From Counterculture to Cyberculture

Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism

Author: Fred Turner

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226817431

Category: Social Science

Page: 354

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In the early 1960s, computers haunted the American popular imagination. Bleak tools of the cold war, they embodied the rigid organization and mechanical conformity that made the military-industrial complex possible. But by the 1990s—and the dawn of the Internet—computers started to represent a very different kind of world: a collaborative and digital utopia modeled on the communal ideals of the hippies who so vehemently rebelled against the cold war establishment in the first place. From Counterculture to Cyberculture is the first book to explore this extraordinary and ironic transformation. Fred Turner here traces the previously untold story of a highly influential group of San Francisco Bay–area entrepreneurs: Stewart Brand and the Whole Earth network. Between 1968 and 1998, via such familiar venues as the National Book Award–winning Whole Earth Catalog, the computer conferencing system known as WELL, and, ultimately, the launch of the wildly successful Wired magazine, Brand and his colleagues brokered a long-running collaboration between San Francisco flower power and the emerging technological hub of Silicon Valley. Thanks to their vision, counterculturalists and technologists alike joined together to reimagine computers as tools for personal liberation, the building of virtual and decidedly alternative communities, and the exploration of bold new social frontiers. Shedding new light on how our networked culture came to be, this fascinating book reminds us that the distance between the Grateful Dead and Google, between Ken Kesey and the computer itself, is not as great as we might think.

Maschinendämmerung

Eine kurze Geschichte der Kybernetik

Author: Thomas Rid

Publisher: Ullstein eBooks

ISBN: 3843713103

Category: Social Science

Page: 496

View: 4042

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Wir leben längst in der schönen neuen Cyberwelt. Das "Internet der Dinge" wird bald zum Alltag gehören, selbstfahrende Autos und Containerschiffe, Assistenzroboter oder permanentes Lifelogging stehen vor der Tür. Kontrollieren wir noch unsere Maschinen, oder kontrollieren sie längst uns? Wie kam es überhaupt dazu, dass Maschinen nicht mehr nur unsere Muskeln, sondern auch unser Gehirn ersetzen? In seiner spannenden Kulturgeschichte der Kybernetik schildert Thomas Rid, international renommierter Cyber-Experte, die Entwicklung intelligenter Maschinen von den Anfängen bis heute. Es begann mit militärischen Erfordernissen im Zweiten Weltkrieg, setzte sich fort im Wettrennen zur Eroberung des Weltraums und führte zur Entfaltung der virtuellen Welt des Cyberspace, zum Internet und zum zunehmend automatisierten Cyber War. Ohne Kenntnis dieser Geschichte, so Rid, lässt sich die spezifische Gestalt unserer heutigen Cyberwelt nicht verstehen. Die erste Kulturgeschichte der Cyberwelt, die nicht nur die technologische Entwicklung seit dem Zweiten Weltkrieg in den Blick nimmt, sondern auch die Phantasien, die die Idee menschlicher Maschinen in der Literatur oder im Kino ausgelöst haben.

Hippies, Indians, and the Fight for Red Power

Author: Sherry L. Smith

Publisher: OUP USA

ISBN: 0199855595

Category: History

Page: 265

View: 1128

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This book explains how, and why, hippies, Quakers, Black Panthers, movie stars, housewives, and labor unions, to name a few, supported Indian demands for greater political power and separate cultural existence in the modern United States.

The Ethical Economy

Rebuilding Value After the Crisis

Author: Adam Arvidsson,Nicolai Peitersen

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231526431

Category: Political Science

Page: 208

View: 968

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A more ethical economic system is now possible, one that rectifies the crisis spots of our current downturn while balancing the injustices of extreme poverty and wealth. Adam Arvidsson and Nicolai Peitersen, a scholar and an entrepreneur, outline the shape such an economy might take, identifying its origins in innovations already existent in our production, valuation, and distribution systems. Much like nineteenth-century entrepreneurs, philosophers, bankers, artisans, and social organizers who planned a course for modern capitalism that was more economically efficient and ethically desirable, we now have a chance to construct new instruments, institutions, and infrastructure to reverse the trajectory of a quickly deteriorating economic environment. Considering a multitude of emerging phenomena, Arvidsson and Peitersen show wealth creation can be the result of a new kind of social production, and the motivation of continuous capital accumulation can exist in tandem with a new desire to maximize our social impact. Arvidsson and Peitersen argue that financial markets could become a central arena in which diverse ethical concerns are integrated into tangible economic valuations. They suggest that such a common standard has already emerged and that this process is linked to the spread of social media, making it possible to capture the sentiment of value to most people. They ultimately recommend how to build upon these developments to initiate a radical democratization of economic systems and the value decisions they generate.

