What I think we forget–or worse, never even realized—is the extreme privilege often inherent in “digital literacy.”
Yes, much of the Internet is free. But it takes time and energy to develop the skills and habits necessary to successfully derive value from today’s media. Knowing how to tell a troll from a serious thinker, spotting linkbait, understanding a meme, cross checking articles against each other, even posting a comment to disagree with something–these are skills. They might not feel like it, but they are. And they’re easier to acquire the higher your tax bracket.
- The New Digital Divide: Privilege, Misinformation and Outright B.S. in Modern Media
As this research report will show, North Koreans today are learning more about the outside world than at any time since the founding of the country. North Korea is consistently ranked by Freedom House and Reporters Without Borders as the country with the least free media in the world. This ranking reflects the country's complete lack of an independent domestic media, its legal restrictions against accessing foreign media and the harsh punishments it metes out against citizens who violate those restrictions. Yet, since the late 1990s the information environment in North Korea has undergone significant changes. Although the media environment remains extremely restricted by international standards, North Koreans' access to outside media has grown considerably over the past two decades. Many inside the country continue to develop new ways to access information while avoiding the ever-present risk of detection and punishment.
Eating Only Dessert: Why your information diet is probably terrible
- "[Clay] Johnson is the author of The Information Diet, a book
with a unique core metaphor: heavily processed information, like heavily processed food, isn’t healthy but for some reason we can’t get enough of it. Email. Social networks. Blogs. Online video. People today consume more information than ever before, and typically only consume the things they really, really like. Johnson compares this to a bad diet. “If you only ate what you want then we’d probably put the dessert section at the top of the menu, rather than at the bottom,” he says. “I think the same thing is happening with journalism: we’re going straight to dessert every time.”" PBS Newshour interview with Johnson
(~6 min. video with full transcript). Previously: Who wants to hear the truth when they can hear they're right?
A treatise on fungibility, or, a framework for understanding the mess the news industry is in and the opportunities that lie ahead. The younger the person you ask, the less likely it is you’ll find that link between wanting to know what’s going on and grabbing a paper or opening up a news website. They use Pinterest to figure out what’s fashionable and Facebook to see if there’s anything fun going on next weekend. They use Facebook just the same to figure out whether there’s anything they need to be upset about and need to protest against.
Is SEO killing America?
Clay Johnson about how media gives us what we want, not what we need, and how it's destroying democracy. If you don't have time or can't watch a 17 minute video, read this article
discussing and summarizing the video.
Artist and film-maker
, Hito Steyerl
, asks us to stand shoulder to shoulder with our digital equivalents. Digital images are Things (like you and me)
- a plethora of compressed, corrupted representations
pushed and pulled through increasingly policed and capitalised information networks. If 80% of all internet traffic*
- a liberated excess withdrawn**
from accepted channels of communication - perhaps it is in The Poor Image
we find our closest kin? [more inside]
10 Things Our Kids Will Never Worry About Thanks to the Information Revolution
. An optimist's take on how the lives of future generations will improve based on technology.
Is the internet rewriting history? Teaching the difference between truth and propaganda online
via BBC [more inside]
Newstweek: fixing the facts.
Newstweek is a device that injects fake news into unsecured wireless connections. More info at hackaday.
Right Wing astroturfing
A non-scientific analysis of the patterns in forum board discussions on a variety of topics. The gist: discussions of issues in which there's money at stake (like climate change
, public health
and corporate tax
avoidance) are often characterised by amazing levels of abuse and disruption by rightwing libertarians who are pro-corporate, anti-tax, anti-regulation. Discussions of issues in which there's little money at stake tend to be a lot more civilised than debates about issues where companies stand to lose or gain billions.
