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Jack Cushman

739 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by Jack Cushman , Willow Brugh , Tiffany Lin , lfrm 739 days ago
Jack C Sara Watson Fellows Hour, 11/10/15
Willow B Icebreaker
question: What technology do you love to hate?
Jack C Uber, LinkedIn, Google Docs, iPhone, Apple products in general for being silver, Twitter, Facebook, StayFocused, indoor plumbing, the MBTA, contact lenses, Skype/Google Hangouts/web conferencing software, Medium, VR that makes you dizzy, smartphones, digital cameras, Oculus Rift, printers (2d and 3d), digital communication ...
Willow B
  • Constructive Technology Criticism
Sara is looking for:
  • Want feedback from academics -- have you thought of this or that?
  • Hopes some of this will influence how you think about your relationship to technology.
Technology Criticism
What does that mean? Who comes to mind? What sorts of coverage do you think of?
  • Luddites
  • Nick Bellton (NYT)
  • Nick Carr
  • Chris Burr (MIT library)
  • David Eggers - fiction
  • Tech podcasting. Leo Laporte.
  • Voldemort // Morozov
  • Diffusion of technology
  • Sara Watson
  • STS (Science Technology Studies) Lewis Mumford? Susan Leigh Star, etc -- from Battles
  • Sherry Turkle
  • ValleyWag to academic studies. Both sides of the spectrum are pretty critical.
  • Technology is frightening and killing the world. Like Daily Mail saying something atrocious happened, and some small part of it is about facebook
  • Also about consumer framing. Like a movie critic -- what is worth going to see? Journalism vs press release. David Pogue / Walt Mossberg. (Film critic vs movie critic, game review vs Anita Sarkeesian)
Jack C
  • Apologists/utopists vs luddites/reflexive critics
  • Tech criticism as cultural criticism -- the Baffler.
Willow B
  • Critical design
  • Critical Making
Willow B
  • James Bridle
  • Theorizing the Web crew
Tiffany L
  • Alexis Madrigal - grounding tech commentary/crit in history
Willow B Wants these groups to talk to each other more. Talk about the important questions, but without writing in such a way that the system doesn't even want to hear about it.
Relationship critic has with their audience and the thing they're criticising. Critics who are on your side versus not on your side (Republican critique of Obama, versus Marco Arment on Apple because he's invested in the space). He also has authority.
Gap in expertise and what's coming out. Naseem Taleb writes about crises being unassociated with what we know.
Experts are rarely good at taking the view of the user.
Different kinds of criticism:
  • Fan - loves it, wants it to succeed
  • NYT - grey lady saying you should feel this way about this
  • Authorities - people speaking from deep technical knowledge. Doesn't make us better at telling you how to feel
  • taking the view of the user - food critic etc.
  • advocate - walk in with a position, a conversation they want to have, informed by the thing they're criticising.
Looking for an interdisciplinary approach -- grey lady authority. 
A lot of tech won't work unless we're all using it. We don't ahve a voice as users or critics because of this. Mirroring the poverty of choices. Monoculture. We're all going to use it or reject it.
  • How to get beyond negative connotation
  • Grounding in history
  • field defining- carve out a space and a practice of technology criticism
  • elevating those already doing it
  • affect popular discourse on how we talk about technology
Research Q's
Willow B
  • Can you look at articles which are dichotomous vs nuanced, and how far they spread/impact?
  • Can we show what articles about tech are actually about a preexisting debate?
  • what are language indicators (if any) of a particular stance?  - Rey
Tiffany L How are pubs covering tech + society qs in publishing today -- > NYT
What limitations of publishing today constrain the discourse?
What can we learn from theorists and critics writing about the culture impacts of tech in the past?
  • Can we have some history in how we cover technology in mind? 
What can we transfer from academic studies of tech into journalism and public discourse? 
Willow B Progress narrative // moral panic binary. Is this a problem of journalism more generally, or is this the technology itself?
Tiffany L Reading List
Willow B Classify by discipline (or at least background) -- then see where things overlap.
Interesting to expand the bibliography to include tech reviews. Digital humanities toolkit. Topic modeling. Look for patterns in large textual corpera. "How is technology talked about among tech critics, scholars, etc?"
Seperation between authority and commentary. Bruce's post on HeartBleed versus jsut about anyone else's.
People speak about historical technology in a strange way, too.
Journalists are really bad at thinking about their audience.
Tiffany L Technology is not going to stay its own "thing" for much longer. How we understand and see tech is quite different from the 15-16 year olds view (who in a decade will be the decision makers)
Willow B George Ritzer.
