year on civil liberties.
Unlike 'Tweets Must Flow,' which was co-written by Biz Stone himself, this year's post is not signed. This is not the only difference between the two messages, and today's title is quite misleading. In practice, what Twitter is saying is that there are some circumstances under which blocking certain tweets in a specific country is acceptable — sometimes for legal reasons.
The micro-blogging platforms gives a specific example, "[Sometime countries], for historical reasons, restrict certain types of content, such as France or Germany, which ban pro-Nazi content." Twitter seems willing to abide to this kind of local restrictions, but doesn't want to block litigious tweets worldwide. As a result, it decided to give itself "the ability to reactively withhold content from users in a specific country — while keeping it available in the rest of the world," the blog post details."
Anticipating criticism, Twitter announces that it built a way "to communicate transparently to users when content is withheld and why". This includes a partnership with the online project "Chilling Effects" to dictate a "page" to these notices. While Twitter's openness on this topic is laudable, this announcement is still worrisome. What kind of requests will the startup obey?
While restrictions on neo-Nazi content are quite consensual, the same may go for copyright lawsuits. Pursuits against 'Wikileaks' or tentatives to silence the opposition in authoritarian regimes. Sure, the company makes it clear there are requests it won't accept, and it's interesting to note that it's prepared to the idea that it ay have to give up entirely on certain countries — unfortunately left unnamed:
"As we continue to grow internationally, we will enter countries that have different ideas about the contours of freedom of expression. Some differ so much from our own ideas that we will not be able to exist there." Yet, the wording Twitter leaves space for concern p "to attempt" and "to try" don't fully qualify as promises. Says Twitter:
"We try to keep content up wherever and whenever we can, and we will be transparent with users when we can't. If and when we are require to withhold a Tweet in a specific country, we will attempt to let the user know, and we will clearly mark when the content has been withheld." In other words, civil rights activists may want to add http://chillingeffects.org/twitter to their bookmarks — chances are you'll hear about it again in the near future. (Sources: IMAGE CREDIT)
"Twitter Isn't Censoring You - Your Government Is"
We learn further that, "It's barely been a day since Twitter made the announcement that going forward, tweets could be censored based on the local laws that govern a user's location, and the rumor mill is hard at work trying to figure out the reasons behind the decision.At the same time, many Twitter users are calling for a Twitter Blackout on January 28, vowing to keep twitter quiet tomorrow."
This never took place, and was surprised as a newbie and regular on the Twitter, when trying to play a song by Fela on YoTube, was met with a blockade that informed me that I would not be able to access that song due to the new Twitter Censor rules, which seem to be in effect as of writing of this Hub. Nancy Messieh has written the article I am about the government the censors the informative content on the Twitter by writing: At the same time, many Twitter users are calling for a Twitter Blackout.
Taking a look at the hashtag #Twitter Censored, a lot of fingers were very quick to point straight at the 'recent investment' by Saudi Prince, Alwaleed bin Talal, without considering the fact that his stake in the company is a mere 3%. Alex Macgillivary, the general counsel of Twitter, has also confirmed to Boing Boing that the move has nothing to do with investments that Twitter has received. While up until now,
Twitter is said to have only blocked content that violates copyright laws, the change expands to include tweets that violate the laws of any given country, provided that they are asked to remove the offending tweets. One possible reason is that Twitter has been consistently targeted by governments for allowing what is considered "illegal" content to be shared via the site, Israel "Shurat DaDin threatened to sue" the microblogging site if it didn't boot accounts with ties to Hezbollah and al-Qaeda.
Twitter has also seen increasing pressure from Us politicians, with Congressman Lieberman decrying the fact that the Taliban has a very vocal Twitter presence. Twitter obviously used carefully selected words to convey the charges — at the end of the day blocking tweets can't be defined in any terms other than censorship.But it is a half-hearted form of censorship that seems to appease the lawmakers but has no real direct effect on the user [a fact I do not agree with at all-my addition].
Much has been made of the use of social media in the Middle Eastern uprisings, particularly in Egypt. In 2011, Twitter proved to one of the essential tools used to broadcast news from Egypt to the world, while a year before that, Cairo-base activists used Twitter to coordinate protests and warn each other of security presence around the city. Twitter provides one of the easiest mobile methods to disseminate information online today.
While it may be understandable to withhold racist, hateful and threatening content, Twitter's definition is all-encompassing and has the potential to take down perfectly acceptable content. Following the uprising in Egypt, the government passed a law criminalizing protests. What if a law was were passed to criminalize online criticism of authorities? It's no stretch of the imagination, not when bloggers have been arrested and imprisoned for exercising their freedom of speech. In that case, the government in question could tell Twitter what is considered acceptable content.
So, does this mean that the Twitter has given governments complete power to control what their citizens see on Twitter? In a sort of way twitter has given up by agreeing to censor some countries and so-called undesirable tweets. By agreeing to the censorship of what is unacceptable, we the users are stymied and corralled into a corner of accepting it because it will not affect the users of Twitter. Well, as I have noted above, I have already come across such censorship with the music of Fela Kuti. Anyway, this issue will be revisited after in has been implemented for some years, or sooner.
Twitter The Streaming Media Data
Messieh wraps it all for us in this way: "It's very easy to criticize Twitter for this move, but the fact remains that in one day, it provided users with the news that content could be censored by location, while also giving them a simple method, one-click away, to make sure that the tweets do flow, regardless of location. The backlash has been harsh, and Twitter has been accused of committing social suicide, assuming that an algorithm would be taking car of the extremely sensitive task of censoring content."
In its announcement however, Twitter points out: "...if we receive a valid and properly scoped request from an authorized entity, it may be necessary to reactively withhold access to certain content in a particular country from time to time." Twitter is not placing an automated censorship system in place, but rather will only comply with what it sees are valid requests. Twitter has actually found something of a compromise.
With the use of a technicality, Twitter is able to safeguard the company legally, comply with governmental requests, and still make the content available to users with the workaround. The alternative would be to see Twitter blocked entirely in countries which consider its content to be a violation of the local laws. If the finger should be pointed at anyone, it isn't Twitter, but rather the lawmakers that make it possible to censor content in the first place.
Twitter is viewing a hyperventilation of sorts, going to the point of calling for a Twitter boycott for one day, but as Jillian York points out, the announcement is not a signifiant change to Twitter's existing policies. The current attack on Twitter is no different from the common, but misguided, accusations that are often heard, that Twitter censors certain hashtags from making it into its Trending Topics, when in fact that is an entirely algorithm-based system, driven mainly by news outlets, and represent "topics that immediately popular, rather than topics that have been popular for a while on daily basis."
Some Digital-Age Media Outlets Driving the Twitter
We just take a brief look at mainstream media how they dominate the Twitter with trending topics. Fast Company informs us that, "Forget Ashton Kutcher and Lady gaga. On Twitter, mainstream media outlets such as CNN, The New York Times, and BBC dominate trending topics. According to a new report by HP, trending topics are not determined by how many followers a user has of how prolific a tweeter that user is. After studying a sample of 16.32 million tweets during the Fall of 2010, researchers discovered that 22 users were the source of most trending topic retweets."
(Roughly 31% of tweets about a trending topic are retweets…) Of these 22 influentials, 72% were Twitter accounts run by traditional news organizations, including Reuters and the Washington Post, but other digital-age media outlets such as the Huffington Post were also featured on the top trenders list. (while Lady Gaga didn't make the top rankings, what appears to be some knock-off Twitter feed run by "Lady Gonga" did."
We snooped around to learn more about @LadyGonga and @vovo-panico." [but as an author myself, I found these sites devoid of information dissemination and hard to come by, and this makes me wonder as to whether this was a good example on the part of the author I am citing above- and it is hard to read because it has bee written in Portuguese-my addition]
"However, the report found that social media is not a replacement for new information" [this sounds odd, but will discuss it in the conclusion as to whether my own experience was that I found the Twitter to be a sort of replacement of the way the users imbibe and disseminate thee links found in the Twitter regard that as being news information, or an extension thereof].
"Twitter users then seem to be acting more as filter and amplifier of traditional media in most cases," said Bernado Huberman, HP senior fellow director of HP Labs' Social Computing Research Group. This is especially true in the wake of the Egyptian unrest, when Twitter hashtags (#Mubarak, etc.) for the protests were constantly trending on Twitter, but filtering users to mainstream media outlets for the most breaking news.
Appropriate for the 140-character format, Twitter trending topics disappear almost as fast as they come, suggesting users are hungry for more news. On average, according to HP's report, 40 minutes is the longest time a topic will stay at the top of Twitter's trends. Then how do you account for #JustinBieber?" (FastCompany, 2010).
The Twitter is a new medium establishing new ways of communicating for its 'community' of users in the speed of light. It is a medium that is expanding and extending itself into the Primordial streaming so extending ourselves into new ways and spreadeagled throughout the World Wide Web, as is our nervous system inside our bodies, with all sorts of memes, zines, mimezines...
The Twitter and Twitterverse Experiences
As a writer and researcher, I do not necessarily cop out and say that the Twitter is good or bad, but concur with Postman that we need to understand How and Why the medium has made us depended on it, and what will happen if another new one comes out and bests the Twitter? I also believe that our media, data and the Twitter are in constant change because they do not satisfy us and are not always perfectly complete in their manifestation for our applications, but evolve as techniques and technologies evolve.
This Hub will be constantly added-to and edited as the changes in the medium of the Twitter changes, or a new one upstages the present mode of human inter/intra communication with the converging and emerging new gizmos and technologies… For now, I am going to be surfing the Tweeterverse streaming, reading incoming tweets, Following interesting posts, re-tweeting, adding my two cents on my Twitter space.
As of now, I am receiving about 3-4 thousand tweets a day, if that is not a lot of information of a diverse nature, I do not know what this is... Makes me wonder that those with millions of followers, how do they keep up... well this streaming datasphere is also affecting our consciousness in many ways, and that will be my rejoinder to this article next time around...
One more thing... In the response box I was answering to Rehana Stormme that I needed to work some more on this hub, sort of polish it, which I will do in the very near future. But what I left out was what are the actual effects and affects of Twittering on its users. Rehana in response to the length of the article, began by saying that she was on Twitter, and in the end cancelled her account because, as she stated, "She was becoming addicted, After a few months of tweeting and after amassing quite a number of Followers, I started feeling this condescending need to post about every menial thing I was doing.
From 'going to get something' to when is it going to stop raining? Trust me, it was that bad, I now have a new account where I post Hub Related info and the like. This Hub is very long and involved, but, to her credit, she recognized the debilitating effects of being constantly immersed and embedded in the Twitterverse. In this Hub, as I will develop it further, I aim to give a sense and scope of the Twitter and maybe this might help us approach it better and use it in a more and less debilitating way most of us find ourselves caught up with.
In Twittering and Retweet mostly news, interest stories, and everything I find of value and interest and hope that those I Retweet to, who are my followers, and not many are, will glean as to the information I Retweet and used it for whatever purpose they deem fit. In other words. The coming of electricity, the printing press along with automation, introduction of Radio, TV, Newspapers, Books and media ecology of that nature, altered and extended man in many way than we have investigated to date.
I use the tweeter to disseminate information as to what I am doing, Internet Radio Production on live365.com/stations/djtot12 and Blogging on ixwa.hubpages.com/. Along with these tow, I supply some aphorisms, and take the role of a reporter by retweeting all I think is informational and user-friendly.
Some people tweet non-stop, and even complain about the lack of sleep they are not having; companies hawk their wares; sports news of all sorts is reported; then there are those who have a monologue with whomever chooses to read their stuff; there are all sorts of promotions for all sorts of things; then there are celebrities with hundreds of thousands to millions of followers, while some follow nobody in particular, or a few they choose;
There are the Occupy tweets; there are radio stations; DJs, Musicians and their show and posts; Great Festivals all over the world, and so on and so on. A real potpourri of a community in constant chat and Twittering vacuum-sucks one's time involving reading, Twittering and Re-tweeting and so forth.
The Hub above interrogates the Twitter as a phenomenon that is addictive and time consuming as to whence it originates and what is its modus operandi is in our lives. Rushkoff gives us the historical background and Walter Ong and other enlighten us as to the progression of the emergence of writing, orality and text.
Postman raises questions as to hat is it that we are dealing with, since he regards the computer or internet as overrated, and somehow decries the fact that our media prophets have not left us with much on how to deal with these new media and their attendant technological gizmos. My thrust is that we need to pay attention to the extending patterns of the Twitter, and know its obscure beginning in order to better understand its addictive patterns and effects to better be able to handle it with some knowledge of what it is all about and why it was developed, and how we are using it today, and what both these things mean or portend for and the future.
Obviously the Twitter has added and changed the way we communicate orally and in any written format. It is the limiting design of how much we can write on it that conditions reading, attention span, and as I have added on the post reply above, reinforces the business model already established by TV and Radio with their 30 second spots and the cutting-in of commercials onto daily programming.
