- Useful to look down/away as we listen
- Direct focused attention can often produce exhaustion
- Why start with histories?
- Disrupt easy, linear, always-forward-unfolding narrative of technology; tech as train: "get on or get run over"
- BBSes give us alternative ways of thinking about localities, governance, infrastructure
- Acknowledge that this course is very US-centric
- Tyranny of the now: we don't remember histories in ways that are generative
- Push yourself to find scholarship that's older than a few years, often very relevant
Hobbes Internet Timeline
- Tech- and US-centric; institution-heavy (reflects academic culture)
- Milestones like "number hosts breaks 1000"
- The way they include existing social/cultural institutions is noting when they "go online": Korea, UN, Japan PM, NZ PM, shopping malls.
- (What about "I went online"?)
- "Flash mobs, organized over the Net, start in New York and quickly form in cities worlwide"
- Interesting that they mention so many TLDs
- "If you don't hear from me in a week (typical turn around is < 1 hour), check your header and email again. BTW, don't forget to tell me who you are, your affiliation and how you plans to use the Timeline; anonymous copyright requests will not be granted."
- Driscoll alternative net history timeline project: Driscoll's birth is listed as "private funding, public access"
- Leigh Star great scholarship for STS, systems of standards
- UseNet got bought and suddenly became searchable, in a way that people who posted on it never anticipated
- Some year: when students went off to college, they wiped everything on social media
- Is ephemerality a right? For communities?
What should we archive?
- I assumed we should archive pretty much everything. Perhaps a vestige of how the tech industry makes storage limits, costs, and infra invisible. It's so easy to get huge amounts of storage, practically unlimited.
- LoC stopped archiving all tweets in 2017
- Both this and Leigh Star talk about master narratives, but with different approaches for countering it. Driscoll: user
What would we do / what would things look like if we take their calls to heart?
- Form validation on online forms: what's an appropriate name? Hyphens, non-Latin characters, family structures, etc.
- We post something and then the system decides what headline, photo, etc. gets displayed with it
- AU, FB: News orgs have to pay to be at top of news feed?
- SEO -> fight to get the actual result because everything (e.g. on Amazon) has a bunch of keywords; feels polluted
- If the system will favor/privilege certain things, people are going to create content like that
YouTube/Twitch/Instagram hustle sits in a precarious market, people are trying to make a living, gig economy
- There's also a generation of kids growing up with this as their aspiration and as their pervasive media ecosystem
- Companies aren't legally allowed to discriminate along certain lines, but they can do anything else
Time passed pretty quickly during discussion. There were several things I wanted to say but didn't speak up about. (I only spoke up about the name validation example.) I sent some things into the chat but people didn't engage with them the way they did with other comments.
The level of the discussion here is lower than STS.044 — like in STS.044 there were implicit right interpretations (Sherry's) that we had to get to (and I rarely got to by myself), whereas today people brought up points that I thought were too obvious to mention.
For Tuesday: prioritize Latour and Fischer