Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Michael Wesch’s “Information R/evolution”

Michael Wesch of “The Machine is Us/ing Us” has posted a new video “Information R/evolution.”

I think the thing to take away from the video is that information is now free of the desktop metaphor. Early in the video, he slams Yahoo for making a “shelf” online, and he celebrates that now information can be in multiple “places.” This is hardly a new thought, but the presentation is accessible and a good conversation starter.

However, like with “The Machine is Us,” I have to take issue with the assumptions of Wesch’s new work. He asserts that the web makes it possible to have information without materiality, going so far as to claim that “we organize information without material constraints.” I get his point—the next bit of text points out that he has put the same bit of “information” in “three ‘places’ at once”—but that doesn’t make the data immaterial. As Katherine Hayles points out, no information is immaterial; it exists as magnetic states on hard drives and has to be accessed with computers via cables.

Anyway, Wesch does interesting stuff. And the soundtrack is awesome.

via Searchblog

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