The Media Ecologist have long been contending that technology will eventually overtake humans. Maybe the Twitter is a glimpse into that world-its beginnings. But the way it is engulfing communities using and expanding itself into what I call the Dark Matter of the Twitterverse Soup, and it disables us of the life we knew before its advent, and leaves feeling insecure about what it is doing to us, and yet we know so little about its origins and what that means to our contemporary societies. I do not have answers of the 'do's' and 'dont's' of the way of the future cascading the Twitter, but I know for a fact that we need to know more about it than we have heretofore done
One can do well by checking this excerpt by the Pew Internet Research: Three quarters of US adults go online. A majority of US households have broadband Internet Access. Eight in ten adults have a cell phone. Six in 10 adults go online wirelessly with a laptop or mobile device. Half of adult cell phone owners have apps on their phone, With each hurdle passed, from basic Internet access to broadcast to mobile, Pew Internet research shows that each one has a multiplying effect on peoples behavior, making them more likely to share and to contribute to online conversations.
Pew Internet research also shows that people are using these technologies to connect with up-to-date health information and, more powerfully, with each other. The Internet enables patients and caregivers to connect with those who share the same health concerns, creating a peer-to-peer network that clinicians can learn from as well."
Pew Internet further informs us that: "Two-thirds of online adults (66%) use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, My Space or LinkedIn. These Internet users say that connections with family members and friends (both new and old) are a primary consideration in their adoption of social media tools. Toughly two-thirds of social media suers say that staying in touch with current friends and family members is a major reason they use these sites, while half say that connecting with old friends they've lost touch with is a major reason behind their use of these technologies.
Other factors play a much smaller role-14% of users say that connecting around a shared hobby or interest is a major reason they use Social Media. And 9% say that making new friends is equally important. Reading comments by public figures and finding potential romantic partners are cited as major factors by just 5% and 3% of social Media users, respectively.
The results reported here are based on a national telephone survey of 2,277 adults conducted on April 26-May 22, 2011. 1,522 interviews were conducted by landline phone, and 755 interviews were conducted by cell phone. Interviews were conducted in both English and Spanish. For results based on Social [Media] networking site users, the margin of error is +/-3 percentage points (n=1,016). The Twitter and the Tweeterverse are altering our lives, perceptions and day-to-day functions that had been a normal order of business and lives.
This Hub is about all that, and the effects and affects Twitter has on us and also extending us in ways old ways of communication were incapable of doing. If we used land phones, now we use cell phones and other gadgets embedded with our mobile devices steered by and through the Internet.
It is this new way of communication that needs to be put into a proper perspective so that we, as human beings, understand what we are dealing with, so that we might somehow use it responsibly. This topic is still developing and will be looking at the latest effects and affects of the Twitter, the Tweeterverse and the experiences in engenders.
A first-of-its-kind survey, conducted by Tweeminster and Portland Communications, of 500 of Africa's tweeters (1.5 million "geo-located" tweets) has been condensed into one infographic. It may not be the most comprehensive picture — and looking at comments section in The Guardian online, there are those who take objection to some of the information is presented.
Still, hopefully this will spur others to think more broadly about and delve more deeply into how social networking is being used around the world; especially as it relates to social good and social change. Some of the interesting insights the study puts forth: Africa's tweeters are young (60 percent are 20-29 years old); while the average age of tweeters around the world is 39 years old. Also, Twitter is an important source of information - 68 percent of those polled said that they use Twitter to monitor news.
Twitter is often thought of as a European and American Phenomenon. But how does Africa use the social networking tool As stated above, Tweetminster and Portland have analyzed more than 11.5 m geo located Tweets from the last three months of 2011. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, use of Twitter is dominated by Africa's richest country: South Africa sent twice as many Tweets (5,030,226) as the next most active (2,476,800). Nigeria (1,646,212),, Egypt (1,214,062) and Morocco (745,620) make up the remainder of the top five most active countries.
Although these statistics give us a picture of how Africa uses social networking, it does not tell us about the segregated development and access of Africa and other so-called Third and Second World Countries who have no wherewithal to be as advanced and developed as their Western counterparts, elsewhere.
Extension of Cyber Consciousness and Man in the Datasphere
The world is not changed by technics and technology itself, per se. It should be emphasized that developments in media technology are linked, e.g., to economy, politics, and globalization(as witnessed through the stats in the paragraph above(regarding Africa, for instance)… Today, not only computer literacy and media convergence but also transnationality and transculturality are dominant themes for the claimed cultural integration. This process, however, is unpredictable, chaotic, unequal and ambivalent by its character (Inkinen)
The brave new information society can easily develop into an elitist technocracy, and it is only a short distance form there to the forming of a new type of aristocracy; a rough and undemocratic world in which the privileged class are those who have been blessed with their interest and ability to study the most recent tools of information and communications technologies.
From the perspectives of the current tendency, this seems both frightening and probable. It seems that the effects of nee media technology will be extending in the immediate future into all areas of life touching all people extension of technology and technique-also the extension of man will go along with it.
In evaluating the cultural significance of computers and digital technology, the valuable crystallization presented by Bill Nichols, seems particularly accurate:
"The computer is more than an object; it is also an icon and a metaphor that suggests new ways of constructing images of what it means to be human and live in a humanoid world. Cybernetic systems include an entire array of machines and apparatuses that exhibit computational power. Such systems contain a dynamic, even if limited, quotient of intelligence.
"Telephone networks, communication satellites, radar systems, programmable laser videodiscs, robots, biogenetically engineered cells, rocket guidance systems, videotex networks — all exhibit a capacity to process information and execute actions. There are all "cybernetic" in that they are self-regulating mechanisms or systems within predefined limits and in predefined tasks. Just as the camera has come to symbolize the entire spectrum of networks, systems and devices that exemplify cybernetic or "automated but intelligent" behavior."
On the other hand,one is shocked and surprised by the inequality of development and the contingent nature of technology. The social, political, economic, and cultural reality in Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, India, Cambodia, Myanmar, China, Ukraine, Zimbabwe, or Ecuador, to name but a few examples, differers radically from the "brave, new Information societies" being built in the Western territories.
In many geographical areas, the benefits of the latest technology have not even been heard of — and their installation is far from reality. The situation and crucial question remains one of the information haves vis-a-vis the have-nots. The electronic elite vis-a-vis the information proletariat; the included vis-a-vis the excluded. Despite this hard, self-evident fact, the unrealistic utopias and massive "hype" around digitality, interactivity, electronic "revolution" and the 'global village' seems extremely strong.
In many different fields of life, culture and society a dominant trend is networking — creating different kinds of networks for collaboration over disciplinary, geological, political and other boundaries. In the same token, in the postmodern culture, identity transforms into 'a freely chosen game, a theatrical presentation of the self'. .
The problem of personal identity arises from play-acting and the adoption of artificial voices; the origins of distinct personalities, in acts of personation and impersonation (Kallioniemi) The forum for these presentations is provided by media contents(Kellner) — more and more often a new media such as the Internet: "Media culture provides a powerful source for these new identities which are appropriated and re/deconstructed by both individuals and groups who are able to participate in imagined communities through cultural style and consumption (Kallioniemi)
Although postmodern (media) theory has claimed that national and local identities can be eroded through the economic, political, social, and culturally transnational aspects of current media, the contrary European and global integration processes "have been starting to release suppressed ethnic, smaller national, regional and local identities which are finding out how to display their 'ethnic flavor' in the current media culture (Kallioniemi).
Finally, we should note that due to the recent technological development, the distinction between, e.g., the biological (man) and technological (machine) has become significantly blurred. Partly, this explains the recent, Utopia - as well as Dystopia-loaded, discussion on "cyborgs" and machine humans/human machines (Mikkonen and Mayra). Various "cyborg problematics", e.g., cyber sex are a central part of the identity debate that is part of cyber culture, cyber discourse, [and cyber consciousness]. (Eerikainen)
Cultural Hypertextual Effects On How we View The world
In Western Culture the printed medium has been used for centuries as the privileged tool for the production, transmission, and re-production of knowledge; relatively often, there has been an attempt to organize this knowledge according to a linear logic. But the limits imposed upon us by such linear thinking are broken by the hypertextual logic; we are forced to move on toward a reshaping of the ways we use in order to acquire, organize and re-produce knowledge. Therefore, it is important to understand how innovatively and powerfully the hypertext logic remodels our mental [and consciousness] processes and, thus, the way we think about the world.
According to Cicconi, "Nelson finds it convenient to organize the whole human knowledge in what he calls literature, that is, 'system evolution of interconnected documents' these documents constitute (and are part of) a complex, world-size, whole portions are all accessible via computer by an unlimited number of users.
According to this conception, the hypertext no longer is a form of text, but a new "medium" allowing us to read and/or interact (that is, to create personal reading sequences, personal links between texts, and personal annotations as well) with a whatever portion of literature by means of a single and efficient device."According to Cicconi, "The system is capable of filing and integrating a variety of pieces of information (articles, notes , comments, footnotes, projects) within a sort to 'collective electronic journal,' so that, through the computer, those pieces of information are sharable among (and re-shapable by) different users."
I 2965, Holm Nelson coined the term "hypertext"and defined hypertext as a "non-linear text." Now we ask: what is actually, a linear text? In the traditional meaning (in the context of linguistics), linear texts are texts whose material form conditions the fixed order of their serial elements. The natural spoken language, for instance, was characterized by its temporal linear sequence without spatial extension. [...] Natural language was seen as an arrangement of spatial linear sequence of its segments on various levels (phonemes, monemes, sentences, paragraphs, chapters, etc.) (Hess)
However, this principle is no more relevant with a non-linear hypertext. Hypertext has been defined in many ways. At its simplest, it is "the notion that a body of text can be viewed and accessed in a variety of ways by its user — although some texts are produced in such a way as to make accessing the hypertextually necessary. In general [...] this means that bodies of text do not have a defined beginning or end, nor have to be accessed in a linear fashion." (Ledgerwood)
According to Ledgerwood, "Any work can be accessed in the manner of a hypertext — even works such as books written so that they have a clear beginning, middle, and end and printed in a linear narrative fashion. One can begin a work at any part of a work, stop at any moment, and recommence at any other moment." Ledgerwwood reflects to the hypertext historical roots and adds to the definition: "
In fact, this is the way that some traditional works, such as the Qu'ran, the Talmud, the Christian Bible or the writing of Lao Tse of Confucius, are often read. It is not uncommon for certain readers of religious works to open the text at random choosing to read only a few passages. S/he may very well choose additional passages at random to ponder before finally closing the book.
The next reading upon reopening the book might then be accomplished in the same manner. Nevertheless, most critics of hypertext argue that worlds on a page necessitates certain notions that computerized text(s) do not. Geroge Landow, as an example, insists that computer hypertexts fuse notion of metatext and intertextuality into new wholes.
Nelson states that everything is based on the premises "that hypertext is fundamentally traditional and the mainstream of literature." Nelson writes that, "The hypertext is 'non-sequential writing,' a branching text that allows the reader to make choices. A hypertext allows us to create new forms of writing that reflect the structure of what we write about, on the other hand, are allowed to choose different paths according to their attitudes and the stream of their thoughts, until now has been believed to be impossible. (Nelson).
The World Of Electronics After Typography-Telegraphy
We now defer to Walter Ong to wrap up the discourse above so that we understand how the information, languages and gadgets transform our cyber consciousness as we stream extended in the datasphere.
"The electronic transformation of verbal expression has both deepened the commitment of the word to space initiated by writing and intensified by print and has brought consciousness to a new age of secondary orality.although the full relationship of the electronically processed word to the orality-literacy polarity itself a vast subject to be considered in its totality here, some few points needed to be made."
Ong continues: "Despite what is sometimes said, electronic devices are not eliminating printed books but are actually producing them. Electronically taped interviews produced 'talked' books and articles by the thousands which would never have seen print before taping was possible. The new medium here reinforces the old, but of course transforms it because it fosters a new, self-consciously informal style, since typographic folk believe it should normally be informal" (oral folk believe it should normally be formal) (Ong).
On elaborates that: "Normally, as earlier noted,composition on computer terminals is replacing older forms of typographical composition, so that soon virtually all printing will be done in one way or another with the aid of electronic equipment. And of course information of all sorts electronically gathered and/or processed makes its way into print to swell the typographic output. Finally, the sequential processing and spatializing of the word,initiated by writing and raised to a new order of intensity by print, is further intensified by the computer, which maximizes commitment of the word to space and to (electronic) local motion and optimizes analytic sequentiality by making it virtually instantaneous."
At the same time, with telephone, radio, television and various kinds of sound tape, electronic technology has brought us unto the age of 'secondary orality'. The new orality has striking resemblances to the old in its participatory mystique, its fostering of a communal sense, its concentration on the present moment, and even it s use of formulas. But it is essentially a more deliberate and self-conscious orality, based permanently on the use of writing and print, which are essential for the manufacture and operation of the equipment and for its use as well.
A Brief Look At Secondary Orality
Ong informs us that: "Secondary orality is both remarkably like and remarkably unlike primary orality. Like primary orality orality, secondary orality has generated a strong group sense, for listening to spoken words forms hearers into a group, a true audience, just as reading written or printed texts turns individuals in on themselves. But secondary orality generates a sense for groups, immeasurably larger than those of primary oral culture - McLuhan's Global Village" (discussed a bit above).
