Monthly Archives: November 2011

Read Marx’s “Capital” at Goldsmiths: everybody is welcome (unless your name is David Willetts)

Capitalism and Cultural Studies – Prof John Hutnyk:

tuesday evenings from january 10, 2012 – 5pm-7pm Goldsmiths RHB 309 Free – all welcome.

No fee (unless, sorry, you are doing this for award – and that, friends, is Willetts’ fault – though the Labour Party have a share of the blame too).

This course involves a close reading of Karl Marx’s Capital (Volume One).
The connections between cultural studies and critiques of capitalism are considered in an interdisciplinary context (cinema studies, anthropology, musicology, international relations, and philosophy) which reaches from Marx through to Film Studies, from ethnographic approaches to Heidegger, from anarchism and surrealism to German critical theory and poststructuralism/post-colonialism/post-early-for-christmas. Topics covered include: alienation, commodification, production, technology, education, subsumption, anti-imperialism, anti-war movement and complicity. Using a series of illustrative films (documentary and fiction) and key theoretical texts (read alongside the text of Capital), we examine contemporary capitalism as it shifts, changes, lurches through its very late 20th and early 21st century manifestations – we will look at how cultural studies copes with (or does not cope with) class struggle, anti-colonialism, new subjectivities, cultural politics, media, virtual and corporate worlds.
http://www.gold.ac.uk/media/CU71012A%20Cultural%20Studies%20&%20Capitalism%2
02011-12.pdf

Email me to get the reading Guide. And please watch Citizen Kane before the first lecture, and read the prefaces if you can.

The lectures/seminars begin on Tuesday 10th January 2011 between 5 and 7pm and will run for 10 weeks (with a week off in the middle) in the Richard Hoggart Building (RHB 309), Goldsmiths College. Students are required to bring their own copy of the Penguin, International Publishers or Progress Press editions of Karl Marx Capital Vol I. Reading about 100 pages a week. (Please don’t get tricked into buying the abridged English edition/nonsense!)

Note: The Centre for Cultual Studies at Goldsmiths took a decision to make as many as possible of its lecture series open to the public without fee. Seminars, essays, library access etc remain for sale. Still, here is a chance to explore cultural studies without getting into debt. The classes are MA level, mostly in the day – though in spring the Capital course is early tuesday evening. We usually run 10 week courses. Reading required will be announced in class, but preliminary reading suggestions can also be found by following the links. RHB means main building of Goldsmiths – Richard Hoggart Building. More info on other free events from CCS here: http://hutnyk.wordpress.com/what-is-to-be-done:

,

Update: Please ise this form to send a course evaluation to Sonia.Ali [at] gold.ac.uk Here.

Course Gen. evaluation form

Kate Murdoch’s home trinkets. Collections and dust. No time like the archive. Get rid of them!

Keeping it together, in two parts (I’ve excerpted the first part and a bit of the second, but lost all the pics which you should see). This is from Artists Talking project blog. These ‘works’ and words seem to touch elegantly on the problems, and pleasures, of trinketization. We just don’t have the time to sort and reflect. I especially like the observations about ‘dust collectors': from here. via #rosalinddavis

Keeping it Together, by Kate Murdoch

# 1 [20 November 2011]
I spent the summer taking a long hard look at the amount of stuff I have accumulated over the years. To put it into context, I have a lifetime collection of stuff – a lot of stuff! There’s a lot of me