With it's new redesign
Gawker, and it's affiliates
, will be moving away from being blogs. They want to be like Television
As the "ground zero mosque"
story approaches bipartisan consensus
, thanks to unexpected statements
by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (joining a growing opposition
), several journalists trace the origins
of how the Park 51 community center became(warning: CNN) a toxic subject
. What they found was Pamela Geller
, a blogger at Atlas Shrugs
, who has some very interesting vlogs
. You may previously know her from this cozy 2006 interview
with Bush's infamous anti-UN UN ambassador John Bolton
Restoring Journalism Maureen Tkacik talks about her life as a journalist, the nothing-based economy, and the future of journalism. She suggests abandoning authority and productively channeling narcissism.
) [more inside]
Misreading Tehran: Leading Iranian-American writers revisit a year of dreams and discouragement.
"With a full 12 months now between us and the election, the time is ripe to start revisiting the hype and hope in a year of writing: which stories were overblown, what stories were missed entirely, and what can be gleaned about Iran's annus horribilis
from a more thorough understanding. FP
asked seven prominent Iranian-Americans, deeply immersed in both the English- and Persian-language media, to look through the fog of journalism at what actually happened in Tehran -- and why so many of us got it so wrong." [Via]
No Secrets: Julian Assange’s mission for total transparency.
A New Yorker profile of WikiLeaks
founder Julian Assange and his "media insurgency."
is perhaps the internet's most infamous hack
, digi/net artist
. His work
stands for a growing culture
of artists who run wildly
through animated GIF landscapes populated
with corrupted data-compressed
bunny rabbits and tinny, MIDI renditions
of Savage Garden ballads. As the Lisson Gallery
, London, opens its archives to Arcangel's curatorial eye, could digi/net art
be set to infect
the real, fleshy world
, like a rampant Conficker Worm
? Has YouTube become
the truest reflection of our anthropological
selves? Are we destined to roam the int3erw£bs like the mythic beasts of yore
, hoping, in time
, that digi art can free us
from the confines of this fleshy void?
Crap Detection 101
Howard Rheingold offers a fairly in-depth primer on media and internet BS detection. Lots of links
to resources for enabling critical analysis of various information sources included.
My, how the tables have turned: Many of the same daily newspaper correspondents that not too long ago turned up their noses at us online journalism pioneers, claiming we weren't "real" journalists, now fill my email box daily with their resumes, looking to me and others like me to provide them with work. ... Memo to my remaining daily print colleagues and their nostalgia club: Get over it and get over yourselves. It’s not that the Internet is Mr. Wonderful. Much of it mimics the same bad qualities that drove the public away from daily newspapers. You lost the public to us because - there's no nice or sugar-coated way to say it - you guys really suck at what you do. [more inside]
Politics, the Press, and the Public.
Bill Moyers speaks
with Glenn Greenwald
and Jay Rosen
about the role of the establishment press in America’s dysfunctional political system.
NPR's On The Media
presents a short set of pieces about comments on news websites and the challenges of "digital democracy," with discussion from Ira Glass
about responses to a show about teenage runaways, and New Republic editor and critic Lee Siegel
, who posted anonymously to respond insultingly to comments on his own blog. And a Roanoke newspaper editor
discusses how one paper sees the integration of comments into online news sites and whether it's a valuable reader service. [more inside]
"When copies are free, you need to sell things which cannot be copied
." Kevin Kelly (previously
) describes eight "generative" values that increase in value as the price tag on making copies goes down. He also has some advice
for creators who want to make money off the long tail
I was going to share the many amazing videos that StSanders
has uploaded to youtube featuring guitar gods like Van Halen and Santana shredding, since they have inexplicably only received scant mention
on mefi so far. But StSanders' account has been suspended
all all videos have been removed! [more inside]
They claimed they would destroy all television with their business.
