Un-symposium Notes

  • Getting other people to contribute to your corporation eg. apps. in order to create more revenue
  • Open, universal and hopefully free- the web
  • Doesn’t seem like a cause that would benefit from being monetized
  • Free exchange of knowledge- anything that gets in the way
  • Patent trolls
  • Internet has a strong hippie background/ culture
  • Grateful Dead- rock band that allowed fans to record concerts and bootleg it, they had no concern with copyright etc.
  • Gift economy- freely donate stuff with no assumption of getting something in return
  • Every single protocol established on the web is owned by nobody
  • Protocols are public
  • Manners are a social protocol- no one owns them
  • Protocols are not private or ownable in the sense of property
  • Wikipedia- example of gift economy, entries done for free
  • Amazing resources that people can act for free
  • Building services that let people do these things rather than just producing the content
  • Freely donate information to Facebook- Facebook make billions and we don’t get a cent
  • Internet- distributed network
  • Unique network
  • If protocol was centralized and hierarchic it would fail
  • Everything is flat, equally far apart
  • I can send an email straight to David Bordwell, don’t have to go through his agent etc
  • Internet came out of academia
  • Facebook- harvest everything they know about you and sell it to advertising
  • RFC- request for comments
  • Anybody can respond and comment on an RFC
  • We want a new protocol that would….. this is how it should be implemented…. this is why
  • Radically different model to everything else
  • Overlap between old forms and more recent ones
  • Participatory culture- flourished through social media, real practices
  • Collaborative practices
  • Re-shaping of old forms in new contexts- this is a continual process
  • Physical books still exist even though there are E-Books everywhere, cross over, the co-exist
  • Restructuring old forms rather than replacing them
  • Internalize sense that someone could be watching you, monitoring your own behavior eg. commenting on Facebook

Court Report

A Ferntree Gully labourer found employment at a winery after being charged with drink driving twice in the past ten years. Lyndon Burgess was granted his license without restrictions yesterday at the Ringwood Magistrate’s Court, after having an interlock system in his car for six months. Mr Burgess said his drinking habits had improved and he was now only drinking once a week. “I was drinking four to five times a week, but I feel much better in the mornings now,” he said. When asked if he would be tempted to drink on the job, he said he “hated the stuff”. The Magistrate said he was the “perfect employee” for a winery. In another drink driving case heard on the same day, a 25-year-old Colston man was given a 6-month interlock period after driving with over 20 standard drinks in his system. Mr Mason’s license was disqualified for two years and since he has undergone counselling sessions with his GP. Mr Mason said he was now down to drinking 1-2 drinks a week. The Magistrate said in an interview with the police on the 11th of September, Mr Mason said he was still drinking 2 stubbies every night. Mr Mason said he was “taking slow steps” and had in reality had five beers last week. Mr Mason waited until two years after the application date to apply for his license because he had and intensive correction order and $2,500 to pay. Mr Mason said he bought himself a personal breathalyser and knew that if “you drink and drive, you’re a bloody idiot.” “It is time for me to grow up, I have seen too many friends die from alcohol abuse,” he said. “I watched a video about drink driving where a man went through an intersection and killed a child, that could have been me.” Mr Mason was ordered to have an interlock system installed into his car for a period of six months.

Actor-Network Theory

To remain at this very intuitive level, ANT is a simple material resistance
argument. Strenght does not come from concentration, purity and unity, but
from dissemination, heterogeneity and the careful plaiting of weak ties.

The reading for this week on actor-network theory was extremely complex and confusing I found, but then again I find that with a lot of the readings.
So to help me out, I found this:

It is a video on actor-network theory in plain english!
Enjoy, it helped me a lot!

Basically I took away that it is difficult to separate a material thing from a human technique/interaction with the "actor" or material thing

Week 10 Notes

  • Facebook photos compiled- All the faces of facebook
  • Coles/Myer card- can generate data
  • Shopping preferences, annual income
  • Hubble Telescope- visualization of galaxies, natural networks
  • How networks develop
  • Search engines- Yahoo to Google, what made Google so huge & connected
  • Preferential attachment- blogs you would prefer to link to eg. you like them, they are authoritative
  • Some things get more links than others, therefore we get hubs
  • Hubs- weak connections
  • Small world network- easy to get from one part of the network to another seemingly unrelated part
  • Can’t predefine network
  • Structure predefines content on TV
  • Kevin Bacon is a hub- The Oracle of Bacon
  • Walkman originally made to be listened to by 2 people, Sony changed it
  • SMS designed as business function
  • Writing has changed everything
  • Store info for later
  • 1st iPod cost 4 times the price of mp3 players now
  • “1000 songs in your pocket”
  • Apple is a media publishing company
  • Apple= world’s largest media company
  • Non-negotiables eg. rectangular film, rhyming
  • Social shaping of technology
  • Technological determinism
  • Technique is required when you have technology
  • Techniques are consequences/ responses to technology
  • Technology sometimes used in ways that are unprecedented
  • Technology does not mean computers
  • Archival system is technology?
  • Way you use it is a technique
  • Post-humanist…..


