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Understanding the Network Society Paradigm

Narratives of global communication
by

Dr Teodor Mitew

on 26 August 2016

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Transcript of Understanding the Network Society Paradigm

IBM AN/FSQ-7
2000 square meters
275 tons
Macintosh 128K [1984]
Commodore 64 [1982]
IBM 5150 [1981]
Hayes smartmodem [1981]
BBS
The time is close at hand, when the scattered members of civilised communities will be as closely united, so far as instant telephonic communication is concerned, as the various members of the
body
now are by the
nervous system
.
MONDO2000
TIME 1993
Neuromancer
Cyberspace
. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators… A graphic representation of data abstracted from banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding.
CYBERSPACE
giving the end node [user] control
from global communication networks
to global nervous system
computers are used as highly centralized data processing units
A
B
C
D
SWITCH
C
B
A
D
SWITCH
SWITCH
SWITCH
SWITCH
telephone switch network
packet switching network
The project started with the philosophy that much
academic information should be freely available to anyone
. It aims to allow information sharing within internationally dispersed teams, and the dissemination of information by support groups.
The new electronic interdependence recreates the world
in the image of a global village
Marshall McLuhan, The Gutenberg Galaxy, 1962
The web is more a social creation than a technical one. I designed it for a social effect - to help people work together - and not as a technical toy. The ultimate goal of the Web is
to support and improve our weblike existence in the world.
Information wants to be free.
Information also wants to be expensive.
So far, nearly everything about the actual possibility-space which computers have created indicates they are the end of authority and not its beginning.
Life in cyberspace seems to be shaping up exactly like Thomas Jefferson would have wanted: founded on the primacy of individual liberty and a commitment to pluralism, diversity, and community.
I consider that the golden rule requires that if I like a program
I must share it with other people who like it
. Software sellers want to divide the users and conquer them, making each user agree not to share with others.
I refuse to break solidarity with other users
in this way. I cannot in good conscience sign a nondisclosure agreement or a software license agreement.

So that I can continue to use computers without dishonor, I have decided to put together a sufficient body of free software so that I will be able to get along without any software that is not free.
CODE FREEDOM
!

John Perry Barlow, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, 1996
You weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind
Ours is a world that is both everywhere and nowhere, but it is not where bodies live
We will create a civilization of the Mind in Cyberspace
Kevin Kelly, This New Economy, 1999
Silicon chips linked into high-bandwidth channels are
the neurons of our culture
. Until this moment, our economy has been in the multicellular stage. Our industrial age has required each customer or company to almost physically touch one another. Our firms and organizations resemble blobs. Now, by the enabling invention of
silicon and glass neurons
, a million new forms are possible. Boom! An infinite variety of new shapes and sizes of social organizations are suddenly possible. Unimaginable forms of commerce can now coalesce in this new economy. We are about to witness an explosion of entities built on relationships and technology that will rival the early days of life on Earth in their variety.
libertarian utopia
Scientific American, 1880
1
decoupling
of information from matter
2
new metaphors
new ideas
extraction of information (mind)
from matter (body)
obliteration of borders
3
homogenization of time and space
4
a new kind of space
beyond material borders
free flow of information
'thought, nothing but thought'
5
The Network Society Paradigm
in the beginning was the
meet
multiple terminals connect to one
mainframe
computer
this network topology is similar to the telephone switch network
IBM controls computing
AT&T controls telephony
and then came
Sputnik-1

and it all worked...
distributed network
Paul Baran's
what changed?
in effect, each individual node
can broadcast to the entire network
a distributed information flow was until then totally unprecedented in a communication system
all nodes are created equal!
characteristics
anarchic, improvisation, no central plan, no centralized oversight, no overarching design, solutions are ad-hoc patches
What are the cultural tropes emerging with this new communication paradigm?
"a lot of the design was forced on us [by technical challenges]"
Vint Cerf, on TCP/IP
an information network independent from the infrastructure over which it runs
all decision making resides with the ends (nodes), while the middle is as non-specialised as possible
key
key
control is distributed to the nodes [users]
William Gibson
, Neuromancer, 1984, p 69
CYBERPUNK
ghost in the machine
separation of mind from body>>
cyberpunk
tropes
>>

the personal computer
the haxx0rz choice
the modem
the bulletin board system
cyborgs
posthumanism
virtual reality
artificial intelligence
body augmentation
urban decay
CYBERSPACE
CYBERLIBERTY
each individual node in the network can broadcast to the entire network
all nodes are created equal!
all decision making resides with the ends (nodes), while the middle is as non-specialised as possible
a new kind of space
beyond material borders
free flow of information
'thought, nothing but thought'
Richard Stallman, The GNU Manifesto, 1985
william gibson
bruce sterling
the
cyberpunk
patriarchs
Stewart Brand, 1985
cyberlibertarian tropes
>>

information freedom
internet as the electronic frontier
allusion to the wild west
the state is irrelevant
Mitch Kapor, 1993
Kevin Kelly, 1995
end of authority
Tim Berners-Lee, 6 August 1991
birth of world wide web
Tim Berners-Lee
end of regulation
thank you
mainframe
and all was good...
Cyberspace is the latest American frontier.
Esther Dyson
star-shaped topologies
centralized
hierarchical
efficient
SWITCH
SWITCH
SWITCH
SWITCH
F
G
H
E
SWITCH
I
the nodes begin processing
the nodes begin connecting
the people's internet is born
neal stephenson
designer food
the internet as a
privacy
DIGC202 Global Networks
Dr Teodor Mitew
tedmitew.com
@tedmitew
Understanding
trope
>>
global coordination and control
logic of extraction
logic of processing/sorting
new paradigm
>>
new science
>>
Norbert Wiener
new phenomena
>>
scale and speed
control
coordination
cybernetics
The Human Use of Human Beings (1950)
unloading of 5 megabyte IBM hard drive
(1956)
(1957)
how to preserve information flows
a problem of network topology, or
distributing control
to maintain coordination
information becomes infrastructure neutral
Q:
July 1981
Byte Magazine
December 1984
December 1984
December 1984
(1986)
Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology
Snow Crash
(1992)
(1984-1998)
WIRED
Issue 1, 1993
extropianism
virtual sex
network war
hackers
(1994)
the state is the enemy
cyberspace as a global brain
Richard Stallman
Julian Assange
Edward Snowden
(1984)
Full transcript