Saturday, August 30, 2008

"Margreiter: Humboldt Media Philosophy - Day Four"

Eighteen. Friedrich Kittler. Saving information is not only preserving it. Above all, it is spatializing the time-dimension. A text and a score are a storage of time. Only through a medium, information and data can be thought. How do we use media responsibly?

Nineteen. Sybille Krämer. A medium appears only within intermedial performance or an error. Meaning is constituted in distribution.

Twenty. Stefan Weber. Criticises Lasswell and Maletzke. Wants a non-dualistic media philosophy. Is kind of close to neo-pragmatism. And fights successfully against plagiarism. (*fg*)

Twenty-one. Hartmut Winkler. Integrates methods of semiotics, dialectic social theory and psychoanalysis. Language influences structures and structures influence language. It's all about interdependence.

Twenty-two. Oswald Schwemmer. Media are dynamic systems. Their structures influence the form of the articulation. Interdependence between determination and active creation.

Twenty-three. Lorenz Engell. The medium itself philosophizes?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

"Margreiter: Humboldt Media Philosophy - Day Three"

Thirteen. Mike Sandbothe. Pragmatism and theory. Usability and coherence versus l'art pour l'art. Media technology and politics versus semiotics. Final goal: democratising the public?

Fourteen. Mike Sandbothe. Transversal pragmatism. Reconstructing Wolfgang Welsch. Make theory more useful. But it is already useful, isn't it?

Fifteen. Mike Sandbothe. Internet. Media are social constructions. Hypertext is hot, linear texts are cool. Transmediality within the computer and within the net. It's all about the user, is it?

Sixteen. Alexander Roesler. De Saussure was missing the medium. A medium is part of the process of the creation of meaning. There is no meaning without a medium. But what is a phone call?

Seventeen. Stefan Münker. After the medial turn. Mediaphilosophy is only philosophy of NEW media. Philosophy engages in disambiguation. The rest is media theory. Oh, and let's get back to the sublime, right?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"Margreiter: Humboldt Media Philosophy - Day Two"

Seven. René Descartes. Imaginary spaces and the appearance of the modern author. Ratio instead of God-given truth. Dependence from both reader and ruler?

Eight. Otto Neurath. Vienna Circle, very left-wing. ISOTYPE. Education by the eye. Pictograms are talking, are they?

Nine. Frank Hartmann. Mediology. Symbolization. Communicative code. Data storage medium. Distribution network. Interaction?

Ten. Werner Konitzer. Havelock. Alphanumeric code bred philosophy. Platon. Truth is a choice?

Eleven. Werner Konitzer, again. Husserl. Platon. Speech and writing complement one another. Is there a corrective?

Twelve. Werner Konitzer, the sequel. Simmel. Luhmann. Wittgenstein. With each new medium comes a new space for reflexion. Decontextualisation, recontextualisation?

Monday, August 25, 2008

"Margreiter: Humboldt Media Philosophy - Day One"

One. Marshall Mc Luhan. Interesting ideas on amputation. Show time. Madonna's little brother of Media Philosophy. Presidential candidate?

Two. Jean Baudrillard. French pessimism deluxe. Everything is hyperreal. We need to get viral. Do we?

Three. Vilém Flusser. Exile. Caught between new media affirmation and technophobia. The magical consciousness needs to be overcome. Does it?

Four. Paul Virilio. Acceleration is a crime. Hollywood are the wings of war. Media the penultimate weapon. Apocalypse now?

Five. Neil Postman. Infantised subjects staring at screens. Reading is reason. Watching tv is not. Teaching media helps?

Six. Friedrich Kittler. Delayed. Due to a misunderstanding.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

"Wordle - Mother Teresa In Me Advertising Graphics Tool"

Surfing around whilst creating my presentation for the Salford conference, I just found a good word cloud application online. It works with Java. Being no graphics specialist, I had to do a little bit of a .pdf and photoshop loop way to be able to include it into my powerpoint finally. Unfortunately it lost a great deal of acuity somehow. All apologies for that. I still think this application is great, therefore I linked it. And I decided to write this post. But don't worry, I am not getting paid for advertising now, signals economy still didn't knock my door, I just spread the word of something beautiful and useful because I think it is beautiful and useful. If you like to play around with your texts and create something like a tag cloud for them, you should check it out.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

"Scientific Identity - Fear Of The Dark, a. k. a. The Humanities"

Reading a lot of Flusser and secondary literature on Flusser, I recognized a strong fear between the lines of some texts. Especially some media theory texts - interpretations and criticism of Flusser's philosophy - appear to be deeply afraid of a structural change within the sciences. Especially the media-teacher Rainer Leschke criticizes Flusser for his ontological perspective, his use of metaphor and etymology to make a point and back up his theory. Leschke is frightened of the idea that aesthetic and normative values could challenge the "one truth" of natural sciences. That certain scholars within the humanities dare to apply their methods on the technological and natural seems to be a most uncomfortable development for him. His major problem with this development is that these scholars try to "search for the meaning of and to make sense of certain phenomena, before it is clear that these phenomena are regulated by something like sense at all." This sentence burnt itself into my mind today - and I keep asking myself why the hell do so many people get a shit load of cash for research on phenomena that do not make any sense at all?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

"Serbia And The Net"

I just reviewed a paper for someone I know, she is working on the communication situation in Serbia nowadays and during the 1990s bombing and Kosovo crisis. Back then, for the IT-literate elite, the internet was the only way to communicate and gain information from outside the country. The uncensored mailinglist "The Syndicate" was of major importance in that period of time. Still it was only a small minority who had access to this source of independent information. Nowadays, the mesh densitiy is still very low in this region. But according to the paper, there is hope for a change, especially with the young generation getting more and more educated in the use of new communications technologies. A positive development that needs to be triggered in my opinion, because it is necessary for any further democratic actions.