Moreover, before writing, oral folk were group-minded because no feasible alternative had presented itself. In our age of secondary orality, we are group-minded self-consciously and programmatically. The individual feels that he or she, as an individual, must be socially sensitive.
Unlike members of a primary oral culture, who are turned outward because they have had little occasion to turn inward, we are turned outward because we have turned inward. In a like vein, where primary orality promotes spontaneity because the analytic reflectiveness implemented by writing is unavailable, secondary orality promotes spontaneity because through analytic reflection we have decided that spontaneity is a good thing. We plan our happening careful to be sure that they are thoroughly spontaneous. (Ong)
The contrast between oratory in the past and in today's world well highlights the contrast between primary and secondary orality. Radio and television have brought major political figures as public speaker a larger public than was ever possible. [The iInternet/Web expanded and extended man virally in the datasphere- [my addition]. ... Electronic media do not tolerate a show of open antagonism.
Despite their cultivated air of spontaneity, these media are totally dominated by a sense of closure which is the heritage of print: a show of hostility might break open secure, the tight control.Government and any other type of candidates accommodate themselves to the psychology of the media. Genteel, literate domesticity is rampant. Only quite elderly persons today can remember what oratory was like when it was still in living contact with its primary oral roots.
Others perhaps hear more oratory, or at least more talk, from major public figures than people commonly heard a century ago. But what they will hear will give them very little idea of the old oratory reach back from pre-electronic times through two millennia and far beyond, or of the oral lifestyle and oral lifestyle and oral thought structures out of which such oratory grew.(Ong)
Obviously, other developments in society besides the orality-literacy shift help determine the development of narrative over the ages — changing political organization, religious development, intercultural exchanges, and much else, including developments in the other verbal genres, [and less development in other mediums]. This treatment of narrative is not intended to reduce all causality to the orality-literacy shift, but only to show some of the effects which this shift produces.(Ong)
As we become involved in the orality-literacy of the Web and the new language it has spawned, we end up with altered cyber consciousness as the Web extends man in the streaming datasphere. It is therefore important we are able to wrap our heads around these emerging technologies and techniques so that we do not become enslaved by them, but control and use them in their manifestation for the public and human good. It is also worth noting that the proliferation of these new media have limiting and deleterious affects on other forms of information disseminating apparatuses and organizations
The Information Needs of Communities
Steve Waldman writes" "In most ways today's media landscape is more vibrant than ever, offering faster and cheaper distribution networks, fewer barriers to entry, and more ways to consume information. ... The digital tools have helped topple governments abroad(Twitter and Facebook for one), and are providing Americans powerful new ways to consume, share and even report the news.
[So that], as technology offered consumers new choices, it upended traditional news industry business models, resulting in massive job loses — including roughly 13,400 newspaper room positions in just the past four years. This has created gaps in coverage that even the fast-growing digital world has yet to fill. Newspapers are innovating rapidly and reaching new audiences through digital platforms(Tweeter, Facebook), etc),but most are operating with smaller staff, and as a result are often offering less in-depth coverage of critical topics such as health, education and local government.
Many TV news remain excellent, but too few are investing in more reporting on critical issues and some have put back staff. Beyond that, minority are exhibiting alarming tendencies to allow advertisers to dictate content. Inmost communities, commercial radio, cable, and satellite play a small tole in reporting local news. Public TV does little local programming; public radio makes an effort to contribute , but has limited resources(like ((99.5 FM WBAI). Most importantly, too few Internet-native local news operations have so far gained sufficient traction financially to make enough of an impact.
We begin to get a sense as to why the community has information needs as explained below in a bulleted form by Waldman in his articles wherein he states:
"On close inspection, some aspects of the modern media landscape may seem surprising:
- An abundance of media outlets does not translate into an abundance of reporting. In many communities, there are now more outlets, but less accountability reporting.
- While digital technology has empowered people in many ways, the concurrent decline in local reporting has, in other cases, shifted power away from citizens to government and other powerful institutions, which can more often set the news agendas.
- Far from being nearly extinct dinosaurs, the traditional media players - TV stations and newspapers — have emerged as the largest providers of local news online.
- The non-profit media sector has become far less more varied, and important, than ever before. It now includes state public affairs networks, wikis, local news websites, organizations producing investigative reporting, and journalism schools as well as low-power FM stations, traditional Public Radio and TV, educational shows on satellite, TV, and Public Access channels. Most of the players neither receive nor seek, government funds.
- Rather than seeing themselves only as competitors,commercial non=profit media re now finding it increasingly useful to collaborate.
"Certainly, there can be no doubt that the traditional media business has ben significantly shaken, with potential serious consequences for communities:
- Newspaper advertising revenue dropped 47 percent from 2005 to 2009.
- Between 2006 and 2009, daily newspapers cut their annual editorial spending $1.6 billion per year, or more than a quarter,according to the Poynter Institute's Rick Edmonds.
- Staff at daily newspapers has shrunk by more than 25 percent since 2006, with some major newspaper seeing half their staffs disappear in a matter of a few years. There are about as many journalists working today as there were before Watergate.
- Television network news staffs have declined by half from the late 1980s.
- Newsmagazine reporting staffs have dropped by almost half since 1985.
- The number of all-news local radio stations has dropped from 50 in the mid01980s to 30. Which reach a third of the country.
- Only about 25 to 30 percent of the population has access to a local all-net cable channel.
- There are about 520 local TV stations that air no local news at all (258 commercial stations and 262 noncommercial stations). Considering those, along with stations that air less than 30 minutes of local news per day, 33 percent of commercial stations currently offer little or no local news.
"Hyperlocal information is better than ever, technology has allowed citizens to help create and share news on a very local level — by town, neighborhood, or even block. These sites mostly do not operate as profitable businesses, but they do not need to. This is journalism as voluntarism — a thousand points of news." Waldman)
Having cited this truncated history of the role that TV, Radio and Newspapers played in disseminating news, to being reduced to localized media distribution and disseminating, one can see why this Hub, about the Tweeter is very important. We begin to get a picture of the effect s and affect of social media like the Tweeter as to how and why they are affecting news selection, circulation and distribution globally; shy the staff in these media enclaves is being cut, and the type of news selection narrowed to a very paltry audience.
If one were to look at the type of news dissemination, circulation and distribution on the tweeter has grown in leaps and bound, with many millions participating and consuming news and information in as instantaneous manner have become the means through which the world has morphed and is now using information data in a very different way than it was being consumed with the traditional media discussed above.
The topic of the Hub above points out as to how the Tweeter is extending man into the datasphere at the expense of the traditional media which have become less extended and are no more the 'sole' source of information, data and other forms of news distribution and handler.
The growth of the Tweeterverse was the downfall of the traditional media entities discussed, and a loss of renumeration from adds and consumer usage, because, truly speaking, the Tweeter and Facebook are much more cheaper, and much more versatile in meeting the needs of the communities.
Just because there are still large numbers of people not using the Web, does not necessarily mean that there are less Tweeterers or people on Facebook. Instead, the users and consumers of information all sorts of data are low logged into these social media, and what makes them popular, it is their ability to allow ordinary folks to partake or control the flow of information without having 'gate-keepers' censoring or adjusting what is information or what is reported.
The effects of this changing and shift of the 'technological media paradigm' informs us that media as we have been consuming, using and receiving it during the era of the traditional media discussed by Waldman above, has been changed by the introduction of social media like the Tweeter and the Facebook media and medium, and in effect, the traditional media has had to morph and go online too.
But the Tweeter as a microblogging social media with 140 characters allowed for its use, has shut down and made obsolete traditional media cartels in their different mediums to become dinosaurs. The sooner we realize that streaming cyber consciousness and the extension of man in the McLuhan sense, we are waisting time.
The point is that todays media, though it's constantly changing gizmos and emerging and also converging streaming metamedia utilizing memezines and instancy , is the 21 century modern mode and version of media usage, distribution, dissemination and control that is growing by day, and has totally changed the ecological environment of information gathering and distribution-as opposite to the one that existed in the times of the fast fading traditional media, information and data.
Man Becomes the Sex Organs of the Machine World(McLuhan)
Technology has become an unavoidable daylight language
Tristan Eldritch posted the following musings:
"Marshall McLuhan remains essential reading today primarily for two reasons. The first, of course, is that he was writing for and about today way back — worlds of past tense away — on the 60s and 70s. That is to say that McLuhan, in his philosophical examination of media and technology in the age of television and space exploration, seem to extrapolate or intuit the effects, or emotional and sociological contours and lines of force, of our current Internet epoch.
"In the age of instant information, man ends his job of fragmented specializing and assumes the role of information gathering. Today information gathering resumes the inclusive concept of "culture," exactly as the primitive food-gatherer worked in equilibrium with his entire environment. Our quarry now, in this new nomadic and "workless" world, is knowledge and insight into the creative processes of life and society." McLuhan)
McLuhan's writings seem to uncannily pre-empt the concerns and character of pos-Internet culture with remarkable frequency, as has been note, when considering that many of us today have the sense of living in a world wholly altered from that of a mere decades ago. This degree of prophetic insight, not into the specific nature of the technologies themselves, but rather of the subtler social and emotional reconstituting of human nature engendered by them, is traditionally the preserve of the Artist, as McLuhan himself points out:
"In the history of human culture there is no example of a conscious adjustment of the various factors of personal and social life to new extensions except in the puny peripheral effects of artists. The artist picks up the message of cultural and technological challenge decades before its transformative impact occurs. He, then, build models of Noah's arks for facing the change that is at hand."
Eldritch continues: "Art retains some essential link to its deep historical or pre-historical roots, where its function was magical, visionary, and oracular. The artist, or any any rate the artist accomplished enough to warrant the mantle, actively cultivates the still mysterious skill f heightened and passive receptivity, the ability to cultivate an intuition of things distant in time and space which resembles a cultural equivalent to the "spooky action at a distance" of the new physics that perturbed Einstein so much. Any sufficiently advance technology is indistinguishable from the poetry of the era or eras which directly."
McLuhan understood that electrical communication technologies were transforming the essential modes of human production and social activity int the instantaneous transfer of increasingly overwhelming volumes of visual, aural, textual, and tactile information — and that this transformation would utterly change the world in which we live — not merely in the obvious sense of altering the phial or social contours or the world, but rather in the far more profound and less visible sense of changing the dominant metaphors, sense ratios, and whole panoply of perceptual tools by which we experience, interpret, and hence define that world.
McLuhan's most significant and enduring achievement was thus not concerned simply with man's relationship to media in the modern electric age, but rather with our on-going relationship with tools, technology, and all mediums by which commodities, particularly ideas and information are exchanged.
McLuhan has boldly asserted that these tools and media were not merely convenient adjuncts and servants to a lofty autonomous human nature; rather, the tolls and media themselves were an integral part of the crucible wherein that human and its underlying world-views were formed. Beginning with language itself. No medium is the world, or even describes or presents the world in any kind of innocent or uncomplicated fashion.
A speech, a painting, or a moving cine-camera, do not describe or represent the world according to some universal standard of fidelity or accuracy, rather, each medium prioritizes a certain sense, or a certain ration of sense usage, it subtly engenders certain habits of mind and ways of viewing the world(or communicating in the world).
"In this book, we are concerned with all forms of transport of goods and information, both as metaphor and exchange. Each form of transport not only carries, but translates and transforms, the sender, the receiver, and the message. The use of any kind of extension alters the ratios among our senses."(McLuhan)
Again, elsewhere in his writing, McLuhan illustrate the degree to which technological mediums inevitable alter the messages that they transmit according to their own nature:
"The classic curse of Midas, his power of translating al he touched into gold, is in some degree the character of any medium, including language. This myth draws the attention to a magic aspect of all extensions of human sense and body; that is, to all technology whatever. All technology has the Midas touch"(McLuhan). [See Last three pictures in Photo Gallery].
This was the meaning of McLuhan's iconic and controversial axiom THE MEDIUM IS THE MESSAGE. The idea that form can have a more profound impact on our minds than content is an idea that western intellectual culture is deeply resistant to. It does not sit well with our sense of ourselves as rational, self-determining beings that size up and coolly appraise the world, in full possession, In William Burrough's synonym for paranoia, of all the facts.
We are extremely content-orientated, because the content is that which our rational conscious faculties take direct cognizance of, and this gives us a heightened sense of control and self-determination. It is for this reason that we are reluctant to acknowledge in polite discourse the power that physical, rather than emotional or intellectual, attraction exerts over our lives.
McLuhan, however, made bold to argue that the form of our technological mediums, like the world of advertising and physical attraction, contain a latent message, a twilight language, which operates below the threshold of our conscious and rational calculations. The oracular or prophetic artist channels this twilight language by instinct; the student of media attempts to study and articulate it at the level of conscious awareness (Eldritch).
McLuhan thus argued that the latent message of the phonetic alphabet and the printing press had effectively created the world-view of the pre-electrical mechanical age. It had drawn human psychology out of the collectivistic, organic, animistic consciousness of the 'tribe,' and ushered it gradually into the perspective of the individual and specialist; the nature of the alphabet and the printing press being to engender a view of reality that stresses its linearity and capacity to be broken down into individual component stages.
