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RE: [xmca] Re: [Mind Culture Activity] Andy Blunden changed the groupdescription

Hi Christine,
An interesting post (though I didn't find the NY Times article that interesting).  I agree with you that Facebook is not Open Source under almost any definition and that bothers me (I tend to go by the definition of Stalder and Hirsch and Eric Raymond.  Christopher Kelty dislikes Eric Raymonds definition.  I have some very large reservations about Christopher Kelty's definition - so Open Source I think is becoming more ambiguous).
A second argument you can make I think is that the xmca thread has a different archeology than Facebook.  Threaded discussions were the original communicative tools of the Open Source communities Raymond talks about such as Linux, and I would argue the forerunners of today's interactive blogs.  Facebook is a Social Networking Site dependent on Web 2.0 technology and emerged much later.  When they did emerge with MySpace as one of the first it was basically an attempt to re-establish social networks on the Web that existed in the concrete world.  For that reason I believe they reflect the rule systems and such of the concrete world far more than say blogging sites.  But you can't really use them to build anything unique or even develop unique communities.  For that reason I have been hesitant about Facebook and its benefits.  That's changed for me in the past few months.  The good thing about Facebook is that information can be spread very quickly, to thousands if not millions of people at once.  I'm not sure I'm getting this right, but McLuhan talked about hot and cool media.  Hot media is individualized and based in individual experience (relating to the cyberflaneur the guy in the Times article was talking about).  Cool media I think is able to reach many people simultaneously creating a communal experience (I think one example was everybody tuning into Bonanza at the same time creating the same experience.  Facebook does the same thing with information.  It is not only able to spread information but turn it into a communal experience.  Meanwhile, each individual site can act as a failsafe for the information.  Because it is not open source it needs to go through a circuit of closed communities, where individual communities take information and spread it to other closed communities.  So each time information moves it is a conscious decision and a judgment.  
I don't know if you know anything about the Susan G. Komen foundation, but what happened here in the United States was extraordinary.  It is a charitable foundation for breast cancer research that had a very strong reputation as a good place ot raise money (whether deserved or not).  The foundation made a blatantly political move that many thought would hurt poor women.  The information flew around Facebook, alerting literally millions, and constantly updated.  The Komen foundation was completely changed in the space of forty-eight hours - something I  would not have thought possible even a year ago.  Of course you can't build a response to the information using Facebook, but many people went to interactive blogs in order to do that.
This is all to say I guess if xmca made a push for a major presence on Facebook what appeared on Facebook would be very different and not necessarily anti-thetical to the e-mail thread, and maybe even complementary.


From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu on behalf of Christine Schweighart
Sent: Sun 2/5/2012 10:49 AM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: Re: [xmca] Re: [Mind Culture Activity] Andy Blunden changed the groupdescription

It's an interesting moment, university students use facebook quite a lot
for 'banter' and to exchange views about SOPA, 'anonymous' and many other
aspects - within the environment they are concerned about. Wasn't there a
thread a little while ago - the 'occupy' discussion- that explored this? If
I contrast  the 'co-ordinatingthrough ICT' in mass communication, with the
communication in activist activity in the emergence of post-franco
democracy in Spain ( where there was strict measure intended to control
public gathering, and the numbers of people joining together in public,
including the streets) - then there is not even the ghost of resemblance in
today's limited capacity for collective 'activist' activity.

More than the technology being 'intolerable' , there's the concept of
social activity - highjacked into such social relation... in either/or
conduits enforced in the application - it's not open-source, nor is it
wiki-like - where the rationale for form can be accessed [ although this is
increasingly specialist, and 'wiki-editing' tendenciies are under scrutiny
too]. Same goes for  any forms of discussion on 'Linked-in' :who does what
with the content and what knowledge of networking is used for what etc.
I've found that people tend to export useful threads into a pdf / a wiki
orsome similar other form, but still tap into the connectivity that the
applications enable ( for better /worse).

Rather what is being achieved in these different forms is  what single
Institutional ( e.g university ICT provision etc) IT technical support
doesn't underpin /maintain. XMCA being a notable exception..

On Sun, Feb 5, 2012 at 3:14 PM, Martin Packer <packer@duq.edu> wrote:

> Well, Christine, the author argues that what Facebook will do - is already
> doing - is make life "intolerable"!
> Martin
> On Feb 5, 2012, at 7:38 AM, Christine Schweighart wrote:
> > Facebook has potential for opening to people who do not know about xmca
>  ,
> > just through the topic of the group -through curiosity.  Perhaps this
> > article might be interesting to read to think about what Facebook might
> > 'do' that  the listserve wouldn't?
> >
> http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/05/opinion/sunday/the-death-of-the-cyberflaneur.html?_r=2&pagewanted=all
> > Christine.
> __________________________________________
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