Kate Murdoch, 'Dust Collectors'. in those collections; my life in boxes – books, objects, photographs, memories of places, people, good times, not so good times – my past, secreted away.
It’s been dotted around various parts of SE London over the past five years or so following a house move, in the attics and garages of sympathetic family and friends. My former home had a large attic and an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ philosophy took over – I squirrelled it all away. I always knew I was going to do something with my collection one day and my long term aim has been (and still is!) to have it all in one space – essentially, keeping it together.
Slowly, the boxes found their way into my studio and the unravelling of a lifetime’s accumulation of possessions began. My focus over this past summer was sorting through them. Deciding what to keep versus what to get rid of became the order of many long hot sunny days. I even managed to visit and donate the book ‘Something I’ve Been Meaning To Tell You’ to The Museum Of Broken Relationships – now that felt constructive!
I always knew when I moved into my latest studio that time there was limited – however as ongoing talks and negotiations with the landlords came to an abrupt end some three weeks or so ago, we were given less than 48 hours to leave the premises. A community of artists was ripped apart and has had to find ways of coping with an upsetting & unsettling time. It’s been a rollercoaster ride of emotions – in one way or another, we’ve all been hurting.
I’ve taken solace in stacks of Bunty, Judy, Photo Love and other 1960-80s annuals from the book shelves at home. A therapist might say I’m subconsciously seeking out a happy ending … perhaps I am? I have no doubt however about how the recent chaos has forced me to focus on what’s important – what to keep, what not to keep in all senses of the word has raised its head once more and I’m left questioning again what it is that’s important. The boxes are stacked in a self-storage unit, I’m not even sure what’s in some of them or if the stuff has any relevance to my life as it is now. But I do know that it costs money to keep them there.
Keeping It Together is the start of my journey as a studioless artist. Where do I go from here? Where do I and my ‘stuff’, both literally and metaphorically, fit in? Where will I re-establish my practice and where will I feel more at home, both within myself and in relation to others?

Read the rest of it HERE

and if you don’t follow that link, the dust collecters are:

”Dust Collectors’ was started and completed as a symbol of what in real life my art materials are doing – collecting dust in a self-storage unit in deepest Deptford. ‘Dust Collectors’ is also representative of the reaction from those who have never understood the habit of collecting; those who consider anything not being used in a home as superfluous and unnecessary – ‘bloomin’ dust collectors – get rid of them!’


Robinson Nation

Writing to a comrade in Malaysia about film analysis: there are huge debates about how race is used by particular groups as a smokescreen for varieties of class politics and differential privilege via a colour coded economic hierarchy, with a number of different places. In this scenario a range of different kinds of ‘cultural’ product are required to do a sort of duty to keep the hierarchy more or less in place: game shows, different newspapers, cultural programmes, festivals, markets, documentaries, faith and even NGO forums all add to the ways these things play out. Yet this is not even the beginning of nationalism, itself a colonial game that builds upon far older politics – of city states, development, migrations and trade, the anxiety of Europe along the trade routes, the former strength of Asia in the Indian ocean, the civilizations – India, China, Islam, Africa – all these had a major role in shaping understandings of, and therefore the shifts and changes in, nationalism. I am reading Cedric Robninson’s ‘Black Marxism’ tonight and the end of chapter three is great on this vis a vis Europe. Might be something in that for you too.

http://www.hu.mtu.edu/~rlstrick/rsvtxt/rob3.html

“At the very beginnings of European civilization (meaning literally the reappearance of urban life at the end of the first Christian millenium), the integration of the Germanic migrants with older European peoples resulted in a social order of domination from which a racial theory of order emerged; one from which the medieval nobilities would immerse themselves and their power in fictional histories, positing distinct racial origins for rulers and she dominated. The extension of slavery and the application of racism to non-European peoples as an organizing structure by first the ruling feudal strata and then the bourgeoisies of the 14th, 15th and 16th Centuries retained this practical habit, this social convention. And as we shall soon see in Part II, from the 17th Century on, English merchant capital (to cite an important example) appropriated African labor in precisely these terms, that is the same terms through which it had earlier absorbed Irish labour. Moreover, European raciaIism was to undergo a kind of doubling onto itself, for in between the era of intra-European racism which characterized the first appearance of European consciousness and the predatory era of African enslavement, is the almost entirely exogenous phenomenon of Islamic domination of the Mediterranean–the eventual fount of European revitalization and re-civilization. Independent of the historical meshings of European development but profoundly restricting that development – first in literally retarding European social development by isolating it from civil life, science, speculative thought, etc., and then, after four centuries, by accelerating its recovery from the 12th Century onwards – Musilm civilization mapped the contours of the European cultural renaissance. These events were to leave tell-tale marks on Western consciousness: the fear and hatred of ‘blackamoores'; the demonization of Islam; she transfiguration of Muharnmad the Prophet into the anti-Christ. Not surprisingly Europeans, shat is ‘Christendom’, still apprehended in experience recurrences of antipathy towards what became their shared phantasmagora.

