Week 4 Questions

Dusty Moon

New Media and Power

Question week 4

Being Digital

  • The reading by James Curran seems to indicate an outlook upon the internet sharing principles behind the social construction of technology (SCT) ideology. The reading from the Birth of the World Wide Web seems to share a blend of ideas between the technological determinism tract and the SCT tract. Did the need for a wartime resilient communication drive humanity to this creation? Or was this simply the next viable technological evolution given the past advances?
  • However, the internet seems like a beast of a different color entirely from the technology that came before. Thus I wonder how do we, from a generation of and by the internet, feel it fits or does not fit within these two theories? Does the internet defy the classification? Is this perhaps the way in which all new technology work, that only the revisionist can truly classify it after the fact? Who should decide the generation before, during or after the advent of the tech piece?
  • Those that conceived of the internet never lived with a system like it before its creation. We have all grown up within the Digital age, more or less, and thus probably see the internet as something fundamentally different. Tim Berners-Lee seemed optimistic about the general technological possibilities and the human race as stewards of the world wide web. There is an odd phenomenon that happens often when people release the ownership of something into the public domain. The public will often change the intended purpose of this piece sometimes for the better, often times for the worse. Tim Berners-Lee seems very concerned about the monopolization of the forum via governmental oversight and general commercial greed.
  • So the question is should we seek to revert back to the founding ideas of the creators or should we allow the internet to evolve with the whim of society? Has the internet become a beast untamable by humanity?
  • Does this open up the internet to become a tool of mass surveillance and oppression? Who should decide the laws that govern an institution that reaches across and through governments? Who should decide which direction this technology should advance?
  • Along the lines of the previous question, Tim Berners-Lee raises several issues concerning privacy.
  • Is the Internet a private or public institution? Why or Why not?
  • Does the ability to do something on the internet give someone the right to do so? If not who governs these actions? Are we to trust in the decency of mankind?
  • It could be said that art is beauty in the dimension of space, and that music is beauty in the dimension of time. For the advent of internet entire paradigms have shifted and evolved creating something utterly new. There is something fundamentally inspiring and elusive about the process of convincing of this behemoth. As I read the text I could not help but picture the creation and functionality of the internet as something akin to a large brain connected via electrical signals arching and transmitting data. Given my personal background in Neuroscience this is hardly surprising.
  • Considering the massive monster of the web are there any specific ways in which you view and conceive of the functioning behind the curtain? Does this influence the use to which you employ the internet? Does this alter the direction you wish to see the internet grow?

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