Hence, from these habits of mind, the scientist acquires his tendency to privilege reductionism and repeatability, and the age of the machine acquires the assembly line and its presiding metaphor of nature as mechanism. But in the subtly utopian narrative that underlies Understanding Media's mosaic of ideas and epigrams, man is returning, by the paradoxical route of electrical high technology, back to the interdependent, organicist consciousness of the 'tribal' village:
"Now in the electric age of decentralized power and information we begin to chafe under the uniformity of clock-time. In this age of space time we seek multiplicity, rather than repeatability, of rhythms. This is the difference between marching soldiers and ballet. ... In our electric century the mechanical time-kept city looks like an aggregation of somnambulists and zombies, made familiar in the early part of T. S. Eliot's The Waste land.
At present, the mechanical begins to yield to organic unity under conditions of electric speeds. Man now can back at two or three thousand years of varying degrees of mechanization with full awareness of the mechanical as an interlude between two great organic periods of culture. In 1911, the Italian sculpture Boccioni said, "We are primitives of an unknown culture." (McLuhan)
Also, McLuhan utopian optimism similarly pointed towards a mystical union or collectivization of human consciousness:
It is equally conceivable that the electric extension of the process of collective consciousness, in making consciousness-without-walls, might render language walls obsolescent. Languages are stuttering extensions of our five senses, in varying rations and wavelengths. An immediate simulation of consciousness would by-pass speech in a kind of massive extrasensory perception, just as global thermostats could by-pass those extensions of skin and body that we call houses"(McLuhan)
What we learn from McLuhan is that 'the mind-altering and world-view transforming nature of our on-going symbiosis with technology has become an unavoidable daylight language; and yet its future effects, or where precisely it is taking us, remains deep below the conscious threshold. the power of the medium over the message is readily apparent, in a decidedly negative light, to all of us who have lost days of our lives clicking beyond all meaningful engagement with content. McLuhan's consciousness-without-walls are a reality; the group exists, and we are making it, just as surely as it is making us.
Within this particularly intense period of technological hybridization, various utopian and dystopian possibilities assert themselves as reflections at a distance of a future perhaps already immanent in our current technological interactions. We see contours of a saner,more inclusive, interconnected, and voluntary collectivism emerging in the subversive practice of indiscriminately sharing things with strangers.
Yet, at the same time, we see spiraling addition, trivia, and numbness; increased surveillance from governments, and from corporations, a very unnerving attempt to harvest the individual's stream of consciousness, as concretized by its search engine history. We are, as McLuhan asserted, translating our entire lives into the spiritual medium of information; but whether that spiritual information will ultimately be reduced to a series of points and vectors in a decidedly profane market-place, remains to be seen.
At one point or another, we have to come to terms with the fact that we are cultural and technological mutants, involved both consciously and most times, blindly, in the process o what we have become and are becoming. Some old media guru put it this way:
Cultures like ours, poised at the point of transformation, engender both tragic and comic awareness in great abundance. It is the maximal interplay of diverse forms of perception and experience that makes great the cultures of the fifth century, the sixteenth century, and the twentieth [and twenty-first centuries]. But few people have enjoyed living in these intense period when all that ensures familiarity and security dissolves and is reconfigured in a few decades.
We now know from McLuhan that, "Electric circuitry is an extension of the central nervous system-that one can infer from this that we extended ourselves voluntarily into these new and emerging mediums, that in the process, as we make them work and transform them, they in turn work on us and transform us, in the process. The language and being a user and participant in the new technologies and their embedded techniques, in of themselves, transform us, and help those business scavengers who use the information about its users, nibble at us effortlessly and accruing large and hefty profits thereafter.
Our immersing ourselves in the primordial technological Cyber-consciousness and futuristic datasphere soup, we become part and parcel of the changes that we effect and are effected by the changes wrought on us by the machines, that this dialectical symbiosis changes and alters the environment and perceptions and realities wherein all of this occurs. We become technological and media pretzels just there are these myriad media, mediums and technological gizmos and their forever changing and mutating techne affect us as we effect them.
Twitterverse Redux Part Deux
"Powers Of Ten For The Twitterverse"
By Simon Mainwaring
Social media is revolutionizing our lives as individuals and as marketers. In the last year, Facebook exploded globally and Twitter grew by a staggering 1382%. Last week Google launched the "Wave,' a new in-browser collaboration tool, ushering in the era of real time, aggregated communication.
Leading corporate brands are responding. The list of Fortune 500 companies using social media reads like a ‘Who’s Who’ including Coca-Cola, Wal-Mart, Intel, Nike, Motorola, Pepsi, Starbucks, GM, GE and IBM. Yet even as social media goes mainstream, what it means for us as individuals and how we speak as marketers is not yet clear.
To dramatize the impact of social media, I’m going to visualize the growth of our interconnectedness using the concept behind the Charles and Ray Eames, IBM film called Powers of Ten. So I’ll start with our home computers, expand out across social networks, then up through your community, city, country and the globe until we arrive at the Twitterverse and look to the future.
Obviously technology connects us in many complex ways, each one worthy of lengthy study. For brevity’s sake, I’ve assembled powerful visual snapshots of each level of connectivity thanks to many wonderful thinkers, companies and artists, each of whom are credited. The list is not meant to be exhaustive, but it aims to provide an overall sense of our multi-faceted connectedness so that we may better understand our changing roles as individuals and marketers.
x1 Visualizing Networks on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and MySpace
Building on a study by The Social Computing Laboratory at HP Labs Brian Solis wrote a great post in which he visualized his Twitter network. The image on the left shows his outbound communication network at a given moment, while the image on the right shows the inbound. So complex and fluid are these networks that they are only measurable in snapshots as new ideas, content and context constantly morph the network in all directions.
x2 Real Time Aggregated Dialogue Across Social Networks
Whether it’s Tweetdeck that combines your Facebook or Twitter streams, or the more sophisticated Google Wave that aggregates email, web chat, IM, and project management software, new communication platforms allow you to combine your social networks and tools so information can flow between them. The Wave even gives you the ability to watch conversations live or replay them, as it records each sequence of communication character by character potentially revolutionizing email.
x3 Mapping Community Emotion Using Social Media
Since 2004, Christian Nold has been orchestrating Biomapping – a crowdsourced, community mapping project — which wires people up to Galvinic Skin Response (GSR) devices to record their emotional states. The resulting maps are revealing visualizations of communal emotion. These serve as a dramatic illustration of a new phenomenon created by social media — an increasingly real time awareness of the emotion of our community and how it affects our perception of it.
x4 Visualizing The Hidden Networks Within Cities
Korean Artist, Jee Lang Sub, created these stunning images that reveal the hidden networks or circulatory systems of our cities. As we commute from home to work, or simply move about a city, communicating remotely on computers or phones with social networking apps, we constantly inject our moment to moment experience into the information flow of our networks. A simple example is the way Twitter beat all other news sources to report the most recent Los Angeles earthquake.
x5 Using Emotional Cities To Chart The World's Emotional Pulse
‘Emotional Cities’ is the work of Swedish artist,Erik Krikortzthat creates multi-layer, visual reflections of the world’s emotional pulse. You simply pick your current emotional state on a seven-level scale, allowing Erik to calculate and plot the average values for different cities, countries and the world in real time. In some cities, their emotional state is even projected on to a light installation, so you can know the emotional temperature of a city as you fly in on a plane. The social potential for this is staggering as it allows individuals, networked groups, entire cities and even countries to track their emotional states and virally affect others.
x6 Wireless Global Shared Experiences
MIT's Senseable City Lab recently released an incredible visualization of the mobile cell phone use during President Obama’s Inauguration. Called the City Project, we witness the anticipation of the Oath of Office, the drop in call activity as people listen to his address and the celebration of his inauguration as President, all around the country. The two videos dramatically illustrate how social media such as texting, Facebook or Twitter enable shared experiences to generate collective consciousness, not just among groups of individuals, but across countries (first video) and around the world (second video).
This infographic provides a visual for how all other social media and design sites place in relation to Twitter. Twitter is in the middle as a branding tool and all other sites serve as other tools in relation to Twitter. This is continued below.
Media as Translators
The Social Media known as the universe of the Twitter function for us today as a 'translator'. We learn about this phenomenon and concept from Marshall McLuhan as follows:
"The tendency of neurotic children to lose neurotic traits when telephoning has been a puzzle to psychiatrists. Some stutterers lose their stutter when they switch to a foreign language. That technologies are ways of translating one kind of knowledge into another mode has been expressed by Lyman Bryson in the phrase "technology is explicitness." Translation is thus a 'spelling-out" of forms of knowing.
What we call 'mechanization' is a translation of nature, and of our own natures, into amplified and specialized forms. Thus the quip in Finnegans Wake, “What bird has done yesterday man may do next year," is a strictly literal observation of the courses of technology. The Power of technology as dependent on alternately grasping and letting go in order to enlarge the scope of action has been observed as the power of the higher arboreal apes as compared with those that are on the ground.
Elias Canetti made the proper association of this power of the higher apes to grasp and let go, with the strategy of the stock market speculators. It is all capsulated in the popular variant on Robert Browning: "A man's reach must exceed his grasp of what's a metaphor."
"All media are active metaphors in their power to translate experience into new forms. The spoken word was the first technology by which man was able to let go of his environment in order to grasp it in a new way.
Words are a kind of information retrieval that can range over the total environment and experience at high speed. Words are complex systems of metaphors and symbols that translate experience into our uttered or outered senses. They are a technology of explicitness. By means of translation of immediate sense experience into vocal symbols the entire world can be evoked and retrieved at any instant.
"In this electric age we see ourselves being translated more and more into the form of information, moving toward the technological extension of consciousness. That is what is meant when we say that we daily know more and more about man. We mean that we can translate more and more of ourselves into other forms of expression that exceed ourselves. Man is a form of expression who is traditionally expected to repeat himself and to echo the praise of his Creator. "Prayer," said George Herbert, "is reversed thunder." Man has the power to reverberate the Divine thunder, by verbal translation.
"By putting our physical bodies inside our extended nervous systems, by means of electric media, we set up a dynamic by which all previous technologies that are mere extensions of hands and feet and teeth and bodily heat-controls--all such extensions of our bodies, including cities--will be translated into information systems. Electromagnetic technology requires utter human docility and quiescence of meditation such as befits an organism that now wears its brain outside its skull and its nerves outside its hide.
"Man must serve his electric technology with the same servo-mechanistic fidelity with which he served his coracle, his canoe, his typography, and all other extensions of his physical organs. But there is this difference, that previous technologies were partial and fragmentary, and the electric is total and inclusive. An external consensus or conscience is now as necessary as private consciousness. With the new media, however, it is also possible to store and to translate everything; and, as for speed, that is no problem. No further acceleration is possible this side of the light barrier.
"Just as when information levels rise in physics and chemistry, it is possible to use anything for fuel or fabric or building material, so with electric technology all solid goods can be summoned to appear as solid commodities by means of information circuits set up in the organic patterns that we call 'automation' and information retrieval.
Under electric technology the entire business of man becomes learning and knowing. In terms of what we still consider an "economy" (the Greek word for a household), this means that all forms of employment become "paid learning," and all forms of wealth result from the movement of information. The problem of discovering occupations or employment may prove as difficult as wealth is easy.
The long revolution by which men have sought to translate nature into art we have long referred to as "applied knowledge." "Applied" means translated or carried across from one kind of material form into another. For those who care to consider this amazing process of applied knowledge in Western civilization, Shakespeare's As You Like It provides a good deal to think about. His forest of Arden is just such a golden world of translated benefits and joblessness as we are now entering via the gate of electric automation.
"It is no more than one would expect that Shakespeare should nave understood the Forest of Arden as an advance model of the age of automation when all things are translatable into anything else that is desired:
And this our life, exempt from public haunt Find tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in every thing. I would not change it. AMIENS!
Happy is your Grace, That can translate the stubbornness of fortune
Into so quiet and so sweet a style. (As You Like It, II, i. 15-21)
"Shakespeare speaks of a world into which, by programming, as it were one can play back the materials of the natural world in a variety of levels and intensities of style. We are close to doing just this on a massive scale at the present time electronically. Here is the image of the golden age as one of complete metamorphoses or translations of nature into human art, that stands ready of access to our electric age.
The poet Stephane Mallarme thought, "The world exists to end in a book." We are now in a position to go beyond that and to transfer the entire show to the memory of a computer. For man, as Julian Huxley observes, unlike merely biological creatures, possesses an apparatus of transmission and transformation based on his power to store experience. And his power to store, as in a language itself, is also a means of transformation of experience:
"Those pearls that were his eyes."
"Our dilemma may become like that of the listener who phoned the radio station: "Are you the station that gives twice as much weather? Well, turn it off. I'm drowning." Or we might return to the state of tribal man, for whom magic rituals are his means of "applied knowledge." Instead of translating nature into art, the native nonliterate attempts to invest nature with spiritual energy."
Perhaps there is a key to some of these problems in the Freudian idea that when we fail to translate some natural event or experience into conscious art we "repress" it. It is ^ mechanism that also serves to numb us in the presence of those extensions of ourselves that are the media studied in this book. For just as a metaphor transforms and transmits experience, so do the media.
