Tuesday, February 14, 2012

IFTF's Four Scenarios for the Future of Energy

 covers Institute For The Future's Four Scenarios For The Future Of Energy 

Culture Digitally

My fellow grad colleague from my UC San Diego days, Tarleton Gillespie (now at the Comm Dept. at Cornell), recently created this collaborative blog and its Five point research questions promise to generate some exciting thought and new research. Soon, I plan to post on some recent gaming research Barbara and I have been working on: Seeking the pedagogy of Wisdom in digital Alternative Reality Gaming.

Given some of our conversations today at lunch, this blog is a welcome forum. ---Enjoy! Lonny Avi

Culture Digitally:



With the generous support of the National Science Foundation, who also sponsored the workshop that helped us initiate this collaboration, we have developed Culture Digitally to serve a number of purposes. First and foremost, it is meant to be a gathering point around which scholars who study of cultural production and information technologies can think together. We come from a range of fields, including Communication, Sociology, Media Studies, Science & Technology Studies, and Anthropology. But we are connected by our research interests, an emerging area of scholarship that currently lives across, or sometimes falls between, our home disciplines. It’s our sense that this emerging discussion needs more homes, be they virtual or institutional.

On this group blog, we hope to offer thought-provoking scholarly conversations, provocations and starting points for intellectual inquiry in our field, discussions of problems and tensions in the arena of cultural production and in the scholarship addressing it, links to references vital to the scholarship we do. We hope to comment on current events, emerging cultural trends, new laws and policies, and technological innovations. We hope to deepen the discussion of new media and digital culture by bringing to it historical, comparative, and ethnographic perspective. And we hope to enliven the blog modality, by incorporating tools that allow for synchronous collaboration and creative engagements with ideas, objects, and images.

Five points Aug 5, 2011

By the end of the first workshop, we had turned a enormous range of ideas into five groupings of discussion topics. If we started with a sky full of stars, by the end we had formed them into loose constellations. Now, looking ahead towards the second workshop in April 2012, we want to sharpen this picture. So Hector and I have gone back through the workshop discussion and the more recent online conversations, and identified a “point of light” that stands out in each of those constellations (to overextend the metaphor). Each of these seem, to us, to be some kind of focal point in the conversations we’ve developed, something that seemed to emerge from our discussion. They are:
Affordances, technical agency, and the politics of technologies of cultural production: How do we develop our thinking about the way technologies shape behavior? In an attempt to avoid deterministic claims, have we overcorrected, leaving us unable to make sophisticated claims about technical agency? In what ways do we, quite regularly and deliberately, solicit being “determined” by the media and information technologies we use in producing and consuming culture and knowledge? [technical_agency]
Social and professional imaginaries: who is in a position to construct the visions of technology and digital culture that circulate around us? How do social imaginings of our relationship to digital cultural production become the professional imaginaries of designers, producers, information providers, critics? How do those imaginaries get embedded into the technologies and cultural texts we engage with? [social_imaginaries]
Theorizing practice: making do, in the shadow of ideologies: In trying to understand the micro-practices of cultural production, how do we get at the lived rhythms of people, the way their efforts to produce are embedded in, beholden to, and driven by their need to make do — whether that means economically, politically, culturally, personally, morally? What do the ideologies of “participation,” “engagement,” and “voice” mean in the mundane realities of lived experience? What does making do with digital technology and culture mean from different social positions, e.g. entitled and marginalized? [making_do]
Advancing the user debate: the dynamics of micro-participation: User participation in new media has been an important topic in recent years.  Various theoretical perspectives from “Participatory Culture” to political economy have been deployed to understanding UGC and its culture.  A new and interesting phase in this phenomenon is emerging, however.  “Micro-participation” is increasingly becoming important.  In this case it’s not the labor intensive production of novel content such as machinima or user produced videos on YouTube and their attendant communities that are the subject of study.   Rather micro participatory actions such as “likes,” status updates, images in profiles, mobile data, tags, and other quick direct or incidental contributions that in their aggregate amount to a wealth of UGC, giving value to social networks and other media business and compelling increasing forms of users surveillance and behavior modeling.  What are the theoretical perspectives that would help map the power flows within incidental matrices of participation?  What laws, policies, norms govern user and corporate expectations regarding micro participatory data or incidental data?  [micro_practices]
A methodological quandary: our place in the research, as makers/participants/users ourselves: New media researchers are increasingly finding themselves in the position of participant observers.  Often they are also technical experts, users, and participants in the communities/technologies they study.  To what degree can method be augmented by this expertise? What are the boundary/identity problems confronted by researchers in this situation?  Advantages? Can we do research that is interventionist? Action oriented?  Can we devise research agendas that embrace these research identities?  What are the sites, theories, and approaches that would facilitate that agenda? [participatory_research]

