Required viewing: Michael Wesch

A big thank you today to my friend Peter Merholz for reminding me to go see more of what Michael Wesch is doing. His social commentary (and damn fine anthropology work) is some of the most incisive writing/talking/broadcasting about digital culture you can find.

“(Web 2.0:) The Machine Is Us/Ing Us"
This blew my doors off when I first saw it. If you just are baffled by it, we probably won’t be able to communicate very deeply; the Web is where I’m from.

“A Vision of Students Today”

A quick wake-up call on the impact of these changes on education.

"An anthropological introduction to YouTube"
Wow. Just wow. One hour of amazing insight on what YouTube actually means to culture.

I’m glad everybody else is catching up. Over 3 years before Gary Brolsma’s "Numa Numa", in October of 2001 I was making a connection with some random guy up in Alaska when "Polyester Lester" put up a video of himself soulfully lip-syncing "And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going". Lester is still my friend and may have been in my instant messenger contacts continuously over all these years, yet as far as I can recall we’ve never met offline. Maybe I can’t remember because I just now had to choose the word "offline" since "in person" didn’t seem to exclude the conversations & shared creative efforts we have had.   

The world is fundamentally not the same as it was. User-created content + internet connectivity = as big a shift in human culture as the invention of the printing press. Maybe even close to as big as the change from nomadic hunting & gathering to settled communities & cultivation. I’m not kidding. How is my perspective different when I have people I’m connected to on every continent? When I can find pretty much any piece of information I need? And when my words can reach anywhere? What happens when an enormous percentage of the population of the planet has that perspective?

Things are getting very interesting around here…

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dinahsanders

Author. Discardian. Defender of life, liberty, & the pursuit of happiness. she/her

One thought on “Required viewing: Michael Wesch”

  1. Ah yes, the infosphere is coming along quite nicely! There’s only one small problem, at least from a specific perspective. *Free* user-created content + internet connectivity = artists facing a harder and harder time making a living.
    There’s just too many people out there willing to create content purely for the sheer joy of exposure. Some of them are even good at it. So why on Earth would anyone pay somebody to create entertainment for them? Wee!
    Meanwhile, Beejie Boy is wondering how he’s going to make rent next month without getting a miserable non-art related job…

    Like

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