Salsa Scoop> tag: ”blog:futurology“

Your Mother Wants You To Go Home to Eat

by Jason Z.

The Great Firewall of China -- that country's massive Internet censorship program -- is the great standing exception to the the cornucopian communication age cottage industry, not unlike China itself is for neoliberalism's great markets=freedom project.

So it's fascinating to take in this academic meditation on the uncanny spread of an Internet meme, The Curious Case of Jia Junpeng, or The Power of Symbolic Appropriation in Chinese Cyberspace.

the main message is that in China today, the internet can always be appropriated by users for their own purposes, however closely it is monitored or controlled. ... ... The issue is not simply a matter of citizen expression versus state control, or freedom versus repression, though these are of central importance. Even during more controlled periods such as the Cultural Revolution, there were what Tang Tsou calls "zones of indifference" which state power did not try to penetrate or control. In some ways, cyberspace is easier to control. A vast online community, for example, may be monitored from a small central control office. Entire networks can be shut down. Yet this does not mean Chinese cyberspace does not have its own "zones of indifference."

"Zones of indifference" ... reminiscent of (if distinctly less exalted than) Hakim Bey's Temporary Autonomous Zones. What's next in this for the timeless play of coercion, critique and consent? I think I may have to pick up the gentleman's book to get a few ideas.


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Do Progressive Techies Have a Google Blind Spot?

"No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks." -Mary Wollstonecraft A couple of weeks ago, there was a thread called "google & privacy" on the lib-techie mailing list Progressive Exchange, commenced with an innocent question about the search behemoth's ubiquitous IP tracking, and losing itself on the fringes of a trackless mire over the relative corporate responsibility of making profitable terms with the Chinese government. Google makes slick tools, and I've certainly left my own fingerprints all over their logs. But it's pretty surprising the degree to which many progressives are willing to let Google skate with no more accountability than its Wal-Mart-smiley slogan, "Don't Be Evil" -- or even, in criticism, to underscore some perceived failure of non-evilness as a matter for corporate ethos and little more.

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somit :-$$$ n weird

Full fathom five thy father lies: Of his bones are coral made: Those are pearls that were his eyes: Nothing of him that doth fade But doth suffer a sea-change Into something rich and strange.
-William Shakespeare,
The Tempest And just when we were getting comfortable. Via the couldn't-be-more-aptly-named Sea Change comes this fabulous chart of different online activities by age group. Take a look at that thing. While "Collectors" are strikingly distributed throughout the population curve, there's an amazing phenomenon in every other category of engagement: Under-27s are qualitatively more participatory than everyone else, even their immediate elders. You'd probably expect folks born in the Truman Administration to rock the geek a little less than the Wii-implant generation. No surprise, that. But across the board, half of the dropoff from "Generation Y" to "Older Boomers" occurs between ages 26 and 27.

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After NTC

There's nowhere like the nation's capital for turning out nonprofiteers in record numbers, and NTC had the scale of, like, Battlestar Galactica or something: a minor metropolis afloat in the stars. The number 1,200 was murmured, which would be enough bodies to outvote Vatican City. People talked about going the whole 2-3 days without the serendipitous run-in with someone they were hoping to meet. Almost any thematic takeaway for the NTC would be a plausible one, simply because there were just so many different ways to look into the kaleidoscope. My personal version of the theme -- having hit sessions on screencasting, mobile, and radio both online and off -- was multi-channel engagement. It feels to me that the sector is straining against this membrane, looking for the next ah-ha moment, the next breakout into open country. Can we get Internet everywhere? Can we mate it with television, telephones, voice, thought, shoe leather? Can the multiplying tools and gizmos combine and connect? Can it get from niftiness and even effectiveness to really game-changing? We catch glimmers. A citizen video flips control of the Senate -- hybridized data sets present the occasional but isolated dazzling perspective -- rumors circulate of flash mobs on distant shores. The Twitter froth, I suspect, emerges fundamentally from its hint of gathering blogging, texting and social networking into a bridge tenuously connecting meatspace and cyberspace identities. It -- whatever it is -- just isn't quite there yet, and some days it seems it's on the next train after Godot. But the hope for the Next Big Thing might be one of those cases of generals fighting the last war.

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DemocracyInAction's New User Interface Debuts

DemocracyInAction campaign managers yesterday were invited to the birth of our new user interace, Salsa, which reached its public beta phase. We'll have a great deal more to say about Salsa, whose innovations and extensibility extend very far beyond the more obvious boon of usability, for weeks and months to come. That will of course include more structured webinars and feature presentations. But for now -- for any admin-permissioned campaign managers who haven't checked it out, and for anyone in the broader world who wants to know what they're missing -- we've got baby pictures. You know how it is with proud parents. Here's what you'll see the first time you log in (and click any of these images for a larger version): salsaDashboard More on the flip ...

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Sample DIA's New User Interface While It's Caliente

We've been talking about our new user interface, dubbed Salsa, for a while now, and last week's post with the grainy video preview has been one of the most frequently-read entries in this here blog. Well, we're into the New Year and it's just about time to break out the chips. Yesterday, we sent our campaign managers an update on Salsa's progress, an overview of its feature set, and most importantly, a deployment timetable. DIA Salsa is slated to go into public beta shortly, and we need beta testers. If you're a DIA user or consultant of same and want to help us test-drive, drop a note to info at democracyinaction dot org.

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News as Lifestyle Choice

Eschaton thinks news organizations that won't publish [politically inconvenient] "graphic" images are engaging in an act of absurdity/futility because of the existence of the Internet. I'm just thinking out loud here, but playing with the idea that on the contrary, now that such images are certain to be available to anyone who cares to find them, traditional news outlets' publication decisions are increasingly public declarations of the sort that would be termed "lifestyle" were they made by an individual: the voluntary association or disassociation of the publishing entity with those memes embodied by the story.

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What Will Tomorrow's User Interface Look Like?

Tags: blog:futurology  |  blog:nptech  |  blog:ui
From "The History of the Keyboard as User Interface":
The typewriter started out as a system to produce legible, professional-quality one-off output by hand (as opposed to the typeset printing press). In this sense it was interface between human and paper, and also a middleman in the recording of thoughts, symbols, and characters. Additionally its typewritten output was further an interface between people--one's words represented unambiguously to another party minutes, days, or years later. As computers have grown in popularity, the interface has become more complex. Keyboards are now an interface between analog human thinking and digital computer operation, storage, and transmission. It's still a typewriter, but it outputs for the world instead of one person, and the audience has grown to include machines.

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What Will Tomorrow's User Interface Look Like? (DemocracyInAction Edition)

DIA users have been seeing a new login page the past couple of weeks, and may have been wondering what's up with the unseasonal theme. It's all about a new interface for the DIA campaign manager headquarters that we're calling Salsa. Earlier in December, CTO/co-founder Chris Lundberg previewed Salsa for our D.C. training attendees. This excerpt shows Chris demonstrating Salsa's customizable dashboards and editable reports, powerful new enhancements that are sure to brighten up 2007 for our users.

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What Will Tomorrow's User Interface Look Like?

Tags: blog:futurology  |  blog:nptech  |  blog:ui
Why aren't you interacting with your browser right now like, say, Tom Cruise in Minority Report? ... maybe you will soon. ( Read more (1 comment)