Dear God: Jacques Derrida

| 12 March, 2012 12:38

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/10/world/americas/bernardo-pazs-inhotim-is-vast-garden-of-art.html?_r=1&hp

 

"For now, he seems more concerned with luring the masses to Inhotim to see works like “Restore Now,” a mammoth send-up of academic norms by the Swiss artist Thomas Hirschhorn, in which texts by French philosophers like Jacques Derrida and Gilles Deleuze (yes, the ones many people pretended to read in college) are interspersed with images of mutilated bodies."  At one point in my life I was married to an intelletual (See Man in Glasses, Unamused on my Website www.pattaylorfineart.net) and tried to read Derrida. It was impossible. 

Comments

But to understand the Epic of Gilgamesh, you'll first have to crenoehmpd the cave paintings and sculpture produced during the Upper Paleolithic. Without a total grasp of the cave paintings at Lascaux, you'll never be able to contextualize the oral tradition that produced Gilgamesh, leaving you without a full knowledge of the Septuagint, making your reading of Kierkegaard incomplete, making your reading of Heidegger Derrida faulty.Of course, you'll need to learn Proto Indo European

mitha | 24/04/2012, 20:59

But to understand the Epic of Gilgamesh, you'll first have to crenoehmpd the cave paintings and sculpture produced during the Upper Paleolithic. Without a total grasp of the cave paintings at Lascaux, you'll never be able to contextualize the oral tradition that produced Gilgamesh, leaving you without a full knowledge of the Septuagint, making your reading of Kierkegaard incomplete, making your reading of Heidegger Derrida faulty.Of course, you'll need to learn Proto Indo European

After reading Here Comes Everybody, it is interesting to think about how the Internet and all that goes with it (mass amateurization, easy group-forming) will change the way people think about themselves. It seems like many of the things that we have taken for granted about ourselves as individuals and as a group, things we thought to be innate characteristics, were perhaps adaptations to society as it was formed around the current institutions and technologies. The assumption that people will not work unless there is personal gain involved is now obviously not true, or not in the way we thought. More importantly, the previous structure that relegated the greater masses of people to the role of passive consumers—the (former) audience of television and broadcasting, the silent support of the institutions that fed off of them—is no longer relevant or even sustainable. Shirky’s picture is a positive one, and so well-constructed that it’s hard to tell if he’s falling into a techno-utopian view, or issuing a wake-up to people stuck in the past. It’s tempting to be seduced by a vision of a newly creative, engaged public, but I do wish he had explored the possible negatives a bit more. In the beginning of the book, using the example of the stolen sidekick, he talks about the increasing power of the former audience, but implies that this is not an unambiguous improvement. One man with a little knowledge, a comfortable financial situation and sufficient free time can unilaterally make changes to the system to benefit his cause. “But who defines what kind of cause is right?” (p. 12). This is a question I expected Shirky to come back to and explore in greater depth, and I was left unsatisfied. The answer he gives, of course, is that there are both bad and good outcomes to the increased ability to form groups, and your answer depends on where you stand: “anyone inclined to see the good effects of the coming changes can assure a positive value… while anyone who believes the world is going to hell in a handbasket can support that conclusion by the evidence (p. 297).” This is an odd conclusion coming from someone who throughout the book has done a good job of revealing the larger issues involved in our new group-forming abilities, and the “it’s all relative” statement feels a little like a copout. His examples of the pro-anorexia girls and terrorist groups—the downside of the network—were not nearly as deeply explored as the more positive or neutral examples of group forming, which leaves little doubt about Shirky’s own perspective. It’s obviously a well-thought-out and developed one, and we hope he is correct. The idea that “tools are simply a way of channeling existing motivation” is a compelling one, a firmly instrumentalist and non-techno-determinist view. It would be hard, though, to point to a moment when Shirky tries to get outside of the current of technology and question it in a fundamental way.

