Archive Page 3
Posted with the permission of Ted Nelson, who wrote:
Theodor Holm Nelson will be teaching a possibly final, or ‘bucket’, course on all his computer work and ideas. The title is “CINEMA OF THE MIND: Philosophy and Art of Designing Interaction” (Computer Science 194, U.C. Santa Cruz, winter quarter 2013). ☛ Further course details will be found at the end of this note.
Dr. Nelson is an independent designer and thinker who for fifty years– since before others imagined personal computing or screen-to-screen publishing– has had deep designs for a computer world very different from that we now face. While Microsoft, Apple and the Web veered backward, imitating the past and paper, Nelson always designed for the screens-only world we are at last approaching.
Nelson’s Xanadu document designs, well known if not well understood, are generally recognized as precursors to the World Wide Web. His broader alternative software designs, and their radical theoretical underpinnings, are not well known. This course boosts their survival and the chance some may eventually prevail.
While other software depicts time as conventional clocks and calendars, Nelson shows it as a spiral that can be tightened to nanoseconds or opened to the lifetime of the universe, wherein you can reconcile people’s schedules for next week or annotate historical theories. While others’ bookkeeping systems show only money, Nelson’s applies to all exchanges– money, Christmas cards, favors, grudges. Instead of today’s isolating “apps” and social cattle pens, he plans a sharable, unifying world of interactive diagrams that zoom to all work and reading, with everything annotatable.
His radical infrastructure includes automatically-coupling data structures, an operating system without hierarchy, and connection-lines between the contents of windows. These lead to a completely different computer world, and– he fervently hopes– a different human life around them.
All of this is viewed through Nelson’s Schematic Philosophy, offering new terminology and diagrammatics for analyzing complex subjects.
=== COURSE DETAILS
The class is scheduled for Wednesday afternoons from 4 to 7:30, Engineering 2, room 399. A typical class will consist of a discussion session, a tough lecture, a break, an easy lecture, and another discussion session.
There will be two midterm examinations and a final. Projects for extra credit (leading to a possible A+) must be negotiated in the first three weeks.
The course is open not just to UCSC undergraduate and graduate students, but to outsiders as well, via a process known as “Concurrent Enrollment.” Outsider tuition cost appears to be $1355 ($100 application fee for Concurrent Enrollment, plus $1255 tuition). Two
forms are required: “Concurrent Enrollment Application” to join the university loosely, at http://www.ucsc-extension.edu/sites/default/files/imce/public/pdf/CEAp.pdf (to be mailed or faxed to the University with the $100– or $65 if
before 14 December) and a form to be signed by the instructor and sent in with tuition payment, at http://www.ucsc-extension.edu/sites/default/files/imce/public/pdf/CEInstrAp.pdf (final deadline appears to be in mid-January).
More details (not necessarily all consistent) are at: http://www.ucsc-extension.edu/open-campus/enroll
Theodor Holm Nelson PhD
Designer-Generalist, The Internet Archive
Visiting Professor, University of Southampton
My recent books, POSSIPLEX and ‘Geeks Bearing Gifts’, are available from Lulu.com and Amazon.
“Ted Nelson is an idealistic troublemaker who coined the word ‘hypertext’ in the sixties, and continues to fight for a completely different computer world.”
The Economist recently addressed the chilling effect that libel law is likely to have on Twitter, arguing that: ‘Now it [Twitter] seems to fall under the law’s shadow to a greater extent than similar speech does on the offline world’ (November 24, 2012: 37). But it is not simply libel law that could undermine freedom of expression online, it is also criminal laws addressing speech in largely pre-Internet aware days.
Taken together, Internet users – three-quarters of the British public – must be wondering what they can say online. For those in doubt in the aftermath of some actions taken against Twitter users and other online netizens, you may find a recent blog by Roger Darlington to be a helpful place to start in thinking seriously about this question.
Roger Darlington, a former member of the Consumer Panel at Ofcom, has posted a blog, entitled ‘What can’t you say on the Internet?’. He lays on the various viewpoints on this question, as well as UK legislation of relevance. You can read his blog at http://www.rogerdarlington.me.uk/commswatch/?p=4647 Take a look at Section 127 of the Communications Act of 2003, along with Section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988.