Friday, November 11, 2011

Transforming courses into games

I will be transforming my Winter 2012 quarter courses into gaming experiences to immerse students in the media careers they aim to build. Forming new gaming company: Media Futures Interaction, Inc. Encounter your media future and aspiring role today! I teach three courses and each course will have its own gaming kit. The first one I'm building is the Organizational Futures Game Kit under a new subdivision of the company known as iOrganizeFutures, Inc. Each subdivision has the potential to spin off. iAdvertisetheFuture Advertising You-niversity Game Kit or Advertising Media Mogul Game Kit. iSpinCollectiveImaginations, Inc. Public Relations Spinning Social Media Game kit. I want learning and teaching to be as fun and as exciting as a game! 

Immediate inspirations: http://2020mediafutures.ca/About

Monday, February 22, 2010

Queering the Future

I want to recommend Zach Blas and his creative project entitled Queer Technologies. This is one in a series of creative steps in looking at what a Queer perspective would be on ubiquitous computing. Check his work out at: http://www.zachblas.info/

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Performing the future as Public Relations

I'm starting to evaluate and distinguish the difference between critically evaluating future scenarios and what it means to evangelize new social media. Here is Ogilvy's 360 blog
http://blog.ogilvypr.com/ and the Institute For The Future: www.iftf.org

In my forthcoming book, Performing in the Future Tense at The Institute For The Future (IFTF), I have researched the past and future development of social media as part of evangelizing and promoting an augmented and networked mind. I look at the scenarios, games, and theater, that the RAND corporation and its offspring, IFTF have developed over the past 50 years to look at the future of digital media.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Long Now Seminars

Upcoming Seminars

Find out what's next by viewing or subscribing to our seminar calendar (also available in: XML, iCal format) and mailing list.

* 02008
o Feb. 4 (MONDAY) - Nassim Nicholas Taleb, "The Future Has Always Been Crazier Than We Thought"
o Feb. 25 (MONDAY) - Craig Venter, "Joining 3.5 Billion Years of Microbial Invention"
o Apr. 25 (Friday) - Niall Ferguson & Peter Schwartz, "Historian vs. Futurist on Human Progress"
o May 21 (WEDNESDAY) - Iqbal Quadir, "Technology Empowers the Poorest"
o Jul. 23 (WEDNESDAY) - Edward Burtynsky, "The 10,000-year Gallery"

New Book Reviews from RCCS

Each month, the resource center for cyberculture studies (RCCS)
publishes a set of book reviews and author responses (
http://rccs.usfca.edu/booklist.asp ).

I am happy to say that I have a book review posted for this month!

books of the month for february 2008 include:

Control and Freedom: Power and Paranoia in the Age of Fiber Optics
Author: Wendy Hui Kyong Chun
Publisher: MIT Press, 2006
Review 1: Jentery Sayers
Author Response: Wendy Chun

From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth
Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism
Author: Fred Turner
Publisher: University of Chicago Press, 2006
Review 1: Lonny J Avi Brooks
Review 2: William Bryant
Review 3: Merav Katz-Kimchi
Review 4: Linda Levitt
Review 5: Alan Razee
Author Response: Fred Turner

La Comunicazione del Terzo Settore nel Mezzogiorno
Author: Stefano Martelli
Publisher: Franco Angeli, 2006
Review 1: Gaetano Gucciardo (Italiano)
Review 2: Gaetano Gucciardo (English)

Organized Networks: Media Theory, Creative Labour, New Institutions
Author: Ned Rossiter
Publisher: NAi Publishers, 2006
Review 1: Daren C. Brabham
Author Response: Ned Rossiter

Reformatting Politics: Information Technology and Global Civil Society
Editors: Jodi Dean, Jon W. Anderson, Geert Lovink
Publisher: Routledge, 2006
Review 1: Athina Karatzogianni

The Internet Imaginaire
Author: Patrice Flichy
Publisher: MIT Press, 2007
Review 1: M. Beatrice Bittarello
Author Response: Patrice Flichy

The Iron Whim: A Fragmented History of Typewriting
Author: Darren Wershler-Henry
Publisher: Cornell University Press, 2007
Review 1: Adam Tourek
Author Response: Darren Wershler-Henry

The Politics of Cyberconflict
Author: Athina Karatzogianni
Publisher: Routledge, 2006
Review 1: Andrew Robinson
Author Response: Athina Karatzogianni

Uses of Blogs
Editors: Axel Bruns, Joanne Jacobs
Publisher: Peter Lang, 2006
Review 1: Tricia Farwell
Review 2: Tama Leaver
Review 3: Damien Pfister
Review 4: Daniel C. Smith
Author Response: Axel Bruns & Joanne Jacobs

enjoy. there's more where that came from.