When we say, "I'll take a rain-check on that," We translate a social invitation into a sporting event, stepping up the conventional regret to an image of spontaneous disappointment: "Your invitation is not just one of those casual gestures that 1 must brush off. It makes me feel all the frustration of an interrupted ball game that I can't get with it."
"As in all metaphors, there are complex ratios among four parts: "Your invitation is to ordinary invitations as ball games are to conventional social life. It is in this way that by seeing one set of relations through another set that we store and amplify experience in such forms as money. For money is also a metaphor. And all media as extensions of ourselves serve to provide new transforming vision and awareness."
"It is an excellent invention," Bacon says, "that Pan or the world is said to make choice of Echo only (above all other speeches or voices) for his wife, for that alone is true philosophy which doth faithfully render the very words of the world ..."
"Today Mark II stands by to render the masterpieces of literature from any language into any other language, giving as follows, the words of a Russian critic of Tolstoy about "War and World (peace...But nonetheless culture not stands) costs on place. Something translate. Something print." (Boorstin, 141)
Our very word "grasp" or "apprehension" points to the process of getting at one thing through another, of handling and sensing many facets at a time through more than one sense at a time. It begins to be evident that "touch" is not skin but the interplay of the senses, and the “keep in touch” and “getting in touch” is a matter of fruitful meeting of senses, of sight translated into sound and sound into movement, and taste and smell.
The “common sense” was for many centuries held to be the peculiar human power of translating one kind of experience of one sense into all the senses, and presenting the result continuously as a unified image to the mind. In fact, this image of a unified ratio among the senses was long held to be the mark four rationality, and may in the computer age easily become so again for it is now possible to program ratios among the senses that approach the condition of consciousness. Yet such a condition would necessarily be an extension of our own consciousness as much as wheel is an extension of feet in rotation.
Having extended or translated our central nervous system into the electromagnetic technology, it is but a further stage to transfer our consciousness to the computer world as well. Then, at least, we shall be able to program consciousness in such wise[ways] that it cannot be numbed nor distracted by the Narcissus illusions of the entertainment world that beset mankind when he encounters himself extended in his own gimmickry.
"If the work of the city is the remaking or translating of man into a more suitable form than his nomadic ancestors achieved, then might not our current translation of our entire lives into die spiritual form of information seem to make of the entire globe, and of the human family, a single consciousness?"
So that, in the final analysis, according to McLuhan, our extension of ourselves through our technologies electromagnetically is also transferring our senses and consciousness to the computer world. Our use of the Tweeter, in of itself transforms our sense of awareness and being conscious of our existence and our world, and this time, through the Twitter, which translates meaning, our world and our consciousness as we invest our whole being in using and depending on it.
It extends our senses and consciousness in various ways and now of late through various means. We are not only extending our consciousness, but we are also extending our senses, beingness and reality which is being translated for us by the modern computers/web/mobile phones,modern gadgets, social medium and media electromagnetically.
Technological Singularity: Here And Now
In general, the technological areas that, according to the experts, promise the most significant developments in the coming decades are genetics, computer technology, transportation, materials, and energy sources. Numerous consumer products in these areas will follow. How these products and technologies will impact our environment, human life, and even the future existence of humanity is open to debate.
One area of technology that promises to dramatically transform the human condition is space exploration and colonization, but most forecasters believe that it will be a few more decades before space technology and the exploration of space really blossom and take off. I review this area in the final chapter on the future of science and technology.
I think that it is safe to say that the present multi-faceted technological revolution will dramatically alter not only human life and the environment but also the very nature of humanity. Technology is not simply a tool to achieve human goals. It is an extension of humanity, evolving and growing, and it will transform us, biologically, psychologically, socially, and ethically in the decades ahead. Popularized images of the future usually envision contemporary human types set in the context of advanced technologies. This scenario is almost certainly wrong. We are going to co-evolve with our machines, whether we like it or not.
A number of years ago the computer scientist and science fiction writer Vernor Vinge published a highly influential and controversial article titled “The Coming Technological Singularity: How to Survive in the Post-Human Era”. (Vinge, 1993) Vinge considered the present accelerative growth rate of technology, and in particular, information processing technologies, and concluded that sometime in the next few decades artificial intelligence would pass human intelligence and quickly speed ahead, literally leaving humanity in the dust. Vinge referred to this event as the “technological singularity”.
After intelligent technology passes us by, with its continued accelerative growth of change, the world will transform around us dramatically to the point where, from our present vantage point, it will become incomprehensible to us. Vinge considered the various pros and con’s regarding whether this event would come to pass and if so when, and he also considered what would become of humanity in the years past the singularity.
For Vinge, the technological singularity seems inevitable, assuming that our present technology and society are not wiped out in some natural or artificial cataclysm. Further, he foresees a potential period of human-technological symbiosis, but humanity, as we now understand ourselves, will probably sooner or later become a memory in this hyper-intelligent technological reality.
It is interesting to note that at around the same time Vinge was writing this article, he also published his Hugo award winning science fiction novel A Fire Upon the Deep ((Vinge, 1992). In this novel a powerful artificial intelligence begins to assimilate the entire Milky Way, only to be stopped by humans and dog-like aliens, alas with the apparent assistance of another artificial intelligence. Vinge, though, states in “Approaching the Singularity” that intelligent technologies will probably surpass us before we even get to explore our own solar system.
More recently, Richard Eckersley, expanding the scope of discussion to include genetics and nanotechnology, as well as computers, reaches a similar conclusion that sometime within the next fifty years technological growth in these three areas will reach a “spike” forcing humanity to make some fundamental choices regarding our continued existence.
Eckersley sees three fundamental responses: surrender to the technologies (we become obsolescent), technological backlash (we try to pull the plug), or humanity transforms (perhaps we synthesize with our technologies). Regardless of how we react, it is important to note that this “spike” is coming and humanity will have to face it. )Richard Eckersley)
Although Vinge considers various trends in the development of computers and artificial intelligence over the last century in making his case for the coming singularity, the argument that our technology will both dramatically transform us, as well as pass us can be presented using basic evolutionary ideas as well. Ray Kurzweil notes that the pace of evolution is accelerating.
Evolution involves increasing complexity and if we trace the successive emergence of more complex systems on the earth, the time periods between salient events or levels of organization are diminishing. Kurzweil argues that within evolution, order builds on previous order, and this process of increasing order grows exponentially. As Kurzweil states in his Law of Accelerating Returns, “As order exponentially increases, time exponentially speeds up (that is, the time interval between salient events grows shorter as time passes).” (Kurzweil, 1999)
For Kurzweil, technology is a natural outgrowth of the movement toward increasing order. Technology is defined as the crafting and shaping of resources to purposeful ends. Humans apply their increasing knowledge to the development of better and better technologies. Technology is inevitable because intelligence and the ability to manipulate the environment are favored within the evolutionary process.
As Kurzweil points out, history has repeatedly demonstrated that the more technologically advanced cultures have triumphed over the less technologically advanced cultures. The rate of increasing order and complexity in technology, as measured in terms of information storage and processing power, is a continuation of the general accelerative rate of evolution. For Kurzweil, technology has picked up the rate of evolution.
Reinforcing this evolutionary picture of technology, Hans Moravec argues that we are presently witnessing the self-accelerated evolution of machines. (Moravec, 1999) Older machines are used to build new machines. Although machines breaking down were a common occurrence in the Industrial Age, machines increasingly are participating in the design and repair of themselves. At some point in the future, this self-organizational dimension of machines will hit an “escape velocity” and technology will surge ahead of humanity in complexity and intelligence.
For both Kurzweil and Moravec, humans, in the relatively near future (probably the next hundred years), will need to be technologically enhanced if we are to keep pace with our machines. In particular, without our mental abilities being augmented we will not understand our technological world and we will not be able to function within it. Vinge refers to this process as Intelligence Amplification (IA). Vinge, 1993)
Increasingly, we will need to integrate with our technology if we are to maintain control and guidance of our world. The futurist transhumanists argue that humanity needs to be transcended — that something better is emerging as we enhance and transform our nature through various technologies. (Transhumanist Resources) Other futurists such as Michael Zey believe that technologies will always serve human ends and that our technologies are tools that will never transcend us.
We may augment and enhance our abilities through biotechnology and information technology, but we will remain in the drivers’ seat. (Zey, 2000) Yet, in this process of integration and Intelligence Amplification, what we mean by human will undoubtedly be transformed. At what point does the level of augmentation become so significant and pervasive that the bulk and core of what we are is our technological substance and capacities?
As noted earlier, there is a long-standing fear that our technologies may, in fact, usurp control of our lives and even extinguish us. Bill Joy in his recent article “Why the Future Doesn’t Need Us” restates this fear, pointing out possible dangers and threats to our continued existence within nanotechnology, biotechnology, and information technology. (Joy, 2000)
Postman thinks the danger is more insidious, with technology undercutting and transforming our culture, values, and mindset. In contrast, individuals like Hans Moravec and Arthur C. Clarke see intelligent machines as our evolutionary children, and the transhumanists believe that we are ethically responsible for creating a more advanced intelligence. All these different interpretations come down to the same thing. In some sense or another, something new and different is coming.
We cannot pull the plug, for it is we who are plugged in. Technology is integral to the very nature of humanity, and we live in a state of increasing interdependency with it. The best approach we can take is to thoughtfully and continually consider how we might improve our lives through technologies. Pearson predicts that the increasing electronic monitoring and intrusion into our lives will cause an anti-technology backlash in the future. (Pearson, 2000)
There have been anti-technology reactions in the past, and the present conservationist-deep ecology movement today is clearly a more recent example of anti- technology. (Arnold Brown) However, such anti-technological movements do not grasp the reciprocal connection between humanity and machines, mind and matter. Nor do they see that technology is fundamentally an expression of the human desire to improve human life.
Further, I think that Kurzweil is correct in arguing that technology is a natural development and expression of the evolution toward order and intelligence. Even if we could stop the technological revolution upon us, would we want to? Humans strive to improve their reality, and technology, if it is ethically, thoughtfully, and informatively guided, achieves this end. What we must face is that technological evolution will inextricably transform all aspects of our lives, probably to the point where our future descendants will transcend us as surely as we transcended Australopithecus.
No More Future Shock
The Future is Here and Now, Rushkoff asserts what he explains and,
"...Focuses on what he calls "Narrative Collapse," a result of our short attention spans and need for instant gratification. It’s better in concept than the evidence he gives for it. He lumps most of modern entertainment (including, oddly, Seinfeld and Beavis and Butt-head) into something he calls "Now-ist Pop Culture," that’s more concerned with making sense of the present, with self references and cyclical plots, than conveying the traditional Western story arcs we’ve known since Homer. We go for "heightened states" and problem solving in lieu of narrative.
"It’s an odd assertion to make at a time where narrative television is just hitting its stride — thanks to DVRs and Netflix, an audience is able to enjoy a television equivalent of a novel, instead of a self-contained half hour sitcom with no continuous plot line. Even the NFL uses narratives — the two coaches are brothers! — To sell itself. But Rushkoff would argue that most emergent narratives are insulated and present-focused because a "captive audience" is increasingly anachronistic (he points out the word "entertainment" means "to hold within").
"The solution, he says, is to allow the audience to become a part of the narrative. New forms like video games and Twitter let passive viewers become active participants.
Of course, there’s a danger to becoming part of the narrative. Humans, he explains, live in linear time, while the internet and our computers can do everything at once, and so in the digital, everything happens at once (many of Rushkoff’s thoughts on time vs. humans parallel Nicholas Carr’s writings in The Shallows). He calls this sensation "Digiphrenia." It’s like "a dance partner who doesn’t see or feel us," he says, and we’re frustrated as we try to sync up.
Messages Arrive On Everyone Else's Schedule Rather Than Our Own
Similarly, all information is available to us simultaneously, so it can begin to feel similarly weighted. A single Google search can present a Tweet from 15 seconds ago alongside a heavily researched article on the topic. We get emails and text messages that don't matter to us simultaneously with — and in the same box as — ones which do. "Messages arrive on everyone else’s schedule rather than our own."
For Rushkoff, the way to deal with these problems is to differentiate "storage" and "flow" — an idea you might’ve heard of back in 2010 as "stock and flow" from Robin Sloan. Something like Twitter, Rushkoff echoes, is a flow of data, which can’t be dealt with comprehensively, only dipped into. A slower medium like email can work as storage, where each item can be given its appropriate amount of attention in time. "The digital can be stacked; the human gets to live in real time." It’s the difference between adhering to a television programming schedule and using a DVR to watch shows at a time convenient to you.
Similarly, Rushkoff thinks we need to pay more attention to the rhythms of our bodies (as opposed to the CPU clock), the unforced conversations of consumers (as opposed to top-down corporate messaging), and try not to bite off more than we can chew. He encourages us to take our eye off the ball at times to see the bigger picture. To take the time we need to understand and react.
And then, of course, we’re lead to another problem: we simply have too much data, and too many connections between those points of data, to make sense of it all. Rushkoff calls it "Fractalnoia." One succinct way to put it: "The ultimate complexity is just another entropy."
