Hi, please


Comments Posted By Harris

Displaying 1 To 30 Of 91 Comments

Weekly Summary: Education Evolution in the Age of New Media

Although much has been said on this topic, posting late allows me to look at this debate, especially The Impending Demise of the University, in the new perspective set by one of our final readings by Catherine Frost. For her, exclusion is the primary site of change.

“It may not be the people with the most extensive access or highest profile online” who will pose the challenges to the university that we talk about. It will be those “with limited access” to Western universities, “just enough to see what they are missing out on”, who will be compelled to figure out “pioneering new modes of social relations, meaning and engagement” including education.

For many living in the third world, educational use of the internet is not a choice, but the only option.

» Posted By Harris On April 29, 2010 @ 5:50 am

Networking Knowledge: Sharing is Caring

I’m going for… yes… Sex and the Internet. It’s something I’ve worked on and I think needs more attention that it gets (I mean academically) :)

» Posted By Harris On April 20, 2010 @ 3:14 pm

Weekly Summary: Representation, Simulation and Fun

Jimena, yes it’s quite ironic that Gov Schwarzenegger signed the law.
An interesting fact that relates to the difference between games and stories is that the most violent video games and animations are made and consumed in Japan, which also happens to be a country with one of the lowest crime rates in the world.
I believe any ‘perverse’ pleasure that we fear people may derive out of games that let you do things you can’t do in real life, falls under the ambit of the aesthetic. It is ‘easy fun’. If there is no hard fun in such games, they become boring and people move on.

» Posted By Harris On April 29, 2010 @ 6:09 am

Face Off – How do people react when their online identity is questioned?

Thank you guys. Alexandra, you’re being humble. You video was awesome. And yes it’s the video quality that’s distorting the text. Youtube processes the video for up to a couple of hours after it is uploaded, after that the quality improves significantly.

» Posted By Harris On March 30, 2010 @ 12:01 pm

With little knowledge of HTML, what is involved in making a Twitter Bot that aggregates & retweets geotagged info?

I think this pipe might solve your problem:


Also try this:


» Posted By Harris On March 30, 2010 @ 12:14 pm

What is a museum in 2010?

Its interesting that the very practice of using new media to reach out to the audience, such as a twitter tour, is so remarkable that it qualifies in itself to be viewed – the museum is displaying itself as a wonder :)

» Posted By Harris On March 30, 2010 @ 11:56 am

Voices of Dissent: How Indians and Pakistanis are using Social Media to air their opinions!

That picture with Jinnah and Gandhi laughing together is remarkable.

» Posted By Harris On March 30, 2010 @ 11:41 am

The digital afterlife: what happens in social media when we die? Part I

What happens if someone lies about someone’s death to gain access to their accounts?
I loved your formal journalist-like tone in the podcast, lol didn’t know expensive equipment does that to people :D

» Posted By Harris On March 30, 2010 @ 12:09 pm

Weekly Summary : Interface!

I think cognitive illusions are part of all interfaces dating as far as language and before it. And the interface always hides itself to ensure efficiency.
I speak a language in which assigning feminine gender to objects means they are small and assigning a masculine one means that they are big. There is clear male dominance at play here, and for someone who has grown up speaking this language, it seems like common sense to assume masculine is grand and feminine petty.

But then, just as to talk about language we have metalanguage, to talk about the web we have metaweb.

It’s only that being a relatively new interface and being associated with computers, maths and logic, the web is assumed to be neutral, and more recently, always liberating.

Zuckerberg’s statement that privacy is no longer a social norm is valid in the context of Facebook’s competition with twitter, which is by default a searchable public space.

» Posted By Harris On March 30, 2010 @ 7:27 am

Death and social media

I remember talking to Niharika about this, I had a similar very devastating experience and was very intrigued by how his profile became a virtual memorial space.
And she’s right on with how this can prolong the misery, especially when facebook keeps suggesting that you should message them because you haven’t talked to them recently.

Nadine I’m experiencing technical difficulties hearing the podcast for some reason :(

» Posted By Harris On March 23, 2010 @ 2:03 pm

The Art of the Mashup/Remix Culture

Yes Ryan, and I’m sure everyone will be surprised to know how simple it is. But when I say it’s simple, I’m only talking about how these basic tools work. The other surprising thing is how these basic tools can be used to create such amazingly diverse art. And that is very relevant to your topic.

