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Power, resistance, and authority Week 3, February 5 th.

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1 Power, resistance, and authority Week 3, February 5 th

2 Logistics  If you are enrolled, you should have access to bcourses:  If you have trouble with bcourses, you can get course info at: Stuart Geiger, lecturer for Module 1 (content) Linus Huang, instructor of record (administration)

3 Logistics This class is split into three equal modules, each taught independently by a different instructor.

4 Logistics Stuart Geiger: Theories and Institutional Context Jan 29th, Feb 5th, Feb 12th, Feb 19th (exam) Jen Schradie: Digital Democracy and Politics Feb 26th, Mar 5th, Mar 12th, Mar 19th (exam) Eve Shapiro: Identity and Everyday Life Apr 2nd, Apr 9th, Apr 16th, May 16th (exam)

5 Logistics Module 1: 5% participation assignment 25% in class exam on only module 1 (Feb 19 th ) Module 2: 5% participation assignment 25% in class exam on only module 2 (Mar 19 th )

6 Logistics Module 3: 5% participation assignment 35% final exam (May 16, 3-6pm) Final exam: 25% will cover only module 3 10% will cover modules 1-3 NO FINAL PAPER!

7 Module 1 participation You must make at least one post to the bcourses discussion forum about a virtual community or social media that you would like the lecturer, Stuart Geiger, to discuss in class. You must either ask one question about the community/media proposed, or try to answer or expand on a question another student has asked. Posts should be from 50 to 100 words and must be in by 11:59 PM on Feb 5th. You can your assignment to Stuart if you do not have access to bcourses yet.

8 Today’s class  Last week: affordances, McLuhan, Anderson  Barlow’s “A Declaration of Independence…”  Lessig’s “code is law”  Bogost’s “procedural rhetoric”

9 Today’s class  Last week: affordances, McLuhan, Anderson  Barlow’s “A Declaration of Independence…”  Lessig’s “code is law”  Bogost’s “procedural rhetoric”

10 What is media? What isn’t a medium? A tired, boring question with no real answer: “Is this really (social) media?”

11 What is media? What isn’t a medium? A tired, boring question with no real answer: “Is this really (social) media?” We should instead be asking: “How, when, and why is this media?” “What makes something into media?” “What is this mediating between?”

12 What is media? What isn’t a medium? A tired, boring question with no real answer: “Is this really (social) media?” We should instead be asking: “How, when, and why is this media?” “What makes something into media?” “What is this mediating between?” How is this media “social”? (or not!)

13 Affordances Affordances are material properties of a medium that support (or fail to support) specific kinds of practices and activities.

14 Affordances Affordances are material properties of a medium that support (or fail to support) specific kinds of practices and activities. What do I mean by material properties? Code, software, and platforms are also material What do I mean by practices and activities? Not just actions, but interactions and social routines

15 Affordances of paper

16

17 Affordances of face-to-face

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19 “The Medium is the Message”

20 When McLuhan says this, he is arguing against a long tradition of seeing the world as: medium and message form and content body and mind/soul

21 “The Medium is the Message” For McLuhan, what is being transmitted is far less important than how it is being transmitted.

22 “The Medium is the Message” For McLuhan, what is being transmitted is far less important than how it is being transmitted. Form matters more than content

23 “The Medium is the Message” For McLuhan, what is being transmitted is far less important than how it is being transmitted. He goes beyond literary theory & interpreting content

24 “the ‘content’ of any medium is always another medium”

25 Media are layered and never purely new: “The content of writing is speech, just as the written word is the content of print, and print is the content of the telegraph. ” (8)

26 “the ‘content’ of any medium is always another medium” We encounter new media in terms of older, more existing media.

27 “the ‘content’ of any medium is always another medium” We encounter new media in terms of older, more existing media. “its like Twitter for families” “its like Grindr for straight people” “its like Uber for coffee”

28 “the ‘content’ of any medium is always another medium”

29

30 What is a YouTube video? Is it anything more than just a streaming version of a music video, a movie/TV clip, or a home video? What is a printed book? Is it anything more than just a mass-produced version of the ancient texts hand-copied by scribes? What is a movie? Is it anything more than just a recorded version of a play, opera, talent show, circus act, or vaudeville performance?

