Rebellion by Numbers

Apparently there was a revolution, and I almost missed it. This is what happened: Somebody cracked and published the encryption key that unlocks HD DVDs, allowing for the copying of the discs. The code started appearing on various websites. The Motion Picture Association of America and the Advanced Access Content System Licensing Administrator (AACS LA) […]

Confinement, Education and the Control Society

Perhaps it’s not surprising that Foucault, the “panopticon guy”, is characterized as a thinker of power, discipline, and punishment. But as Deleuze (1995) points out, Foucault also believed that we are increasingly moving away from being societies based on discipline to societies based on control. According to Deleuze’s reading of Foucault: “We’re moving toward control […]

Social Media and the Networked Public Sphere

Can social media increase and improve civic participation? If so, in what ways? There’s a lot being said and written about the subject these days, but it is difficult to get a clear overview of the opinions. I attempt here to collect viewpoints both for and against the premise that social media is creating a […]

Technology Without Ends: A Critique of Technocracy as a Threat to Being

Is “Human 2.0” really a testament to the greatness of the spirit, or simply a collection of useless features that not only fail to improve on the original, but in fact bar the doors to any kind of evolution that deviates from a particular path?

“Socialist” Software

A case can be made that Social Software contributes to the commodification of knowledge and social interactions, or that it is simply a way for companies to make money off your labor/data. But as we know, there’s more to it than that. Social Software can also embody a set of social practices that are downright, […]

In Defense of the Digital Divide as Paralogy (v 1.0)

As I have suggested before, we have not done enough in the field of Education and Technology to address Lyotard’s concerns about the commodification of knowledge through the digital technologies we use (commodification means the transformation of things with no monetary value into things with monetary value —or commodities— through their subordination to the logic of capitalism). To put it in alarmist terms that are certain to catch your attention: If we are to take Lyotard’s analysis seriously, the gadgets and gizmos we are currently enamored with —edublogs, eduwikis, eduRSS feeds, and such— are nothing more than the tools of hegemonic capitalism.

Telepistemology, Combat Robots, and Human Pacman

[The following comments were presented during the War and (Computer/Video) Gaming session at the Occupied Spaces Symposium, Roy H. Park School of Communications, Ithaca College, April 8 and 9, 2005.] First, I want to thank Patty Zimmerann for inviting me to this symposium. Patty played a vital role in my intellectual development when I was […]

Movable Distance: Technology, Nearness and Farness

Introduction: Detours on the road to abolishing distance “The frank abolition of all distances brings no nearness… Everything gets lumped together into uniform distancelessness.” (Heidegger, 1971, pp. 165, 166) Heidegger’s remark seems to call attention to the fact that technology’s much celebrated victory over distance fails to deliver everything it promised. While technology might be […]

Weapons of Mass Communication

Is the potential of communication technologies diametrically opposed to that of warfare technologies? If communication is the sharing of meaning, and shared meaning brings about understanding and empathy, then more communication should mean less war, right? In an ideal world, perhaps. But in my more cynic moments, I cannot but see a parallel between the […]