Theory of Change?
What would the strong outcome be for you? I spend a lot of time thinking about moral hazards. People who write about cybersecurity in a naive way, and are powerful and listened to. Powerful, English Language Western discourses. What is the scope? What would you want to see journalists adopt?
  • Trying to see constructive technology criticism. Not just picking apart, but offering a solution. 
  • Not just a power structure of media (not everyone is a critic), those publications have a responsibility to push back and ask questions, because they are the ones that google facebook etc will listen to. Impetus to ask them to answer these questions in useful ways. 
Who makes the change? What sorts of criticism prompts change? Can have it coming from consumers or from management or etc. Different actors have different criticism-listening activities. 
Tiffany L 4(5) types of critics
  • Fan
  • NYT
  • ? Critics who takes the POV of the user (e.g. food critic)
  • Actual authority (e.g. the Schneiers of the world) 
879 days ago
Rebecca T Fellows Hour about Fellows Program, 6.23.15
Premise: Ford wants a document showcasing Berkman’s fellows program as a model of a successful program.
Mainly focused on past 4-5 years, and focused on what is working now?
More qualitative; like a case study, not data report
Q: How would you define success as a fellow?
Matthew Battles: Opportunity to learn from a diversity of backgrounds, disciplines, and perspectives and skillsets. That cornucopia has been key to the success for me. I've particularly enjoyed learning from attorneys, an extraordinary immersion in a kind of discourse I haven't participated in.
Ellery Biddle: I know a lot of thought goes into the composition of how people play off of each other, and that's huge and hard to know.  It's a mysterious process that clearly has a big part of why that works.
Kit Walsh: Connections mean you're situated going forward outside of the center.  The benefit continues.
Jack C Jack: Berkman Friends feels continuous with the in-person fellow relationships
Rebecca T Malavika: Not overengineered.  Not polices.  Treated like adults.  Incentivizes you to make your own success.
Q: It is sufficiently engineered?
Nathan Freitas: Not consistent because it's what we make of it.  I'm happy with that, because I'll make a lot out of it.
Matthew Battles: The nature of the support is unique to this fellowship program.  I wonder how it works.  On one hand, this is distinct from other fellowship programs here at Harvard, where there is a stipend attached.  It's striking how entrepreneurial the Berkman program has been throughout its life without that support.  But the community and the sense of community, of fellows, of staff - the sense of community is a very strong one, and that's different from other fellowship programs too.  It's a strength that could be marbled; could be hard to unpack.
David W Andrew Lowenthal:   The flip side of the marbling is the Hierarchy of participation - who gets to participate. 
Rebecca T Matthew: have to wonder who can't be a part of this.  What is this community missing because there's no support for a certain set of cohorts that can't take the time and don't have the support to be hacking in this way.
David W Hasit: I was a joint fellow at Nieman. Nieman is very regimented. Events and things you are expected to do. I think I learned far more here than at Nieman because I was surrounded by people in my field there. 
The regimentation isn't a good thing or bad. It is what it is. 
Rebecca T Mal: there was a tension.  If there were time conflicts, you went to other events because they were paying you.
Q: What do you think this fellowship might do for you going forward/once you leave?
David W Ellery: I wasn't part of academia before. The idea of teaching never seemed like a realist possibility, and it does now.
Rebecca T Matthew: Consistently exciting is the infusion into the academy for people who are not career academics, and it's super healthy.  Excites me to see people coming from the outside.
Nathan Freitas: ITP had being an adjunct professor.  I prefer this model, because I had no time to associate with others there because I was teaching for no money.  I got to teach and got to have the title, which was great, but with Berkman it's been more of a retreat/meditation time to reflect.  There are different ways to bring industry into academia, and this is a good model.  Berkman doesn't feel like a drag on me.  I don't need a stipend because it's an energizing thing.
Mal: Lots of the tools and techniques we take for granted being here seem revolutionary outside of here.  It's a measure of success, where I feel I"m adding to a conversation now in ways I maybe didn't before. Hackpads, hackathons, breakout groups.I think it's just the mindset and the way you approach problem 
Hasit: it opens doors.  If you can say you come from a place like this that has a strong reputation, it helps.
Emy T Emy: Being able to participate in an academic community but not as an academic has been very valuable.  Berkman has provided me the intellectual space for me to put my policy and program experience into context of the field of Internet policy and digital inclusion.
Rebecca T Question: to what extent do you think the harvardness of Berkman makes it a success.
Kit: it helps the program take more risks.  HArvard has room to take the risks; if you're starting a new fellows program you may have more anxiety.
Mal: I say I'm at Berkman, not Harvard.  It doesn't sound like you're bragging.
Sandra: Many times people don't know Berkman, but they do know Harvard, so you can use that.  
Emy T Emy: Frankly, I don't know if Dept of Commerce would have let me work remotely and reduce my hours if the fellowship wasn't situated in Harvard or similar level academic institution.  I appreciate that the fellowship includes practitioners as well as academics.
David W Matthew: 
Andrew: It's not necessarily that people are turning up for the brad bt because they know the other people who are there. It does it a much easier ride than another fellows program. 
Matthew: There have been people reluctant to come beecause of the Harvard name and who don't want to be associated with Harvard.
Ellery: Or people who feel they don't belong. With GV, there are people who come to me from the community and say theat what were doing is cool and they wish they could do it. They feel it's for a different sort of person.
Rebecca T Nathan F: The people who have been here and the things that have been done here, stuff that's important for me and my community.  Humblebragging! s As a critique, I will say that I thought that more people would be around more often.  I've seen less of those types of people than I've thought.
David W Becca: Have you reached out to those people and have they turned you away?
NF: They haven't turned me away. But the abstract impression of Berkman is different from the reality.
Sands F: The expectations of which projects ...I've heard rumors outside of Harvard that Berkman is tending toward policy and governance and thus isn't as diverse as it used to be. I've heard people say they're not into governance so they wouldn't fit here The degree to which we exude certain types of focus afects who shows up here.
Mal: If you look at the success of the program itself, one of the greatest succeses is how many copycat institutions it's generated. I sometimes wonder idf Berkman is still #1. I keep coming back to JZ: We either do A which we're best at, or C where we take a risk. But we don't do B which other people are doing well. So the greatest success of Berkam is it's greatest competition.
Ellery: For our class (2014) the intro to Berkman wasn't very tight.  "Everyone who's part of the Berkman community is coming togeth and we'll be in the smae room and they'll be some big talks." But so much of the experience is social. Everone who knows one another are happy to see each other but the new kids didn't get a strong enough introduction to that. I was an interen some years prior so I knew more people, but I heard it from others in my class. "I don't know anyone."
Tatiana Indina: For a Russian being part of the B community is huge. It is a great honor. At the same time it's a challenge for people comeing from far away since the fellowship has different dimensions. E.g., some fellows get funding, some don't. Some are here all the time, some not. This creates a hierarchy that is especially difficult for people coming from far away. We were very happy to have a p2p grant with our center.  It's great we have tools for long-distance participating but that doesn't work as well for networking. Even email threads don
't help achieving that goal.
TI: Also, it's great to have different people from different fields. AT the same time, it's a challenge. Coming from a different background and studying a very specific topic it was hard to integrate it into the rest of Berkman. My culture was very culturally specific. There was no clear mechanism for how to participate in a dialogue. It's the same challenge as at any international conference. I don't know what could help. Maybe facilitating more for different cultural viewpoints and lines of research. We may be discussing something that doesn't exist in my country, or I'm talking something that exists only in my country. From one side people studying different things is a great thing, and on the other it can be hard connect. 
Rebecca T Mal: The network of centers is something that does a really good job.  Brings to bear multiple views etc - scale and diversity of things across the world I haven't seen other places do.
Sandra: Others may have/be coming from existing communities (such as the Network of Centers and Digitally Connected) where people find support. There are many ways people are working to integrate people who are outside of these things.
matthew B: opportunity to shape this.  SHape and texture of the conversation  - do more work as a community to express that we are a university wide center.  Growth on that into other spaces has been slow.  Opportunity to invite others.
David W Tatiana: The model is that Berkman is a self-organized community. Fellows are expected to organize themselves to make things happen. Many cultures are not familiar with those environments. You're used to being more regulated. Also the lack of networks. HArd to overcome this.  Would be helpful to have help doing this.
Rebecca T Q: Are people satisfied with their ability to interact across their particular areas of interest?
David W Ellery: vWillow and I have talked about doing a little more on Fellows Hours. We have missed opportunities just to hear what people are doing, just let someone talk for 20 mins. You could always just put up your hand and do it, but somehow it didn't happen. It could use a little kick. A half hour to talk about this.
Sands: The ten min talks...
NF: We did a speed dating thing +1
Andrew: It comes down to managing scale. The community has grown but maybe not the infrastructure to support it. If you're going to be at this scale, the infrastructural requirement grows. You can self-organize to a degree. But there's a line at which it becomes unrealistic. How much does the Center want to put into supporting the community. Where do we want to scale this to and where's the sweet spot? Balancing initiative 
Emy T Emy: Yes, I'd like to hear more about what people are working on and give them the chance to go in-depth, i.e. allocate at least an hour for them to talk.
Monica B Feedback from ceiling: As a remote participant, I found colleagues were very open to collaboration -- mostly people I've met in the ceiling.
Rebecca T q: how important have the working groups/self-organized groups been?
David W Jack: Angry Tech has been important to our experience. Coming back to acadmeic,s having a place to dip my toes into those waters was important. 
920 days ago
Matthew B Lara Baladi. Arrived from Egypt./ Fellow at MIT in comparative media studies. Interested in archiving the Egyption revolution (and all of history!). Developing a media archive of the revolution, which could support an installation of a timeline and other projects embodying and animating media archives. 
There is incredible work being done, I want to look at it in parallel to my own project which is an interactive timeline of the Egyptian revolution. How can we develop *federated* media archives, make them useful to stakeholders, produce knowledge from them, address the issues that develop from them.
Goal: Write an agenda/overview of the questions that we feel are necessary to address in archiving projects to prepare a symposium on federated research across the Internet. The symposium, we propose, would generate a map or a schema or a field guide or a white paper or an interactive periodic table and/or &c. and all or none of the above. We're asking this meeting today to brainstorm design possibilities for federated archives, communities of users and keepers of the same, and ways in which such resources can be managed sustainably, openly, ethically, and in generative dialogue.
Tim M Symposium Goal: save time for people in the field, so that people don't have to go back and re-invent the wheel.
  • Group Intros
Patsy B Matthew Battles: scaling and projecting projects like Lara's for others (for whom? for scholars, students, etc.). 
Dalida B Dalida Maria Benfield; artist, scholar, activist, working with media-making in participatory contexts. Organized one day symposium on "Re-envisioning Online Video Archives" at Berkman. Other projects: losarchivosdelcuerpo [bodyfiles]; women's media archive; occupy research; histories of now...Berkman fellow/faculty associate; professor at Vermont College (1)
Tim M Chantal Thomas: Visiting at Harvard Law (from Cornell) . Also happened to spend a bunch of time in Egypt at the right moment as Lara's 'art groupie'. A series of conversation about art and law. Speaking truth to power. The need for the law and state to preserve space for artistic expression. (3)
Nico Cesar: From Argentina, familiar with revolutions. A software engineer, interested in tech and possibility of predicting, tracking, and archiving a revolution. Should we have a memory? (1)
Jessica Yurkofsky: Creative technologist at metaLAB. Worked with Lara and DocShop about this. Also involved in the digital archive of the 2011 Japan disaster. (2)
Patsy Baudoin: Librarian at MIT trained as archivist 10 years ago. (3)
Sarah Moawad: Graduated middle eastern studies. Met Lara at first event. Had strong effect on thinking in depth about this topic. What it was like to track the revolution from afar. Thesis plan on use of humour in and after the revolution. IRB did not approve her being in Egypt so the thesis never happened. Saw the systematic revolution being erased from the public memory in Egypt. (3)
Tim Maly: metaLAB fellow, RISD lecturer, design journalist. Much of work relies on the work of archvists. (2)
whitney b whitney erin boesel: working on Media Cloud at Berkman and MIT Center for Civic Media; also working on issues related to harassment online (in particular things like revenge porn, doxxing, etc). Questions about what should be online that isn't, and stuff that shouldn't be on the Internet that is. (3)
Matthew B Jack Cushman: Berkman fellow; Working on PermaCC and on a project to distribute dark archives to libraries. Internet Preservation Consortium, and the Personal Digital Archiving conference: two communities coming at these issues from very different perspectives. We have told people everything on Facebook will be there forever but it won't… interested in what can be added to the view that would add something new to the conversation, between the comprehensive institutional scale and the individual initiative scale. (MB: Something perhaps in the vein of communities?) (2)
Tim M Jessa Lingel: post doc as MS research, working in social media collection. PhD in libraruy science digital media librarian. Worked with people's library at Occupy Wallstreet. Working to get AtoZ library into institutional holding. Came back from trip to Palestine on an archiving project.  Librarian not an Archivist and open hater of misuse of 'archive'. (3)
Kyle Parry: metaLAB also. PhD in film & video studies, coming to the end of that… These questions are utterly beyond one person's capacity to tackle them. Requires both broad and deep engagement with things. My own attempt was case studies of individual archives. Practices of participation. (1)
  • Lara's Presentation
Lara project is Vox Populi the nature of how the revolution started. Archiving a revolution in the digital age. Started with downloading at much as she could. She sees the documentation and social media conversations are part of the revolution. How people dealt with and talked about the volume. Overwhelming amount of creative materials across platforms. There is the comprehensive aspect of creative production, expression, documentation (by ordinary citizens, not just artists or journalists), to consider. After two years of working, Lara looked at others' projects and began collecting information on ongoing archiving projects. 