health insurance | 26/04/2012, 22:36

After reading Here Comes Everybody, it is interesting to think about how the Internet and all that goes with it (mass amateurization, easy group-forming) will change the way people think about themselves. It seems like many of the things that we have taken for granted about ourselves as individuals and as a group, things we thought to be innate characteristics, were perhaps adaptations to society as it was formed around the current institutions and technologies. The assumption that people will not work unless there is personal gain involved is now obviously not true, or not in the way we thought. More importantly, the previous structure that relegated the greater masses of people to the role of passive consumers—the (former) audience of television and broadcasting, the silent support of the institutions that fed off of them—is no longer relevant or even sustainable. Shirky’s picture is a positive one, and so well-constructed that it’s hard to tell if he’s falling into a techno-utopian view, or issuing a wake-up to people stuck in the past. It’s tempting to be seduced by a vision of a newly creative, engaged public, but I do wish he had explored the possible negatives a bit more. In the beginning of the book, using the example of the stolen sidekick, he talks about the increasing power of the former audience, but implies that this is not an unambiguous improvement. One man with a little knowledge, a comfortable financial situation and sufficient free time can unilaterally make changes to the system to benefit his cause. “But who defines what kind of cause is right?” (p. 12). This is a question I expected Shirky to come back to and explore in greater depth, and I was left unsatisfied. The answer he gives, of course, is that there are both bad and good outcomes to the increased ability to form groups, and your answer depends on where you stand: “anyone inclined to see the good effects of the coming changes can assure a positive value… while anyone who believes the world is going to hell in a handbasket can support that conclusion by the evidence (p. 297).” This is an odd conclusion coming from someone who throughout the book has done a good job of revealing the larger issues involved in our new group-forming abilities, and the “it’s all relative” statement feels a little like a copout. His examples of the pro-anorexia girls and terrorist groups—the downside of the network—were not nearly as deeply explored as the more positive or neutral examples of group forming, which leaves little doubt about Shirky’s own perspective. It’s obviously a well-thought-out and developed one, and we hope he is correct. The idea that “tools are simply a way of channeling existing motivation” is a compelling one, a firmly instrumentalist and non-techno-determinist view. It would be hard, though, to point to a moment when Shirky tries to get outside of the current of technology and question it in a fundamental way.

This week I took particular interest in Chapter 3, “Everyone is a Media Outlet.” On page 70, Shirky asks who should enjoy journalistic privilege. Everyone. And everyone should enjoy the journalistic responsibility of informing the masses. But what will that do for the quality of information and the ability for the masses to access that information?Then comes the big question: But who filters through all the mindless nonsense so we can have quality information. Chapter 4, “Publish, Then Filter,” answers that: we do. Once again, I see the flaws in the “old ways” of journalism. Look at Iran, blocking more sites than they are allowing right now. Gate keeping is serious business and can turn into censorship, but an overabundance of information almost makes it more difficult to find the important information. If it takes six hours to wade through all the media related to a topic of interest just to get to a study, who’s going to bother? “In a world where a dozen editors…can decide whether to run for kill a national story, information…may not be published….” (65). Exactly! But in a world where everyone publishes and nobody is considered a better source, information may not be received. There is currently a symbiotic relationship between professional and citizen journalists – professionals get the sources they can by deadline and publish the stories, citizens read the stories, know something about the topics and get further information that changes the stories, then professionals come back at the stories and the cycle begins again. Take out either of those and you get a system that cannot get information to the masses because it is either short on space (traditional) or an ocean of random facts (citizen). It takes both to make the most valuable information delivery system.Shirky writes that “Digital means of distributing words and images have robbed newspapers of the coherence they formerly had, revealing the physical object of the newspaper as a merely provisional solution; now every article is its own section” (59). Yes, and every article has the potential to become important and useful information, IF we know where to find it. For now, we can still hit the majors online to get the traditional media versions of digital delivery, but if newspapers continue to lay off “professional” reporters we will have to decide which bloggers we trust and which are just not getting it right. And suddenly, if we want the news, WE have to go get it. If “the old bargain of the newspaper … has now ended” (60), how do we get news we don’t normally consider? How many people go to the endangered animal database or the town death records on a daily basis? Do any more go and search topics outside of their lives online? Again, this has the potential to lead to a preaching to a preaching to the choir system.