It depends only on how innovative one can be, and on how much time one can put into it. These simple videos can take surprisingly long to make. At least in windows, sometimes downloading, importing and trimming clips can be a very frustrating practice full of malfunctions and errors and requires a lot of perseverance.
I was surprised at how much time I was willing to spend just to make sure the video would look exactly like how I want it to look like :) Now I know why people spend so much time making mashups without commercial incentives. Personal fulfilment is the most inspiring incentive.

» Posted By Harris On March 23, 2010 @ 1:43 pm

When the museum gets to YOU…

Ryan I think they will post pictures – if they’re trying to explain hallways full of art in 140 characters each without any images, I’ll start to have serious doubts about the future of mankind :D

» Posted By Harris On March 23, 2010 @ 1:34 pm

Mmmm…It’s Almost Ice Cream Season!

o m g this is going to be fun! That’s a very very smart idea and the new content you will create is actually going to be useful! :)

So… explain a little more how this works. I mean your plan is sound, but what will you have to do, step by step, to be able to set things up on the web?
This sounds very promising indeed, once we know what the deal is we could replicate this to create other useful map-based content… although it is my conviction that ice cream is one of the most important and useful things in the world.

» Posted By Harris On March 22, 2010 @ 9:19 pm

We’ve talked about porn, now let’s talk about periods

Very very interesting. I think gaps and cracks in the discourse of beauty in the media can be used as exploits to transform that discourse.
I’m not sure if Dove and Kotex initiated this trend or are only following an emerging trend? I would compare them to Google in a sense that although they accept certain emerging liberating trends and in that way give them legitimacy, they are corporations in the end and profit is a motive. Although I think even for corporations, profit is not the only common goal.

I don’t know how you can ‘measure’ any change in girls’ life that this practice will bring about, but I’d say just go there on those websites and talk to women, see if they’re willing to talk about their experience, anonymously in text, or through artwork, or webcam interviews?

» Posted By Harris On March 23, 2010 @ 1:55 pm

Mobile Donations – Travelogue 4

Hahaha @ step 1! Now that’s a fantastic beginning to reporting from the medium. Almost-surreally delightfully amazing!

Maybe your rich medium for this travelogue should be SMS :) Like just post an instruction on here on where and what to text and we receive your blog post by SMS lol You’ll have to keep it to twitter-length though, that’s the down side.

This is only the introductory post and you’ve solved one of the major problems of my life. For months I had been wondering how I could create a sustainable but convenient donation model for some nonprofit projects back home where we don’t have credit cards and if we do we never use them online. That shouldn’t have been a problem at all in a country that has 97.6 million mobile phone users (60 percent of the population). Thank you thank you thank you.

I’m looking forward to reading about a) safety and reliability, and b) authenticity and relevance, i.e. what will happen if this becomes too popular?

» Posted By Harris On March 22, 2010 @ 8:55 pm

Electronic Waste: An Intro

Electronic devices have become so cheap that ‘repairing’ just doesn’t seem feasible. It has become a dying art, even in a third world country I come from. I always wonder if these devices are intentionally designed to be disposable, so that we keep buying new ones?
There shouldn’t be any e-waste until the last human has his own laptop… lol

Check out http://www.cashforlaptops.com/

» Posted By Harris On March 22, 2010 @ 7:47 pm

Mirrors and Masks – performing identity on the web

p.s. About the ethical problem, I’ve been thinking of two ways: 1) To find existing situations of people responding to challenges to their identity on youtube, and 2) going the unethical way and recording them anyway

» Posted By Harris On March 30, 2010 @ 2:30 am

Mushon, yes identity is almost always performed and in the words of Goffman quoted by Nadine, “A correctly staged and performed scene leads the audience to impute a self to a performed character.” As we go online, I think right now that we change genre, like from theater to film, now we can pause and manage the props, and there are unlimited retakes :)

I’m sorry about the fast text, it wasn’t intended that way, it was an error of judgment that came from having read the text before. It was my first attempt at this :)

» Posted By Harris On March 30, 2010 @ 2:16 am

Thank you Ryan, and it’s okay, the projector/old movie effect is the most overused effect because of newbies like me, it wouldve been more appropriate for some parts of your video.
Your questions of how to methodologically compare online identity with the offline one is something I’ve been thinking about. We usually just take people on, say chat roulette, on face value. So following Leslie’s suggestion I’m going to try to focus on how people react when their identity is challenged, when they are told that they are trying to be someone else.

