[LINK] Andrew Keene 'The Cult of the Amateur'
lucychili at gmail.com
Tue Sep 18 21:07:00 EST 2007
On 9/18/07, Jan Whitaker <jwhit at janwhitaker.com> wrote:
> Did any linkers see the New Hour on Tuesday where Andrew Keene talked
> about his views on the Internet? I wasn't listening closely until the
> end when he said one of the problems was the anonymous participation
> on the net, and that that has contributed to incivility.
> I disagree. I think anonymity has its place. If one wants to say
> something intentionally provocative without revealing one's identity,
> shouldn't that be allowed? In times when governments are accusing
> people of 'thought crimes' when people disagree with the powerful,
> isn't anonymity a requirement, similar to the publications in
> revolutionary times in the American colonies?
I think Keene is hanging onto a business model and speaking from the
perspective of the products he identifies with. His comments seem to
be binary and do not look at flex change skill adaptation to other
I see the participative spaces as opportunities to explore new skills,
adaptations and to discover flex in our systems to enable them to be
responsive at the application end and innovative in practical and
locally sensitive ways.
That is me speaking from the perspective of someone who identifies
with the potential for other business models based on new technologies
and ways of participating.
- If audience is not defined by a fence then scope of projects is a
function of focus.
- If authors are a diffuse community there are interesting challenges
around value, alternatives to the single point model offered by
- If authors are a diffuse community who value participation then
business is not built around restriction.
- If signal and noise are not edited by an agent but by the community
around an idea of fit for purpose then quality is achieved through
good identification of the project, effective use of criteria and
process and skill development rather than
more broadcast oriented selection of perspectives.
- If everyone can hear everything then listening and civil inattention
are also skills. Much like high density living. If there is a
correlation between privacy, anonymity and freedom then we need to
develop policy around those ideas. If freedom is not dependent on
privacy then it is built on people's right to differ and policy needs
to be firm around those ideas. I needs to be real and supported.
Technology makes it possible for more centralised control and generic decisions.
Ecology and community are already impacted by this kind of thinking.
I feel it is abstracted to the point of disfunction.
Lessig describes this as government being able to hear 'as money would tell it'.
Specific kinds of value are audible. Specific kinds of entities are audible.
Much of the important stuff requires a more mediated and negotiated
understanding which cannot be transacted in abstracted generic terms.
It feels like an important time for groups like ACCC to step up to the
mark and think strategically and constructively about information
technology individuals and society. Consumer choice, consumer
control, ideas around ownership of the things we purchase and 'peace
of our posessions' and right to participate.
This doesnt mean taking Google to court. It means looking at the
impact of centrally controlled data as a systemic problem regardless
of brand name.
Perhaps more distributed models for people to manage data about
themselves need to be explored or personal control of how that
information is used needs to be a prerequisite for collection.
Clarity and support from our representatives in community and state
organisations would help to clarify ground rules for alternative
models which serve the consumer before the vendor. This is good for
governments as well as for individuals but perhaps tackling these
questions from a human perspective will help to make that more self
Google's aggregation of data is a symptom of a state of play wrt
capital, information, technology and nations/communities. Who would we
like to be?
How do we want to craft it? What does community look like? What
characteristics of systems make good freedom, collaboration, signal,
participation as well as good business. Those are the things I think
are interesting and exciting.
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