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Tag Archives: Wikipedia

Take the “M” off of “Masses” and you get “Asses”: Jaron Lanier’s beef with the little people.

Check out Jaron’s resume and you’ll see this guy is at the top of his game. Consultant and advisor to some of the biggest businesses south of san jose, regular speaker and visiting scholar at top universities, Jaron, a renaissance technologist of sorts, manages to apply his tech wisdom to fields ranging from medicine to artificial intelligence. But it doesn’t end there, Jaron has a musical career that has put him on stage with the likes of george clinton and vernon ried! Jealous yet? Get this, he is credited with developing the concept of Virtual Reality.

So by most accounts this is the guy you love to hate. Because he has done it all, one would think that he is a fairly confident character, however, when you read his article “Digital Moaism: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism”  he comes across as horribly insecure about his future as an expert. Jaron believes that when you let everyone into the sandbox (crowd source, open source, flat organizational structure, etc.), the chances of creating something of value declines because those who actually know what they’re doing will have their voices drowned out, which, in turn, dooms us to a future of crap decision making.

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Questioning log#3 & The Cult of Wikipedia

Hi Class,

For the next two weeks we will be charging directly into the third travelogue. We will also be making a serious critique of Wikipedia and the peer production and 2.0 that we just loooove so much.

By this coming Sunday:

  • Based on the feedback you got, decide on your third travel destination.
  • Dive into the new media environment destination through a post laying out the current events or the relevant timely reference that points into your travelogue. Title your post with the initial question you want to inquire into. Include your initial assumptions for the nature of this environment and its culture. Try to define what norms are officially or unofficially defined within this environment and what possible practices might be used to work with or against these norms to learn more about their nature.
  • If you’re into Twitter (or interested to try it out), you might want to experiment with live micro-blogging as a research tool. If you come up with interesting results and methodologies, share them on our blog
  • Comment on at least three posts.

By Tuesday:

  • Optionally keep us in the know about your progress, this can be a short update or a longer one, or even a short reference to your recent travel (new finding based on comments you got, a new building you sketched up on Google Earth, a Google Wave account you got access to, a recent experience with FourSquare, or whatever) and where next does it direct you
    * Posting a second time this week is encouraged but remember not to over saturate your audience’s short attention span and lack of time.
  • Comment a lot more (at this point I hope you don’t need numbers, numbers will always betray you, you can only trust people…)

Required listening / reading / writing / watching:

  • Jaron LanierDigital Maoism
  • Audio Inteview with Jaron Lanier by Andrew Keen (it’s going on and off between his critique of Wikipedia and Virtual Reality, but the relevant part starts 11:48 through):
  • Read Gabriel’s summaries.
  • Choose one of the responses to Jaron Lanier’s Digital Maoism or one of the 10 theses in the recommended reading
  • Write your own response to the response/theses as a comment to Gabriel’s post

Very Recommended Reading:

For Gabriel:

  • Read the articles responses and listen to the interview
  • Summarize it for us in a nicely accessible post to be published by Sunday at 4:00pm, run some threads between them.
  • Be prepared to present the article and lead the discussion in class. (make some notes for yourself, even share them in a post)
  • Post to del.icio.us some links that expand the discussion either about the text or about key themes in it.