Ted Nelson is a prodigious computing talent, we’ll probably talk more about him when the time comes, but Stefan’s connection to Burroughs is very relevant. Not sure they knew each other, but Nelson would certainly know of Burrough’s writing and both are very strong connections to San Fran counter culture politics. Mia is impressed by Nelson’s prescience. You should be. He’s still arguing that the Web is broken and the wrong idea. Kiralee is less sure, though in relation to libraries, they’re no longer book centred (that happened about 15 years ago), I don’t think the degree is even called librarianship or similar anymore, (found one, but has to be done with ‘corporate information management’), and while books on paper remain a declining delivery format, no one, and I mean no one (aside from artists) uses anything but electronic media to write, edit, design and print a book. The only time it isn’t digital is at the end. Xanadu and yes, not so very long ago the Internet was only science fiction. Carli makes a nice connection between Ted Nelson and Doug Englebart (they were friends, and Nelson’s eulogy for Englebart is justly famous), and yes, there is a deep passion to make things better here. Ellen on Clouds, Olivia Newton John (yes there’s a connection), and what could have been. Louisa is also impressed, and yes, the idea of neural nets was present to Nelson in his conception of hypertext (a term he invented – along with thinkertoy, intertwingled, transclusion). Cassandra meanwhile discovers the joy of intertwingle (as I said in the symposium on network literacy, things don’t live in boxes, it’s all just soupy stuff that some temporary patterns are made in), and the possibilities and strange difference that hypertext could really offer (if only we stopped trying to make it like books).

More Law Things

My favourite copyright issue of the moment is the legal case between Wikimedia and a photographer about a selfie taken by a crested black macaque monkey. Wikimedia says copyright resides with the maker, in this case the monkey, the professional photographer (who owned the camera). There’s a good legal discussion here. Ashleigh meanwhile notes that this is a big area, and (I’d add as several political candidates have just found out) what you say online stays, and if it isn’t nice it will come back to you. In tis case it is a football club sponsor – someone who once upon a time a club would bow to. Monique on having her stuff stolen online (so yes you might think it a hassle, but it protects you).

Seonaid learns that if you repeat something defamatory then thats defamation too. Yes, it is all about publication. Me saying something to you that is defamatory about Bill is not defamation, but as soon as someone else hears, reads, knows about it, and knows who we’re talking about, then the private conversation is no more. And as we all know, if you want a private conversation you don’t publish it anywhere online… Evelyn has a nice think-out-loud post about ideas, and how you can’t ‘own’ them. No you can’t, and in relation to legal stuff you can’t copyright an idea, you can legally protect how you do something (that is patent law), the things you make (copyright), but not the ideas themselves. Mia muses about the differences between copying and embedding. These are good questions as the difference between copying and embedding is important. When you embed the media is coming from where it lives, and if people let or allow embedding there is an implicit permission that you can. This is very different to making your own copy of the work and putting it somewhere else, and is one of the technical things of the Web that we no longer even notice.

Laura has a blog scenario. No, Bob isn’t in trouble. Research, criticism, opinion are all fine. Even posting something mildly offensive is ok online as you have to go and find it to see it. The issues about offensive behaviour I described are more to do with school, work, and so on, where you don’t have the opportunity to just not go and look at it.


Monique thinking about RSS, weaving, giving, taking, and what network literacy might be. Amy on the social aspects of network literacy. Nethaniel also picks up the social parts of network literacy, which is interesting, perhaps because for me that’s a given and what isn’t visible is how the technology enables, or even drives, this? Seonaid likes the participatory nature of network literacy, and Samuel has two key takeaways. Louisa wonders about what might be list from the analogue world, and marvels at the new wonders of the networked thing we have.

Loops, Learning, The Whole Damn Mess

Antoine uses the example of a recent social advocacy campaign to illustrate single and double loop learning and mental maps. Amy enjoyed it but wonders why. One answer is that heritage media is stuck in single loop responses to the internet, so they rely on repeating the same things, laws, ideas, over and over again, as a response to something new. It is clear this old way isn’t working, so the double loop reply would be to…? (And no, not to keep doing more of the same.) Ditto with how many of you will approach computers etc. Do something, it doesn’t work, repeat. The trick is to realise it isn’t working and the problem isn’t the button, machine, whatever, but the higher level system you’re using to understand this… Change that first.