» Posted By Harris On March 23, 2010 @ 12:20 pm

Juliette, that’s very nice of you. I will try to keep the flavor, although I do hope I get to create richer and more dynamic content through my interaction with people.

Those are some very relevant questions that you ask. I don’t believe performances of identity can be qualified scientifically. The only way I can think of is to just interact with people in the particular new media environment I am looking at.

Even if I passively look at youtube videos, I would want to familiarize myself with how the audience behaves and how the audience participates in the construction of the performer’s identity.

» Posted By Harris On March 22, 2010 @ 8:42 pm

Thank you Honieh,
It’s a very touching Farsi poem about identity. This recording is from the early 80′s, the vocalists were both migrants to Pakistan – the woman from Afghanistan and the man from Iran. I don’t understand all of it though, but one day. One day I will write my own Farsi poem!

Yes the topic needs to be narrowed down (duh!) I think Leslie just helped me choose a niche.

A series is not a bad idea: ‘God Father : the mother of all travelogues!’ :)

» Posted By Harris On March 22, 2010 @ 8:29 pm

Nadine, you’re right, this needs more specificity. Symbolic suicide on the Internet – you mean the Web 2.0 Suicide Machine (now taken down) that would delete everything from your facebook? Also related is how a Florida teen broadcast his suicide live on his webcam in 2008 (suicide as performance?)

Alexandra, this was my first attempt. Just played around with the most basic tools and effects. I used Cyberlink Power Director because it’s something I want to work in more seriously, but this video can be made with a simple free Windows Movie Maker. If you use Mac there are several free options. I can go over the process with you after class, it’s really really simple.

Leslie, thank you, it looks like I did manage to convey to you what I find fascinating about this whole phenomenon. From posting passport images online to saying ‘I’m not fake’ on youtube, there are so many fascinating ways in which people seem to react when the authenticity of their identity is challenged. Your comment seems like the nudge I needed to just dive into this.
Doing it on ChatRoullete can be fun – of course I will have to find ways to escape the dreaded F9 (which I’m so fixated with that I made it my display picture). In the context of my previous travelogue, it’s very obvious how women hold the power to choose. I might have to ask female friends to help.

» Posted By Harris On March 22, 2010 @ 7:15 pm

Thought I’d try video right away, just to see how it goes…

» Posted By Harris On March 21, 2010 @ 10:56 am

Travelogue 4: I need your help!

Go for the flash mobs! Go for the flash mobs!

I also love the humanoid idea, but then, if we’re looking to go beyond recycling existing content, then rather than just reading and posting, see if you can get hold of or go look at some kind of a bot, an arm (to arm-wrestle with etc) a face, or just one of those MSN bots, and see how people interact with it in certain situations?

» Posted By Harris On March 22, 2010 @ 9:03 pm

Museums to Go 2 options…

I wish you could do both! How does the Twitter tour work? Do you get a read-only virtual tour or can you actually walk through the things they mention carrying a device?
I think this blog post that I really like might help you with what questions you should ask:

Museums 2.0: An Open Letter to Museums on Twitter

» Posted By Harris On March 20, 2010 @ 6:41 pm

Copyright in China, 960–1279

This is very very fascinating, considering that our debate on copyrights usually begins only with the Statute of Anne.

This period in Chinese history is known for advances in visual arts in China, and poetry and calligraphy were taken up as an acceptable practice by the gentry. When arts go beyond folk, it is natural for the copyright issue to have emerged. Although their governance system of competitive civil services exams and patrolling sheriffs was effective enough to enforce at least some level of copyright laws – the natural question is:

Were these claims based on common-law oriented concepts of natural right to one’s copy, or did the government provide statutory protection?

The warning that “any violation will be pursued” seems to suggest the latter and this makes your discovery all the more fascinating.

Is it possible to ask someone who minds the museum if they know of any statutory copyright laws from those times, and – considering the famous anonymous ‘Scholar in the Meadow’ painting represented those times – are there any documents that talk about the philosophical reasoning behind that law?

» Posted By Harris On March 20, 2010 @ 6:31 pm

Weekly Summary: Networking, Notworking, and What to do Next?

