Chell's blog

Thoughts, ideas, and other things 'a bit unkempt'…

Week 11 UnLecture


The second last week for semester already?!


This week we discussed how current society is based on a ‘gift economy’. That is, that we are willing to give away all our information, thoughts and ideas to the world, for free. Adrian raised the point that most people these days are participatory actors on Facebook. But do any of us get a cheque in the mail for contributing to it’s network? No. The same applies for many databases on the internet. Hardly anyone gets paid to put things on Facebook, YouTube, Wikipedia and the like, yet, you can access nearly if not all the knowledge you would ever need or want by visiting these sites. The internet is based on public protocols, it is not private or ownable. It is also democratic (in most places). For it not to be democratic, there would need to be some sort of mediation that stops people accessing it, such as the Great Firewall of China. Adrian, however, is not convinced that this was always the case because the Internet was created by academia. He says it is a flat entity, everything is equally distanced apart.


Adrian also talked about ‘trend forecasters’. How nobody has the capability or capacity to decide what the world, or a technology will be like years down the road. He gives examples like how when the telephone was originally invented it was seen to potentially be a way to broadcast music concerts to people’s homes. Nobody would have thought that it could be used to connect us to the world through access to internet, music and anything from the knowledge economy. I hope there is some hope left for forecasting though, because my semester 2 elective which starts in three weeks is “fashion  trend forecasting”… I hope I don’t become too skeptical!


Something else I took away from the Unlecture, which I didn’t, but probably should have known, was that all web-pages have an IP number. This was how the internet operated in the beginning. But to make it easier for the common user, domain names were created (such as etc.) because they are easier to remember.

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