31 “the ‘content’ of any medium is always another medium” What is a YouTube video? Is it anything more than just a streaming version of a music video, a movie/TV clip, or a home video? What is a printed book? Is it anything more than just a mass-produced version of the ancient texts hand-copied by scribes? What is a movie? Is it anything more than just a recorded version of a play, opera, talent show, circus act, or vaudeville performance?

32 “the ‘content’ of any medium is always another medium” What is a YouTube video? Is it anything more than just a streaming version of a music video, a movie/TV clip, or a home video? What is a printed book? Is it anything more than just a mass-produced version of the ancient texts hand-copied by scribes? What is a movie? Is it anything more than just a recorded version of a play, opera, talent show, circus act, or vaudeville performance?

33 The Battleship Potemkin (Eisenstein, 1925)

34 Anderson’s Imagined Communities Anderson agrees with McLuhan that media form is important and has a massive effect on society. He gives many examples about religious scribes vs. printing presses: new non-Catholic institutions spread culture new large publics who read the same texts print slows down the evolution of language

35 Anderson’s Imagined Communities But Anderson does not go as far as McLuhan in rejecting media content, discussing how form and content have linked effects: The press had these effects because it enabled printing in local languages The content of what was printed in the Protestant Reformation can’t be ignored

36 Imagined Communities Nationalism has four aspects. It is: imagined limited sovereign a community

37 Imagined Communities Nationalism has four aspects. It is: imagined – members don’t all meet limited – not universal like religion sovereign – linked to a governing state a community – sense of membership and belonging to a group

38 Communities are imagined “all communities larger than primordial villages of face-to-face contact (and perhaps even these) are imagined. Communities are to be distinguished, not by their falsity/ genuineness, but by the style in which they are imagined.” (49)

39 What is this kind of community? “Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather.”

40 What is this kind of community? “Your legal concepts of property, expression, identity, movement, and context do not apply to us. They are all based on matter, and there is no matter here. Our identities have no bodies, so, unlike you, we cannot obtain order by physical coercion. We believe that from ethics, enlightened self- interest, and the commonweal[th], our governance will emerge.”

41 What is this kind of community? Ours is a world that is both everywhere and nowhere, but it is not where bodies live. We are creating a world that all may enter without privilege or prejudice accorded by race, economic power, military force, or station of birth. We are creating a world where anyone, anywhere may express his or her beliefs, no matter how singular, without fear of being coerced into silence or conformity.

42 Lawrence Lessig

43 Creative Commons

44

45 Creative Commons isn’t just the legal contract, it is also the architecture that made it much easier to share and remix. People were already freely-licensing their own content and remixing others’ works, like with open source software. CC made it much easier to freely-license your own work and find material to remix.

46 Lessig: what things regulate

47 Lessig’s modes of regulation  Laws: must be written down, passed by the state, and enforced by the police  Norms: subjective, a collective understanding about how people ought to behave  Market: costs and benefits make people more or less willing to act in certain ways  Architecture/code: material and physical aspects of our environment that shape and constrain our behavior (affordances)

48 Lessig’s modes of regulation  Laws: must be written down, passed by the state, and enforced by the police  Norms: subjective, a collective understanding about how people ought to behave  Market: costs and benefits make people more or less willing to act in certain ways  Architecture/code: material and physical aspects of our environment that shape and constrain our behavior (affordances)

49 Lessig’s modes of regulation  Laws: must be written down, passed by the state, and enforced by the police  Norms: subjective, a collective understanding about how people ought to behave  Market: costs and benefits make people more or less willing to act in certain ways  Architecture/code: material and physical aspects of our environment that shape and constrain our behavior (affordances)

50 Lessig’s modes of regulation  Laws: must be written down, passed by the state, and enforced by the police  Norms: subjective, a collective understanding about how people ought to behave  Market: costs and benefits make people more or less willing to act in certain ways  Architecture/code: material and physical aspects of our environment that shape and constrain our behavior (affordances)

51 Lessig’s modes of regulation  Laws: must be written down, passed by the state, and enforced by the police  Norms: subjective, a collective understanding about how people ought to behave  Market: costs and benefits make people more or less willing to act in certain ways  Architecture/code: material and physical aspects of our environment that shape and constrain our behavior (affordances)

52 Code and norms “if in the middle of the nineteenth century the threat to liberty was norms, and at the start of the twentieth it was state power, and during much of the middle twentieth it was the market, then … in the twenty-first century it is a different regulator—code—that should be our current concern.” (121)

53 What regulates lectures?

54 What architecture regulates

55 Terms and conditions “What makes AOL the way it is … It is not just written rules; it is not just custom; it is not just the supply and demand of a knowing consuming public. What makes AOL is in large part the structure of the space. You enter AOL and you find it to be a certain universe. This space is constituted by its code….”