After talking to Rushkoff for an hour, I still can’t tell if he thinks we’ll win this war with the machines. In Present Shock he quotes himself from another book, Media Virus: "The spread of a particular virus depends no more on the code within the virus than it does on the immune response of the culture at large." So far, our culture doesn’t seem to have much immunity to these new mediums. "As I mention in my interview, much of what he describes manifests in my own life as stress. I hope to use some of his coping mechanisms as weapons and his definitions as armor when I return to the internet and have to fight these problems once more."
Living In The Present Shock
"Present shock is basically the human response to living in a world where everything happens at once. Where we can no longer think about the future, because this moment is everything. And it’s to some extent our anxious reactions to the pings of the digital media environment and its static quality.
"In regard to legacy journalism, a lot of people are disconnected from it partly because of present shock. When they’re living on digital platforms that emphasize choice over any kind of prescriptive pathways, they tend to lose any sense of value in pretty much anything professional or authoritative. They sort of descent into a very relativistic view of things — where anybody who can blog or get on the net is pretty much as valuable as anybody else, so there’s no authoritative opinion.
"It’s become hard for people to justify why to pay attention to one thing instead of another. So you end up with people — and this is young and old — wondering why we have professional journalists at all. There are reasons why I don’t like this situation. Governments and corporations spend hundreds of millions of dollars creating false truths and there’s this society that’s not willing to spend a few hundred bucks so that reporters can find out the real story. To apply some professional skill at following and deconstructing what’s going on.
Rushkoff addresses as to why does Twitter still have value for him but Facebook no longer does? And Rushkoff responds thus: "
I think that they both have value — it’s just that Facebook actively misrepresents me to other people, to people who choose to “like me” on it and so on. I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to be inviting them to make themselves vulnerable to all these kinds of misrepresentations — things like whether their image will be put in an ad that I may not condone myself. It’s a case in point of what I call in my book “digiphrenia” — namely, an instance of you doing something online you’re completely unaware of. On Twitter, I get the ability to broadcast ideas and links and messages to other people, but with far fewer strings attached. Twitter is much more about spreading and exchanging links — 140 characters are not where the real content lies.
And Ruskkoff adds as to whether he thinks there are some media outlets that aren't determined by "Presentism"? And this is how he addresses this point:
"Yes, I think some are recognizing that they’re better off explaining the news than driving it or trying to keep up with it. To some extent, even the evening newscast is realizing now that it’s not about the exclusive, up-to-the-second thing that no one can digest, but it is about making sense of the day, or making sense of what’s just happened.
The ability to which they can anchor the day or a particular moment of the day. Just think about it: 6:30 p.m., you come to the TV, you get to watch someone explain what we already know about. That’s something they really shouldn’t lose touch with the power of. The cycle of it, the time of the day, the sun’s going down, and here we are gathering. It’s so powerful, especially compared to this world where everything’s streaming, the non-stop news crawls, the feeds.
The Wall Street Journal has held onto a lot of what the nightly newscast provides, shockingly even with Murdoch at the helm. There’s this sense that they understand. There’s a periodicity to what they’re doing, so they stay anchored in time. The New York Times, on the other hand, it’s so hard to even comment on them, because there are so many New York Timeses happening simultaneously. It’s schizophrenic. I don’t even know how to consume it anymore.
"Yes, I think some are recognizing that they’re better off explaining the news than driving it or trying to keep up with it. To some extent, even the evening newscast is realizing now that it’s not about the exclusive, up-to-the-second thing that no one can digest, but it is about making sense of the day, or making sense of what’s just happened.
The ability to which they can anchor the day or a particular moment of the day. Just think about it: 6:30 p.m., you come to the TV, you get to watch someone explain what we already know about. That’s something they really shouldn’t lose touch with the power of. The cycle of it, the time of the day, the sun’s going down, and here we are gathering. It’s so powerful, especially compared to this world where everything’s streaming, the non-stop news crawls, the feeds.
"When the digital renaissance first started to occur, it looked as if we were going to have a break from corporate capitalism. I then thought people are now going to exchange value directly and create value in decentralized ways. It looked like a true disruption. But the futurists who got in the headlines were ones who didn’t want to disrupt corporate capitalism, but ones who made predictions that would be the salvation for corporate capitalism. And a lot of this is what led to us using digital technology in a way where we’re trying to maximize the efficiency of humans rather than give us some slack.
"When we blame technology, it makes it seem as if we’re powerless to do anything and as if we’re not responsible. Your email is not doing anything to you. It’s a bunch of people who are doing something to you. They’re sending you all that damned email. Email doesn’t expect you to respond to it — the people who’ve sent you the email expect you to respond to it.
What I’m trying to do is replace the blame where the blame goes. Once we accept responsibility, we’re empowered to do something about it, to change the level of expectation that we have of our employees. There are employees who are supposed to sit there and live tweet and respond to everything for eight hours straight, and you wonder why that person’s fried. That person needs to be given the same kind of breaks that an air traffic controller gets. It’s unreasonable.
But no, it’s almost never the technology. Different technologies are biased to particular things — for example, guns are biased towards killing more than pillows are. But it’s still people — at the gun companies, shareholders of the gun companies, still human beings — that are responsible for the unnecessary proliferation of weapons into our society. The more we focus on the object, the less we can do as humans to change any of this.
So there is a reading or a word fetish, but today, long-form is not a book. Today, long-form is a 1,500-word article. Evan Williams has this online publishing platform called Medium, which is these little essays, but it’s long-form compared to tweets or Facebook updates. In reality, if I write an 800-word piece on CNN, it goes up the day I wrote it and I reach a couple million people. With a book, it takes me two years to get it together and it takes a year for them to publish it. I’ve got to work like hell to even get 20,000 people to read the thing — or buy the thing, and half of them actually read it.
It does feel like I’m writing opera when people are buying singles or MP3s. And yeah, opera is on the rise too, people are going, but it doesn’t feel like a central cultural force. Especially books as “books.” There are more books today than ever, but most of them are kind of calling cards from startup consultants more than they are meant as books.
Obama | One People - The City Bonus Version
The Bonus Version of The City illustrates the emotional flow of the Presidential Inauguration with a slightly different take. Instead of illustrating the call activity of the 50 states with a bar chart, the contributions are represented in an animated map of the United States that embraces the city of Washington, D.C. This version allows those that are familiar with the political geography of the United States to more easily associate variations in call activity to the states that generate them.
Obama | One People - The World
The World reveals the international nature of Inauguration Day. It represents the variation in call activity among US States and foreign countries as flows of people traveling to Washington, D.C. to celebrate President Obama, and then departing the capital to go back home. The event is truly international with people present from 138 countries, totaling over half of all the countries in the world. Among the foreign countries, the main international callers are from Canada, Great Britain, France, and Puerto Rico, which register a five-fold increase in call activity. In the U.S., the top calling states are also the country's most populous: California, Florida, New York, and Texas. Notably, Georgia also figures in the list of top five callers on Inauguration Day, even though it ranks ninth in U.S. population.
Again from MIT senseable City Lab, this visualization tracks the volumes of IP (Internet Protocol) data flowing between New York and cities around the world in real time. The size of the glow on a particular city location corresponds to the amount of IP traffic flowing between that place and New York City. A greater glow implies a greater IP flow. Like blood in our circulatory system pumped by human curiosity, information feeds our appetite of dialogue across all social networks.
New York Talk Exchange 1 - SENSEable City Lab
Infographic: The Twitterverse
Globe Encounters. In the Information Age, the flow of IP (Internet Protocol) data between locations is nearly ubiquitous. Globe Encounters visualizes in real time the volumes of Internet data flowing between New York and cities around the world. The size of the glow on a particular city location corresponds to the amount of IP traffic flowing between that place and New York City. A greater glow implies a greater IP flow.
x8 A living History Of social Media
This chart plots many of the most significant moments in Internet history. Those related to Social Media, Web 1.0 and 2.0, are colored orange and pink (click to enlarge image). When envisioning the complexity of our interconnectedness, you cannot ignore the cumulative effect of all these tools, from email to Wikipedia to Twitter, that serve as a foundation of dialogue for all emerging social media and tools layered on top of them.
x9 Glimpsing The Twitterverse
Brain Solis and Jesse Thomas produced this wonderful alpha version of Twitterverse that charts the most important tools used by communications, service, marketing and community professionals to manage their Twitter groups. In total, apps number over 1000 and together create their own ecosystem. Impressive in its own right, Twitterverse is just one of thousands of social networks (see Ning) that constitute the enormity and complexity of our new connectedness.
x10 The Future March Of social Media
According to Moore's Law and Metcalfe Law the internet ushered in a period of double acceleration and double instability, driven by the doubling of chip processing power and the squaring of the number of people on the net. Now, that same awe-inspiring potential has transferred to the web. The impossible is increasingly commonplace, and as the chart below shows, the pace of web platform development and hence the sophistication of our social communication, is only accelerating. As Google VP of Engineering Vic Gundotra stated in his keynote at Google I/O,, “never underestimate the power of the web”.
As Joshua Cooper Ramos states, the next decade will be characterized by constant newness, the previously unthinkable, and an accelerating pace of change. While this makes the future more unpredictable than ever, there is no doubt the tireless march of technology will continue to connect us in unimaginable ways in real time. As our collective identities are enhanced, our sense of distinct individuality will be affected. And as our virtual and real life personas become equally complex and connected, each individual will be forced to define a personal balance between the two.
For marketers such connectivity means brands must appeal to individuals not through demographics or as target audiences, but as latent communities. Connection within social networks turns on emotions expressed through ideas, content and dialogue, not because of similarities in gender, age or location.
As Mary Shapiro noted in AdAge after returning from the Web 3.0 marketers are currently struggling to reconcile targeted ad spending with a consumer’s need for privacy. Increasingly consumers must be given the choice as to what marketing they invite into their organically-driven networks (a ‘'puill' vs 'push' approach of the past). As more social networks flourish and grow, they will cease to be passive landscapes for marketing messaging (from spam to DM’s to brand offers), and become proactive forces that dictate conscionable brand behavior and bring about social change.
The original ‘Powers of Ten’ film served as a timely reminder of our relative insignificance as human beings. The Twitterverse version dramatizes the growing significance of social media. As Kevin Kelly wrote in Wired, we should “never underestimate the power of tools to reshape our minds”. With each passing day, social media is fusing our hearts and minds together in a powerful, shared experience to create a collective consciousness that redefines our lives as individuals and marketers, and serves as a powerful signpost for our future in a global community.
The top and Main Picture of this Hub Called the Twitter verse, breaks the Twitterverse into the 19 following orbiting rings:
The Twitterverse Infographic
Ring 1: Branding
Ring 2: Geographics
Ring 3: Interest Graph
Ring 4: Dashboard
Ring 5: Event Management
Ring 6: Live Streaming
Ring 7: Geo Location
Ring 8: Relationships
Ring 9: Marketing and Advertising
Ring 10: Rich Media Ring 11: Communication Management
Ring 12: Research and Analysis Ring 13: Stream Management
Ring 14: Mobile Applications Ring 15: Trends Ring 16: Social CRM
Ring 17: Influence and Resonance
Ring 18: Twitter Search
Ring 19: Causation
There are tonnes of apps, widgets and services out there that connect with twitter to do almost anything you desire. The catch is, with thousands of them out there, and every second one being called twitxxxx or tweetxxxx, it’s both challenging to remember what the good ones are, or find the ones that actually do something you need. So, as always, Brian Solis teamed up with Jess3 to create a stunning infographic called “The Twitterverse” categorising all the biggest twitter based apps and services. (See First Picture in the Photo Gallery to follow-up on the information above).
Facebook Failed Totally On the 24th Of January, 2015
Updated Twitter Zines, Memes and Murmurs...
The most inteesting thing that happened now in On January 24th-27th 2015 is that Facebook went down. I hahd a similar experience, when I found that my Facebook was down, and a notice that came through said thtat something was wrong, and they are fixing it. So, I went on to Google to find out what has happened to Facebook that it should Fail. So, After Facebook came back, I posted the following on my regular Facebook Timeline:
Facebook Went Down For Just A While: This is what I captured Below..
Early today Facebook was down or unreachable for many of you for approximately 2.5 hours. This is the worst outage we’ve had in over four years, and we wanted to first of all apologize for it. We also wanted to provide much more technical detail on what happened and share one big lesson learned.
The key flaw that caused this outage to be so severe was an unfortunate handling of an error condition. An automated system for verifying configuration values ended up causing much more damage than it fixed.
The intent of the automated system is to check for configuration values that are invalid in the cache and replace them with updated values from the persistent store. This works well for a transient problem with the cache, but it doesn’t work when the persistent store is invalid.
Today we made a change to the persistent copy of a configuration value that was interpreted as invalid. This meant that every single client saw the invalid value and attempted to fix it. Because the fix involves making a query to a cluster of databases, that cluster was quickly overwhelmed by hundreds of thousands of queries a second.
To make matters worse, every time a client got an error attempting to query one of the databases it interpreted it as an invalid value, and deleted the corresponding cache key. This meant that even after the original problem had been fixed, the stream of queries continued. As long as the databases failed to service some of the requests, they were causing even more requests to themselves. We had entered a feedback loop that didn’t allow the databases to recover.