Databases are something that I personally have a lot of experience with. Doing temporary work for a marketing company I see a lot of them. At the moment I am working with a Database program called FileMaker for my neighbor. It is a lot more high-tech than a simple Excel spreadsheet.. In fact sometimes I feel like it’s doing half the work for me.

I have never before considered as Lev Manovich does in this week’s reading, that many things in the modern world are organised as a database. I have always just associated the word with my impatience whilst staring at a computer screen merging data. I find it interesting that a CD could be considered a database of sorts, but it does make sense as it is a collection of songs which could be considered data. A coffee table photo book could even be considered a database in some concerns as it is a collection of photographs of a similar nature.



On Creating Nikis..

To be one hundred per cent honest I have not really enjoyed the process of creating Nikis. I have found it difficult working in different groups every three weeks because you just get to know your group members and then you are changed up. With some people I felt like at the end of our three weeks we worked really well together and I would have loved to have worked with them more. Perhaps if next time the groups do two wiki entries over six weeks before changing people would work much more productively.

I also found the process of making Nikis strange, as it didn’t seem to be very productive. I learnt a bit about some things such as RSS and IMAP but at this point it doesn’t seem to me like my newly gained knowledge is going to get me very far. With the practice of writing blogs, I found it much more useful as I found that I developed an authorial voice which I never knew that I had. I think that blog writing is a very handy skill to have when heading out into the workplace, particularly in communications. Creating a Niki in the form of a fictional story or a series of emails seems much less practical to me.

The Benefit of Inversions

Being upside down is a strange sensation; after all, we spend the majority of our life up the ‘right’ way. A lot of people become anxious when approaching an inversion as it is not what they are used to, however it is worth delving into the unknown in this case, as standing on your head can help both your body and your mind. After getting to know the facts, the way we stand all day might not seem like the right way after all.

An inversion is a pose in which you hold your heart higher than your head, for example in Salamba Sarvangasana (shoulder stand) or Halasana (plow pose). These poses help your body to recover from the overwhelming compression of gravity, as well as the tension held from everyday activities. An inversion is advantageous for the cardiovascular, lymphatic, endocrine and nervous systems- basically it’s good for your whole body.

In terms of the cardiovascular system, turning yourself upside down increases the flow of fresh blood to the heart, improving your circulation in a way that aerobic exercise does. Inversions are also said to improve lung tissue quality.

On top of this, we all owe inversions a chance as they improve back pain, which I am sure every single one of us will suffer from at some point, whether it be after sitting at a desk for hours on end, or from other forms of exercise. The spinal cord is the most important part of the body, and by inverting we improve our posture, making the way we sit and stand less stressful on the back.

Inverted poses are also beneficial to the bones. They help to strengthen the ligaments that surround the bones, therefore making them less likely to break.

Inversions are the yogic approach to controlling indigestion, which can cause anxiety and skin disorders, as well as being very uncomfortable. Speaking of uncomfortable, inversions can also help to counteract premenstrual symptoms. When blood circulation is improved, the hormones become balanced to make a person feel light hearted and happier than usual.

For anyone who suffers from sleeping problems, these magical inversions can help with that too. When the mind is at peace and blood is flowing healthily, a person will sleep better. When you are inverted, muscle tension decreases, therefore relaxing the body, making it easier to sleep.

Crazily, inversions are also said to stop people from shrinking, as they grow older. There we go everyone, we don’t have to be tiny, frail and hunched when we get older, and all we have to do to stop it is stand on our head for a few minutes a day!

With the amount of benefits that inversions hold, it’s a wonder we don’t all walk around on our hands rather than our feet all day. Not many people have time for that though, so we can just start with a few minutes hanging out upside down a day to improve our health out of sight.


Culture and Technology

As described in the Potts Murphie Intro for this week’s reading, culture and technology are inextricably linked.

There is no denying that culture has an effect on the advances of technology and that technology changes aspects of culture. Long before television the Olympics would only be seen by those who attended them and heard about via word of mouth. Nowadays when the Olympics are on it is impossible to escape the coverage- you don’t even have to open a newspaper in the morning and you are already greeted by Olympic victors on the cover.

The reading also uses the example of tourism. Something that nowadays we take for granted but years ago countries, even states, would have been much less linked. Linked physically by boats, trains, planes etc, but also linked in terms of media allowing people to hear about what is happening on the other side of the world.


Is Facebook a Dying Art?

In the symposium this week, Adrian mentioned how he believes that Facebook is on its way out due to the paid advertising system that it works with. His belief is that Amazon has a much better system in that the recommendations given to a user on Amazon actually do relate to their interests and “other users who liked this book also liked this one” sort of organisation.

Personally I don’t think that the paid advertising as recommendations will kill Facebook due to the fact that Facebook is not an online shop, but rather a social media website. I do not use Facebook to go shopping, however if a recommendation comes up on the sidebar I might check it out.. Usually I just ignore them.

I agree that Facebook will have its decline, much like Myspace did, but not due to its recommendation system.. Because of change in trends and because something newer and better will come along and steal everyone’s attention.