56 Terms and conditions “AOL … can regulate that behavior by changing its architecture. If AOL is trying to control indecent language, it can write routines that monitor language usage; if there is improper mixing between adults and kids, AOL can track who is talking to whom; … if there is stalking or harassing or threatening behavior, AOL can block the connection between any two individuals. In short, AOL can deal with certain types of problems by changing its code.” (93)

57 Why does Facebook have a “flag” but not a “dislike” button?

58 Code and norms Architecture (code) and norms are linked: “tying reputation to a real name in a real community of professionals [meant that] Misbehaving here mattered elsewhere. […] CC got the benefit of community sanction to control improper behavior, whereas AOL had to rely on its own content police” (96)

59 “A Rape in Cyberspace” LambdaMOO: a text-based version of Second Life, an early online community “Mr. Bungle” blatantly broke not a law, but what was assumed to be a strong norm But what should the community do in response? Who even gets to decide?

60 “A Rape in Cyberspace” “Before the balloting, LambdaMOO was regulated through norms. These regulations of social structures were sustained by the constant policing of individual citizens. They were the regulations of a community; the rise of democracy marked the fall of this community. Although norms would no doubt survive the establishment of a democracy, their status was forever changed.” (101-2)

61 YouTube copyright takedowns

62 Takeaways from Lessig  Four modes of governing: Laws Norms Market/economics Architecture/code  “Code is law”: The software code behind Internet platforms is just as powerful as government laws, but this operates in a different manner  Lessig in relation to McLuhan/Anderson

63 Ian Bogost

64

65

66 “Procedural rhetoric” – making arguments through processes (or rules) rather than purely representations (words/images) Bogost does think that video games can make arguments through representations, but he thinks that video games are most powerful for their embedded procedures.

67 The McDonalds Game

68 Animal Crossing “in Animal Crossing, the player experiences the way his debt makes bankers wealthy. After a player makes a major payment to his mortgage, Tom Nook closes his shop and upgrades it … Animal Crossing is also a game about long-term debt. It is a game about the repetition of mundane work necessary to support contemporary material property ideals.” (118-9)

69 Rules and procedures “Video games depict real and imagined systems by creating procedural models of those systems, that is, by imposing sets of rules that create particular possibility spaces for play.” (122)

70 Rules and procedures “Video games depict real and imagined systems by creating procedural models of those systems, that is, by imposing sets of rules that create particular possibility spaces for play.” (122) What do the rules of chess model?

71 Chess as a model of warfare

72 Go as a model of warfare

73 Content and form “video games do not simply distract or entertain with empty, meaningless content. Rather, video games can make claims about the world. But when they do so, they do it not with oral speech, nor in writing, nor even with images. Rather, video games make argument with processes.” (125)

74 America’s Army

75 “the game’s political simulation is more interesting than its mechanical and physical simulation. America’s Army enforces strict Army Rules of Engagement (ROE), preventing the brouhaha of typical squad-based fighting games. Whereas Counter-Strike encourages the player to log as many kills as possible, America’s Army players collaborate in short missions, such as rescuing a prisoner of war, capturing an enemy building, or assaulting an enemy installation. The ROE guides play with an iron fist.” (129)

76 Default procedures of games

77 Takeaways from Bogost  Procedural rhetoric: video games make arguments not only through representations (image, text, sound) but through their rules and procedures  Bogost and McLuhan: Bogost is making a McLuhan-ist argument in one sense, that there is more than content But he is also bringing literary/cultural critique to the media form itself, not just its sociological implications

78 Next week  Two readings on Wikipedia: Reagle on cultural norms Halfaker and Riedl on robots and cyborgs  Two readings on 4chan Bernstein et al.’s survey paper Phillips on 4chan and media institutions  One reading based on your input! Will be posted to read, but not on exam #1


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