In short, there were at least four distinct moments which must be apprehended in European racialism; two whose origins are to be found within the dialictic of European development, and two which are not:

1. the racial ordering of European society from its formative period which extends into the medieval and feudal ages as ‘blood’ and racial beliefs and

2. the Islamic, i.e. Arab, Persian, Turkish and African, domination of Mediterranean civilization and the consequent retarding of European social and cultural life: the Dark Ages.

3. the incorporation of African, Asian and peoples of the New World into the world system emerging from late feudalism and merchant capitalism.

4. the dialectic of colonialism, plantocratic slavery and resistance from the 16th Century forwards, and she formations of industrial labour and labour reserves” (Robinson 1981:83)

See HERE for Cedric’s talks in London.

Today: 28 Nov 2011 CCS PhD seminar special session at 5pm by Joanna Hodge

Today: 28 Nov 2011 CCS PhD seminar  special session at 5pm by Professor Joanna Hodge: ‘Jean Luc Nancy’s excription: between excess and ecstasy’ – because of the occupation we are moving this session to the Ian Gulland Lecture Theatre, in solidarity with the Goldsmiths Occupation that is, its in the occupied space. See http://occupygoldsmiths.wordpress.com/2011/11/27/monday-n28/

#goldsmirk

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003200589474

Goldsmiths Occupiers say: ‘We are an open heterogeneous group including Goldsmiths staff, students and many others who believe the university is a public resource that should be open to all. We stand with all those affected by the privatisation agenda and against those who profit from its misery. Goldsmiths is now occupied in solidarity with the UK-wide strike on November 30th and the global occupy movement. We are here because we reject the privatisation of the university, symptomatic of the neo-liberal agenda that permeates all aspects of life. For this reason we have strategically occupied the building housing Goldsmiths’ finance offices, responsible for executing the cuts and the privatisation agenda.. All groups on and off-campus are encouraged to use this space to host meetings, events, and planning sessions for actions on November 30th. Where the current government agenda not only encourages, but enforces the transfer of public resources to private hands we join people worldwide in taking them back!’

More #Goldsmirk HERE and below:

 

Return to the Street 27-28 June 2012 CCS Goldsmiths.

See http://fuggbug.tumblr.com/post/14717201625/returntothestreet

Cedric Robinson 6pm 29.11.2011 @QMU – and 2.12.2011 10am @Goldsmiths

 

Why Cultural Studies in South London

(Note to self for Centre research blurb draft): Stitching between the local and the global in a way that is more than rhetorical, our projects find a geopolitical significance in a South London sensibility. This part of the world has always been global, since the Romans at least. We understand issues – colonial and Maritime history (Greenwich), militarism (Imperial War Museum), race and migration (Stephen Lawrence Centre), commercial and art industry led regeneration/gentrification (Deptford, Tate Modern etc) as examples of a local instanciation of globally significant patterns and events. As modes of production shift, they often shift first in South London. But this does not mean we think this is the centre of the world – our research interests reach out to the global and find patterns of interest in Kolkata, Canton, Niger, Lusaka, Vanuatu, Gabon. More quietly, perhaps, we are also, and maybe even more interested in a planetary ethic than you get in the usual priorities of global (global finance, global trade, global arms sales). Here, we are acutely aware of the planetary or globe girdling movements of protest, creativity, sensibility, meaning. Yet, we see how the planet will eventually make a mockery of all ‘culture’, when we are dust, and a perspective that recalls this terrifying and humbling reality might put our little theatricals into perspective.

Reading Capital 26.11.2011 @BofI

http://www.bankofideas.org.uk/events/event/reading-capitalism-with-john-hutnyk/

Number four million in an ongoing series about why NX is so great great we don’t even need to name it twice twice.