I hope you read this for yourself, but Roger argues that a strict interpretation of UK law could underpin ‘a staggering amount of content to be prosecuted under the criminal law.’ This leads him to conclude that it is time to modernize law and regulation. From his perspective, which I share, there is a need to protect speech online such that people are not subject to inappropriate or disproportionate punishments for such things as tweeting a bad joke or expressing a viewpoint that might be viewed as malicious or indecent.
Consider Roger’s viewpoint and let me know if you have a constructive view on this topic. Roger believes there should be more consistency across media, while I believe that the different communication infrastructures are different in ways that require unique regulatory frameworks. It may be that striving for consistency has led to this disproportionate coverage of online expression. In any case, I agree that this issue will only grow in importance as more communication shifts to the Internet. Consumers need to know what they can and cannot say or this uncertainty alone could have a chilling effect on speech.
There will be an increasing array of issues driven by the convergence of media and the Internet. Content regulation is certainly one key example of such an issue. Over decades, standards of expression on television have become relatively well understood, even if they are sometimes breached and the subject of complaints. But the Internet is not television and is not and – it seems to me – cannot be regulated like television. As but one example, 72 hours of video are posted on YouTube every minute, and this is only one of many video sites on the Internet.
I hope you find Roger’s blog helpful – eye opening – in framing this issue for consumers and netizens. It also provides a nice example of law not keeping up with technological change, and becoming an unintended but unanticipated constraint on technological change. If I have this wrong, let me know.
Oliver Smithies Lecture MT 2012
Professor Christine Borgman
Oliver Smithies Lecture, Michaelmus Term 2012
Wednesday 28 November at 5pm in Lecture Room XXIII, Balliol College
Digital Scholarship: Three Decades in Internet Time
by Christine Borgman
“In a few short decades, the practices of scholarship have been transformed by the use of digital resources, tools, and services. Some shifts are obvious, such as seeking, reading, and publishing research online, often to the exclusion of print. Other shifts are subtle, such as data being viewed as research products to be disseminated. Research objects are more atomized, yet aggregated in new ways. Digital technologies offer opportunities to innovate in scholarly practice, collaboration, and communication – from the sciences, social sciences, humanities, and arts to technology and medicine. Externalities such as Internet economics and research policy pose constraints on scholarly work. Underlying these opportunities and constraints are four trends in scholarly communication, information technology, policy: (1) the transition from a closed scholarly world to the open Internet, (2) the evolution from static to dynamic forms of information, (3) changes in the roles of scholars as readers and as authors, and (4) the growing value of data as new forms of publication. These four trends are explored, leading to a discussion of the challenges facing 21st century scholars.”
The OII is involved with a wide range of collaborating partners in the organization of two joined events focused on China and the New Internet World.
Running over two days, the first event on Friday, 14 June 2013, will be an pre-conference to the 2013 International Communication Association’s Annual Conference. The preconference will be held in Oxford at the OII and other units at the University of Oxford, while the following ICA Conference will be held in London. The call for papers invites academics to address how the phenomenal rise of China and the Asian region on the Internet could be reshaping the global Internet, but also how the global Internet is reshaping communication and media in China and the Asian region. Information about travel and lodging for the ICA preconference is at https://www.icahdq.org/conf/2013/confdescriptions.asp. The call for papers for this ICA preconference is at http://www.oii.ox.ac.uk/events/?id=555
The preconference will be followed by a dinner at Balliol College on the 14th. This is a separate event, but those who attend the ICA preconference or the following day’s event may enquire about space at the dinner at events at oii.ox.ac.uk. The dinner will close the preconference, but open the following day’s conference on China and the New Internet World as the 11th Chinese Internet Research Conference (CIRC).
On the next day, Saturday, we will be holding the Eleventh Chinese Internet Research Conference (CIRC11). This conference is open to a wider range of topics about the Chinese Internet, but we hope the two joined events will be as complementary as possible. We invite the submission of papers for this event. Instructions and more information about CIRC11 is available online at: http://www.oii.ox.ac.uk/events/?id=549
We hope that connecting events into a series will help to highlight one of the most significant developments around the New Internet World, one theme of OII research over the last years, as China and Asia continue to shift the centre of gravity of global Internet use.