Monday, August 11, 2008

"Televisual Society - The Colonization Of The Last Resort"

I am shocked. Well - to be fair, you could see it coming, so "shocked" is not exactly the right term for finally recognizing the inevitable.
The inevitable. It came to me just a couple of minutes ago, when I was eating my lunch at the university refectory. There it was. A huge screen. Attached to the front wall. Some swimmer from China was just staring at my salad and coffee with hungry eyes - as if he was just about to do the crawl and grab my food from the table. This is the end, I thought while I was grabbing my fork in order to protect my tomatoes. Not only are we forced to watch and listen to sports on the morning radio, on the underground, at almost every public recreation space of the city - no, as if this is not enough, now they also colonized my very last resort of un-telematic existence now.
The refectory. A place to take a break from work, to relax your eyes from staring onto the screen or into the books, to have a little chat with some random other student sitting at one of the long tables next to you, to enjoy your meal and listen to the comforting background noise from all the other hungry people doing just about the same. Now this peace is over as well. Instead of chatting away the twenty minutes, people watch sports now. Every conversation is interrupted by someone not listening, but staring at the screen attached to the front wall - at best indicating his conversational negligence by mumbling "look at this, man, awesome jump", or something similar, meaningless. Of course, we are all used to going to a pub with friends who stare at their mobile phones instead of into our faces whilst talking to us. I know, they call it "multi-tasking ability" these days, and it is regarded a necessary soft skill to survive within your work life, especially as a humanist. The more pleasant it always used to be to go to the refectory for lunch, where mobile phones were usually forgotten within the locker or even left at home or inside the car because people wanted to concentrate on their thoughts and texts instead of waiting for random short messages containing the recent weather forecast or some phone call saying that the local soccer team won a third league game today. Well, thanks to the IT-service who spent my small tuition fees on just another telescreen, this time is over now as well. I really don't know how I could survive my breaks up to now, without knowing how quickly some random Asian guy ran did the hurdles today. The new screen - such an enrichment to my tiny student life ... .

Sunday, August 10, 2008

"Simulation As Communication (3)"

Tortoise: Now, wanna know what the impact of imagination is?
Achilles: Yes, tell me!
Tortoise: Imagination has the ability to combine reality with fiction.
Achilles: Really?!
Tortoise: Yes.
Achilles: Okay... Tortoise -
Tortoise: Yes?
Achilles: What is fiction?
Tortoise: You're so predictable, I knew you'd ask exactly that question within the next two minutes.
Achilles: Well -
Tortoise: Fiction. Fiction is not only that which is invented. It is more. The power of fiction lies in the realm of the symbolic. Fiction and reality are only on the surface oppositions. Fictions showa certain difference to the experienced world. They create a rift. They allow us to step back and think beyond what is existing. This ability can lead to actions, these actions can create what was fiction before.
Achilles: So fiction is necessary for progress?
Tortoise: Indeed. You have to have a vision in order to move on.
Achilles: And do you?
Tortoise: Well, right now there is no gap, no rift between fiction and reality for me.
Achilles: How so?
Tortoise (yawning): That, my dear friend, I will explain the next time we meet ... (falls asleep).

Saturday, August 9, 2008

"French Press And Sarkozy: France Gets TAZ"

Apparently, the French president doesn't like the free press in his country. So he wants to control who works as chief editor in the big papers. And quiet successful he seems to be.
So, please bear with me for linking to non-German, and non-English, but French sites as well now, as I think a link to Mediapart might be a good opportunity for my French-speaking friends and fellow citizens of this globe to get some independent information. They seem to try the same model as taz did a couple of decades ago: no advertising, no political control, independent information and a strong opinion from the people for the people. A voice for those who had none. No easy job, especially considering monetary needs of the staff. But still, an honorable cause.

Friday, August 8, 2008

"German Right To Freedom Of Speech In An Age Of Global Censorship"

"Every person shall have the right freely to express and disseminate his opinions in speech, writing, and pictures and to inform himself without hindrance from generally accessible sources. Freedom of the press and freedom of reporting by means of broadcasts and films shall be guaranteed. There shall be no censorship.

These rights shall find their limits in the provisions of general laws, in provisions for the protection of young persons, and in the right to personal honor.

Art and scholarship, research, and teaching shall be free. The freedom of teaching shall not release any person from allegiance to the constitution."

(Article 5, Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany)