Thursday, May 31, 2012

Experience and expression

A Critical Analysis The web is a wild western gorge full of guns and lovers. The problem with polarisation is that the loudest views are not necessarily the most beneficial. Sometimes it is the quiet troubadour in the corner strumming that bestows the wisdom that prevents a fight from erupting but instead of augmenting art, has the internet actually watered it down? Some may see a post-modern content in the every-man contributions of social networking, but where does it place the extraordinary? Does its marketing muscle only flex for mediocracy? Or am I describing cable television? One could say that there is an inverse relation between context and meaning. But nobody would understand. A better way of saying the same thing is that the crowd has wisdom. That heat creates fire. That love is a function of the heart, and not the brain. It is the movement of clouds of meaning passing across the digital divide that makes this internet into something fantastic. It is the release of a spray of ideas into an atmosphere that knows how to pluck the good bits that provides its progressive strength. As a distribution system and filtering of knowledge that enables it to be a fluid representation of thought. Fluid, not liquid. Like a lava flow, it emerges and reforms its landscape. Looking at web archive sites is an adventure into an already antique territory. The inverse of "Steam punk" which for me feels like an outburst of the artist attempting to create a sense of provenance of ideas - this thing about hot media and cold media - due to a complete absence of feeling in wireframe construction containing a cold plethora of evolving ideas - utility without indulgence - we have alternative media online which are far warmer and dynamic. From Youtube to Second Life - the web "experience" is a mutual universe of representation. The idea of avatars being a military tool involves a transfer of consciousness to the machine, but that is not what we are doing. It is a transfer of the machine's imprint upon ourselves that this hot media impresses. The conveyance of real experience is diluted - but the internet enhancing experience not so much by social networking but by providing a fabric where human experience and joy can be expressed and enjoyed. This balance between utility and pleasure dictates how information is accumulated and presented. It is remarkable how easily it teeters over the edge and falls into one side of that equation. The goal of software now is to achieve a constancy in balance between the two.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Role of Trivia

The fabric of the internet has transformed in its serious approach to a social interaction - a set of coda to be adjusted to, that consume our time and hone our thinking into new paradigms. The triumph of trivia over academia on the internet is the interchange of reactions to things. An interplay ofpersonae. Mere membership of a website and marketing to buyer could not exceed the point of membership - which is constantly growing content - a magazine approach of the blog - every week you cut a new one, so to speak. It is only the interesting magazines that will survive so you are dependent upon having things to say. But visitors to a site are more a consequence of word of mouth than it ever will be merely by advertising and for that reason we selected social networking as the main modulator of popularity. Increasingly we find that the more pure the social network the more slavish and dull the posts become as people strive to be popular. No, not you, your posts on Facebook are of course important to me - and I will react to you because I knew you. Not because what I have to say means much. Just leaving my mark. Shouting into the air like a Western tourist upon reaching their goal of their private pilgrimage, arriving at their statue of Elvis they all wrapped in self congratulatory fizz. The old model was to try and attract readers by having something relevant that was all exciting and fizz for the search engines. This means maintaining your blog religiously but when the number of visitors is not growing and the ideas dry up, then progress will stop. There is an inert pull toward relaxing - toward delay and away from decision or action. The secret dark art was "optimisation" and "having the right domain name: title: content" was a duty in the artistic originality stakes. Now we dive into the popcorn rather than absorb the movie. We end up throwing it at each other and complain as it sticks in our hair. Our addiction to each other ensures that we remain famous to our friends and that as an engine of growth being mildly offensive or wildly funny proves more effective than saying something effective. Triviality is a code that travels faster, ironic observation on a personal level spreads in all directions at once and the ubiquitous "sharing" that rates your level of success online is key to search engine modulation. Creating a conscious limiting current stifles innovation. Social interaction is very good but a backbone of relevant content is of great value. The turn over of marketing responsibility to the consumer. Social networking requires "popularity" which no longer ensures that anything but the lowest common denominator - a sense of the illicit - is appealed to. So you would think. Then again, George Takei is one of the funniest and most popular master of the meme. He routinely make tens of thousands of followers a little happier. It is a wonderful thing, really. But so is lasting originality. If the web becomes a way that sharing results in discovering new and wonderful art, it is serving humanity in a sort of left wing way. And if a funny picture amuses our friends it also serves to convey a sense of belonging. Social networking is more fun than endless memberships and mailing lists churning out sales talk spam. Advertising can be fun too, and useful. Google's promotion of relevancy is a judgement based on criteria that may or may not lead anywhere. But the honey will be smothered by ants. The tension of knowing why is rooted in the nature of the logical structure of things that are interlinked. One can imagine the shape of knowledge is a multidimensional fabric extending in all directions. When knowledge is constrained into one mode or method of thinking, then it is weakened as it is the connections between in which thought may exist. Thought requires an object, not always, but generally. Thoughts do however require a subject and without one thoughts become abstract. These abstract thoughts may involve others in a common ground such as humour, and for that value it is rewarded. There is a pressure of crowd reflection. This works as a modulator of fame. A responsibility of a performer's retinue, best when brief and innocuous and personal. Twitter is the most abstract social network and success there depends on many things. Having something to say may not be one of them. Making a lot of noise works best.