But is it good?

Ars Technica has a blog post up about the prevalence of the file sharing software client Limewire. A report suggests that an estimated one third of all computer users have Limewire installed. The article itself isn’t that interesting. In the comments however, is this:

This whole thing reminds me of this house party I was at once. (This was back in the Morpheus/Kazaa days) This guy was using his laptop to “DJ” the party. He pulled me aside to show me his “collection.” He had downloaded/ripped enough to almost completely fill two 250 GB hard drives. He was practically beaming with pride about this. I was like: “Great, so do you have anything GOOD?”

Maybe this should be the focus on media companies? Instead of an industry organised around trying to maximise the profit extracted from idiots by using some other idiots as an image-based popular culture surplus value extracting device (aka ‘musicians’), perhaps talent should be rewarded? I am happy to pay for talent…

Owning it

Emmy has a post up about Summer Heights High. She notes the show raises questions of class, gender and race in the performance of Chris Lilley. Emmy writes:

In Summer Heights High, Jonah must do constant battle with a language that he does not own by virtue of either birth or class. As a migrant, working class child the world of English is, for him, full of trauma and betrayals: he cannot command his performance of it in a way that pleases those who do own it – his teachers.

I watched nearly all the episodes with A. (a senior English teacher) and she did not like Miss Wheatley at all, describing her as a ‘new’ teacher.

Ars Technica on Academic Web 2.0

Web 2.0… The foul urgency of capital colonising the future with its iterative technonsense is about as fun listening to the ignorant middle-classes discussing backyard renovations. Ars Technica has a report on a report on the obvious incompatability Web 2.0 with the scholarly practice.

Two reasons why the hype-machine of Web 2.0 will not work at a university level:

1) Temporality. Temporality of pedagogy (let alone research) requires preparation, reflection, movement, returning, difference, and feedback (from peers or teacher/mentors). Temporality of the administration of pedagogy seeks to restrict and curtail actual pedagogical activities; so it is not a question of “Learn this!” but “Learn this by this time!” Temporality of the students’ respective lives needs to be able to be separated from the 24/7 always-online education institution. It is fine for PhD students to always be working, but undergrads need to have some fun. Mobile content delivery to mobile phones sounds ‘liberating’ but it seems to me to be more likely to encourage too much contact.

2) Materiality of ideas. The architecture of the database is good for quick access of information, but it is terrible for following the material traces of ideas and between ideas as they are thought and expressed as a concerted labour. For example, after the first couple of chapters Sedgewick’s _Between Men_ is so divorced from reality as to be rendered almost useless. It is only ‘almost’ because it does enable a reader to think about what she argues in the context of actual examples. To understand the full import of her book means understanding the context in which the book was written, and what comes after. This could all be represented in a simple timeline, but the timeline as well as the database effaces the materiality of ideas. When students are forced to go into libraries and find books, and read and reread them, the distance between ideas and the minor-conceptual revolutions that books like _Between Men_ produced can be better understood.