Open and Closed Source Cultures – Aggregated Class Emails (With URLS for readings)
Duplicate, with added emphasis. Think out your questions in advance. Discuss them on the temporary GoogleDoc below. Get to class before 11 if you can. Ian is coming online with us at 11. So come early to begin the discussion.
On Sep 22, 2014, at 1:07 AM, Amit Ray wrote:
Well… we had a weekend of glitches. How’s that for Software Freedom Day! (Cheap shot, ducks!)
No seriously, the culture of Free and Open Source software is mind-blowing. And I want to inhabit most of what it stands for. Simultaneously, I ask questions that are anathema to the very important evangelical zeal tied to many of free software’s signature achievements.
I ask this: Is it too little, too late, in the face of massive appropriations of the public sphere. Is it too little, too late, when we consider that the most powerful nation-state on the planet is nearly two decades into the neoliberal zeal of assuming corporations, the traders, have the expertise to designate what is and isn’t a secret. Having read Galison, you now know this. You have read Kelty, too. And don’t forget, George Saunders. And other things as well, if you have kept track, and can still remember them. We are all tactical amnesia-tics. So use this stub to build, too, memory. Individual. Collective. Re-member, remember?
On Sep 18, 2014, at 9:20 AM, Amit Ray wrote:
Think recursive publics. Hop on the wiki. Play around. 8 years of stuff you might stumble upon. As much of it —save where otherwise stated, is CC, licensed— you can repurpose as you see fit. Muchos gracias to Ross Delinger. If we might form a ‘recursive platforms group’ to meet and discuss and implement better publics, I’ll be part of that group. Today we will begin to build our platform and syllabus. As this is a recursive agenda, we will continue to loop back around, modifying, changing, adding, deleting. But we’ll all be on the same page. But I’ll be part of any of your groups if you ask me nicely and display and willingness to dive into the topic.
As I mentioned in class, Ian Bogost wrote a very provocative piece about Net Neutrality last May. We won’t be discussing it today, but I will ask you to think about certain matters and to prepare for Ian’s tele-transportation into our class next Tuesday. It’s an opportunity to interact with a very important figure who works at the intersection of games, society and technology. Like myself, Ian’s background in philosophy comes from him work in Comparative Literature (where continental philosophy largely resides in the US. The Anglo-American analytic tradition —to which Computer Science owes a tremendous amount— and Continental thought are largely hostile to one another and so Philosophy departments around the country default to their Analytic setting, by and large.
And he has a lovely piece on the Apple Watch and, riffing off of Alvin Toffler’s famous book (“Future Shock”), he describes our “Future Ennui.” You can find it easily, if you look for it.
See you soon. Group exercises today. Let’s flex our publics and publicities.
On Sep 5, 2014, at 8:31 PM, Amit Ray wrote:
The reading for next week is embedded in this post. I think you will be able to find it. Read it carefully. Think about it. Read it again. We’ll discuss Kelty on Tuesday and will begin our discussion of Peter Galison’s “Removing Knowledge” on that day as well.
See you Tuesday,
On Aug 31, 2014, at 9:38 AM, AMIT RAY wrote:
Good morning on this wet Sunday. I trust your weekend is going well.
So I wanted to pass along a few readings and a few instructions.
We’ll start this week by returning to the Matthew Kirschenbaum essay (Software, its a thing) and discussing more specifics of that piece. We’ll then turn to thinking about the concept of ‘publics.’ We’ll read this Chris Kelty piece (attached), an academic paper from the field of cultural anthropology. As this is a scholarly article, it will require your time and careful attention. But the concepts therein will be vital to how we conceive of (and perhaps build) publics of the future.
Finally, perhaps to orient yourself a bit better towards Kelty’s paper, you will want to read the piece I pulled up in class (and which I had not seen before). It’s a short, succinct and thoughtful piece on the concept of ‘public. ’ Thus, it fact, it may help to start with Anil Dash’s essay and then read Kelty’s academic journal article. Here is the link to Dash’s short essay: https://medium.com/message/what-is-public-f33b16d780f9
Looking forward to seeing you all on Tuesday.
Ray and Graeff, Reviewing the Author-Function in the Age of Wikipedia
I have fond memories of working on this with my friend and colleague, Erhardt. My favorite RIT students are the ones who continue to teach me. Thank you to all of you who have knowingly (and unknowingly) helped me to better understand and translate the world in which I live. Perhaps this has been my greatest privilege. Our interactions over the years have fundamentally altered my understanding of the world in which I live and inexorably shaped the development of my teaching, my writing and thought.
Here is the full paper. We hope you find it useful.Amit Ray and Erhardt Graeff-Reviewing the Author-Function in the Age of Wikipedia (2008)
Ray, Amit and Erhardt Graeff. “Reviewing the Author-Function in the Age of Wikipedia.” In Originality, Imitation, and Plagiarism. Eds. Eisner and Vicinus. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 2008. 39-47.
Ray and Graeff take up Foucault’s concept of the author-function (after Barthes declared the death of the author) to talk about how digital technology, Wikipedia in particular, has developed an author-function that is decentralized and collaborative. They discuss the construction of Wikipedia as three layered levels, as each page has an article, discussion of the article and its point of view, and a archived history of all the changes to the page.