whitney b I am #jan25 http://iamjan25.com "At the time [of the revolution], archiving meant revolting." There are a number of different archiving projects taking place, most of which aren't connected to each other. 
Patsy B 18daysinEgypt -- interactive documentary and archive http://beta.18daysinegypt.com
Mosireen http://mosireen.org -- how to store their arhcive when they lost their office (see below)
Documentary about the vocabulary of the revolution (and new words were created)
whitney b Late last year, a law passed in Eqypt that outlawed foreign funding for non-profits (etc); as a result, many of them—including orgs working on archiving the Egyptian revolution—have no funding at this point, which has impacted ongoing curation/archiving efforts.
Tim M How does Mosireen deal with their archives how to store it how to distribute and share?
whitney b In December 2014, Lara organized "Vox Populi: Notes from El Saniyya" that invited people to interact with archive. Multiple media - video, photographs, documents - were organized on an interactive timeline and participants experimented. (One question is how to show now/in the future what the significance of a given media object was at the time it was created.)
Dalida B We watched the stop motion paper prototype. Who makes the decision about what is to be preserved and shared? 
Tim M MB: Can you say more about what you have? The media, the materials, the infrastructure, the way it might link to other databases?
Matthew B Lara has created two archives: 1) chronological, including downloaded videos, online articles, blogs (unsystematic), original film and photography, screenshots; also lists of links, and 2) associated material (e.g. Jean-Paul Sartre's address to strikers, 1960s, and films and pop music &c. &c., associative material on censorship, protest, activism, revolution, and so on).
whitney b Hoping to save other researchers/artists/etc. the work of having to track down all the places where media from the revolution has been archived. Project became not just Lara's archive, but connecting her archive to the other archives. (There will be a symposium on how to solve the "save others the search process" problem.)
Tim M Today Goal: Write an agenda/overview of the questions that we feel are necessary to address in archiving projects to prepare a symposium on federated research across the Internet. Symposium Goal: save time for people in the field, so that people don't have to go back and re-invent the wheel.
Dalida B We will work in small groups and address: With Lara's work as a case study (along with each of our projects and interests), what are the problems that we identify? What section of the problem? Let's establish a field of questions that a symposium could address. From there, we'll work on refining it. 
Possible questions to begin: We have events happening all the time. Relationships between the individual and the institutional archivist? What could it mean to federate "individual" nodes of research/archiving? 
Sarah M
  • Themes to discuss: 
Matthew B GROUP 1 Matthew, Kyle, Dalida, Nico
Sarah M Tech/big data
Matthew B NC: Who is storing the media? Who pays for the storage of the history? Government agencies want to keep data for the sake of their power, to serve their needs. How do "we" (the rest of us) put together the resources for storage and conservation? There is real-time collection and retrospective (tagging, geotagging, metadata creation. But much of the "federated" collection activity depends on the good graces of Twitter, Facebook, etc. How can the storage be federated, insulated, made open and sustainable
KP: linger on the question of "federated": take IA as an example, which sees itself as a Utopian "one to rule them all"; how sustainable is that? IA is highly viable for now, but how will it last? Federation is one term for distributed power, but are there better ones?
NC: prefer P2P to federated logics. "Data is easy to do peer to peer" Torrent is a peer to peer storage. P2P computation is the cutting edge technology. Think of BitCoin, the block chain, the public ledger, which has a powerful incentive built in, in the form of the economic incentive
DMB: Relationships between P2P, federation, and "movements" as such. Instances Mayo Fuster Morrell's work on relations between social movements and P2P production, finding important frictions between software motivation and movement motivation. Thinking too of the open video movement, which has an identity crisis: is it a technology movement or a social movement? Example: https://pad.ma (based on https://pan.do/ra) Inviting open video/media people to think through organization, structural and technical issues.
Dalida B Also: f2f interactivity/materiality in relationship to digital archives poses important "technology" questions? 
Centralized vs. decentralized? 
Matthew B NC: What is the economic motivation?
