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My presentation at RE:PUBLICA13 in Berlin 7th of may.
If, as Thomas and Cook state, ‘visual representations and digital visualization techniques take advantage of the human eye’s broad bandwidth pathway into the mind to allow users to see, explore, and understand large amounts of information at once’ what are the consequences of a technology that does not pretend anymore to “simulate” reality or its visualization but now “naturally” creates the way we see the world and experience it?
What will follow the inevitable technological peak and demise of old communication technologies such as the mobile and the screen? If the mobile embodied the newly acquired freedom from the constrained spaces of earlier mediated communications. And the screen, the frame, the partition that for a long time both connected and divided reality from its representation. The “SixthSense” and “Project Glass” both represent the early steps in the final technological, cognitive and cultural evolution that will finally embrace media transparency and invisibility (Project Glass), and welcome media anthropomorphization (SixthSense) in the illusion of a new “unmediated” and “augmented” life. Mobiles and the screen will not disappear, at first, but new “seamless” and “immersive” technological evolutions will acquire social, cultural and market dominance while cannibalizing previous technological milestones very much like television did with photography, radio and cinema, and the computer did with them all.
and I quote: “Social Privacy is the innovative background idea here. A form of privacy which is not an obstacle to sharing, but rather one that goes hand in hand with the creation of social relations and communications. It’s not a clear cut block of personal data, but a diverse kind of privacy, where users are in control of what they share with who, under which circumstances and in which situations. These services are evolutions of our online social spheres moving beyond the idea of the social medium to a more advanced idea about digital media as tools for human social relations. And they are actually moving in on old giants of social networking such as Facebook stealing their market shares. Privacy is in fact innovation. The lack of it can dampen creativity and suppress freedom of speech (and thus thought). And more of it may entice consumers to pay more and choose a specific service studies show. The only reason the default is public is that we were not innovative enough to think privacy by design from the beginning empowering users with a choice.
link to the full article HERE
My keynote speech at the forthcoming “Insafe” (Internet Safety) meeting in Budapest, October 2012. The European Union’s Insafe network comprises 27 countries that regularly meet as part of The European Commission “Safer Internet Program”. The title of the key-note is:
Understanding the Future of Digital Humans.Technologies have traditionally been approached as ancillary tools in the history of mankind. Means used to master nature and our environment, or tools used to enhance creativity and communication. This once clear distinction between us humans, the technologies we use and the environments we live in, have been gradually eroding in the past few decades. What we see today cannot be characterised anymore as further evolution in a long process of technological development. Current technological evolutions are better understood as first steps in a complex redefinition of what it means to be human. Individuals, organisations, governments and industries, just like children, are evolving, changing, learning, internalising technology and socialising with an ever-changing reality where the distinction between who we are and what technology allows us to be, is becoming more and more blurred. To understand this evolution requires good judgement, a sense of history, and above all a sense of purpose.
Lapenta F. 2012, “Geomedia-Based Methods and Visual Research. Exploring the Theoretical Tenets of the Localization and Visualization of Mediated Social Relations with Direct Visualization Techniques” in “Advances in Visual Methodologies” Ed Sarah Pink 2012, SAGE
In this chapter I discuss how contemporary shift towards patterns of relocalization of mediated interactions and the emergence of new heterogeneous time and space dimensions, is constructed by and intertwined with new location-based communications technologies. In doing so, I examine how these shifts imply new contexts; new topics; and themes of investigation in, and subsequently advances in, research methodologies for contemporary visual researchers. My central focus is on digital mapping and the electronic and technological bases through which these visualization systems are engaged . I suggest that these new electronic architectures and visualization software and applications frame a context where both new topics and techniques of (visual) sociological research are emerging.
The book, edited by Sarah PInk, explores how new practice-based, theoretical and methodological engagements are developing and emerging in research practice; the impact new approaches are having on the types of knowledge visual research produces and critiques; the ways visual research intersect with new media; and the implications of this for social and cultural research, scholarship and intervention.
An highly optimistic and acritical view on the internet of things and a more realistic (and problematic) vision:
So you all have heard the story Obama today suggested that he has reached an agreement with some major internet companies to implement a “no track” button that will allow users to decide if to be tracked or not when browsing the internet. Or so it would seem given the denomination of the “button”. This “no track” button is said to be inspired by a long awaited extension of the principles of the “bill of rights” to the legislation that should regulate and protect users in their activities online. This however is a very misleading formulation, because the “no track” button will NOT stop tracking or guarantee privacy when surfing the net, but only communicate to the host service that the user does not want to receive targeted advertising based on that tracking. This is very confusing and misleading, and far from the implementation of the principles of “privacy by design” (Privacy by Design means that privacy and data protection are embedded throughout the entire life cycle of technologies from the early design stage to their deployment, use and ultimate disposal) that would actually be an equivalent, fair and inspired evolution of the “bill of rights”. This “button” and its actual function will in the end cause more damage than the problems it tries to fix giving ammunition to some politicians to explain and sustain with the misinformed that the law is already working on a reinterpretation of the bill of rights, and that the us has already achieved or working on guaranteeing these principles when it is really actually not. A big mess that has the only positive of creating a precedent that might inspire more serious revisions and extension of the laws of humans to the laws of post humans.