term life insurance quotes | 01/05/2012, 00:06

This week I took particular interest in Chapter 3, “Everyone is a Media Outlet.” On page 70, Shirky asks who should enjoy journalistic privilege. Everyone. And everyone should enjoy the journalistic responsibility of informing the masses. But what will that do for the quality of information and the ability for the masses to access that information?Then comes the big question: But who filters through all the mindless nonsense so we can have quality information. Chapter 4, “Publish, Then Filter,” answers that: we do. Once again, I see the flaws in the “old ways” of journalism. Look at Iran, blocking more sites than they are allowing right now. Gate keeping is serious business and can turn into censorship, but an overabundance of information almost makes it more difficult to find the important information. If it takes six hours to wade through all the media related to a topic of interest just to get to a study, who’s going to bother? “In a world where a dozen editors…can decide whether to run for kill a national story, information…may not be published….” (65). Exactly! But in a world where everyone publishes and nobody is considered a better source, information may not be received. There is currently a symbiotic relationship between professional and citizen journalists – professionals get the sources they can by deadline and publish the stories, citizens read the stories, know something about the topics and get further information that changes the stories, then professionals come back at the stories and the cycle begins again. Take out either of those and you get a system that cannot get information to the masses because it is either short on space (traditional) or an ocean of random facts (citizen). It takes both to make the most valuable information delivery system.Shirky writes that “Digital means of distributing words and images have robbed newspapers of the coherence they formerly had, revealing the physical object of the newspaper as a merely provisional solution; now every article is its own section” (59). Yes, and every article has the potential to become important and useful information, IF we know where to find it. For now, we can still hit the majors online to get the traditional media versions of digital delivery, but if newspapers continue to lay off “professional” reporters we will have to decide which bloggers we trust and which are just not getting it right. And suddenly, if we want the news, WE have to go get it. If “the old bargain of the newspaper … has now ended” (60), how do we get news we don’t normally consider? How many people go to the endangered animal database or the town death records on a daily basis? Do any more go and search topics outside of their lives online? Again, this has the potential to lead to a preaching to a preaching to the choir system.

Clay Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody brings about a very nice and easy understanding of how the Internet has brought about new tools, in which individuals are now capable of networking with one another in ways they had never been able to before. It’s through the Internet that society has been able to use blogs and social networks like Flickr and Mypace (both of which are mentioned in the book) to connect and inform others. It is expressed that it is not the sites that network us though, but rather the users.Shirky’s points out that networks like Flickr don’t organize groups to together, but rather gives users the tooks in which they can then form and mediate group movements that once would have been possible. In chapter 2, we read about the Mermaid Parade, which takes place in New York City. Many of the participants wanted a way to get in-touch with others, but did not have a central method of doing that. Well by many of them up-loaded their photos of the parade to Flickr, they were did not coordinate an organization for the event, but by their photos being typed with the same tags, they were able to network themselves together with others of the same interest. Wikipedia is another example of this. Most view Wikipedia as just another form of information that lets user add to or correct entries that have already been created. It has also been used for more. As we read in chapter 5, “Within minutes of the bombs going off in London transit system, someone created a Wikipedia page called “7 July 2005 London bombings.” (116) The entry was constantly edited throughout the day as new data came in, thus bringing people together to help inform other and create a bit of new information not just for that day, but for the future also. Still through all the good that is brought with these networks, one has to ask whether or not all of this freedom which society has gained thanks to the new digital revolution really a good thing. Sure we are able to inform and get information out there at a much faster rate, but how are we truly able to filter all of the good from the bad? When an event is organized through a network like Myspace or Facebook, just how much control will the organizer have given how many people may see it? Where as we the people are given more power so that we can be heard, we have to hope that we won’t lose control or abuse the new tools that we’ve come to enjoy and depend upon.

health insurance | 02/05/2012, 03:33

Clay Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody brings about a very nice and easy understanding of how the Internet has brought about new tools, in which individuals are now capable of networking with one another in ways they had never been able to before. It’s through the Internet that society has been able to use blogs and social networks like Flickr and Mypace (both of which are mentioned in the book) to connect and inform others. It is expressed that it is not the sites that network us though, but rather the users.Shirky’s points out that networks like Flickr don’t organize groups to together, but rather gives users the tooks in which they can then form and mediate group movements that once would have been possible. In chapter 2, we read about the Mermaid Parade, which takes place in New York City. Many of the participants wanted a way to get in-touch with others, but did not have a central method of doing that. Well by many of them up-loaded their photos of the parade to Flickr, they were did not coordinate an organization for the event, but by their photos being typed with the same tags, they were able to network themselves together with others of the same interest. Wikipedia is another example of this. Most view Wikipedia as just another form of information that lets user add to or correct entries that have already been created. It has also been used for more. As we read in chapter 5, “Within minutes of the bombs going off in London transit system, someone created a Wikipedia page called “7 July 2005 London bombings.” (116) The entry was constantly edited throughout the day as new data came in, thus bringing people together to help inform other and create a bit of new information not just for that day, but for the future also. Still through all the good that is brought with these networks, one has to ask whether or not all of this freedom which society has gained thanks to the new digital revolution really a good thing. Sure we are able to inform and get information out there at a much faster rate, but how are we truly able to filter all of the good from the bad? When an event is organized through a network like Myspace or Facebook, just how much control will the organizer have given how many people may see it? Where as we the people are given more power so that we can be heard, we have to hope that we won’t lose control or abuse the new tools that we’ve come to enjoy and depend upon.