$100 million and one cast member of First Kid
later, all they had were massive amounts of failure, tremendous parties with Bryan Singer, and many, many, many allegations of sexual molestation. Now they hide in the Spanish Riviera and hire Chinese sweatshop workers to mine for World of Warcraft items. Check as well the original 2000 LA Times expose on the company
, to say nothing of the "gay pedophile version of Silver Spoons"
which remains their finest artistic achievement. via boingboing [more inside]
People of the Web
--very well done short video profiles of interesting people online. Mike Rogers of blogactive
is on the front page now. Links to previous profiles are on the right, including Kirk Cameron, Caleb Shikles, Sherman Austin, and Josh Wolf.
It's a site dedicated to monitoring news articles and discussion threads at the BBC. For censored comments from BBC news threads: Watch Your Mouth
. And now it has implementation that tracks changes in news articles, to see how things are edited: Revisionista
. Here's a couple
Internet journalism and the traditional media. Nicolas Lehmann in the New Yorker.
WSJ: Moguls of New Media Have nearly a million friends on MySpace
and you get $5000 endorsements. Make a comedy podcast with cocktail recipes
and you get endorsed by Steve Jobs and get interest from advertisers. Post seemingly impossible self-potraits on Flickr
and you get hired by Toyota. The Wall Street Journal looks at these and many more "whos' who of new media"
. from BlogHer
Shock and gore.
The people behind "the world's goriest website
", why they do it, and what it says about us.
This article describes the trend of narrowcasting, a media consumption pattern in which users increasingly turn to specialized, often web-produced media content and away from professionally mass-marketed content shown on TV and sold in record and video stores. [Via Aldaily.com]
Osama bin Laden, littérateur and new-media star
. A thought-provoking analysis of bin Laden's adept use of Koranic language and the Internet by Bruce B. Lawrence, an Islamic scholar at Duke who edited a new anthology of bin Laden's public statements called Messages to the World
. The Western media -- says the millionaire mass-murderer formerly trained as a useful ally by the CIA
via Pakistan's ISI
-- "implants fear and helplessness in the psyche of the people of Europe and the United States. It means that what the enemies of the United States cannot do, its media are doing!" Know thy enemy. [via Arts and Letters Daily.]
Reflections On Our Media of Communication.
Traditional news media vs. the internet. Are people really abandoning TV, paper, and radio news? Does the 'net really offer the best in free-press? The ever lovable Fred thinks so, and he's not afraid to tell you why.
Here's A Really Neat
" feature on how much we rely on the good 'ol Net for our daily dose of news and knowledge.
I've gradually abandoned almost all other sources of news, to the point where TV, magazines and news papers have pretty much disappeared from my life, but unlike the Slashdot guy, I still get a fair amount of "Information
" from books.
He's got a good question, and there are some really Good Answers
at Slashdot, but I'm curious about the mefites... "Is the Internet Your Source of Knowledge?
From his post:"...but if I'm trying to look up something and can't find it online in a couple minutes I generally just blow it off, as if there's no other place to look. This realization seems sort of stunning. I'm very curious if other Slashdot readers have become dependent on the Internet to that level, and what their thoughts are on the subject."
According to a study
Teens and young adults spend more time online than watching TV, and looking at Other Studies
, they all seem to point the same way.
Is print dead?
Future of the Net: "Information wants to be free" vs. "truth costs extra"
"...a coalition that included Amazon.com, Microsoft, Yahoo, Apple, Disney and others....spoke of "tiered" service, where consumers would be charged according to "gold, silver and bronze" levels of bandwidth use. The days where lawmakers once spoke about eradicating the "Digital Divide" in America has come full circle. Under the scenario presented by the lobbyists, people on fixed incomes would have to accept a stripped-down Internet, full of personally targeted advertising. Other users could get a price break if they receive bundled content -- news, music, games -- from one telecom or media company. Anybody interested in other "non-mainstream" news, software or higher-volume usage, could pay for the privilege
. The panel's response was warm, suggesting that the industry should work this out with little federal intrusion. That approach has already been embraced by the industry-friendly Federal Communications Commission." For more, see The Center For Digital Democracy