Tag Archives | politics

2006: The Tipping Point?

If 9/11/2001 was the catalyst for the end-game of Western Civilization, 11/2/2006 could arguably be considered the tipping point, when the transformation became both obvious and inevitable.  For the first time in a generation, political spending on television had little to no impact on electoral results.  The masses couldn’t be scared, intimidated, or lied into […]

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Why We’re Letting Go

As we’ve already made clear, our economy is now network-driven, and since bits are increasingly as valuable as atoms, one’s capacity to generate or deliver bits establishes one’s net “info-worth”.  The best bits (i.e. bits with inherent value) are still those made the old-fashioned way: some human being must create them.  Setting aside differences of […]

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Microeconomic Shift: Reinventing the Workplace

After the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001 it’s curious that so many American jobs have moved overseas, while US corporations seem only interested in service jobs, like retail and data centers.  Large concentrations of people mean large targets, and larger liabilities.  Yet these represent the kinds of jobs being created today.  The off-shoring of jobs is […]

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Spreading Data to Spread Wealth

It’s worth considering an alternative approach to intellectual property, based on original principles in the constitution (as opposed to narrow commercial interest).  Starting from the assumption that work can be automatically identified in or out of context via watermarks (digital data that can be recovered even if the song is distorted or remixed), and that […]

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Closed Sources Create Self-Inflicted Crisis

In academia, appropriation through citation is the norm.  Wide berth is given borrowing to advance the broader arts and sciences.  Shakespeare borrowed liberally from passion plays and referenced works of contemporary dramatists.  Culture itself is built on the propagation of ideas, as evolution is driven by the instinct to propagate species.  How odd that in […]

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Balancing the Rights of Creators and Consumers

Questions of authorship can obscure the real interests of artists and society.  The notion of “intellectual property” is based on a balance between a creator’s rights and social benefits.  This equation originally presumed a human creator, and proprietary rights were based on life-spans.  In the 20th Century corporations, with unlimited life-spans, intentionally attacked this rationale, […]

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Authorship in the Post Modern World

Who is the creator of a song made in an application like Acid or Garageband?  To whom do we attribute performance credits?  For home users, this may simply be a great party argument, but for musicians, labels and developers the question has deep implications and no easy answers. There are some clear dividing lines: for […]

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Historic Examples & Cultural Foundations of Dataesthetics

The mechanical, gear driven engine was surely both engine and mediator for the economy and design style best exemplified by the Bauhaus in the early 20th Century.  From that singularity arose an ideal that is best expressed in the phrase “form follows function.”  dataesthetic philosophy is derived from a similar convergence at the dawn of […]

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The Politics of Data

How, when, why, and where we connect ourselves and our agents (phones, iPods, PCs, cars, refrigerators) to networks is a truly political issue.  The politics transcend the regulation of which frequencies are used for your wi-fi and your bluetooth and your phone(s), or environmental regulations on how things are made or how to dispose of […]

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Letting Go: How Bits are Crippled Through Control

Attempts to control, horde or restrict information is anachronistic and counter-productive in the data age.  In extreme cases, it can be dangerous.  This is not, as some might suggest, because information wants to be free.  It’s simply the nature of bits: Their power and value is derived solely through application.  We can channel, pool and/or […]

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