Lecture Liveblog: 12-4-07

Paper Stuff

UP TO 10 pages. You can be successful with 6+.

Style of your argument influences the structure of your paper. Not looking for a specific kind of argument, just a coherent structured one with original thinking in a very expansive sense.

Research vs. Design

Must have absolute clarity in your argument and thesis before serious writing begins.

Benkler – Cultural Freedom and Participatory Culture

Cultural artifacts – “meaning carrying objects”

Once we move into symbols with meaning, we invoke issues of ideology and power.

Traditional media created by power elite of wealthy actors, producers, directors, etc. who are interested in maintaining the status quo. Media becomes infused with stability reinforcing messages.

“My claim is that the emergence of a substantial nonmarket alternative path for cultural conversation increases the degrees of freedom available to individuals and groups to engage in cultural production and exchange, and that doing so increases the transparency of culture to its inhabitants.” – Benkler

Most amateur multimedia is a process of “glomming on” to previous media with minimal creativity.

“glomming on” – Jack Balkin

Are amateurs becoming more like professionals or are professionals struggling to be like amateurs?

Unit of analysis in culture is a rational individual which makes culture a rational actor that acts for its own good. Culture feeds on information.  However, it’s not enough to talk about rational, information consuming decision making.

Interaction Criticism

What is the role of criticism and how can it be helpful?

Criticism does not have the same standard of ‘truth’ as a natural science. However, criticism does not stand in a nihilistic realm where all subjective interpretations are equal.

The role of criticism is to talk systematically in an evidenced based way about subjective phenomena. The systems are the types of theoretical frameworks we’ve worked on throughout the semester. Evidence is found in the particulars. Goal of criticism is to offer reasonable interpretations of evidence grounded in some system.

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