Category: Criticism

Not a Remix–Nor a Sampling: Why Fareed Zakaria’s Plagiarism is Unacceptable

Image: Huffpost

By Eduardo Navas

Note: This entry was updated on August 19, 2012 with an extra commentary at the end of the main text.

As an educator in higher education and researcher specializing in remix culture and authorship, when I first learned about Zakaria’s admission to plagiarism, I was very disappointed in him, and thought that there was no way around it, that his admission of plagiarizing parts of Jill Lepore‘s work on gun control written for the New Yorker puts into question his intellectual integrity.

I thought that his apology was quick and to the point, but that somehow it was not enough. I thought that it was necessary for Zakaria to come forward and explain in as much detail as possible the reasoning for his behavior. And I thought that I wasn’t alone in hoping for this to happen–that if an actual explanation was delivered, it would all serve the constructive purpose of discussing the seriousness of plagiarism with students while providing a concrete example of a public intellectual who committed such an unacceptable act.

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Watching The Olympics on TV Is Still About Collective Participation

Image source: Washington Post

By Eduardo Navas

Note: This text appeared previously on Huffington post.  Since its original publication on August 8, 2012, NBC decided to at least make available live streaming of the closing ceremonies. Other than this, much of what is observed in the following commentary remains relevant.

Viewers well versed in media expect delivery-on-demand for major events. This has created a peculiar tension when viewing prime-time Olympic coverage consisting of competitions that previously took place throughout the day, but which were not broadcasted live on TV. After the first week of events, it appears that audiences are tuning-in to NBC’s evening broadcast in larger numbers than previous Olympics, and this has become the network’s main justification for holding out on selected events until prime-time.

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Book Sprint on The New Aesthetic

Post by Eduardo Navas

Note: Previously this entry read “book print.”  This was a mistake on my part. It should be “book sprint.”

I recently read the “book print” New Aesthetic, New Anxieties by a group of media researchers, theorists and curators, who got together for three and a half days from June 17–21, 2012,  at V2, in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

The concept of coming together for just a few days to brainstorm a book is certainly something worth considering as an act of creative critical practice.  The book from this standpoint functions surprisingly well, especially because its premise is delivered to match the speed of change that its subject (The New Aesthetic) experiences in the daily flow of information throughout the global network. I personally find amazing that a book of this sort can be put together with some cohesion.

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Early Updates on Facebook: How The “is” Became a State of Mind

by Eduardo Navas

Image: inversion Facebook’s front page.

This post also appears on Remixtheory.net

Digging through my archives, I found the list of my early updates on Facebook.  When I joined Facebook back in 2008, personal updates read “What are you doing?” prompted with “Your Name is … ” I liked the idea behind positioning the Facebook user in a constant state of action.  It was like a performance online.  Because of this set up, I found myself always thinking of what I was actually doing at the moment that I entered Facebook, and thought of creative ways to approach the apparent triviality of the updates.

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What is art in the 21st Century?

At the risk of sounding brusque or curmudgeonly, I have always felt that asking or being asked, “What is art?” has been a bane ever since art school, because the answer is so complex. People often ask that question in order to plumb the shape of culture at a given time, or in order to “know what art is” so they know what to make to be accepted by a community, gallery, etc. Perhaps I am a bit cynical.

Read the complete story at realityaugmented

Are there any real alternatives to Google?

In light of the growing backlash against Google, why don’t we just switch to another search engine? Well, you have to find a viable one first of all …

A Google search for, say, the Titanic brings up millions more hits than any other rival search engine. Photograph: Sipa Press/Rex Features

Google, the search engine most of us treat as an extra wing of our brains, is experiencing the whip-crack of a long-building backlash. Both US and European authorities are investigating allegations that it manipulates search results to favour its own services. The company is also at odds with parliament over its refusal to remove links that are in breach of privacy. And recent changes to its privacy settings have raised serious concerns about data protection. But where else can you go? There are other search engines out there, but when was the last time you used one?

Read the complete article at The Guardian.

augmented reality art termed “offensive!” by Transmediale Director

Date: Saturday, 4 February 2012 – 5:00pm
Thread:

Become Proactive on SOPA

In an effort to create awareness of the repercussions that SOPA would bring to the innovation of online exchange, Wikipedia has blocked its service for 24 hours.  In turn, they have provided a very useful tool to find out who is one’s representative if residing in the United States.  Wikipedia is doing this along with WordPress,  Reddit, and Mozilla. Log on to Wikipedia and you will be taken directly to the proper page for further action.  Their views on SOPA are reposted below:

Call your elected officials.

Tell them you are their constituent, and you oppose SOPA and PIPA.

Why?

SOPA and PIPA would put the burden on website owners to police user-contributed material and call for the unnecessary blocking of entire sites. Small sites won’t have sufficient resources to defend themselves. Big media companies may seek to cut off funding sources for their foreign competitors, even if copyright isn’t being infringed. Foreign sites will be blacklisted, which means they won’t show up in major search engines. SOPA and PIPA would build a framework for future restrictions and suppression.

In a world in which politicians regulate the Internet based on the influence of big money, Wikipedia — and sites like it — cannot survive.

Congress says it’s trying to protect the rights of copyright owners, but the “cure” that SOPA and PIPA represent is worse than the disease. SOPA and PIPA are not the answer: they would fatally damage the free and open Internet.

The Art of Gaming

[…] When I say video games can be art I have a very particular kind of art in mind. Namely, literature. I’m thinking here of Aristotle’s definition of tragedy. Yup. I think video games can be a form of literature (and if I could have convinced the English department of that I would have graduated within my first month of school).

If you’re a classics, philosophy, English or theatre major, or just spend too much time within earshot of these people, then you may know that the Greeks thought the purpose of a tragedy was to teach the audience a moral lesson.

Read complete story at The Gustavian Weekly

Put a Bird on It

A great SNL skit on Augmented realty and art!