I really enjoyed the class. Hybrid class was very interesting experience for me. I learned a lot of new about digital technology. To be honest I didn’t expect this class to be that interesting. It opened my eyes on the world around me and on digital technology in a way that I never thought how technology plays a big role in our lives. I was surprised by realizing that when we are online, that everything what we are looking and searching for is remembered and than popping up in random time. It is crazy how Internet and social media know everything about us.
What I enjoyed the most is the reading of the book Astra Taylor “The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age”, 2014. It was easy and interesting to read. Other readings gave me harder time. My favorite chapters were “The Double Anchor” and “Love or Money”. It was interesting discussion about copyrights and how tricky it can be. Chapter “Love or Money” helped me to realize what creativity means now, in our time.
Also the chapter what caught my attention is Ahyan Aytes “Return of the Crowds: Mechanical Turk and Neoliberal States of Exception”. The idea of chess-playing machine and the history was informative. It was unexpected for me to find connection between a chess-playing machine and Amazon’s new platform.
Also what was amusing for me is debate about WELL as one of the most influential computer network.
The tuff part in this class for me was presentation, I know it is a very good experience for the future but it was stressful. It is not that easy to speak in front of lots of people and may be for me it was extra stressful because English is not my first language and I was nervous if I would forget anything or if people will not understand me because of my accent.
What about the readings, the confusing one for me was the article “Free labor: Producing culture for the digital economy” by Tiziana Terronova. That article made me read it lots of times but still was hart for me to put everything in my heat on the right spot.
The class was very useful. I learnt lots of new and valuable information. It made me think and confused me few times but was interesting as well.
You can find a copy of the final exam and the grading rubric under resources on our website. If you have questions about the exam, please post them to the website [tagged as announcement] so that everyone can benefit from hearing your question and my response.
I have really enjoyed learning more about the history of digital technology. As much as I have complained about Fred Turner’s glut of details, I really value that he has written such an intricate portrait of Stewart Brand’s projects and the ripple effect that those projects (Whole Earth Catalog and the WeLL) set in motion. These are histories that have been obscured from public reception, okay, maybe not obscured but the average social network and digital media user is surely unaware of the chain of players and innovations that issued from the New Communalist reception of cybernetic ideals and systems theory. I think I have definitely taken for granted how the modern cyber landscape is truly dependent on all of these innovations and networks. To be honest, it is sort of scary to know that so much of what is in place is reflective of larger power structures that although were supposed to be the anti-thesis of bureaucratic order, ended up replicating that power dynamic. I am not surprised by this but maybe just disheartened – especially after reading in depth breakdowns of how these powered dynamics function, a la the essays in Trebor Schulz’s such as Mechanical Turk or my personal favorite, the essay I presented on, Fandom as Free Labor, by Abigail De Kosnik. I think the difficulty I had with a number of essays in the Schultz anthology was mainly due to my novice level understanding of the fundamentals of Marxist analysis, specifically the definitions of various kinds of labor and how these explications shift in ways that are complex to map in the digital age – I’m thinking of dead labor and some of the other shades of waged / unwaged labor. I wish I would have had a firmer grasp on these concepts but I definitely feel excited about having opened up this modes of thought and look forward to learning more as the scholarship will indubitably continue to move forward, perhaps matching the pace at which digital media and technological innovation seems to operate at.