Arrived at the first day of #Netizen21, the Institute for Network Society annual #conference (#INS). Realized today's talks are all in Chinese. This must be what it's like for non-English speaking folks coming to most tech politics conferences. Being a native English speaker is a privilege that's hard to recognize until I find myself in this kind of situation.
The first speaker at #Netizen21, a woman in a pink lab coat, does an amazingly visual presentation on the mobile device as a magic mirror biased towards making everything "beautiful". She plays with these tools live on the screen, demonstrating "beautification" and then hacking this concept to showcase the more creative and expressive use these same tools can be put to.
The second speaker is a young man in a cap and hipster glasses. He starts off with demonstrating something that involves a group of audience volunteers standing in a circle, numbering off. Then moves on to something about #Stanislavski and continuous consciousness.
For some reason I find myself thinking about a way of presenting ideas in #hypertext, where fediverse posts can be linked into new sequences, making overlapping threads that layer on top of any threads the posts may originally have been part of. A different kind of federated wiki from the Smallest Federated Wiki approach (#FedWiki).
This second speaker is making minimal use of the presentation screen, as I often do. I'm having an experience maybe akin to that of a visual person attending one of my presentations 😏 He seems to be talking about various examples of #AI applications, and a #Rasabox? A tool for recognising emotions in human faces based on a #vedic schema? A photo of a person doing calligraphy with a brain scanning web attached. Who is Rosa? Why are these posts turning into bad haiku?
Fourth speaker seems to be talking about #geotagging of notable architecture. She quotes #ManuelCastells. A photo of a set of sails above a city. #SailPunk? Photos of white folks in period aristocratic costume, and of palatial built environments, The White Palace? A photo of the contrast between low-rise and high-rise housing, in China? Photos of an old, communal neighbourhood. She quotes #PeterHall and others. A video of lit-up city nightscapes with massive group dancing.
What would you call a #FlashMob that turns up predictably at the same time every week? That's a common sight in public squares in China. Most of them seems to be huge dance classes.
Fifth speaker is talking about "Computer Vision Syndrome" and quoting #AnneFriedberg. Now she's talking about MS Windows and maybe how the overlapping nature of windows on a desktop contrasts with paintings like Alberti's Window and Magritte's window painting, and Friedberg's writing about windows. She quotes #JosephPieper and #TheInvisibleGorilla. Then moves on to "trees blindness" and tree walks. Then to teen use of#SocialMedia and discourses of #DigitalNarcissism.
Today's speakers seems to come from a range of universities around China. Now we seems to be moving on to a panel discussion and/or Q+A with the first group of speakers.
The first panel at #Netizen21 was 'Spiritual Life in the Network Society'. The second panel is 'Political Economy Criticism of Social Media'.
The second speaker for panel 2 talking about the #RightToBeForgotten. Ironic to be putting a photo of this on the fediverse 😏 She starts with a brief history its roots as a legal concept in Europe, beginning in the EU in 1953, with Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, proceeding through its evolution in EU law, and then focusing on the #GDPR.
She goes on to talk about legal test cases. Goggle Spain vs. #AEPD and #MarioCostejaGonzalez. #RenJaiyu vs. Beijing #Baidu Netcom Science and Technology Co. Ltd. Quoting Lady #UshaPrashar on the limits of the #ECJ interpretation, and the #DeloitteReport on the GDPR. Moves on to #DataErasure services like #DeleteMe, #PrivacyDuck, and #OneRep, and encryption. Then focusing on relevant Chinese law.
He seems to be talking about the general concepts of #FreeSoftware, #copyleft, the #GPL and #OpenSource, and how the #Anti996 license relates to all this. "Why any software movement will fail", referencing #RichardStallman, not sure what the proposition is here. He moves on to a critique of #DataAsLabour, and the proposition that #disintermedia, via decentralized tech like #IPFS and #BitCoin, will allow users to monetize their own data directly, rather than mediators capturing that value.