“I think a lot of people out there tend to just accept technological solutions at face value and assume that this is the way it’s ‘supposed’ to work, not necessarily realizing that they could and maybe should have an impact.”
That’s true Alexandra, but then, since they do not care to know about the philosophy behind a solution, it also enhances their capacity to find and use exploits with moral indifference. Right?

That’s where I think the Galloway/Thacker reading connects. Reminded me of one of the readings from the previous weeks, where Scholz said the existing platforms could be used in a way that allows meaningful social interaction (eg even amazon.com reviews can be written as a genre of creative writing).
He said that as the network becomes less centralized (he used the term web 2.0), there is more space for manoeuvring for such actions.

I definitely need more help understanding Nagurney.

» Posted By Harris On March 23, 2010 @ 1:31 pm

Cyborgasms – Concluding Travelogue 3

And honestly Mushon, some of the results on Criagslist were so surprising and unbelievable to me that I forced myself to be statistically more appropriate and try everything three times over – despite Criagslist’s two posts in 48 hours and one phone number per account rules.

This is not one of the primary fields I intended to work in, but how this has turned out makes me want to continue exploring this. I am much more curious now than I was when I began.

And in that way, yes it was “an exploratory research that generate non-representative examples that may conjure some initial thoughts towards a deeper research”.

If someone comes across this online and wants to consider it for a PhD thesis, I will be delighted if they email me their dissertation :)

» Posted By Harris On March 16, 2010 @ 10:49 am

Dear Mushon,
“Non-representative examples” is the keyword here. There is a debate in sociology around whether it is possible to statistically formulate human behavior. I like to believe that it is not. And since the tone of these travelogues was set by The Trap, I just assumed it was a given instead of having mentioned it clearly :)

Let me explain my approach: For example, can statistics explain a wink? You can wink at me to signal a conspiracy against a third participant of our discussion. But he can catch you winking and then laugh, winking at you to parody what you did. And I can seem to wink but it might be just a twitch. Can statistics differentiate between these winks?

They cannot. They can also not differentiate between an automated craigslist response – by a bot in search of a dating site sale, a prostitute in search of a client, and a woman in search of a sexual encounter.

For me, a primary advantage of embedding myself in a cultural situation on the web is that I can differentiate between the winks and give them a meaning in a cultural context, albeit not an ‘objective’ one.

This is Clifford Geertz’s methodology of Thick Description – which he says is not “an experimental science in search of law” but “an interpretive one in search of meaning”.

As a semiotic concept, “culture is not a power – something to which social events, behaviors, institutions, or processes can causally be attributed”, Geertz believed, but a context in which individuals give meanings to their experiences.

My job in these travelogues, I believe, was not that of a “cipher clerk” in the words of Geertz, but of a literary critic. I see social media situations as texts whose meaning I construct. “A manuscript — foreign, faded, full of ellipses, incoherencies, suspicious emendations, and tendentious commentaries,” not as written words, but in the form of transient behavior.

I think this is also what you did in the second part of your response.

I did try to imply these points in my posts and in response to some of the comments but did not clearly name Thick Description as my methodology. Now I think I should have. I also think I can go over some text from my concluding posts to elaborate my concept of social media situations as texts.

> Craigslist is one topic while IMUV is a total
> other topic. one way for them to be better
> connected is through your findings. If the post
> was less driven by your research stats and more
> about your research conclusions it could have
> probably better supported your writing.

Agreed, 100 percent.

» Posted By Harris On March 16, 2010 @ 10:34 am

Thanks H2 :)
There are far more men on Craigslist than women, that’s especially evident from the number of responses they get. Perhaps that contributes to more authority for women, because they have the power of choice. But that is certainly not the only factor. There are more women on IMVU than men – in fact two women for every man – but they still exercise authority and control, mostly responding to compliance with social or sexual favors.
Demographic data on where users belong is not published, but from my own experience it looked like most users were from the US. But depending on what time I logged on at, I saw people from all over the world, the Middle East, Indians are a growing community, from the far east, some from Japan, pretty much from everywhere.

What we see as ‘natural’, I believe, was also constructed in a historical situation and is therefore artificial. This new artificiality only enhances the old one – it retains some traits and reverses some others based on cracks that were already present. “The lines tend to bleed” :)

» Posted By Harris On March 9, 2010 @ 4:11 pm

 Page 1 of 4  1  2  3  4  » 
«« Back To Stats Page