Through the MCDM

August 19, 2008

Filed under: Reflection — captainchunk @ 11:25 pm

I found the article discussion by Peter and Paolo very interesting. The date of the article does make a difference, but I was more interested in the question of intranet vs. internet. It was mentioned that companies back then rarely let their employees on the internet and most restricted access to the intranet. Since I work in the professional networking space, I see an issue that is very similar to this currently. Right now, cloud computing is a big buzz word and businesses are faced with the question of how to do business networking. Do you keep it internal or do you go out and join one of the public networks? Part of that choice is based on security and data control… which is, I am guessing, similar to the issues back in the day of intranet vs. internet. Sort of interesting to see a very similar argument playing out again.

I talked with Terry about the future of the internet over the next 5,000 days. I really don’t think that the internet will be accessed by people on their computers. Instead, it will happen via televisions and mobile phones. Online shopping will not significantly change in the next 13 years. Web based OSes will become standard and be led by Google and Facebook. Peer production will play an increasing roll, but it will still be difficult to make money from it. We also agreed with Anderson in that filtering needs to play a big roll in shaping the internet. The amount of content will be just too great and crush productivity unless effective filters can be discovered.

The next 5,000 days on the internet are going to be even more exciting that the previous 5,000 days.


August 18, 2008

Some questions

Filed under: Questions — captainchunk @ 9:03 am

Does the word journalist need to go? In today’s market, does it describe what it needs to describe?

Media consumption is changing to a faster delivery of information and making it more superficial. 140 characters, I am looking at you. Will these new citizen journalists be able to do in-depth investigative news gathering?

Does there need to be a good revenue model for these citizen journalists? Do they even care about money?

Book Review #3

Filed under: Review — captainchunk @ 12:25 am

Well… I tried the alternative route for this one. I read the book We’re All Journalists Now by Scott Gant which was published in 2007 and is 204 pages long. My review is 10:45 long.

This is my first podcast. The strangest thing about it was feeling like I was talking to myself. In true citizen journalist fashion, I used the tools I had available (which was a microphone from the video game Rock Band), so the audio production leaves room for improvement.

If anybody has technical troubles with the .mp3 file let me know.


August 6, 2008

Wealth Wrap-up class

Filed under: Reflection — captainchunk @ 8:59 pm

Fun class session and Howard had some interesting things to say.

I want to start by saying how cool technology can be. It isn’t like video conferencing is new, nor is it without its technical problems as witnessed on Monday, but it is still very cool. Which really just shows how early on we are in this stage of technology and new media. Howard talked a little bit about education and technology and about how technology education should at least start at the high school level and should also come from parents. At this point in time, I believe that to be too conservative. I do think that parents should do most of the eduction about the internet… its good points and its failings. But… schools should start the education process towards the end of elementary school. These kids need to start the learning process early.

Using Skype to talk to somebody in California, is really pretty simple, but how often does something like that happen at elementary schools or junior highs, or high schools? I am guessing not every often. Howard’s example of really illustrated the kind of thing kids might run across.

The small group discussion about peer production at the end was useful in figuring out that I don’t know that much about peer production. It is a lot harder to try and think about practical applications of peer production that to just think about it in theory. I still think that senior citizens could be a fantastic resource of peer production. The obvious hurtle is the usability of technology, but I think that can be overcome.

August 4, 2008

The Wealth Review

Filed under: Review — captainchunk @ 9:19 am

The Wealth of Networks. Yochai Benkler. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006. 515 pp.

The value of a network is created by the nodes in the network. Yochai Benkler discusses this and other issues at length in The Wealth of Networks while driving to his central tenet of “individuals as the core driving social force behind the networked information economy.”(p. 15) The individual is obviously one of the keys to understanding the implications of a networked information economy.

In his analysis of the information economy, Benkler raises an interesting question concerning the autonomy of the individual. In Chapter 5, he discusses the basic premise that information and decisions form the foundation for the autonomy of the individual. There are two processes happening with the information involved in this autonomy. The first is the acquisition method by the individual, and the second occurs when the individual makes decisions based on that data.

Benkler says that information can come from many different channels to the individual. These channels are all different and could contain the same information or different information. The number of information channels also varies, from one to many. Now, as long as those channels remain free and unrestricted, so does the autonomy of the individual. Theoretically, the decisions made by the individual based off of the information are logically sound due to the nature of the information channel. The amount of autonomy is a direct function of the information decision process. The moment one of those information channels is controlled, autonomy has been decreased.

I agree with Benkler about the regulation of information channels and the effect they have on the autonomy of the individual, but I think he protects himself too much in his analysis. He qualifies it by saying “with sufficient choice among pipes, and sufficient knowledge about the differences between pipes, the very choice to use the manipulated pipe can be seen as an autonomous act.”(p. 148) The issue here is the individual’s knowledge of the information channel’s integrity. I am mostly concerned about the individuals who do not have knowledge of the information channel’s integrity and how that impacts autonomy. Looking at individuals in the United States, the thought of information channels is not something that occurs to the vast majority of people.

Just recently the FCC ruled against Comcast for regulating bit torrent traffic on its network. This is a prefect example of controlling the information channel. The vast majority of Comcast users were totally unaware that bit torrent traffic was being controlled, but some users did notice and discovered the regulation. By using Benkler’s analysis, the people who chose to use Comcast for bit torrent and were aware of the bit torrent restriction, were completely autonomous because they knew of the control. The majority of people who didn’t know about it were not as autonomous as the people who knew. I think there is a problem here. The vast majority of people don’t even use bit torrent so they were never even affected by the restriction. How can their normal and need fulfilling use be considered to be anything less than fully autonomous? The got the information they needed by using the information channel that is Comcast, and they could make decisions based on that information.

Autonomy is critical to analyze because of its relationship with the information economy. Without it the networked information economy would not exist. Without multiple information channels available for access, the limited information channels would be more likely to be controlled and autonomy reduced.

Reading The Wealth of Networks gave me concern with Benkler’s seeming refusal to take a stance on a topic. The first sentence in the chapter on Individual Freedom reads: “The emergence of the networked information economy has the potential to increase individual autonomy.” (p. 133) He likes to use the phrase may or may not, and I just wish that he would have chosen a path and stayed on it. I understand that data to support some of his claims may not be available, but even for him to just take a strong position would have been more exciting to me as a reader. It is clear that the author thoroughly and completely thinks about the networked information economy, but it comes across as safe and leaves me wanting more action-packed adventure.

August 3, 2008

Questions for Howard Rheingold

Filed under: Questions — captainchunk @ 8:08 pm

LETS seems to be a very optimistic idea. At some point, I think people don’t want to deal with multiple systems of currency much in the same way that many people do not like to register with 15 different websites to talk to their friends. With the amount of globalization that has already taken place, how can LETS be an efficient, streamlined system?

To me, LETS relies on trust. If the majority of people trusted others, wouldn’t a system like this already see widespread use despite not having technology that makes it easy to use the system?

I am not sure that seeing which politicians buy and sell stock will make a big difference. If there really are shady dealing a foot, wouldn’t the politicians just use another method to do their dealings?

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