Archive for July 27th, 2012

July 27, 2012

Participatory Culture

Participatory culture is a neologism in reference of, but opposite to a Consumer culture — in other words a culture in which private persons (the public) do not act as consumers only, but also as contributors or producers (‘prosumers’). The term is most often applied to the production or creation of some type of published media.

This new culture as it relates to the Internet has been described as ‘Web 2.0.’ In participatory culture ‘young people creatively respond to a plethora of electronic signals and cultural commodities in ways that surprise their makers, finding meanings and identities never meant to be there and defying simple nostrums that bewail the manipulation or passivity of ‘consumers.”

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July 27, 2012

Wayne White

wayne white

Wayne White is an American artist, art director, cartoonist, and illustrator. He started his art career working as a cartoonist and illustrator for a number of publications including ‘The East Village Eye,’ ‘Raw,’ ‘The New York Times,’ and ‘The Village Voice.’ In 1986 he worked on ‘Pee Wee’s Playhouse’ where his work for his set and puppet designs won three Emmy awards; he also supplied a number of voices on the show.

Other television credits include production and set design for ‘Shining Time Station,’ ‘Riders in the Sky,’ ‘The Weird Al Show,’ and ‘Beakman’s World.’ He art directed two seminal music videos, Peter Gabriel’s ‘Big Time’ in 1986, and in 1996 he designed all the Georges Méliès inspired sets for the award-winning video for the Smashing Pumpkins, ‘Tonight, Tonight.’

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July 27, 2012

Cyber Rights

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eff

Cyber Rights: Defending Free speech in the Digital Age’ is a 1998 non-fiction book about cyberlaw, written by free speech lawyer Mike Godwin. Godwin graduated from the University of Texas School of Law in 1990 and was the first staff counsel for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). Written with a first-person perspective, ‘Cyber Rights’ gives the reader a background in legal issues and history pertaining to free speech on the Internet.

It documents the author’s experiences in defending free speech online, and puts forth the thesis that ‘the remedy for the abuse of free speech is more speech.’ Godwin emphasizes that decisions made about the expression of ideas on the Internet have an impact on freedom of speech in other mediums of communication as well, as granted by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

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July 27, 2012

Counter-economics

agorism

Counter-economics is a term originally used by libertarian activists Samuel Edward Konkin III and J. Neil Schulman, defined as ‘the study and/or practice of all peaceful human action which is forbidden by the State.’ The term is short for ‘counter-establishment economics.’

Counter-economics was integrated by Schulman into Konkin’s doctrine of agorism (a philosophy that advocates the goal of the bringing about of a society in which all relations between people are voluntary exchanges). The first book to portray counter-economics as a strategy for achieving a libertarian society was Schulman’s novel ‘Alongside Night’ (1979). 

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July 27, 2012

Crypto-anarchism

Crypto-anarchism refers to the use of cryptographic software to evade prosecution and harassment while sending and receiving information over computer networks, thereby protecting privacy and political freedom. In a sense, the encrypted anonymous networks (the ‘cipherspace’) can be regarded as an independent lawless territory or as an autonomous zone. However, participants may in theory voluntarily create new laws using smart contracts (computer protocols that facilitate, verify, or enforce the negotiation or performance of a contract, or that obviate the need for a contractual clause) or, if the user is pseudonymous, depend on online reputation.

The ‘crypto’ in crypto-anarchism should not be confused with the use of the prefix ‘crypto-‘ to indicate an ideology or system with an intentionally concealed or obfuscated ‘true nature.’ For example, some would use the term ‘crypto-fascist’ to describe an individual or organization that holds fascist views and subscribes to fascist doctrine but conceals their agenda so long as these doctrines remain socially unacceptable. However, Timothy C. May’s ‘Cyphernomicon’ (one of the philosophy’s founding documents, posted in 1994) indicates that the term ‘crypto-anarchist’ was partially intended as a pun on this usage, even though he did not intend to conceal his beliefs or agenda.

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