Digital Anthropology

Author: Heather A. Horst,Daniel Miller

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 0857852930

Category: Social Science

Page: 328

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Anthropology has two main tasks: to understand what it is to be human and to examine how humanity is manifested differently in the diversity of culture. These tasks have gained new impetus from the extraordinary rise of the digital. This book brings together several key anthropologists working with digital culture to demonstrate just how productive an anthropological approach to the digital has already become. Through a range of case studies from Facebook to Second Life to Google Earth, Digital Anthropology explores how human and digital can be defined in relation to one another, from avatars and disability; cultural differences in how we use social networking sites or practise religion; the practical consequences of the digital for politics, museums, design, space and development to new online world and gaming communities. The book also explores the moral universe of the digital, from new anxieties to open-source ideals. Digital Anthropology reveals how only the intense scrutiny of ethnography can overturn assumptions about the impact of digital culture and reveal its profound consequences for everyday life. Combining the clarity of a textbook with an engaging style which conveys a passion for these new frontiers of enquiry, this book is essential reading for students and scholars of anthropology, media studies, communication studies, cultural studies and sociology.

Film, Art, New Media: Museum Without Walls?

Museum Without Walls?

Author: Angela Dalle Vacche

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1137026138

Category: Art

Page: 358

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An anthology of essays exploring the relationship between film and art, within and across the domains of theory and practice, from the late nineteenth century to the present.

The Citizen Machine

Governing by Television in 1950s America

Author: Anna McCarthy

Publisher: The New Press

ISBN: 1595585966

Category: History

Page: 352

View: 8444

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The Citizen Machine is the untold political history of television’s formative era. Historian Anna McCarthy goes behind the scenes of early television programming, revealing that long before the age of PBS, leaders from business, philanthropy, and social reform movements as well as public intellectuals were all obsessively concerned with TV’s potential to mold the right kind of citizen. Based on years of path-breaking archival work, The Citizen Machine sheds new light on the place of television in the postwar American political landscape.

No Simple Highway

A Cultural History of the Grateful Dead

Author: Peter Richardson

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

ISBN: 1250021332

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 384

View: 973

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For almost three decades, the Grateful Dead was America's most popular touring band. No Simple Highway is the first book to ask the simple question of why—and attempt to answer it. Drawing on new research, interviews, and a fresh supply of material from the Grateful Dead archives, author Peter Richardson vividly recounts the Dead's colorful history, adding new insight into everything from the Acid Tests to the band's formation of their own record label to their massive late career success, while probing the riddle of the Dead's vast and durable appeal. Arguing that the band successfully tapped three powerful utopian ideals—for ecstasy, mobility, and community—it also shows how the Dead's lived experience with these ideals struck deep chords with two generations of American youth and continues today. Routinely caricatured by the mainstream media, the Grateful Dead are often portrayed as grizzled hippy throwbacks with a cult following of burned-out stoners. No Simple Highway corrects that impression, revealing them to be one of the most popular, versatile, and resilient music ensembles in the second half of the twentieth century. The band's history has been well-documented by insiders, but its unique and sustained appeal has yet to be explored fully. At last, this legendary American musical institution is given the serious and entertaining examination it richly deserves.

Understanding Community Media

SAGE Publications

Author: Kevin Howley

Publisher: SAGE Publications

ISBN: 1483342859

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 424

View: 6261

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A text that reveals the value and significance of community media in an era of global communication With contributions from an international team of well-known experts, media activists, and promising young scholars, this comprehensive volume examines community-based media from theoretical, empirical, and practical perspectives. More than 30 original essays provide an incisive and timely analysis of the relationships between media and society, technology and culture, and communication and community. Key Features Provides vivid examples of community and alternative media initiatives from around the world Explores a wide range of media institutions, forms, and practices—community radio, participatory video, street newspapers, Independent Media Centers, and community informatics Offers cutting-edge analysis of community and alternative media with original essays from new, emerging, and established voices in the field Takes a multidimensional approach to community media studies by highlighting the social, economic, cultural, and political significance of alternative, independent, and community-oriented media organizations Enters the ongoing debates regarding the theory and practice of community media in a comprehensive and engaging fashion Intended Audience This core text is designed for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses such as Community Media, Alternative Media, Media & Social Change, Communication & Culture, and Participatory Communication in the departments of communication, media studies, sociology, and cultural studies.

Danger Mouse's The Grey Album

Author: Charles Fairchild

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 1623561590

Category: Music

Page: 160

View: 9317

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This book marks the tenth anniversary of The Grey Album. The online release and circulation of what Danger Mouse called his 'art project' was an unexpected watershed in the turn-of-the-century brawls over digital creative practice. The album's suppression inspired widespread digital civil disobedience and brought a series of contests and conflicts over creative autonomy in the online world to mainstream awareness. The Grey Album highlighted, by its very form, the profound changes wrought by the new technology and represented the struggle over the tectonic shifts in the production, distribution and consumption of music. But this is not why it matters. The Grey Album matters because it is more than just a clever, if legally ambiguous, amalgam. It is an important and compelling case study about the status of the album as a cultural form in an era when the album appears to be losing its coherence and power. Perhaps most importantly, The Grey Album matters because it changes how we think about the traditions of musical practice of which it is a part. Danger Mouse created a broad, inventive commentary on forms of musical creativity that have defined all kinds of music for centuries: borrowing, appropriation, homage, derivation, allusion and quotation. The struggle over this album wasn't just about who gets to use new technology and how. The battle over The Grey Album struck at the heart of the very legitimacy of a long recognised and valued form of musical expression: the interpretation of the work of one artist by another.

Boom Summer 2014

A Journal of California

Author: Jon Christensen

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520962044

Category: Social Science

Page: 128

View: 5772

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Thoughtful, provocative, and playful, Boom: A Journal of California aims to create a lively conversation about the vital social, cultural, and political issues of our times, in California and the world beyond.

Making Virtual Worlds

Linden Lab and Second Life

Author: Thomas M. Malaby

Publisher: Cornell University Press

ISBN: 0801457750

Category: Computers

Page: 176

View: 6339

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The past decade has seen phenomenal growth in the development and use of virtual worlds. In one of the most notable, Second Life, millions of people have created online avatars in order to play games, take classes, socialize, and conduct business transactions. Second Life offers a gathering point and the tools for people to create a new world online. Too often neglected in popular and scholarly accounts of such groundbreaking new environments is the simple truth that, of necessity, such virtual worlds emerge from physical workplaces marked by negotiation, creation, and constant change. Thomas Malaby spent a year at Linden Lab, the real-world home of Second Life, observing those who develop and profit from the sprawling, self-generating system they have created. Some of the challenges created by Second Life for its developers were of a very traditional nature, such as how to cope with a business that is growing more quickly than existing staff can handle. Others are seemingly new: How, for instance, does one regulate something that is supposed to run on its own? Is it possible simply to create a space for people to use and then not govern its use? Can one apply these same free-range/free-market principles to the office environment in which the game is produced? "Lindens"-as the Linden Lab employees call themselves-found that their efforts to prompt user behavior of one sort or another were fraught with complexities, as a number of ongoing processes collided with their own interventions. Malaby thoughtfully describes the world of Linden Lab and the challenges faced while he was conducting his in-depth ethnographic research there. He shows how the workers of a very young but quickly growing company were themselves caught up in ideas about technology, games, and organizations, and struggled to manage not only their virtual world but also themselves in a nonhierarchical fashion. In exploring the practices the Lindens employed, he questions what was at stake in their virtual world, what a game really is (and how people participate), and the role of the unexpected in a product like Second Life and an organization like Linden Lab.

Virtually Sacred

Myth and Meaning in World of Warcraft and Second Life

Author: Robert M. Geraci

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199379971

Category: Computers

Page: 352

View: 6047

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Millions of users have taken up residence in virtual worlds, and in those worlds they find opportunities to revisit and rewrite their religious lives. Robert M. Geraci argues that virtual worlds and video games have become a locus for the satisfaction of religious needs, providing many users with devoted communities, opportunities for ethical reflection, a meaningful experience of history and human activity, and a sense of transcendence. Using interviews, surveys, and his own first-hand experience within the virtual worlds, Geraci shows how World of Warcraft and Second Life provide participants with the opportunity to rethink what it means to be religious in the contemporary world. Not all participants use virtual worlds for religious purposes, but many online residents use them to rearrange or replace religious practice as designers and users collaborate in the production of a new spiritual marketplace. Using World of Warcraft and Second Life as case studies, this book shows that many residents now use virtual worlds to re-imagine their traditions and work to restore them to "authentic" sanctity, or else replace religious institutions with virtual communities that provide meaning and purpose to human life. For some online residents, virtual worlds are even keys to a post-human future where technology can help us transcend mortal life. Geraci argues that World of Warcraft and Second Life are "virtually sacred" because they do religious work. They often do such work without regard for-and frequently in conflict with-traditional religious institutions and practices; ultimately they participate in our sacred landscape as outsiders, competitors, and collaborators.

Engineers for Change

Competing Visions of Technology in 1960s America

Author: Matthew Wisnioski

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262304260

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 304

View: 4244

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In the late 1960s an eclectic group of engineers joined the antiwar and civil rights activists of the time in agitating for change. The engineers were fighting to remake their profession, challenging their fellow engineers to embrace a more humane vision of technology. In Engineers for Change, Matthew Wisnioski offers an account of this conflict within engineering, linking it to deep-seated assumptions about technology and American life. The postwar period in America saw a near-utopian belief in technology's beneficence. Beginning in the mid-1960s, however, society--influenced by the antitechnology writings of such thinkers as Jacques Ellul and Lewis Mumford--began to view technology in a more negative light. Engineers themselves were seen as conformist organization men propping up the military-industrial complex. A dissident minority of engineers offered critiques of their profession that appropriated concepts from technology's critics. These dissidents were criticized in turn by conservatives who regarded them as countercultural Luddites. And yet, as Wisnioski shows, the radical minority spurred the professional elite to promote a new understanding of technology as a rapidly accelerating force that our institutions are ill-equipped to handle. The negative consequences of technology spring from its very nature--and not from engineering's failures. "Sociotechnologists" were recruited to help society adjust to its technology. Wisnioski argues that in responding to the challenges posed by critics within their profession, engineers in the 1960s helped shape our dominant contemporary understanding of technological change as the driver of history.

Connected Viewing

Selling, Streaming, & Sharing Media in the Digital Age

Author: Jennifer Holt,Kevin Sanson

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 113508128X

Category: Social Science

Page: 276

View: 7981

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As patterns of media use become more integrated with mobile technologies and multiple screens, a new mode of viewer engagement has emerged in the form of connected viewing, which allows for an array of new relationships between audiences and media texts in the digital space. This exciting new collection brings together twelve original essays that critically engage with the socially-networked, multi-platform, and cloud-based world of today, examining the connected viewing phenomenon across television, film, video games, and social media. The result is a wide-ranging analysis of shifting business models, policy matters, technological infrastructure, new forms of user engagement, and other key trends affecting screen media in the digital era. Connected Viewing contextualizes the dramatic transformations taking place across both media industries and national contexts, and offers students and scholars alike a diverse set of methods and perspectives for studying this critical moment in media culture.

To Promote the General Welfare

The Case for Big Government

Author: Steven Conn

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199986746

Category: History

Page: 256

View: 1233

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Americans love to hate their government, and a long tradition of anti-government suspicion reaches back to debates among the founders of the nation. But the election of Barack Obama has created a backlash rivaled only by the anti-government hysteria that preceded the Civil War. Lost in all the Tea Party rage and rhetoric is this simple fact: the federal government plays a central role in making our society function, and it always has. Edited by Steven Conn and written by some of America's leading scholars, the essays in To Promote the General Welfare explore the many ways government programs have improved the quality of life in America. The essays cover everything from education, communication, and transportation to arts and culture, housing, finance, and public health. They explore how and why government programs originated, how they have worked and changed--and been challenged--since their inception, and why many of them are important to preserve. The book shows how the WPA provided vital, in some cases career-saving, assistance to artists and writers like Jackson Pollock, Dorothea Lange, Richard Wright, John Cheever, and scores of others; how millions of students from diverse backgrounds have benefited and continue to benefit from the G.I. Bill, Fulbright scholarships, and federally insured student loans; and how the federal government created an Interstate highway system unparalleled in the world, linking the entire nation. These are just a few examples of highly successful programs the book celebrates--and that anti-government critics typically ignore. For anyone wishing to explore the flip side of today's vehement attacks on American government, To Promote the General Welfare is the best place to start.

Xenolinguistics

Psychedelics, Language, and the Evolution of Consciousness

Author: Diana Slattery

Publisher: North Atlantic Books

ISBN: 1583947345

Category: Body, Mind & Spirit

Page: 384

View: 1468

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Are language and consciousness co-evolving? Can psychedelic experience cast light on this topic? In the Western world, we stand at the dawn of the psychedelic age with advances in neuroscience; a proliferation of new psychoactive substances, both legal and illegal; the anthropology of ayahuasca use; and new discoveries in ethnobotany. From scientific papers to the individual trip reports on the Vaults of Erowid and the life work of Terence McKenna, Alexander and Ann Shulgin, and Stanislav Grof, we are converging on new knowledge of the mind and how to shift its functioning for therapeutic, spiritual, problem-solving, artistic and/or recreational purposes. In our culture, pychonautics, the practices of individuals and small groups using techniques such as meditation, shamanic ritual, ecstatic dance and substances such as LSD and psilocybin for personal exploration, is a field of action and thought in its infancy. The use of psychonautic practice as a site of research and a method of knowledge production is central to this work, the first in-depth book focusing on psychedelics, consciousness, and language. Xenolinguistics documents the author's eleven-year adventure of psychonautic exploration and scholarly research; her original intent was to understand a symbolic language system, Glide, she acquired in an altered state of consciousness. What began as a deeply personal search, led to the discovery of others, dubbed xenolinguists, with their own unique linguistic objects and ideas about language from the psychedelic sphere. The search expanded, sifting through fields of knowledge such as anthropology and neurophenomenology to build maps and models to contextualize these experiences. The book presents a collection of these linguistic artifacts, from glossolalia to alien scripts, washed ashore like messages in bottles, signals from Psyche and the alien Others who populate her hyperdimensional landscapes. With an entire chapter dedicated to Terence and Dennis McKenna and sections dedicated to numerous other xenolinguists, this book will appeal to those interested in language/linguistics and the benefits of psychedelic self-exploration, and to readers of science fiction.

Media Convergence

The Three Degrees of Network, Mass and Interpersonal Communication

Author: Klaus Bruhn Jensen

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136997881

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 208

View: 8791

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The development of digital media presents a unique opportunity to reconsider what communication is, and what individuals, groups, and societies might hope to accomplish through new as well as old media. At a time when digital media still provoke both utopian and dystopian views of their likely consequences, Klaus Bruhn Jensen places these ‘new’ media in a comparative perspective together with ‘old’ mass media and face-to-face communication, restating the two classic questions of media studies: what do media do to people, and what do people do with media? Media Convergence makes a distinction between three general types of media: the human body enabling communication in the flesh; the technically reproduced means of mass communication; and the digital technologies facilitating interaction one-to-one, one-to-many, as well as many-to-many. Features include: case studies, including mobile phones in everyday life, the Muhammad cartoons controversy and climate change as a global challenge for human communication and political action diagrams, figures, and tables summarizing key concepts beyond standard ‘models of communication’ systematic cross-referencing. Major terms are highlighted and cross-referenced throughout, with key concepts defined in margin notes.

Cinematic Perspectives on Digital Culture

Consorting with the Machine

Author: Norman Taylor

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1137284625

Category: Social Science

Page: 242

View: 308

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Exploring research into mobile phone use as props to subjective identity, Norman Taylor employs concepts from Michelle Foucault, Gilles Deleuze and actor network theory to discuss the affect of mechanisms of make-believe, from celebrity culture to avatar-obsessed game players, and digital culture.