Book-Text-Read-Zines · Technology · Videos

Tworse Key – A Twitter Telegraph

An open design exercise in interface archaeology, that decodes the input from a classic Morse telegraph to send twitter messages. The source code and hardware schematics are available HERE

The Tworse Key is a standalone device that connects through a standard LAN cable, the Morse signals are decoded by the built-in Arduino Ethernet board, which delivers the final message though the Twitter API.

(cc-by-sa) Martin Kaltenbrunner, Interface Culture Lab, Kunstuniversität Linz

Follow @tworsekey on Twitter to read some example tweets sent from the actual device.

Art/Aesthetics · Book-Text-Read-Zines · Digital Media · Technology · Theory

Digital Prohibition: Piracy and Authorship in New Media Art

The act of creation requires us to remix existing cultural content and yet recent sweeping changes to copyright laws have criminalized the creative act as a violation of corporate rights in a commodified world. Copyright was originally designed to protect publishers, not authors, and has now gained a stranglehold on our ability to transport, read, write, teach and publish digital materials.

Contrasting Western models with issues of piracy as practiced in Asia, Digital Prohibition explores the concept of authorship as a capitalist institution and posits the Marxist idea of the multitude (à la Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt, and Paulo Virno) as a new collaborative model for creation in the digital age. Looking at how digital culture has transformed unitary authorship from its book-bound parameters into a collective and dispersed endeavor, Dr. Guertin examines process-based forms as diverse as blogs, Facebook, Twitter, performance art, immersive environments, smart mobs, hacktivism, tactical media, machinima, generative computer games (like Spore and The Sims) and augmented reality.

Text and Image via Bloomsbury

Digital Media · Human-ities · Technology

Gender in Twitter: Styles, stances, and social networks

We present a study of the relationship between gender, linguistic style, and social networks, using a novel corpus of 14,000 users of Twitter. Prior quantitative work on gender often treats this social variable as a binary; we argue for a more nuanced approach. By clustering Twitter feeds, we find a range of styles and interests that reflects the multifaceted interaction between gender and language. Some styles mirror the aggregated language-gender statistics, while others contradict them. Next, we investigate individuals whose language better matches the other gender. We find that such individuals have social networks that include significantly more individuals from the other gender, and that in general, social network homophily is correlated with the use of same-gender language markers. Pairing computational methods and social theory thus offers a new perspective on how gender emerges as individuals position themselves relative to audiences, topics, and mainstream gender norms.

Study by a trio of linguists and computer scientists (David Bamman, Jacob Eisenstein, Tyler Schnoebelen) that looks at the gendered expression of language online. PDF HERE
Image above via

Bio · Digital Media · Technology · Vital-Edible-Health

Facebook, Twitter Activate Brain’s Reward Regions

Many people constantly update about their lives on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter mainly because of the “kicks” that self-disclosure offers, according to a new Harvard study.

The study found that sharing personal information is as good as eating food or even having sex. The nucleus accumbens (NAcc) and the ventral tegmental area (VTA), regions that are associated with reward, were active when people talked about themselves.

Continue article at Medical Daily

Human-ities · Philosophy · Technology

Everything Was a Problem and We Did Not Understand a Thing: An interview with Noam Chomsky

Why can everyone learn Portuguese? Are some aspects of our nature unknowable? Can you imagine Richard Nixon as a radical? Is Twitter a trivializer? New Scientist takes a whistle-stop tour of our modern intellectual landscape in the company of Noam Chomsky.

Let’s start with the idea that everyone connects you with from the 1950s and ’60s—a “universal grammar” underlying all languages. How is that idea holding up in 2012?

It’s virtually a truism. There are people who misunderstand the term but I can’t deal with that. It’s perfectly obvious that there is some genetic factor that distinguishes humans from other animals and that it is language-specific. The theory of that genetic component, whatever it turns out to be, is what is called universal grammar.

But there are critics such as Daniel Everett, who says the language of the Amazonian people he worked with seems to challenge important aspects of universal grammar.

It can’t be true. These people are genetically identical to all other humans with regard to language. They can learn Portuguese perfectly easily, just as Portuguese children do. So they have the same universal grammar the rest of us have. What Everett claims is that the resources of the language do not permit the use of the principles of universal grammar.

That’s conceivable. You could imagine a language exactly like English except it doesn’t have connectives like “and” that allow you to make longer expressions. An infant learning truncated English would have no idea about this: They would just pick it up as they would standard English. At some point, the child would discover the resources are so limited you can’t say very much, but that doesn’t say anything about universal grammar, or about language acquisition. Actually, I doubt very much that a language like that could exist.

Excerpt of the interview with Graham Lawton for SLATE. Continue HERE

Human-ities · Social/Politics · Technology

The Folly of Internet Freedom and the Mistake of Talking About the Internet as a Human Right

In the past two years, protesters against authoritarian regimes have begun to heavily use social-networking and media services, including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and cell phones, to organize, plan events, propagandize, and spread information outside the channels censored by their national governments. Those governments, grappling with this new threat to their holds on power, have responded by trying to unplug cyberspace.

Some examples: In April 2009, angry young Moldovans stormed government and Communist Party offices protesting what they suspected was a rigged election; authorities discontinued Internet service in the capital. In Iran, the regime cracked down on protesters objecting to fraudulent election outcomes in June 2009 by denying domestic access to servers and links, and by slowing down Internet service generally — although protesters and their supporters found ways around those restrictions. In Tunisia, when protests against President Zine el Abidine ben Ali escalated in December 2010, his government sought to deny Twitter services in the country and hacked the Facebook accounts of some Tunisian users in order to acquire their passwords. In Egypt, amid mass protests in Cairo and several other cities in January 2011, Hosni Mubarak’s government attempted to disconnect the Internet. But there, too, protesters found limited workarounds until the doomed regime eventually restored some services.

Authoritarians may have reason to fear cyberspace. It is widely believed that the proliferation of Internet access and other communications technologies empowers individuals and promotes democracy and the spread of liberty, usually at the expense of centralized authority. As Walter Wriston optimistically put it in his 1992 book The Twilight of Sovereignty: “As information technology brings the news of how others live and work, the pressures on any repressive government for freedom and human rights will soon grow intolerable because the world spotlight will be turned on abuses and citizens will demand their freedoms.”

Written by Eric R. Sterner, The New Atlantis. Continue HERE