KP: What would an economic motivation look like? I'm skeptical.
NC: http://maidsafe.net/ (a project NC is working on) software runs a hard drive that allows people to post to it, encrypted, to exchange cryptocurrency.
other examples: Torrent... storage in politically agnostic 
What are some of these TECHNOLOGIES and ARCHITECTURES of storage? etc
SOCIOTECHNICAL implications of some of these technologies, e.g., federation v. P2P; block chains v. server farms. What are the politics of these systems? There is an irreducible economic relation inherent in questions of storage, architecture. "Is it a single big wallet or lots of little ones? (NC). CAPITAL and the archive, ultimately: how are archives about concentrating power? 
1002 days ago
Adrienne D Ethan suggests one aspect of moderation is structural. This usually begins with the group introducing themselves. In Civic, they do icebreaker questions. Today's icebreaker: What superpower do you wish you have? 
Sands F + e.g. Ice-Breaker
Luis R Theories of moderation:
Mayte S Jonathan (doesn't have a theory): Moderation is something one apprentices.
Luis R Ethan has clear guidelines for moderation.
Adrienne D Socratic dialogue- moderator comes in with a hypothetical and gets participants to react. Moderator must be in charge of the room, and guide to conclusion. The moderator is the host, not the guest on the program. 
Strategic use of silence - mod lets a moment play out. Let it settle. Up to Mod to signal it's okay
Mayte S Have a thread of interest in mind that does not only interest you but also the audience (to the exclusion of other threads). Audience should feel that an event has a beginning, a middle and an end. 
Luis R Anything that happens in the room is the moderator's responsibility. Moderation is a way of dealing with eventful, uncertain, emergent human interaction. As JZ puts it, the "grinding" of human interaction.
Mayte S Ethan: 
Moderation is an artform. There's a Berkman style ;) Allen Gunn - Aspiration Collective, anarchist organizers (The Ruckus Society).
Adrienne D Berkman style is more performative, Ruckus is more about collaborative conversations 
Sands F Take ownership of the stage and the space. 
Mayte S Moderation requires preparation: who's around the table, what are people's strengths and weaknesses? 
Sands F Ask people ahead of time to prepare 5 minutes and think about what they're going to say.. 
What are the goals: Audience entertainment, fairness, balancing silent people vs. other.
Attention is key. Be the one person in the room that is listening to the speaker. Signal to them you are doing this. Summarize what they just said. "I love the point you just made about this." Signaling to the audience you're getting something worthwhile as well.
Backchannel was scandalized about comments by the speaker. Speaker and moderator were not aware of this. As event owner, should have intervened, but had to patch it up later. 
Theory of "Total Event Awareness". 
  • Following hashtags on phone. 
  • Having allies in the audience. 
  • You have to own the virtual room as well as the physical.
Virtual awareness is difficult / at odds with presence in the room. 
Use tool of humor to diffuse tensions (as the first card). Acknowledged in the official stream. Naming it may be of benefit. 
The audience is in the room, in the digital room, and on the stream at the same time. Constructing an event for all of them is a goal.
Terrible mistake to think as moderator "This is great, I don't have to do any preparation!" You have a set of people you have to get the best out of. 
Difference between speaker and moderator is, not the job as a mod to be an additional speaker. You may feel the urge to weigh in with the best point. If you aren't representing the audience, you are abdicating your real role. Sometimes this means letting good points go. You are representative and liaison to the audience.
If you're listening/thinking/speaking at the same time, how are you paying attention also to the same room.
JZ: Tension between total focus on the conversation, and scattered attention.
WEB: Hashmods are used at Theorizing the Web, in cooperation with the 
JZ: Charlie had a bug in his ear for previous moderation talks.
CN: Valuable for when people would feed him jokes. 
JZ: I prefer no preparation to a lot. Talking points can come in. Better to have an over dinner style conversation (unless you're working with academics who are presenting their work). 
CN: Psychological perspective. 2 things going on:
  • Authority structure
  • You expect an authority in the room.
  • If there is none, there will be a fight and try to take control.
  • Not necessarily in control and talking to much.
  • Argument structure
  • In parallel.
SMWAT: Preparation problem. JZ does a lot of preparation in advance to seed the conversation.
JZ: Often with help. Nervous about ice-breakers. A bit performative. Everyone thinking of theirs instead of paying attention. 
  • Know the bios of the people in the panel.
  • Try to elicit from them something personal. Prompt them.
  • Ask follow-up question.
  • Go for the delta. What's the set of questions that they're not used to answering. The low-hanging fruit is hanging low for a reason. It's what people want to talk about. But some of the best events keep the speakers on their toes.
