Archive for the ‘Media and Technology’ Category

The agora

October 8, 2012

 

When I see a former student of mine taking such an initiative, acting collectively and materialising the whole idea about being a ‘political animal’I feel so proud!!! 

Well done Nicholas Pullen!

China and Internet censorship: far from over

June 11, 2012

China appears restless in systematising Internet censorship. The old story goes on

In China….the girls are not happy…

September 30, 2011

In China  a TV talent show,  ‘Happy Girl’,  was just recently shut down by the government as it allowed viewers to vote for the winner and therefore it promoted democratic values. So interesting!

Being exposed to decision-making procedures, exercising the right to vote and participatory behaviours are likely to make the Chinese people demanding more and more….happiness. So sad -for the government- to be happy in China!

Digital ‘End of History’? Hmmm….not yet

March 30, 2011

The Middle East uprisings have triggered an enthusiastic rhetoric regarding a strong correlation between ‘Democratisation’ and the ‘Social Media’. Morozov seems to disagree.

Authoritarian states around the world will now develop new strategies to tame the web

This is the main subject of his recently published book The Net Delusion: How not to Liberate the World.

I agree. Fighting for democracy is not triggered, it is just facilitated by the new media. The twitter becomes more the tool rather than the reason. But I also come to understand Clay Shirky’s position as expressed in the Foreign Affairs last month: the social media synchronise the behaviour of groups and therefore alter the dynamics of the public sphere.

I am sure that more case studies -after Iran, Tynisia, Egypt – will be available for further exploration pretty soon…

Egypt back online

February 3, 2011

Facebook and Twitter are now available and the four major Egyptian internet service providers are back in business‘ as BBC reports.

The ‘weapons’ are back, revolution can go on, the power of the Net turned out to be stronger than the ‘Power’ itself.

 

Hungary and democracy

January 30, 2011

Since 1st January 2011 Hungary holds the presidency of the European Union for 6 months. Hungary is supposed to be the model member state and promote the image of the EU as a whole. In December 2010 the government passed a new media legislation that places print, broadcast and online media under the supervision of a new authority powerful to impose fines for violating ‘public interest, public morals or order’ .

Is the freedom of speech likely to become a victim? Let’s hope that the new implementations will be watched closely by Brussels and that we will not talk about traumatized liberal values in an EU country that is supposed to lead the way for six months….

 

Hyper time, hyper activities

January 29, 2011

Tim Weber reports from the recent World Economic Forum at Davos upon the high usage of smart phones during the Davos’ sessions. The Hyper-connectivity is an undoubted reality and the question is how people will be able to deal with myriads of info and their great challenges.

‘….in nearly every session at least a dozen participants surreptitiously or openly use their smartphones, laptops or tablets…’

The report also sets the question whether the learning process requires full devotion to the subject studied, full concentration and uninterrupted mind-organisation. I still remember my father being bothered by my brother any time the latest was reading a book or doing his homework by listening to the radio at the same time.  ‘You cant’ do that …’ my father used to say…’…you have to do either the one or the other…’. What my father would actually say now when reading a newspaper, tweeting and checking your inbox can be activities that can take place almost synchronously?? The era of Hyper-time has come!

 

 

Dear Egyptian government…

January 29, 2011

One of the main topics that attracted this week’s interest is the protest in Egypt against President Mubarak that followed similar protests in Tunisia. The fear for a domino effect in Middle East is not an unrealistic one. But, it seems that the new victim of those protests is the Internet connection, the ability of the people to be connected and to use the social media-necessary tools for the organization and mobilization of their actions.

The Net activities in Egypt started to be very problematic since last Tuesday with Facebook and Twitter and further mobile services non responsive, and the users in an effort to discover alternative connection mechanisms. Needless to say,  that the official government denied any responsibility at the very beginning.

Governments that claim that they promote free speech should know that nowadays by ‘free speech’ we mean ‘ being, talking, and acting online‘. Cutting down the online services is not about restoring order in a violent crackdown. The more immediate the response of a government re cutting down online services the higher the chance to be called authoritarian.

Dear governments: On line means also In line (with the contract signed between you and the people).

Now, Know: so what?

December 3, 2010

I am trying to figure out what the Wikileaks stand for:

  • W hat (an)
  • I rony!
  • K nowing (from)
  • I nside…
  • L ying (to)
  • E veryone…
  • A ttention (please):
  • K nowledge (for)
  • S ale!!!!

I just read an interesting article by Frank Furedi in which he argues that the revelations refer more to voyeurism rather than journalism. He states among others:

“…The only purpose of the leaks is to embarrass and to sow confusion. Superficially, the claim that the public has ‘a right to know’ sounds like an affirmation of the democratic ethos. But what does ‘the right to know’ mean? There is nothing enlightened or democratic about exposing informal deliberations between officials to public scrutiny. Most diplomatic exchanges involve the expression of provisional or incomplete opinions, rather than hard facts. The public does not have an intrinsic right to know how people find and assess and interpret information...”

What is the ‘right to know’? To know what? The ‘known’ or the ‘unknown’?. And what can make a difference? To know or to act on the basis of the knowledge? Knowledge requires action, otherwise it becomes sterilised, boring, pointless….But, in the political world, ‘discovering’ does not always mean ‘knowing’ what is going on, and ‘knowing’ does not necessarily lead to deliberation and reasoned debate.

Re Wikileaks, knowledge becomes dramatic exactly because it reaffirms the already existing assumption….the ‘possible’, the ‘might be’. It is not so dramatic after all, it just feeds our deep interest to find out how a well dressed man/woman looks when naked…(but we have already used our imagination…).

 

Path vs Facebook?

December 2, 2010

Tired of Facebook? Unable to handle a great amount of ‘friends’ and to systematically interact with them? Path is probably the solution! This is a new social media platform also available at Apple store.

According to the Path’s blog: “Path is the personal network.  A place to be yourself and share life with close friends and family…..Path allows you to capture your life’s most personal moments and share them with the 50 close friends and family in your life who matter most.Because your personal network is limited to your 50 closest friends and family, you can always trust that you can post any moment, no matter how personal. Path is a place where you can be yourself.”

Is Path supposed to offer a new ‘path’ to social networking by being more anti-social? Or, exactly because it limits the interaction among max 50 people is likely to emerge as a more pragmatic, meta-social forum? I am sure I will tell more after ‘tasting’ it!