Saturday, June 25

[notes] Blogwalk 9

Topic: comparing blogs to earlier forms of writing. [comment: we never did this, we just came up with keywords connected to that, but actually I think that no group ever discussed that]

What are older practices that inform what we are doing today? Are we breaking away from this?

[the underlying question here would be: does my writing change, does what I can say change with the form it is presented in? - Answer: sure, it does. The question is: in which way. So new question: in which way does what I can say change in a weblog as compared to...-what should one compare it to? A diary? Fieldnotes?]

In the starting session we also talked for quite a bit about:

Tagging places...through churches (eg. On mountain tops), it good to tag places? Possible outcome: wars around physical layers - is it liberating to have multiple digital layers/tags?

– so what can I actually do with this new way of interacting with my physical environemnet? Leave a note asking myself: what kind of plant is this? Then next person would answer (why do I not look it up in a book or why not ask the gardener – because it would be embarrassing – so do we create a place where it's not embarrassing to ask for what is thought of, as common knowledge? But also it's a way to bridge time...maybe there's just no-one to ask there, when we're walking through the park...and the gardener will be very happy to find a note saying: thats my favourite corner of the park, you did very well here. But what about leaving a note on the side of the lawn telling others, that the „park-police“ will come if they sit on the grass? Whats the difference between a sign saying this and a note that is tagged to a place and that I only can see if I've got a PDA? Does it create a hierarchy of information? What happenes when I tag the place „where I fell in love with xxx“ or someone else says: thats where I started to think about commiting suicide, that one is a really bad corner? What about conflicting ideas about the same place? What about building churches that don't offend any muslim? What about mosques that don't upset the christians ideas about this very special place? [We talked a bit about Ayodhya.] Will people think of this new dimension to their reality as real? Will there be a way to find out who left the comment? Whats the difference between commenting on man-made-things and commenting on nature? Well, guess people might answer back, nature would not.

Another idea: what happens if we start tagging people?

There was this project in Germany – „Stolpersteine“ (to remember jews): The major of the city (was it Munich?) they wanted to do this in, was against the project. Nazis would cause trouble, Sudetendeutsche would also claim their bit, lots and lots of minorities would start and claim a bit of this idea and it would never end.

This project lead us on to think about the way we interact, we create history. We asked ourselves: Will we lose general might be a huge challenge to us, to have different versions of the same history. Who decides what is true, if there are so many versions of the same event? (possible answer: power structures will still be there, people, institutions will still try to influence and official version /viewof events).

Another topic we talked about was ownership/full control over what one publishes. I think it was Sebastian who argued, that one gives up ownership of things when you publish them online. I think, people who don't want the stuff they put online, be put to use by someone else, don't understand something fundamental about the web.

The long afternoon discussion at the TU (where we tried to split up but didin't in the end) was also about the web as no-space, non-place etc. I offered a quick peek into Arjun Appadurai's ideas as well as Marc Augés' concept of non-places. Martin (?) had just read Augés' book and was very interested in hearing that. [etc.]

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