The way to stop the feedback cycle was quite painful - we had to stop all traffic to this database cluster, which meant turning off the site. Once the databases had recovered and the root cause had been fixed, we slowly allowed more people back onto the site.
This got the site back up and running today, and for now we’ve turned off the system that attempts to correct configuration values. We’re exploring new designs for this configuration system following design patterns of other systems at Facebook that deal more gracefully with feedback loops and transient spikes.
We apologize again for the site outage, and we want you to knoknow that we take the performance and reliability of Facebook very seriously."
This was reported by some We site on the Internet, and it is interesting that all this rapport and complaints came from Tweeter users, and I was amazed days later that Facebook denied that their Page failed. The following is a smattering of the comments that I managed to capture:
Facebook Users Comments, Using their Tweeter Accounts:
Qadriyah Sufi STILL NOT WORKING says " this page cannot be loaded fight now. try again.
January 9 at 12:59pm · Like · 1
Gail Gurchak 11pm 1/9 still won't load
January 9 at 11:05pm · Like
Donna Hayes Facebook not working.
January 10 at 12:29pm · Like
Pamela Coleburn Still not working for me.
January 11 at 11:32am · Like
Al DiRaffaele Facebook is a mess for a few days now... Flickering and now not responding at all...
January 11 at 3:45pm · Like
Amy Hall Haines My fb is working again since last night . Why does it keep doing this? Please fix
January 12 at 7:37am · Like
Rissa Haze if its not working then how are use commenting on this haha
January 13 at 5:32am · Like · 1
Jane Tumminelli This is Google not FB. Anyway. I can't get ANYTHING on FB
January 13 at 5:27pm · Like
Suki Mill My FB had loading issues. Now it is on "super maginification" and not loading properly which has rendered it completely useless. I hope they fix this because it is bad. Really bad.
January 16 at 1:58am · Like
Wendy Lawson Is Facebook down atm
January 16 at 7:05am · Like
Mac Macdonald 1535 here in England Facebook is still down!
January 16 at 10:38am · Like
Kammy Scott Still not working..
January 16 at 3:22pm · Like
Caroline Ashcroft That' great, but it still doesn't work. Any other thoughts?
January 17 at 7:31pm · Like
Pam Winston Still down in illinois
January 17 at 8:43pm · Like
Bob Little Still down south west Florida
January 17 at 10:03pm · Like
Robin Kerei Will I've been of fb since this afternoon and still of now I don't want to receive notification thru SMS because
I dont know how to get sms
January 18 at 3:05am · Like
Peggy Riggs Seriously no back up plan?
January 18 at 5:29pm · Like
Tammy Crawford-Staffon this happens everyday.Just figure it out and fix it.
January 18 at 5:33pm · Like
Gail Fredlund Down all day on my cell phone & still down.
January 19 at 7:02pm · Like
Joseph Turner Wow, people sure get upset over a free service going down for a while. Or are they mad that they had to participate in real life for a few hours?
January 20 at 12:52pm · Like · 6
Shirley Gilliam This is 4 days fb is down.
Please get it back up
January 21 at 11:33am · Like
Darren Mullin Whats going on with Facebook today
January 21 at 4:51pm · Like
Susan Irvin Still can't access Facebook from my iPhone 6 app.
January 22 at 7:49pm · Like
Liz Watson My Facebook still down. Frustrating....
January 23 at 1:45am · Like
Keith Piper Still got problems with my main account. SORT IT OUT FACEBOOK!!
January 24 at 1:23pm · Like
Barbara Tindall Mine has been down for 2 days. What the heck.and these guys get paid the big bucks . Go figure!
January 24 at 4:30pm · Like
Aya Newton-Turner My timeline is gone - been down all day. I can see messages and that people are leaving comments but I have nothing but a blank page and if I click on the comment to read it, it goes to a blank page. BOO!
January 24 at 4:54pm · Like · 1
Tapas Mishra awesome explanation
January 25 at 12:41pm · Like
Angela Ceron what the matter with fb today
19 hrs · Like · 1
Dianne Williams Face book not working
36 mins · Like
Belinda Zamarripa What is going on with Facebook??? Cannot log in. Keeps saying server timed out.
35 mins · Like
Linda Howard well its 27th jan here and F/book is Down Again. NOT good enough !!!!
33 mins · Like
Ellen Agnew this sucks, fb down in Victoria, Australia. Really needed a bleat, but can't
33 mins · Like
Linda Howard Some one has Stuffed Up Something !!
32 mins · Like
Anca Teo in Italy the same problem....
32 mins · Like
Debbie Cochran 9:15 pm Hawaii ... not loading
31 mins · Like
Daniella Lodewyks Facebook is down why?
30 mins · Like
Kartina Ashe Facebook is down everywhere! The whole world is experiencing this.
29 mins · Like · 2
Tiffney LaShae Workman Its down in Tennessee too
23 mins · Like
Tiffney LaShae Workman WTF!!!
22 mins · Like
Fiona Osoba What a way to get back into facebook! What Happened???
20 mins · Like
Joe Ayers It's up in Ohio now
19 mins · Like
18 mins · Like
Mahender Singh working in my city
15 mins · Like
Jhanz Pacis Selvio i cant live without facebook
14 mins · Like
Tobias Hartman How have people been able to comment her if facebook was down. Some say this concersation has initially been had over google... I don't believe facebook would ever allow that to happen... besides it seems like a technical impossibility to then quitly move the thread back to facebook... Can anybody add something here?
12 mins · Like
Mike Wheeler blame russians lol
10 mins · Like
Marissa Diamond Engage in life for anew hour or two, people..... relax. It's just an app, not the end of the world. Gee
5 mins · Like
Ixwa: It's inteesting to see how we are all addicted, and I wrote a Blog on 'Facebook Addiction", and this is going to add to the relevance and correctness of my Blog.. Especially the comments of the Users.. This is Priceless, for me...
3 mins · Like
Ixwa: Oh! Facebook is back.. Can you Beat that.. Shit.. I have a lot of material to work with to edify my blog ... Yeahhh!!!!
1 min · Like
Imbibing The Dependnecy Of Facebook
Addictive Facebook Social Media
The emergence of social media through mediums like Facebook and Twitter is another new world and environment that has heretofore not been seen nor experienced. The dependnency on these forums is quite gripping and overwhelming. These ways and means of communicating, interconnectivity consume people's whole being, body and soul. When Facebook fell, there were some serious tremors and forbidding sense of loss and helplessness. One need read the comments from a site that posted above from these Twitter reactions to the closing or failing of Facebook, to begin to understand why this Hub is about Facebook addiction and dependnecy on Facebook, Twitter and such like media, with people not having any plan B to resort to if these were ever to no longer exist.
I wrote the Hub above when I was already a few years on Face, and at one time got thrown out of Facebook for not using it as Zuckerberg wanted it to be used like. Ofcourse, there was the Stock Market to consider, for him, so I was not providing enough Data to be bought and sold to the Public Relations firms which feed and make their income/profit on the information they can cull from our Facebook Profiles and Participation. Also, my participation on Facebook was such that it did not interest what I call the Facebook Police, in all their forms and manifestations, that they threw me out. I went back by creating a new accunt, and now, it has come to my attention, after a few more years on Facebook that it has not gotten any better. Yume Tenshi wrote the following article:
The real dangers of Facebook - Facebook Addiction
Facebook is definitely the world's largest social network with more than 500 million users. We all know that Facebook was started to assist us in keeping contact with friends; help us make new friends; keep an online diary; even enabling us to own virtual pets/[today it is virtual lovers], and start a quaint little farm on Farmville - that's only naming a few online activities that Facebook has given us!
The sad thing is that there is also a darker side to what is arguably the most popular social network. Meet Facebook addiction. There are some people who can no longer function "normally" without Facebook. For them life is complex and stressful when cut-off from their virtual life. Are you a Facebook addict? Do you know somebody addicted to Facebook? Or are you simply curious, and cautious, about the dangers of Facebook? Allow us then to welcome you to the dark side of social networks. Today you will learn about Facebook and the addiction that it has become.
Facebook is addictive!
Meeting the Facebook Addict
All around us we see them.
They walk with their "smart" phones in the hand and at the slightest sound from the phone they bow their heads eagerly in reverence to see what is happening - the rest of the world around them, forgotten. They are also to be found in the office, in front of their computers, countless windows and tabs open in the background while they are busy "doing work". Every now and then a little message pops up and everything gets dropped (that important assignment, closing that deal, or - writing this article), because now they will need to think of a clever, witty or cute answer and it must be typed out quickly!
But what causes this Facebook addiction?
A few reasons why Facebook is so popular.
Nearly all of the clever people would agree that the most important thing about Facebook is its seemingly effortless ability to make us feel important and connected. It does add to our self-worth, doesn't it?
The Facebook profile has become the perfect way to inform the world about who you are, your interests and thoughts. The user is allowed, in fact - encouraged, to constantly talk about him- or her, without being branded as narcissistic. Every single message, post or reaction that you receive makes you feel important, valued and a little famous.
There is also the need to know what is going on in your world. Facebook even makes it possible to know a little too much, without making you feel like you are being nosey.
The idea that you can look at other people's photos, and eventually spy on them without them ever knowing it is really exciting! This has become so common that there's even a term for it: "Facebook stalker"
Facebook has also made it possible to make contact with, and keep in contact with people. For those who are simply too busy, or too shy, to keep contact with old friends can do it easily now on Facebook. Or, you can even meet new people on Facebook, something which takes a lot of time and effort to do outside the virtual world.
The most important reason why Facebook is so addictive: The illusion that Facebook destroys loneliness with the click of a button. This is especially true now with Facebook available on every mobile device. You can take your "friends" with you, anywhere you go, and they will always be a push of the button away.
The Facebook addiction hype?
Do you remember this?
There are a third group of people that believes Facebook addiction, and internet addiction for that matter, is nothing more than a little social hype that we should ignore. They fondly remind us of other similar addiction-scares we had in the past. Remember how scared we all were of the dreaded TV addiction? What about the cellphone addiction? All is well and fine to think that we are doomed to repeat history, but a quick glance at the statistics reveals an entirely different story.
Others don't even try to hide it anymore. Their computers are focused on Facebook the whole day, that magnificent virtual world where you have hundreds of virtual friends. That little online community where you get an immediate reaction to every modest, yet clever thing you spray-paint, write or post on your wall.
To reiterate, if you are so busy in your virtual life that you forget about your real life, if you spend even more and more time online, and start to neglect yourself and the people around you - then, it is time that you started seriously thinking twice about Facebook.
Even though it is not yet a recognizable medical term, psychologists worldwide agrees that there is definitely something like internet addiction and that it is an ever increasing problem because the eventual outcome can lead to withdrawal symptoms and the destruction of any and all relationships with the real people around you. Of all the possible internet addictions, Facebook addiction is probably the worst.
The Extension of the Eye and New Ways of Seeing And Looking
The Transformation and Extension of Man By Technology
I see myself and behavior in the article above becasue I use the computer to write articles, and I use Facebook to evaluate some of my article's paragraph and post them piece by peice and observe the reaction and comments, and in the end add them to the articles that I have already written, or have begun cowrite. so, I do have Facebook open, Twitter, less so, and the The Web, for resrch articles and photos and other research related mateters and material.
I do not really own a cell phone, and I depend on my old-style house land-line phone. I take off weeks at a time and do my Hub editing, composing new ones, and adding or developing some themes within my Hubs.This, partly helps me not totally depend on Facebook and seek some of it's cheap thrills and instant gratification of whatever emotion, intellectual and or whatever need my need to be satisfied. It is true, Facebook has colonized and ursuped our way of communication, with that,it has incarcerated our whole being and souls, that many of us, if I am going to repeat tis, the reader can read the Twittr pposts above, areenamoured and totally hooked-on-Facebookcompletely and totally.
The whole Hub does not pretend to be the end-all about this subject, but touvhing up on it, has given me lessons about the ways and means of communication today, the effect and affects of the constantly emerging, merging and interconnecting gizmos-what that actually means/portends to us and for us. The picture, thus far, is not rosy. Yume Tanshi above gives us the darker side of Facebook. I really do not see much of the broghter sie too. The wyay many people, specifically, my African brothers and sisters in south Africa, is something to pause and think about it. Mnay of my people have not yet been able to figure the very seriously deep role played by Media Communications onto our lives.
Our dependency and need for all types and kinds of validation and self-fulfilment that has been taken over on our lives and bodies, by Facebook, based on what Yume is talking, it is important to look at oneself and what one is reeally doing or up to not up to on this scoial network Some of my people in Mzatnsi are averse to this new ways and means of communcation and media access and usage; for others the gadgets serve as a status symbol, even though many never ever get to figure the full berth and breadth of what these new telephonic and internet spewing machines can do or are capable of. This is serious, because then, amy are on Facebook, others are in politics, others affairs, amny showing off thier life-styles, amny talking sweet-nothing-types like me who post some articles and thought-provoking photos, opens, African art, Phots of NASA's Universal through The Hubble and newly launched telescope, are just an anomaly, who, from my own experience, are liked to be used and have one's material stolen and disliked for my self-application on these medium,which is mainly to educate, and also experiment on writing and response of those that read and see the article in order to ascertain the article's worth and strengths.
