This weeks ‘unlecture’ was about a lot of different network things and terms. What I found interesting from that ‘unlecture’ in that theatre were two things. First the term Big Data and Adrians thoughts about what happens every time we use our everyday card in supermarkets – the companies collect data but why? Another thing I found interesting was a more heavy theoretical discussion about the way we view the technological dependent society we live in today. Do our human actions create the technologies we use or do the technologies we use create the way we act as humans? Do the Internet actually dictates how we should act in our everyday lives?
This will be what this week’s posts will be about!
Week 9’s ‘unlecture’ was primarily about the Barabási readings for week 8, which I also wrote about yesterday. In there I wrote about my confusion about his mathematically founded theory and his mentioning of the 80/20 rule. Well I suppose that’s ok, at least Adrian shared some of my thoughts when he said: “The 80/20 rule – don’t know why that rule rules. It’s a simple model, but I don’t know where it comes from and why it isn’t 60/40”. I guess I’ll just leave it there and focus on other thoughts from the ‘unlecture’ and the Barabási readings.
The question about networks having centers, were again a part of the ‘unlecture’ today. Adrian said something interesting about how hubs are defined by how many connections they have, in and out. That made me think about how a network as LinkedIn works and how the nodes inside that networks organise themselves. If you as a node know the hubs, the people who are connected to a lot of people, you would have easier access to a greater network, than if you only know newcomers in the LinkedIn network. I don’t know if that is preferable, but I do know fellow students from Denmark who have been offered very relevant jobs because of their network on LinkedIn.
Working with the term ‘hub’ got me thinking about what Brian said today about how networks are dynamic and that they are growing. Further more he talked about how the network of cities are changing over time and therefor the hubs changes location. That makes sense and if you look at some sort of flight plan, it is probably easy to identify the cities with the most connections, in and out like with the hubs on LinkedIn. But but but.. I am just wondering. Wouldn’t the hub be different in terms of what you are looking for? What I am trying to say is; if a filmmaker is searching for some sort of a nature location the hub might appear as a small town on Iceland, and if the family are looking for the next vacation location the hub might appear as Kuta on Bali. Again on LinkedIn, a ‘hub person’ for me might not be an international well known doctor from New York, but he might be to a person studying medicine.
I’m a bit confused now…
In this weeks “unlecture” Brian, Adian and Elliot discussed the question: “What kind of genre is an interactive documentary? Is it still a documentary, or would you say that it is a new genre because of the hyper textual interface?”. In my week 6 post I wrote about the interactive documentary without knowing the answer to this question. Adrian described the difference between fiction and documentary as the following; fiction is about a world whereas documentary is about the world. If that’s the case, then the interactive documentary is still a documentary, because it is still about the world even though the audience of the interactive documentary decides the final plot of the movie.
This leads to the interesting thought about the author having any control at all. Brian, Adrian and Elliot did not agree about whether the author has control or not, and the same goes for cultural theorists Harold Lasswell and Stuart Hall. Lasswell compare the society with a biological organism, which in this case means that the author can manipulate his readers the way he wants. Lasswell would therefor argue that the author has complete control of the way his words get interpreted by his audience – communication is transmission – a one way communication where the audience, society is considered a group of people without any individuality at all. In the opposite corner, Hall argues that these people have individual demographics which makes it possible for each of them to decode the authors message differently. In this argument the author will not have the same control over the interpretation.
Thought about not doing this week’s “unlecture” post, but since I ran in to the group of teachers (National Tertiary Education Union) who were actually the reason for this week’s cancelled “unlecture”, I took some photos. Speculative thoughts about speculative talks in the “unlecture” will be back next week – week 6!