Both events are being jointly organized by the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) in collaboration with the Programme of Comparative Media Law and Policy (PCMLP) and the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (RISJ) at the University of Oxford, in partnership with the Chinese Internet Research Conference (CIRC), the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism at USC, the Center for Global Communications Studies at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, the Global Communication Research Institute at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, the Centre for Chinese Media and Comparative Communication Research (C-Centre) at the School of Journalism and Communication at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), the Department of Communication at the University of Macau, and Singapore Internet Research Center at Nanyang Technological University. We are also grateful to Taylor and Francis/Routledge, publishers of Information Communication and Society (iCS) and the Chinese Journal of Communication, among many other journals relevant to the study of the Internet and related media and communication technologies and society, for their sponsorship.
Thanks for considering your involvement. If you have questions, you may contact ‘events at oii.ox.ac.uk’ about China and the New Internet World.
Chair: Professor Sonia Livingstone
Recorded on 16 October 2012 in Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building.
Big challenges face policy makers trying to balance conflicting interests in the information society. This lecture examines why digital information and complex networks make policymaking especially difficult.
Robin Mansell is professor of new media and the internet at LSE and author of Imagining the Internet.
William H Dutton is professor of internet studies at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford.
Robert Wade is professor of political economy and development at LSE.
Histories of the Internet – A Special Issue of Information & Culture
I am delighted to be working with Thomas Haigh and Andrew Russell on a special issue of Information & Culture focused on the history of the Internet. We have issued a call for papers (late September 2012) and hope to have full papers for review by the end of August 2013. We have encourage prospective authors to send abstracts of proposed papers by the first of March, if they would like feedback on their focus, but an abstract is optional and final selections will be based on peer review of the completed papers.
The editors have a website for the special issue, which you should consult for the most up-to-date and complete information on the special issue. See: www.sigcis.org/InternetIssue.
Scholars engaged in studies of the Internet are aware of the continuing debates surrounding the key developments that have shaped the Internet, Web and related communication and information technologies. People vary over the very definition of the Internet and the relative importance of different individuals, motivations and events in its development. This special issue aims to bring together some of the most current, critical and influential treatments of this rapidly evolving history.
My co-editors and I would welcome your help in alerting colleagues who could contribute to this issue, and would value your own consideration of an original contribution to this call. I look forward to hearing from you in any event.
Of course, if you have comments on the call itself, or the difficulties surrounding histories of the Internet, to not hesitate to comment on this blog. We hope this special issue stimulates further debate and scholarly research on the many histories of the Internet.
Internet Studies has gained another centre for research and teaching with the establishment of the Alexander von Humbolt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG). I attended one of the first meetings of the HIIG’s Scientific Advisory Council on 12-13 September 2012, and left encouraged by the plans and progress of the Institute during its first months, and very optimistic about the developing network of Internet research centres around the world, to which HIIG provides a major addition.
The centre has been founded as a joint initiative of a collection of strong academic institutions, configured by ‘the Humbolt Universität zu Berlin, the Berlin University of Arts and the Social Science Research Centre Berlin (WZB) in collaboration with the Hamburg-based Hans Bredow Institute (HBI) by way of an integrative collaborative’ agreement, as noted on our papers. HIIG’s establishment was enabled by a base of funding from Google, which will be broadened in the coming years.
The meeting was held at the HIIG’s stunningly located offices at Bebelplatz 1, Berlin (see photos from the front entrance). I was impressed both by the collaborative nature of the centre itself, which is co-directed by four leading academics, who represent the founding institutions: Dr Jeanette Hoffman (WZB), Prof Dr Dr h.c. Ingolf Pernice (Humbolt Universität zu Berlin), Prof. Dr Dr. Thomas Schildhauer (Berlin University of Arts), and Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schulz (HBI).
The four directors have established a framework for guiding their research on issues of innovation, law and policy, a step that proved invaluable to the first years of the OII. Also the HIIG has taken an early leadership position in establishing a network of Internet research centres with the Berkman Institute, MIT, Bangalore and others.
More could be said, but let me refer you to their Web site at http://www.hiig.de/en/. I certainly left encouraged about the continuing growth and maturity of Internet Studies, and the potential for HIIG to take a leading role as part of an international network of centres to jointly cover the increasing range of issues and approaches tied to Internet Studies.