The third panel at #Netizen21, is called 'Media Archaeology'. I really wish I could understand Chinese because all three of the panels today had fascinating topics. Mind you, even if I had been studiously working on my #Mandarin skills since before we got here, I imagine I'd still be struggling to follow academic lectures ;)
Michael Goddard. Focusing on #VR. Recycling of media modes using new waves of technology. "Claims to novelty" reflect cultural amnesia. Media technology develops in spirals rather than linear progression. Presence is the "holy grail" of VR. Part of a history of "audiovision", Zelinski. "post-cinematic", still primarily concerned with sight and sound. References #HowardRheingold 'Virtual Reality', #ArthurKroker 'Spasm'.
#NathanSchneider is talking about the #BuyTwitter campaign and how it came out of an existing #PlatformCooperative movement. #SharingEconomy corporations tried to convince regulators to share ownership with their users, as tech companies have done with workers, but #DemocraticManagement? Exit options, acquisition or IPO. What about an #ExitToCommunity option.
Building accountability into startups and avoiding user-serving companies becoming zombies to investors. Strategies:
* user buyout: a trust or co-ops buys all shares on behalf of users. User representation and/or shared profits. #NIO gave shares to user trust.
* federation: #VISA as cooperative of user businesses. Voluntary (#ActivityPub etc.) or through AntiTrust action.
* tokenization: ownership is traded as crypto-tokens, under company control, or permisionless.
The Young Scholars forum at #Netizen21 took up day #1 of the conference and the fourth panel is finishing up day #3, also focusing on Platform Capitalism.
Speaker #1 is talking about how different standards of beauty between China and the west might actually represent a difference between political-economic ways of understanding beauty. Referencing #PierreBourdieu. Avantgarde looks vs. classical beauty standards. Difference as beauty. References #WilliamJGoldman. Declining western hegemony surfaces in changing fashion. Referencing #HansBelting. Net imagery challenging hegemony of beauty magazines and other institutional fashion media.
Speaker #3 is #LeonChung, talking about 'Imprisoning Platforms'. #KarlMarx is right, in that people are suffering, but there may be "no universal grammar of suffering". "Platform" is often used as a euphemism for "monopoly". So "the platform is like a prison", no easy way out, "but jail is an authentic place" as opposed to unrealised dreams of freedom. Like the "prison of language", maybe we have no choice but to "accept the prison" of the net, and the loss of control over our attention?
Speaker #4 is #CaoXuefei talking about independent music in "#PostSocialist" digital platforms. #NetEase Cloud Music. Cross-cultural vs. exclusively Chinese platforms. Comment threads as "collective memory and individual emotions/ nostalgia". #Pharmakon "ruin and becoming", minority rapper and comment thread discussing politics of their people. #QQmusic as a precedent, #Feizhliu or "fringe" youth. Music platform comments make space for #PurpleProse.
Speaker 5 is talking about #AutomatedAddiction to livestreaming platforms. 58 year old livestreamer used filters to look like a young woman. Referencing #Foucalt, #Deleuze et al, to discuss compression of time while online. Art can create platforms of perception to shape possible or likely ways for people to think about their worlds. Tech platforms do this by using filters and dopamine pumping to shape users' "long-term desires".
Referencing #Stiegler, #BulletScreen, "visualization of ugliness". Rule-based framework. #LignesdeTemps, four colour coding system for user comments. Coding can be visualized and navigated as a map of the discourse. "New kinds of systemic authorities and institutions" to protect users from addictive platform owners. #TimBernersLee launches a social charter for the web.
I was too busy live-posting here or scratching down notes to notice, but my wife was fascinated to watch the way #Slido was being used at #Netizen21. A lot of the audience were using it during the talks to share their thoughts about what the speakers were talking about, and upvoting each others' comments. This is similar to the way I imagined #Loomio being used at #OpenSourceOpenSociety back in 2015. Except that Loomio would make it easier to keep those conversations going after the event.
@dsfgs how many existing P2P apps have you tested? The concept is great but there are serious engineering and UX challenges to be overcome.
A good few now :)
Yes they can and are being actively improved over time, but it's not disrupting the services.
@strypey the user buy-out option recently came up as "Exit to Community" and is being actively worked on at the MEDLab https://www.colorado.edu/lab/medlab/2020/03/06/exit-community-poster-available-now
@strypey @funwhilelost Yup, that's my lab's work:) Worker ownership is definitely part of the conversation, but for the most part the E2C idea is focused on tech startups whose communities extend far beyond the employment relation. In those, often, focusing just on employees means including only a small managerial class.
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