Meandering Essays

Callum likes the Graham reading to the point of how he was taught not to meander. (As the symposium should show, we celebrate the meander). Rebecca seems to have had a very brave and very good teacher in Year 12 (the exception rather than the rule). As humanities students essays are our thing, it is our main language, the joy is in doing them properly, and not in that TEEL preplanned TV dinner fast food bullshit way. Laura speculates about essays, high school, and enjoying writing. For me this is the heart of the matter. As a humanities academic writing is my laboratory, where I do my thinking. It is not where I report on what I have discovered somewhere else but writing is the very place where the discovering happens. So I want my writing to have this spirit of insecure wonderment. You still argue a position, or positions, you still need evidence, but you learn how to let the ideas talk back at you instead of making them fit something prearranged. It’s the difference between very formal classical music and jazz. Both have their place, but if you want to ‘think’ musically, you play jazz (or write symphonic scores). This is a great post which is sort of about network literacy but is as much about the essayistic. Felicia has a well considered post about how she is good at essays, they work for her, but blogs do too. This is good because if you’re a good writer then blogs aren’t that big a step, on the other hand if you really like preplanned structure and your writing is more a reporting, then blogs can be very intimidating (and I’d argue you’re a great report writer, but not a good writer). Blogs let you find a voice, and a good essay should have your voice too.


Mia is surprised to realise the ‘essay’ is not really what was taught. Next step? Blogs are a great place to learn how to write to figure things out. Writing is a thinking, not a reporting, well it ought to be, certainly for education in the humanities. George found the reading resonated, and that the model taught in high school (and we have to admit, celebrated in universities) is broken. Kiralee also enjoys the Graham reading, yes explore ideas, but also realise that many of your university teachers are stuck in what I’d call single loop learning – you might write a great essay really testing ideas, only to be dealt the infamous “but you didn’t answer the question” hand of death. So tread cautiously, but in network media, we expect, welcome, celebrate smart writing. The role of a good question is to do that, not close thought down.

Dominic realises that he might, could, maybe, let go of so much planning. Again, think about how blogging is great practice for this.

More Literacies

Antoine notes that the network is an ecology where you don’t just take, but also contribute. Jessica on the public, shared nature of these blogs, and David suspects that beyond cut and paste our literacy might be thin (and cut and paste is a digital, not network, literacy…). Then there’s on Caitlin on how interconnected everything can be, which is not the same as saying there there is six degrees of separation but that we now, literally, weave stuff together online. Nicola also notes the give and take nature of online practice.

Copyright, Notes, Confusion

Karlee gets a Flickr account (you get a terabyte free, a terabyte) and realises there are lots of images with creative commons licences that means you can use them. There’s music out there too peoples. Kiralee with a summary of the symposium, and then a link to an article about the Australian government’s current thinking about piracy.

Jamie is worried, the aim here is to mitigate this. Online is public, it is like standing in Flinders Street station at 5:30 on Friday afternoon yelling very loudly. If you say stupid stuff, people will think you’re stupid. If you say offensive stuff, people will be offended. It really isn’t any more complicated than that. Copyright, let people know where you got it from, embed from other services (YouTube, sound cloud, Flickr, and so on), and respect the rights available. You want to change the rules? Then share you stuff the way you want to be able to share others. Which would be my comment to Kenton, critical opinion is good, rants and uninformed opinion isn’t and shouldn’t happen in a university, so you really can’t get defamed for saying what you think if its well argued and evidenced.

Happy Birthday as Copyright Case

Brady asks about Happy Birthday. Great example because for a long time you did not see or hear it in TV, or film, because Warners enforced copyright over it. Yes, you had to pay Warner Music to sing Happy Birthday. However, copyright lawyers were always suspicious of this and so are trying to prove that Warner’s don’t have copyright, and are wanting to recover money to pay people who have been sued, or paid for it, in the first place. For more see wikipedia and if nothing else realise that US copyright is different to everybody else’s. (We don’t need to register or publish a copyright symbol for copyright to apply.)