I’ve received a new grant from ictQATAR for extending my work with others on the Global Values Project to the Arabic world. This grant will build on my work with the World Economic Forum that led to the WEF report entitled The New Internet World. See: http://www.weforum.org/reports/new-internet-world In addition, my colleagues, including Professor Soumitra Dutta, the new dean of the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University, and Ginette Law, an INSEAD/ISIS funded research assistant and former OII MSc student, are working with me on the next phase of the WEF project, fielding a new wave of surveys that will build on our earlier WEF study. The ictQATAR and WEF research efforts are complementary in furthering the aims of the Global Values Project, which explores the attitudes and behaviours of citizens around the world with respect to pervasive concerns such as privacy, trust, security and freedom of choice and expression. See: http://www.oii.ox.ac.uk/research/projects/?id=65
As part of the EC-funded ULab project, the Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford organized an online competition to identify the most innovative outreach and public engagement activities carried out by European Universities. Both individuals and groups were invited to apply through a competition managed online. Competition was limited to activities initiated and sustained at any university or higher education institution within the 27 EU member states, including projects that might have involved collaboration with institutions outside the EU. The entry could be from one or a number of cooperating universities. The three winning entries won cash prizes for their institution as well as funding for a representative to attend the award ceremony at the University of Oxford, which was held on 8 June 2012.
The three competition winners were:
- Active Science – Young people engaged in science (encouraging deliberative democracy by engaging young people in current scientific and technological issues – Agora Scienza, Centro Interuniversitario, ITALY)
- Centre of the Cell (the first science education centre in the world to be located within biomedical research laboratories – Queen Mary, University of London, UK)
- Sons de Barcelona (Sounds of Barcelona) (working with environmental sounds to foster interest in music technologies through creative workshops – Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, SPAIN)
In addition, due to the very high number of high quality entries, three other projects have been selected for Recognition of Distinction. They were:
- Seeking perfection: Young People Exploring Enhancement with Researchers (exploring human enhancement using creative approaches – University of Manchester, Nowgen, Contact Theatre and the Manchester Science Festival, UK)
- Maths busking (showing the public the surprising and fascinating side of mathematics through the medium of street performance – UK)
- Staging Files – a Public History Project at the University of Bremen (history and theatre projects at the University of Bremen dealing with controversial topics of Bremen’s history – University of Bremen, GERMANY)
A video that provides an overview of the competition and its winners has been produced by Voices from Oxford and is available on YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TI9zC3JYcD8 Rebecca Eynon and I try to explain how the project worked, why we did this, and how important the activities should be for universities.
Whichever Estate: Exactly Right
Mitt Romney has been accused of a number of gaffes, but one seems a bit unfair, as he spoke of ‘… some in the Fourth Estate, or whichever estate, who are more interested in finding something to write about …’.* Well – Candidate Romney is not the only person to wonder what to call the new role of the Internet and social media in creating an estate of the 21st Century that is every bit as important as the press since the 18th Century. I’ve called it the Fifth Estate, and a piece of mine with others was published today about the interrelationship between the Fourth and Fifth Estate in Britain. Hope you have a chance to read it and put a name to this new estate of the Internet realm. See: http://www.ijis.net/ijis7_1/ijis7_1_newman_et_al_pre.html So it is exactly right to recognize an estate other than the Fourth.
*Quoted from Chris McGreal, ‘Rivals seize on candidate’s string of gaffes’, The Guardian, 1 August 2012, p. 17.
William H. Dutton (B.A. University of Missouri; M.A., PhD. SUNYBuffalo, 1974) is Professor of Internet Studies, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, and Fellow of Balliol College.
- Identifying centres of cybersecurity research expertise – results to date
- Deliver Us from Vacation Email Replies
- Nominate an Inspiring Digital Social Innovation: Deadline 16 August 2013
- The Fifth Estate: Not the Movie
- Web Science Conference 23-26 June 2014 at Indiana University
- Collaboration on Social Networking for Health: Dr Huipeng SHI’s Visit to Oxford
- Business Models in a Mobile World: a one-day workshop at Oxford Brooks University, 12 September 2013
- Scholarship in the Networked World, Professor Christine Borgman, 6 June 2013, 5pm at Balliol College
- Politics and Policy of the Internet Seminar at Konstanz University
- The Library of Congress and The John W. Kluge Center
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