Ruskoff and many contemporary mediologists are working on elaborating the strange phenomena, and Rushkoff, a great Media technology writer, has himself writtenthat he has left Facebook, and this is from some of the things I have already tried to talk about in, and the causes of addiction by Facebbok on its users and participants. Our behavior has been forever altered. As the article above points out, the way people behave from beeps, and clings, and all the ways and means these gadgets get our attention, I have seen many people oblivious about their surroundings. Many have been crashed by bikes, cars, fell in manholes and so forth becasue they were oogling at their phone, and not where they are going. People can no longer retain things in the mind for all can be plied/stored into their iPhones, IPads, and so forth. so that, what used to be people silently walking by, it is people, now chating, pratlling, eyeing their phones, Kindle books, and playing hand-held games, etc., that tis has now become a completely mediarized and technologized society and humanity. This is true, today.
A New Human Species Means An Emerging New Web Consciousness
We are informed by Jean Houston that:
Going mythic on the net
Our technologies give us our frames of mind. The printing press and the print culture made us linear, somewhat abstracted, and fond of a certain uniformity and repeatability of things. We left the village commons where once we heard and squabbled over the news and took our newspapers to brood inside the house. But now, net technology is restoring us to the more ancient and organic principles of discontinuity, simultaneity, and multiple associations. We now look for flow patterns rather than serial cause-effect explanations. Resonance has become more important than relevance, and we are starting to believe that reality is a tissue of interrelated stories. Cyberspace is changing our worldview. Discreet forms break down, and everything is known to be linked.
Moreover, the Internet is remaking human culture. Today, a new and very complex culture is growing up along the Internet's great river of electronic information. The Net world is a second universe, a kingdom in our midst, with sights and sounds, landscapes and knowledge-scapes, markets and amusements, romances and resources – many of which have never before been seen on Earth. It burgeons forth, this global Village of villages, gaining each hour more and more inhabitants, who live and move and have their being in a world which is nowhere and yet everywhere.
We who inhabit the Internet's virtual outposts are fast evolving into new kinds of beings, our neural system and sensory receptors extended through space and time. Psychologies that have endured for millennia are passing away in a few hundred months. In response, the human psyche itself is expanding – even, I believe, being remade. This dance of metamorphosis is reciprocal; the Internet is changing us, even as we refine the technology that extends its reach.
Philosopher and cultural historian Jean Houston, sees the internet as a place where a new species intelligence is being born. I as the author of this Hub, sees what Jean is talking about as a new Web consciousness.
Twitter, in particular, represents a compelling resource because it has become a kind of “central nervous system” of the Internet, connecting policymakers, ...
Hashtagcommoncore infroms us:
The Common Core has become a flashpoint at the nexus of education politics and policy, fueled by ardent social media activists. To explore this phenomenon, this innovative and interactive website examines the Common Core debate through the lens of the influential social media site Twitter. Using a social network perspective that examines the relationships among actors, we focus on the most highly used Twitter hashtag about the Common Core The central question of our investigation is: How are social media-enabled social networks changing the discourse in American politics that produces and sustains social policy?
A major theme of this project is that networks exist everywhere, in both the physical and social worlds. While physical networks are more readily visible, social networks influence the information we receive and operate simultaneously at different strata in peoples’ personal, professional, and communal lives. Social network analysis makes heretofore-invisible relationship networks more readily apparent, and Twitter provides a bounded structure which facilitates an analysis of the communication pathways about important topics like the Common Core. In this act we introduce our dataset, examine the giant network formed on Twitter, identify three structural communities that emerge from of the network, and introduce two types of influential twitter actors, transmitters and transceivers.
At the heart of hashtagcommoncoreare a set of influential actors that carry tremendous sway in the social network. In this act we introduce you to the actors who make up three very different types of social network influencers: transmitters, transceivers, and transcenders. Transmitters are those who disseminate lots of tweets using hashtagcommoncore. Transceivers are those with a different kind of influence – those whose messages are retweeted and/or are mentioned frequently by others in the network. Transcenders are a small yet highly influential group—those users who are present in the elite levels of both the transmitter and transceiver group.
Twitter users have become quite adept at packing a punch into their 140 character tweets. In this act, we delve into both the form and content of the messages of the elite actors in the hashtagcommoncore network. We conduct a close examination of the content their tweets, the references they make to education topics and political/policy issues, differences between the factions in the type of language they use, and the metaphors different actors employ. In doing so, we comment on both the liberating and constraining consequences of the chatter, which often blurs the distinction between facts and misinformation.
What motivates different actors to participate in the Common Core debate on Twitter? In this act we present short audio interviews with a small but diverse set of participants in the hastagcommoncore network. These podcasts allow users to explain in their own words their interests, motivations, and positions on the Common Core and how Twitter is facilitating their participation in the public debate.
The Big Takeaways
This project is an exploration of the ways in which the networks enhanced by social media are changing the discourse that shapes the political and policy-making environment. By analyzing hashtagcommoncore Twitter communications, we have taken both a macro and micro view of the structural communities, their members, and their conversations about the Common Core Standards movement. In the epilogue, the project’s authors use their distinct perspectives to interpret the trends in the data and distill the important lessons for participants, educators, and policymakers.
As the technologies, techniques and gizmos morph, evlove and transform themselves, and us in the process, our consicousness is affected and effected by Cyber Consciousness.
Greg Egan informs us:
Schroedinger's Cat has to be the most celebrated creature in the bestiary of science, and the paradox it proposes is perhaps the most complex in our understanding of consciousness and reality. It describes the problem of measurement at the quantum level of reality, the level of subatomic particles, atoms and molecules.This gruesome thought experiment involves a black box containing a cat and radioactive material positioned so as to trigger the cat's death if the particle decays. The process is quantum mechanical and so the decay can only be predicted in a probabilistic sense.
The whole boxed system is described by a wavefunction which involves a combination of the two possible states that the cat can be in; according to quantum theory the cat is both dead and alive, until we observe or measured it, at which point the wavefunction collapses and the cat will be seen to be in either one state or the other.
And just as the electron is neither a wave nor a particle until a measurement is made on it, so the cat is neither dead nor alive until we get to take a look at it. We are dealing here with observer-created reality. To look is to have the system jump from a both/and situation to an either/or outcome, the quantum jump producing what is known as the eigenstate. But there is no agreement amongst physicists about precisely where, in the chain of events in this wavefunction collapse, the measurement result is ultimately registered.
Greg Egan places the point of collapse, the point at which reality is created, right in the brain. By proposing a technology which could be inserted in the brain to modify this eigenstate effect, to block it and thereby prevent the collapse of the wave function, his scenario gives a post-biological context to the idea that reality is constructed.
Egan speaks the language of the coming decade. His 1990's science fiction addresses issues of the neuro-cognitive sciences with the prescience that William Gibson showed towards computer communication developments in the 1980s. And just as Gibson's Neuromancer correctly identified cyberspace as an important cultural construct of the late 20th century, so Egan's Quarantine identifies the issues likely to preoccupy us at the turn of the millennium.
The question of consciousness, the technology of consciousness, the transcendence of consciousness will be the themes of 21st century life. Fundamental to this evolution is the development of a telematic art in the cybersphere, and fundamental to that art are the experiments, concepts, dreams and audacity of artists working today with telecommunications systems and services.
Questions of consciousness and the construction of reality are at the centre of any discussion of the status, role and potential of art in the emerging cyberculture. The fundamental question is this: Can an art which is concerned, as western art has always been, with appearance, with the look of things, with surface reality, have any relevance in our systems-based culture in which apparition, emergence, transformation are seminal? Can Representation co-exist with Constructivism?
It is the overarching concern with appearance and with representation which has hitherto characterised western art and which has made it the servant of ideologies, of both church and state. It is its concern with appearance which has kept it in line with classical science, looking no further into things than their outward forms allow, making of the world a clockwork machine of parts whose movements are regulated by rigid determinism, and seeing Man as little more than a material object.
It is the art of appearance which is purveyed in boutiques, galleries, museums and on the pages of chic art magazines. It is International Art. And it is dying. It is dying because it is no longer relevant to a culture which is progressively concerned with the complexity of relationships and subtlety of systems, with the invisible and immaterial, the evolutive and the evanescent, in short, with apparition. Questions of representation no longer interest us. We find no value in representation, just as we find no value in political ideologies. We do not wish to keep up appearances.
The telecommunications of cyberspace, on the other hand, offer the contemporary artist the means of interaction (both his own and that of the viewing subject) with dynamic systems, with creativity-in-process, with the emergent properties of an art of transformation, growth and change. It is for this reason also that the narratives and technology of Artificial Life are so important to us at this time.
Cyberspace is the space of apparition, in which the virtual and real not only co-exist, but co-evolve in a cultural complexity . Apparition implies action just as Appearance implies inertia, Apparition is about the coming-into-being of new identity, which is often at first unexpected, surprising, disturbing.
If appearance is claimed as the face of reality, of things-as-they-are, apparition is the emergence of things-as-they-could-be. However, our insight into the ways in which reality is constructed in our consciousness, leaves us in no doubt that the processes of apparition are authentic and that appearance is a fraud. Representation in art was always essentially mendacious, illusory, and counterfeit. The mirror always lies.
More and more artists now take global networks, virtual reality, high speed computing for granted. These technologies are no longer seen as simply tools for art, they now constitute the very environment within which art is developing. Given this increasing familiarity, artistic questions now are not so much concerned with these dataworlds per se but with the interface between them, between us, between our own minds and that larger field of consciousness we call the world.
Whether or not Egan's fictive brain modifier gets to be developed, the fact is that our technologies of perception, cognition, and communication - the interface to the complex computer systems that both mediate our consciousness and construct our reality - are moving closer and closer to the body and into the brain.
Just as the keyboard and mouse are being consigned to history, so too will the Head Mounted Display, the DataGlove, even the datasuit soon be consigned to the museum. Conceptually, they already are. We want the systems interface set within our brain. We want the boundaries between "natural" and "artificial" to be as redundant technologically as they are becoming conceptually and spiritually. This is to talk about the post-biological body as interface.
Progressively, we artists want to be creative in cyberspace by controlling computer-mediated systems through biological input sensors and biocontrollers in our own nervous system responding directly to signals from the brain, eye and muscles.
However, while the advent of neural interfacing will certainly have enormous consequences for the development of art in the Net, and as much as it fascinates our speculative nature, it is not the most fundamental question at present for artists in the cyberculture.
More important to us now is the conceptual implications of the shift taking place in art from appearance to apparition, from object to process. Art, which was previously so concerned with a finite product, a composed and ordered outcome, an aesthetic finality, a resolution or conclusion, reflecting a ready-made reality, is now moving towards a fundamental concern with processes of emergence and of coming-into-being.
This raises critical, theoretical, and aesthetic questions which we can no longer avoid. In an important sense the issue is political, it concerns as much the democratisation of meaning as the democratisation of communications, that is to say a shared participation in the creation and ownership of reality.
The revolution in art which prompts these questions lies in the radically new role of the artist. Instead of creating, expressing, or transmitting content, he is now involved in designing context: contexts within which the observer or viewer can construct experience and meaning.
The skill in this, the insight, sensibility, feeling and intelligence required to design such contexts is no less than that demanded of the artist in classical, orthodox art. But the outcome is radically different. Connectivity, interaction and emergence are now the watchwords of artistic culture. The observer of art is now in the centre of the creative process not at the periphery looking in.
Art is no longer a window onto the world but a doorway through which the observer is invited to enter into a world of interaction and transformation. The importance of telematic networks, of the inherent connectivity of cyberspace, in all of this, cannot be overestimated. These ubiquitous networks are themselves undergoing significant augmentation with the capacity and speed now available in the so-called 'dark' fibre, as George Gilder explains:
"Fibre comes in threads, as thin as a human hair, as long as the British Isles, fed by lasers as small as a grain of salt and as bright as the sun. A single fibre thread can potentially hold all the telephone calls in the United States at a peak moment of Mother's Day.
Fibre is not really a replacement for copper (wires) ...it's a replacement for air. Dark fibre, lit with different colours for different protocols, will deliver one thousand times our present total broadcasting capacity.
The recently developed Erbium Doped Amplifier which will send an infinity of messages through glass on wings of light, is the communications engineer's Holy Grail - the dream communications system, capable of communicating over vast distances with huge information capacity."
So, dark fibre, boxed cats and biocontrollers are directly relevant to the development of art in the cyberculture, this domain of apparition in which natural intelligence and artificial life can interact creatively. Whatever the dominant media, whether electronic, optical, or genetic, the art of the cyberculture is generically interactive.
This interactive art is characterised by a systems approach to creation, in which interactivity and connectivity are the essential features, such that the behaviour of the system (the artwork, network, product or building) is responsive in important ways to the behaviour of its user (the viewer or consumer).
More than simply responsive, it constitutes a structural coupling between everyone and everything within the Net. This kind of work is inherently cybernetic and typically constitutes an open-ended system whose transformative potential enables the user to be actively involved in the evolution of its content, form or structure.