Thursday, February 22, 2007

Il n'y a pas de hor

Web 2.0: The Machine is Us/ing US

We’ll need to rethink a few things…
We’ll need to rethink copyright
We’ll need to rethink authorship [This page has 123 words matching your text]
We’ll need to rethink identity
We’ll need to rethink ethics
We’ll need to rethink aesthetics
We’ll need to rethink rhetorics
We’ll need to rethink governance
We’ll need to rethink privacy
We’ll need to rethink commerce
We’ll need to rethink love
We’ll need to rethink family
We’ll need to rethink ourselves.

ksmith on Digital Ethnography has annotated this 'viral' with Mojiti in an attempt to explain it. [Friday 23 Feb] Actually Wesch himself posted his video to Motiji for people to annotate.

Where it has been linked to (vastly, everywhere) there is a tendency for the linker to say Wow! but not much else, which is suspiciously of the species of "This looks fantastic and must be significant but I haven't a clue why.."

Wesch's original plus the transcript can be viewed at Digital Ethnography together with three video responses to it. CoryTheRaven's is the most interesting to me.

While the first few viewings of Wesch's video made me ask if Web 2.0 meant the semantic web, and lead to a long search for answers, which led to a handful of tangential topics, it was Cory's video that got me a thinking again along the lines of a post way back on Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose, where I used his text as an example of how ownership and copywrite in the digital age had a few questions to answer.

There were a few flights of fancy about the author, as I imagined him, constantly slightly altering the text so that anyone copying it and claiming it as their own would be caught out. Or that software would running to achieve the same end.

Reading about the semantic web [ What is the analogue of the sematic web? ] and attempts to bring it about (including Cory Doctorow's critique - SEE also wiki:metacrap) it seemed, even if it is not achievable, the software they are developing for the purpose of creating machine readable meaning, such as OWL (Introduction to OWL, Wiki:Web ontology langauge [OWL], OWL web ontology language [W3C]might be incorporated into word processors. Whatever text is being created is being embedded with code which will create the wherewithall for texts to be automatically compared for content (There is alreadty a raft of plagiarism software which many universities use). The writer of the text will have the ability to link any word to any other words in order to fix into it the meanings he wants, which will help to ensure that even if someone else steals the text, it will not however contain the embedded links. This will require software tricks that keep the metadata and the text separate so that the embedded information is only there at certain times. This might work in much the same way as graphic on a website is merely a set of instructions for where to find it, not the picture itself.


Watching CoryTheRaven writing his reply in longhand (and for it to be filmed in this way) makes one wonder if this is one of the ways people will ensure ownership of their work in the future. Handwriting is distinctive.So are hands. Although there will only be a short window for this before digital images become so life like this will no longer work.

Weird - watching handwriting in video on the web - to have to go through so many stages to do what one could do in one with a piece of paper and a pen.

Maybe if Proust was writing today he'd have a webcam over his shoulder filming every jot, including all the alteration and editing... thousands of hours of digital video filmed over decades, with jaunty talking head asides to camera.

A lesson in viral video
Inside higher education explains what Wesch did and why

What's the social in social software? => Time's person of the Year : You

How does Six Degrees of Separation work?



Visualising online social networks


Why do I think of The Library of Babel ?


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