New Cross State of Mind

by Transpontine


New Cross is better than New York is an entertaining new blog by the people who make those ‘I Love New Cross’ bags they sell in the London Particular cafe. As they rightly point out:

- They’ve got Macy’s, we’ve got TK Maxx;
– They’ve got Studio54, we’ve got The Venue;
– They’ve got Carnegie Hall, we’ve got Lewisham Arthouse;
– They’ve got Brooklyn, we’ve got Brockley.

Glad I’m not the only one who enjoys subsitituting New Cross for New York in songs, or indeed as they say ‘substituting the word “Brockley” for “Brooklyn” in Beastie Boys songs. “No Sleep Til Brockley” is particularly good on the night-bus home’. ‘Brockley we go hard’ by Jaz-Z also does it for me.

My current favourite is New Cross State of Mind by Alicia Keys:

Grew up in a town that is famous as the place of movie scenes
Noise was always loud, there are sirens all around and the streets are mean
If I can make it here, I can make it anywhere, that’s what they say
Seeing my face in lights or my name on a flyer in Deptford Broadway

Even if it ain’t all it seems, I got a pocketful of dreams
Baby, I’m from New Cross
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of
There’s nothing you can’t do
Now you’re in New Cross
These streets will make you feel brand new
Big lights will inspire you
Hear it for New Cross, New Cross, New Cross!

On the old A2, there ain’t never a curfew, ladies work so hard
Such a melting pot, on the corner selling rock, preachers pray to God
Hail a dodgy cab, takes me down from Brockley to Deptford Bridge
Some will sleep tonight with a hunger far more than an empty fridge

One hand in the air for the big city,
Street lights, big dreams all looking pretty
No place in the world that can compare
Put your lighters in the air, everybody say yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Mutes

Increasingly David Speaks, but he still does not say anything.

That both Beckham and kate Moss remain mute icons of British glamour, automatons – impossibly beautiful, sublime skills etc., – is the culture industry standard now, where voice, or personality, is inimical to brand. The X-factor, dancing, talk show compare (not J.Ross) celebrity must not have intellect – must be a free slate upon which focus groups and under-assistant promotions reps mould media persona. No surprise that we are more and more interested in the personalities – known, lost or recently discovered – of the past (see Ursula Bogner for one of the better finds). Bring back the old Big Brother and the real Russel Brand, not the bland Hollywood Brand Brand he has so – now silently – become (has he been kidnapped by a wild Xenu-influenced offshoot of scientology or what?).

The TV show Pan-Am is the dying apotheosis of this tendency – fake emote on cue – the very criteria of successful robotics, but a robot made in the 1960s version of the future [as Fuggletronic says], not the dull dystopia of commercial time now.

(note for Kiwi).

Jodi Dean on What Now #ows

November 22, 2011

What now? #occupywallstreet

Suggestions are appearing for the next phase of #OWS. On the one hand, this isn’t new. Suggestions and advice have accompanied the movement from its inception. On the other, with the eviction of protesters from Zuccotti Park, fierce police repression all over the country, and the holiday weekend coming up, it feels like things are changing, like the momentum of the past two months is shifting.

Even as I write this, though, I am skeptical of this description–I’m not sure whether it’s too NYC-centric, insufficiently attuned to the multiplicity of movement, the differences from occupation to occupation, the valences of local issues. These valences are significant–different cities have different codes (no camping after dark; no sleeping on sidewalks; no open flames), which means that occupiers have different relations with police, local governments, campuses. These different relations to law also occasion different relations to violence, that is, the effectiveness of  non-violence as a tactic and the amount of violence part of the daily experience of the occupiers.

What now? The occupation form, the common fact and symbol of the tent, the slogan (we are the 99%), the consensus based practice with the twinkle fingers, and the insistence on no leaders have created a vocabulary, maybe even a discourse, where there wasn’t one before. They have carved out or produced a space, rupturing everyday practices, the previous sense of what was possible.