EZ: What is it you're looking for out of the event. How do I get something out of these speakers no one else has gotten out of them. 
  • You may have professional relationships with people. You want them to look good.
  • Usually you are not a person that set up the panel. Part of prep is understanding the thread the person who did was trying to set up.
Ok with scripting the first half-hour. Second half-hour can be open. Engage with someone directly; reserving the first question and use the remaining half hour for the discussion
JZ: I would try to shoe-horn that starting 5 minutes into the intro. Flexibility of a conversation w/out handing the mic to them for x minutes. 
WEB: Power dynamics in the room. Being a woman as a moderator is a challenge (e.g. being talked over, etc.)
JZ: Keeping track of who had their hand up is a responsibility.
Having really good acoustics helps. You can have the mic and hand it to people. People want to talk over administrative.
Post-mortem after an event w/out fear of offending the moderator/speaker(s). 
  • 'What you want out of this' is a good way to approach moderation. Part of it is a time management job. Can everyone have time to get their point across.
  • 1/n approach to balancing contributions - not necessarily in terms of seconds but in terms of meaningful content. It's an aspiration and you usually don't get there, but it's a good thing to check for. Goal of equal participation.
  • Reference people's expertise if you know people. 
  • Be explicit and recognize e.g. "I see your hand and I really want to hear from you."
  • Where there is a power struggle, humor can be a good diffuser.
  • Keep score around the table. Who haven't I heard from? Can I serve them something they can respond to?
  • Stage moderation and meeting moderation are different art-forms.
  • Share responsibility with people who aren't as experienced.
  • If you know where you're going, you gain confidence from this. 
1122 days ago
Neal C
  • Berkman Ski Club
Ski Groups:
  • Hardcore and Well Insured (frequent day trips - including mid-week)
  • Members
  • Neal Cohen
David O
  • David O'Brien (up for occasional day trips, though probably not mid-week)
  • Upcoming Trips
  • Weekend Warriors (few big weekend trips a year)
  • Members
  • Neal Cohen
Sarah G
  •  Sarah Genner
Kira H
  •  Kira Hessekiel 
Wendy S
  •  Wendy Seltzer
David O
  • David O'Brien
Jack C
  • Jack Cushman
Neal C
  • Upcoming Trips
  • Sesame Street (family/kid friendly)
  • Members
  • Neal Cohen
  • Upcoming Trips
  • Go Big or Go Home (trips out west)
  • Members
  • Neal Cohen
Wendy S
  •  Wendy Seltzer
Sarah G
  •  Sarah Genner 
  • Upcoming Trips
Wendy S
  • Nordic noodlers (cross-country touring)
Ethan Z
  • Ethan Zuckerman
Wendy S
  • Wendy Seltzer
Neal C Resources:
  • Snowboard hot wax and tuning (Neal Cohen)
  • Snowboarding lessons (Neal Cohen)
Wendy S
  •  Telemark tips (Wendy Seltzer)
Ethan Z
  •  Lodging, food and local culture in western MA/southern VT (Ethan Zuckerman)
1117 days ago
Andy E ResponsiveCities
Tim D Questions
How will cities use high speed connectivity in the future?
What would high speed connectivity mean to your work?
What would you do with high speed broadband in your city?
Andy E Transcription of the whiteboard
  • Cost management
  • Schools
  • Water
  • Electricity
  • Dealing with miscarriage of justice? 
Jack C
  • Telepresence
  • Schools
  • Prisoners
Andy E
Jack C
  • Data analysis/crunching -- city can access big chunks of remote data
Andy E
  • Participation (digital agora).   Folks should join the local $city-parents mailing lists and extrapolate for terror.
  • Education - changing the classroom
Tim D Ideas from the ceiling
Reynol J
  • Different models/ideas of how we work remotely. Re-imagining what we mean by "telepresence" and remote work. With greater speeds, will come technologies that make these connections more productive or like f2f interactions (holograms, perhaps?). 
Tim D
  • Improving mobile connectivity: a lot of the barriers to effective co-working / mobile-working stem from difficulties of connecting to good WiFi / 3G / 4G, partly due to weakness of those techs, but also due to lack of bandwidth behind these access points.
Andy E
  • Imagine city-run QoS VLANs for mobile workers.