54052351-Lapenta-2011-Geomedia-on-Location-Based-MediaI am co-organizing the “Re-visualizing the City” international conference. An in depth look at the latest trends and visions of the smart cities of the future. Please redistribute to your departments and friends: Call for papers “Re-Visualizing the City”, 9th to 11th July 2012, St. Francis College, Brooklyn, New York
link to ivsacall2012 with full details:
This is like saying that becasue on that high street there is someone selling counterfeited goods instead of going after the limited illegal selling of counterfeited goods they shut down the entire street or any other street where “even one” illegal copy of something is sold.
If it were true that data should be compared to real physical commodities or that by that principle they should share the same identical values and economic principles open that “SECOND HAND file exchange website” already, because sure enough if I bought and own it I can TRADE, EXCHANGE or RE SELL IT when I want ….. or not?
One more proof that people does not have yet a sense that virtual and real are forever connected and that common sense and the law should not be able to undo what decades of social struggles and civil rights evolution have accomplished.
I guess you don’t know about SOPA although you should. I guess most do not care about SOPA although they should. There is something fundamentally wrong about the way SOPA is formulated and as we have seen more and more in the past few years there is a profound alteration of the correct balance between the right to protect copyrighted material and the legal consequences faced by individuals who download or exchange such material for non economic purposes. These contradictions are often reflected in the very practices of the same corporations and lobbies that push for this legislation. This video explains some of these contradictions, He might be a big crude in his explanations but he makes a point.
or more seriously “why SOPA is a bed idea” clay shirky
my new article out now: The Infosphere, the Geosphere and the Mirror: The Geomedia-Based Normative Renegotiations of Body and Place Francesco Lapenta in Mobile Technology and Place<a link amazon link Edited by Rowan Wilken, Gerard Goggin in Series: Routledge Studies in New Media and Cyberculture
The Infosphere, the Geosphere and the Mirror. The Geomedia Based Normative Renegotiation of Body and Place.
First there are the utopias. Utopias are sites with no real place. They are sites that have a general relation of direct or inverted analogy with the real space of Society. They present society itself in a perfected form, or else society turned upside down (…). There are also, in every culture, in every civilization, real places – places that do exist and that are formed in the very founding of society which are something like counter-sites, a kind of effectively enacted utopia in which the real sites (…) are simultaneously represented, contested, and inverted. I believe that between utopias and these quite other sites, these heterotopias, there might be a sort of mixed, joint experience, which would be the mirror. Focault
a new ruling by the European Court of JUstice (ECJ) stated today that Internet service providers cannot be forced to block their users from downloading songs illegally, as such an order would breach EU rules, Europe’s highest court said on Thursday in a ruling welcomed by a consumer group.
The Luxembourg-based EU Court of Justice (ECJ) issued its verdict in a case involving Belgian music royalty collecting society SABAM and Belgian telecom operator Belgacom unit Scarlet.
SABAM asked a Belgian court to order Scarlet to install a device to prevent its users from downloading copyrighted works. The court ruled in SABAM’s favor and order Scarlet to install such a device. However, Scarlet then challenged the ruling, prompting the Belgian court to seek advice from the ECJ.
“EU law precludes the imposition of an injunction by a national court which requires an internet service provider to install a filtering system with a view to preventing the illegal downloading of files,” the ECJ said.
“The filtering system would also be liable to infringe the fundamental rights of its (Scarlet’s) customers, namely their right to protection of their personal data and their right to receive or impart information,” the Luxembourg court said.
This 24th of November. Forthcoming article in Pink, S. (ed) Advances in Visual Methodology. London: Sage March 2012.
Few weeks ago in New York I was interviewed by a New York Times journalist (article here) on a subject for which I have a great deal of passion, and KNowledge, hi end audio reproduction and specifically analogue generation hi-fi, tube amplification and high-efficiency speakers, which I design and build since I was 14. The interview lasted a while and we talked about audio technology evolution, recurrences in technological evolution paths, sound quality of tube vs transistor vs digital amplification, speakers´ designs and audio reproduction goals, and of course tubes (or valves). Apparently that discussion had no place in the article so my contribution has been reduced to one sentence ““Got any Amperex Bugle Boy 12AX7’s?, rather than being disappointed about it, I laughed with a friend of mine whom shares a similar interest, who commented, man if that was a movie, you would be the nerd with the greatest line in the scene, and I am happy with that .