Will this discourse, vocabulary, and sense persist in the absence of physical occupations? Will the multiplicity of occupations–the fact that occupations, big and small, pop in and out, appear and reappear, are shut down and reestablished–amplify and link them in their singularity, making them be and appear as the something larger than themselves that they instantiate? Can they continue to feel like the movement of the 99%?

Maybe these are the wrong questions. Maybe what matters are the multiplicity of different practices, the real existing experiences of occupiers, protesters, supporters. Maybe what’s at stake is the creation of new practices, people forging new ways of communicating, getting things done, being together. It’s about remaking the world one marathon discussion at a time, changing the world through changing ourselves as we changing the world.

I think there is probably some truth to this. We can’t keep doing the same things and thinking that we will get different results (so, all the internet petitions and lol-pepper spray cops in the world won’t bring down Goldman Sachs). But the practices associated with occupation–the long deliberations and living in tents–don’t scale enough to be the change. So for those involved, the movement is a change and a possibility and for the everybody else it’s content, stuff on FB and YouTube, the opportunity for a petition. It maybe sorta new (but haven’t there always been these protests, like the anti-globalization movement and the anti-war movement? –someone said this to me the other night). But even if it is, what can it really accomplish? Protests don’t work (someone said this to me last week).

The issue around scale and the connection between the practice of occupation and the politics of occupation have been around since the beginning. For the last two months it’s been the case that there are occupations and that there are the politicizations they effect: primarily the politicization of inequality, the making visible and undeniable the wrong that is the 1%. This politicization has been a first major political achievement of the first phase.

Now, because the movement, no one can deny that the capitalist system is broken, that the last thirty years have been a project for the restoration of the class power of the capitalist class  (especially but not exclusively via finacialization), and that the state has been a crucial weapon of class war (tax policy, police and prison, etc). In the last 10 days, the occupations have been especially effective at eliciting the brutal, repressive, para-military side of the side–a side that people on the lower part of the food chain already encounter more than the rest of us (so it’s news when cops hit college students; it’s reality television when they hit poor people.

It’s possible that eliciting the violence of state and campus police will be continue to be a crucial element of this next phase. I don’t think it’s likely for two reasons: first, Christmas break is coming up and campuses go into  a lull during the break; second, not every college administrator is an idiot, so the smart ones will tolerate occupations and teach-ins and all the rest, confident that the activists will remain a campus minority and that eventually something else will attract their attention.  A better alternative: building alliances and creating occupations that span from students to others, including staff and workers on campuses, and those off-campus, those for whom college hasn’t been an option. These occupations could be on campuses–and they raise opportunities for conflict because of the presence on campus of “those who don’t belong there.” And they could be off-campus–in bank and hotel lobbies, in the offices of mortgage brokers, in empty buildings.

At this point, if the next phase of the movement relies on college campuses, I think it will be to the detriment of the movement. Its concerns and audience will narrow. It will become disarticulated from inequality and a politics of the 99%. It will become a student movement, which is still something, but it is not a movement that by itself can keep the politics of inequality alive–most of the people going to college already have better odds of an economically better future than those they left behind in high school. The odds for college grads are getting worse, sure, and their debts doom them to wage-slavery, but that’s not sufficient for a movement that will produce a positive, egalitarian alternative to capitalism–and I don’t say bring down capitalism because that is already in the works; it’s already clear that it’s broken–no one denies this. The argument is over what to do next.

Other alternatives that are emerging include legislation and fragmentation. These are connected. Legislative battles (whether in the form of constitutional amendments or tax policies) are technical and specific. They require people with legal knowledge and full-time lobbyists.  These requirements in turn require focus, on a specific issue or proposal to the exclusion (even if just momentarily) of other issues. Given the multiple issues, proposals, and even demands circulating within #OWS, this fragmentation seems very likely, a devolution into affinity groups and issue politics. Especially in a milieu that privileges autonomy, this “do you own thing” or “if you think it’s a good idea, go for it” could well be the next phase of the movement.

This will also be a bad development–it will sacrifice the collectivity that the movement has been creating, the very collectivity and common pursuit that are the second major achievement of the movement in its first phase.

