Lecture on viral networks at the Royal College of Art, Published on YouTube 30 October 2013.
Tony D. Sampson (2012). "Virality. Contagion Theory in the Age of Networks. University of Minnesota Press.
"The increasing ubiquity of digital technology, internet services and location–aware applications in our everyday lives allows for a seamless transitioning between the visible and the invisible infrastructure of cities: road systems, building complexes, information and communication technology and people networks create a buzzing environment that is alive and exciting.
Driven by curiosity, initiative and interdisciplinary exchange, the Urban Informatics Research Lab at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) is a transdisciplinary cluster of people working on research and development at the intersection of people, place and technology with a focus on cities, locative media and mobile technology."
Fig.1 QUT Urban Informatics researchers Markus Rittenbruch and Mark Bilandzik talk about the role of data in their work with street computing and the Creative Industries Urban Informatics research lab.
"The rhizomatic model presents a problem for the dominant systems of capitalism in place in the global economy and the behavior of capitalism in general. According to Deleuze and Guattari, the function of a capitalist system is a schizophrenic behavior which encompasses the 'decoding' and 'deterritorializing flows' of breaking down existing systems of society such as church or family in order to extract the maximum amount of capital and then instigate 'their violent and artificial reterritorialization' through 'ancillary apparatuses' of capitalism such as the government or corporate bureaucracy which reterritorialize grouped elements to extract an even larger share of capital.2 Like any other system within its reach, the capitalist machinery attempts to behave in this schizophrenic manner with regards to the internet. The rhizomatic nature of the internet, however, allows certain anti–capitalist groups to ward off the capitalist machinery on the net due to the particularly advantageous characteristics of the rhizome for these minority factions."
2). Amanda Wasielewski (2005). 'The Antidote to Capitalist Power: Rhizomatic Networking on the Internet as a Framework for the Success of Anti–Capitalist Minority Groups Against the Schizophrenic Capitalist Machinery'.
"The new series, called All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace, takes complicated ideas and turns them into entertainment by the use of the vertigo–inducing intellectual leaps, choppy archive material and disorienting music with which all Curtis fans are familiar. The central idea leads Curtis on a journey, taking in the chilling über–individualist novelist Ayn Rand, former chairman of the Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan, the 'new economy', hippy communes, Silicon Valley, ecology, Richard Dawkins, the wars in Congo, the lonely suicide in a London squat of the mathematical genius who invented the selfish gene theory, and the computer model of the eating habits of the pronghorn antelope.
You can see why Zoe Williams once wrote that, while watching one of Curtis's programmes, 'I kept thinking the dog was sitting on the remote. ...'
Now he has moved on to machines, but it starts with nature. 'In the 1960s, an idea penetrated deep into the public imagination that nature is a self–regulating ecosystem, there is a natural order,' Curtis says. 'The trouble is, it's not true–as many ecologists have shown, nature is never stable, it's always changing. But the idea took root and spread wider–people started to believe there is an underlying order to the entire world, to how society is structured. Everything became part of a system, like a computer; no more hierarchies, freedom for all, no class, no nation states.' What the series shows is how this idea spread into the heart of the modern world, from internet utopianism and dreams of democracy without leaders to visions of a new kind of stable global capitalism run by computers. But we have paid a price for this: without realising it we, and our leaders, have given up the old progressive dreams of changing the world and instead become like managers–seeing ourselves as components in a system, and believing our duty is to help that system balance itself. Indeed, Curtis says, 'The underlying aim of the series is to make people aware that this has happened–and to try to recapture the optimistic potential of politics to change the world.'
The counterculture of the 1960s, the Californian hippies, took up the idea of the network society because they were disillusioned with politics and believed this alternative way of ordering the world was based on some natural order. So they formed communes that were non–hierarchical and self–regulating, disdaining politics and rejecting alliances. (Many of these hippy dropouts later took these ideas mainstream: they became the Silicon Valley entrepreneurs who decided that computers could liberate everyone and save the world.)...
He draws a parallel with those 1970s communes. 'The experiments with them all failed, and quickly. What tore them apart was the very thing that was supposed to have been banished: power. Some people were more free than others – strong personalities dominated the weak, but the rules didn't allow any organised opposition to the suppression because that would be politics.' As in the commune, so in the world: 'These are the limitations of the self–organising system: it cannot deal with politics and power. And now we're all disillusioned with politics, and this machine–organising principle has risen up to be the ideology of our age.'"
(Katharine Viner, 6 May 2011, Guardian)
Episode 1: 'All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace: Love and Power', First broadcast BBC Two, 9:00PM Mon, 23 May 2011
Episode 2: 'All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace: The Use and Abuse of Vegetational Concepts', First broadcast BBC Two, 9:00PM Mon, 30 May 2011
Episode 3: 'All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace: The Monkey In The Machine and the Machine in the Monkey', First broadcast BBC Two, 9:00PM Mon, 06 June 2011
"Networks are constantly forming. As a dynamic process, networks can aggregate into larger structures (a network of networks). Networks can also be deconstructed into smaller structures. For example, everyone has some type of personal learning network. When an individual works for an organization, they bring their network with them, combining as part of the larger network of the corporation. In the course of our daily lives, we move among numerous networks. We are constantly acting upon and being acted upon.
Recognizing that we are continually moving in and out of networks provides an important starting point for rethinking corporate and higher education. Instead of seeing the artificial construct of a program or course as the point of learning, we can view the process of 'living life' as a constant learning process. As we acquire new nodes, form new connections, aggregate into larger networks, or deconstruct into smaller structures, we are continually learning and adapting–interacting dynamically with the world around us."
(George Siemens, August 10, 2005, elearnspace)
2). Siemens, G. (2005). "Connectivism: Learning as Network–Creation." Retrieved 04 December 2010, 2010, from http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/networks.htm.
3). Siemens, G. (2006). Knowing Knowledge, Lulu.com.