Thursday, February 10, 2011
Digital technology makes copying and pasting easy, of course. But that is the least of it. The Internet may also be redefining how students — who came of age with music file-sharing, Wikipedia and Web-linking — understand the concept of authorship and the singularity of any text or image.
“Now we have a whole generation of students who’ve grown up with information that just seems to be hanging out there in cyberspace and doesn’t seem to have an author,” said Teresa Fishman, director of the Center for Academic Integrity at Clemson University. “It’s possible to believe this information is just out there for anyone to take it."
In an interview, she said the idea of an author whose singular effort creates an original work is rooted in Enlightenment ideas of the individual. It is buttressed by the Western concept of intellectual property rights as secured by copyright law. But both traditions are being challenged.
“Our notion of authorship and originality was born, it flourished, and it may be waning,” Ms. Blum said.
The Walt Disney Company has drawn an astonishing catalogue from the work of others: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Fantasia, Pinocchio, Dumbo, Bambi, Song of the South, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Robin Hood, Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp, Mulan, Sleeping Beauty, The Sword in the Stone, The Jungle Book, and, alas, Treasure Planet, a legacy of cultural sampling that Shakespeare, or De La Soul, could get behind. Yet Disney's protectorate of lobbyists has policed the resulting cache of cultural materials as vigilantly as if it were Fort Knox—threatening legal action, for instance, against the artist Dennis Oppenheim for the use of Disney characters in a sculpture, and prohibiting the scholar Holly Crawford from using any Disney-related images—including artwork by Lichtenstein, Warhol, Oldenburg, and others—in her monograph Attached to the Mouse: Disney and Contemporary Art.
Mr. Shields’s book consists of 618 fragments, including hundreds of quotations taken from other writers like Philip Roth, Joan Didion and Saul Bellow — quotations that Mr. Shields, 53, has taken out of context and in some cases, he says, “also revised, at least a little — for the sake of compression, consistency or whim.” He only acknowledges the source of these quotations in an appendix, which he says his publishers’ lawyers insisted he add.
“Who owns the words?” Mr. Shields asks in a passage that is itself an unacknowledged reworking of remarks by the cyberpunk author William Gibson. “Who owns the music and the rest of our culture? We do — all of us — though not all of us know it yet. Reality cannot be copyrighted.”
And now this: The culture blog www.gefuehlskonserve.de found out that Hegemann plagiarised – mainly from Strobo, a sex, drugs and clubbing novel by blogger Airen (b. 1981) published last year by SuKuLTuR, a small publishing house in Berlin. Not only did she borrow humorous collocations like “Techno-Plastizität" (techno plasticity) or "Vaselintitten" (Vaseline tits), she lifted whole lines and scene setups.
Helene Hegemann says she’s sorry, she knows it was wrong “not to mention all the people whose writings helped me”. And yet she stands by her novel: after all, “there’s no such thing as originality anyway, there’s only authenticity”. What’s more, she’s only a “lodger” in her own mind: “I help myself to whatever inspires me.”
The virtual poets' society
So people are now crying scandal, but the spreading hullabaloo over the “Hegemann case” is basically a knee-jerk reflex: we think the aura of authenticity is incompatible with a little cribbing. Yet Axolotl Roadkill constructs an aura that no longer acknowledges any distinction between fact and fiction. Helene Hegemann belongs to the "Virtual Poets’ Club” evoked in Strobo: "We’re part of a strand that occasionally slipslides into fiction. It’s all pretty schizophrenic." Incidentally, it was Carl Hegemann who developed the theoretical superstructure for this hybrid artistry: "A reality is no longer encountered, but brought forth by the ‘members’ of a culture.” In this sense Helene Hegemann did what she knows how to do best: she cut-and-pasted together a novelistic existence for herself.
Wednesday, February 02, 2011
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
and the end of the acceptance of a hierarchical news model.
Some of the tension between those two sources has led people to expect newspapers to be more open. And this is as good a place as any to talk about the comment function issue. (Remember the Coasean law.)
Well maybe not Patch but hyperlocal sites.
When they work.
And here's one close to home.
At a statewide level, we have an unbundled site for government and politics.
Here's a slightly jazzier version. (remember Rapaille and codes.)
About $150 million in nonprofit money has flowed into news projects since 2006.
Some FB users use their pages as, essentially blogs.
Friday, January 21, 2011
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Monday, September 20, 2010
• Every new technology will bite back. The more powerful its gifts, the more powerfully it can be abused. Look for its costs.
• Technologies improve so fast you should postpone getting anything you need until the last second. Get comfortable with the fact that anything you buy is already obsolete.
• Before you can master a device, program or invention, it will be superseded; you will always be a beginner. Get good at it.
• Be suspicious of any technology that requires walls. If you can fix it, modify it or hack it yourself, that is a good sign.
• The proper response to a stupid technology is to make a better one, just as the proper response to a stupid idea is not to outlaw it but to replace it with a better idea.
• Every technology is biased by its embedded defaults: what does it assume?
• Nobody has any idea of what a new invention will really be good for. The crucial question is, what happens when everyone has one?
• The older the technology, the more likely it will continue to be useful.
• Find the minimum amount of technology that will maximize your options.
To those, I would add: Have Fun and Don't Be Intimidated.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Whoever handles your website should at least glance at Google's copious advice about SEO.
It's also a good idea, probably to have an actual Google account that links to your website. It's all about making their 'bots happy.
But I don't know much about the goat business.
But let's just pick a website and talk about it.
Always ask yourself, what's the unit of exchange in the platform I'm in?
In FB, it's the post (and the friend).
On a website, it's the link.
Facebook is the king of low energy expenditure.
And let's talk about event pages.
And the art of the FB post.
And getting OTHER people to post about you.
(But don't completely forget about good old-fashioned email blasts.)
For PYO, this is a very effective site.
Here are some great-looking sites that, I think, do the social media thing very well.
This one in Chicago.
And this one in Fairfield County.
We should talk, in connection with those, about the idea of parnterships.
(Which goes to the issue of simplicity.)
Some things you could use Twitter for:
-- real time updates to your customers about the condition of crops, i.e. "this is the last week for blueberries at Piotrowicz Farm!"
-- real time updates from a farm stand or farmer's market. "I've got five heads of bronze arrow lettuce left at the West End Market."
-- talking to (and about) legislators if there's a bill coming up that affects you.
-- to give and receive real time information about weather
If you do Twitter, it makes sense to learn more about hashtags.
1. Have a website.
2. Get your website listed with all the farm aggregators.
3. Be Google-friendly. It's probably a good idea to have a Google account with a profile that links to your website.
4. Join Facebook. Recruit friends.
5. (Maybe) Create a Twitter account.
6. If you do something that requires fresh content -- a website blow, Facebook or Twitter -- update a lot. A LOT!
7. make a little sign -- with your website and FB and Twitter info, if relevant --for your farmstand and especially for farmers markets.