Collectivity rather than fragmentation has been the difference between #OWS and the last thirty years of left politics. It’s what feels fresh, vital, essential. It’s what we’ve been missing and what we’ve gotten back–a common front, a shared struggle (even when we disagree). Maybe more than anything else, we have to use this new phase to strengthen collectivity, to cohere and grow in discipline. The video from UC Davis is powerful not just because of the blatant violence–we’ve seen lots of violence. It’s powerful because of the extraordinary solidarity and discipline demonstrated by the students–those linking arms and sitting together and those who encircle the police. How do we foster and extend that sort of solidarity?

Maybe by occupations–whether tents or buildings, whether ones that endure or ones that are short–that share skills, instill trust, take risks. Already the occupations have common kitchens, medical tents, libraries, mediations, yoga, lectures, civil disobedience training, and legal services. What more can they provide so as to bring more people into the movement and create new loci of political and economic power? How can they take the place of local governments, boards, and institutions?

And how can these new loci build the solidarity that will inspire security guards, data processors, programmers, bank tellers, insurance claims adjusters, and office personnel to undertake risky acts of sabotage and refusal–imagine how inspiring would be the refusal of hundred office workers charged with collecting on debts or processing foreclosures, and how that could lead to a variety of copycat actions in a Fight Club that breaks its own first rule: everybody talks about Fight Club, or about taking not just parks but all the industries, companies, and enterprises that are already ours, we already occupy them. Taking them, making them ours, is just paperwork–the refusal to acknowledge any claim to private property.

All of these ideas are already circulating. Which ones are we and should we link, amplify, and extend?

New Taussig

http://www.press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/I/bo11637787.html

N30 – http://www.n30actionmap.co.uk/

click the image to be carried away to the N30actionmap live page.

Echo-casting

Mike check
   <mike check>
.
We are not going to stand still for this
  <We are not going to stand still for this>
.
Capitalism is moribund, its crisis is permanent,
<Capitalism is moribund, its crisis is permanent,>
         <<Capitalism is moribund, its crisis is permanent,>>
.
We must kick it while it is down, Kick it hard.
   <We must kick it while it is down, Kick it hard.>
      <<We must kick it while it is down, Kick it hard.>>
.
Starting with that Bank over there…
   <Starting with that Bank over there…>
      <<Starting with that Bank over there…>>
.
Starting now…
.
[A sly repost from 7 Nov]

Cedric Robinson Lecture at QMU 29.11.11

The Centre for Cultural Studies presents this event, with the Centre for Ethics and Politics at QMU:

Goldsmiths Meet on 23.11.11 to Build for 30 Nov General Strike.

Letter on the UC Davis mobilization

More on the UC Davis Pepper Spray Surprise posted here yesterday.

This letter by ‘anonymous’ was sent from a discussion list [sent, not written, by GCS] and says it all:

It has now been covered in the NY Times, USA Today, Time Magazine, CBS, CNN, and across the entire mediasphere.  The various UC Davis police assault videos have been watched hundreds of thousands of times.  Various searches related to UC Davis and pepper spraying were the *top searches on Google* in the US today — think of what that means.  By mid-afternoon, UC Davis had already backed down and the Chancellor had released a damage-controlling and mealy-mouthed promise to investigate.  But it was too late.
By monday, millions will know about Lt. Pike and his chemical assault squad, and the $400K per year (plus free housing, travel, and vehicle) Chancellor who gave the order to cut the protesters down to the point that some were hospitalized, and including forcing open students’ mouths and spraying directly into them.  I kid you not.

And something remarkable happened at Davis tonight.  I’ve been watching the live streams and following the blogs since late this afternoon.  It was a very important moment.

Chancellor Katehi was preparing to give a news conference to take another crack at spinning this story and controlling the growing, viral character it has acquired.
UC Davis students showed up in large numbers to this conference,  and were kept out of the small building (Surge 2, for those who know the campus) for lack of press passes (ha ha).  They surrounded the building and their numbers grew over several hours to over 1000 student protesters.  Reports came that Chancellor Katehi was afraid to leave and go through the student protesters, or even that she was being kept from leaving, as if it were a hostage situation.  Cops were *not* summoned, however — or at least they were kept back.  UC Davis appears to have learned at least a tactical  lesson already.
Through patient OWS style organizing, worked out over dozens of mic checks, they arranged to clear a wide path, determined that they would be silent and respectful when she came out, and sent word that they were not keeping her hostage in the building, just there to call for her resignation.  Hours went by as the situation got more and more tense, but the students showed remarkable discipline and organization as their numbers kept growing.   Finally, they negotiated with Chancellor Katehi’s people and she left the building to walk to her taxpayer-paid $70,000 Lexus SUV [buick] with one aide.  The students maintained *absolute, total order and silence* — really, not a word —  and stood aside,  except for the couple of journalists asking her questions on the livestream feed.  It was eerie and powerful and  Chancellor Pepper Spray was clearly feeling the shame of a thousands of eyes on her around the nation (the livestreams were overloaded as they were joined by students across California and then the nation).
Here is the moment of triumph, posted moments ago and already with several hundred views:

http://youtu.be/8775ZmNGFY8

Only once she began to pull away did the crowd erupt into a roar: WHOSE UNIVERSITY? OUR UNIVERSITY! dozens of times as they marched off to consume the pizza ordered for them by people around the nation.
It was so powerful — and remember this all happened on a day when virtually no news (except Demi and Ashton’s divorce or the 30 year old Natalie Wood death investigation) gets reported on mainstream outlets.  This *all* happened online, and drew a huge national audience in the process, enough so to force a major university into damage control freakout.

update:

Last night’s video now has nearly 25,000 views.  A better one has now
been released of Katehi’s “Walk of Shame.”  Turns out that was not
just any “aide” — it was the UC Davis police chief (Spicuzzi) walking
with her [disputed, Spicuzzi was at the press conference].  This new video shows the final mic check to get everyone to
be silent and stand back before Katehi leave the
building.  If you are sending this story around, this video is better
in that it shows how deliberate and well orchestrated the silence was:

.

.

Occupy Wall Street!  #ows #ucdavis

.

Goldsmiths Meet on 23.11.11 to Build for 30 Nov General Strike.http://t.co/cAuSdWUG

.

Study? Read this first.

Searching? read this first.

http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/3344/2766

First Monday, Volume 16, Number 2 – 7 February 2011

First Monday


Personal Web searching in the age of semantic capitalism: Diagnosing the mechanisms of personalisation by Martin Feuz, Matthew Fuller, and Felix Stalder


Abstract
Web search engines have become indispensable tools for finding information online effectively. As the range of information, context and users of Internet searches has grown, the relationship between the search query, search interest and user has become more tenuous. Not all users are seeking the same information, even if they use the same query term. Thus, the quality of search results has, at least potentially, been decreasing. Search engines have begun to respond to this problem by trying to personalise search in order to deliver more relevant results to the users. A query is now evaluated in the context of a user’s search history and other data compiled into a personal profile and associated with statistical groups. This, at least, is the promise stated by the search engines themselves. This paper tries to assess the current reality of the personalisation of search results. We analyse the mechanisms of personalisation in the case of Google web search by empirically testing three commonly held assumptions about what personalisation does. To do this, we developed new digital methods which are explained here. The findings suggest that Google personal search does not fully provide the much-touted benefits for its search users. More likely, it seems to serve the interest of advertisers in providing more relevant audiences to them.

Contents

1. Introduction
2. The rise of the personalised search engine
3. Methodological considerations
4. Description and discussion of research methods
5. Research findings: The ambiguities of personalisation
6. Conclusion and further questions


1. Introduction

Google’s mantra is ‘to give you exactly the information you want right when you want it’ [1]. They operationalize this by providing ‘personalised’ search results and recommendations. This is achieved on the one hand through logging of interactions whenever a person uses one of the many Google services and on the other hand by techniques such as collaborative filtering to generate group and user profiles based on which Google produces ‘personalised’ search results and recommendations (Stalder and Mayer, 2009).

Such a situation raises a number of profound questions

Keep reading HERE.

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