  • Potentially see more administratinon of justice (broadly construed) happen online-- from the mundane (I'd love to put a credit card on file with the city and let them charge it directly when I overstay my welcome at a meter rather than issuing me a ticket that I have to then pay, for instance) to the more complex (we have a huge backlog of court cases, so for non-criminal cases or instances where a defendant waives a right to a jury, could you have a way for people to negotiate low-level offenses, let's say, with the prosecutor or eventually the judge on the other end without having to show up in court-- so the whole city becomes the courtroom somehow)?  
Monica B
  • Leah: regarding potential remote discussions for low level cases, this idea reminds me of the Virtual Doctors Project (a colleague is involved in the Zambian project)
  • Thanks, Monica- will Google that right now.
  • Very interesting and has some points of commonality with the telemed movement we're seeing in more rural/remote places in Northern New England-- for instance, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England has been rolling out telemed access in some of its health centers to do "clothes on" exams and prescriptions.  Obvious limitations on what can be done across the miles, but for a population that has significant access issues (transportation, limited ability to take time off work, money for gas, etc.) and no established mass transit, it has been hugely helpful. (Also widely used in Northern Norway - http://www.telemed.no/home.81328.en.html where as I understand the legal/cultural tradition of building infrastructure to wherever people choose to live shapes this in interesting ways)
Tim D
  • How many of these issues are connectivity issues? Surely lots more about policy, culture, service design etc? How often is connectivity limitation really the barrier?
  • Depends on the jurisdiction-- in rural New Hampshire (where I used to handle some cases as a legal aid lawyer), connectivity is a huge barrier-- certainly not the only one, but a primary (if not the primary) one.  You can't connect from large swaths of rural NH-- and my understanding the same is true in rural jurisdictions across the country, although I never practiced there)-- 
Tim D
  • Thought lots of the discussions here center on cities and it doesn't look like we're designing for the fact that many parts of countries are likely to remain with somewhat patchy connectivity for a long time. Working in devt country context, connectivity is barrier, but assumption is we design services around that. 
  • Good points- two quick thoughts: first is that I may have used too limiting a word when I said rural (above)-- I didn't meant to connote low population density necessarily, but rather geographic isolation. We have places in northern NH that may qualify technically as cities but still have little connectivity.  Second is that I think there are some potential wholesale societal transformations that are so all-encompassing that you couldn't-- from a politics/policy matter-- roll them out unless you had fullproof, broadscale connectivity.
Tim D
  • Point on rural taken. I think certainly transformations that do have connectivity as necessary foundation, but both neither a sufficient condition for those where it is necessary (and important for us to critically explore that), and I think many cases where we can design transformative tech around the idea of unequal bandwidth (i.e. if we design for best connectivity; we increase rather than reduce divides). 
  • Makes sense-- my understanding of the design side of things is limited at best, so it's very helpful to hear the concept that designing for best connectivity raises the bar rather than risks deepening the divide.
Tim D
  • All this said - targeted introduction of connectivity v. important. For example, telemedicine in remote areas greater benefits from high speed connectivity (e.g. http://www.telemed.no/home.81328.en.html ) exactly because of the remoteness which means physical services not accessible.
Monica B
  • Returning to Tim's earlier point, do we have examples of fullproof, broadscale connectivity? (Rolled out by government?) For civil services, education, medicine, the connectivity would be crucial... is it accurate to think that most high broadband is used for entertainment at the moment? (So not as critical if down) (Is this even a relevant question? My understanding of civil services is limited...)
Andy E
  • For rollout: Singapore, Sweden.
  • Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Netflix, BSkyB, Netflix, Google (quick sample of current biggest content providers (thanks, Andy!)
  • I think it's a relevant question-- what we're seeing in schools, for instance, is that ed tech innovations can wind up being limited when every kid gets an ipad, let's say, but can't use it anywhere other than in school because he/she has no connectivity (or no reliable connectivity) at home or in the community. (Thanks, Leah...you read my mind, I was thinking of the connectivity challenges faced in education... :)
  • Thanks for raising the question!
  • One additional education inspired wrinkle to think about: as the Internet of Things becomes more and more established and reconfigures education (for instance, do we need a traditional PE class if every student has a kiddie fit bit that sends data back to the gym teacher in real time), how essential will reliable, broadscale connectivity be?  I guess it depends on a number of factors, including the demands of the various devices being used, the purposes to which those devices are being put, etc.  But as the ed tech community starts talking more about IoT, I've been wondering how quickly it will hit a wall...
Monica B
  • Very well said! (thx :)
Tim D
  • Network resiliency potentially enhanced by greater fibre, if it means networks are running at greater spare capacity. E.g. as I understand, arrival of fibre in Kenya has led to greater network stability because whilst links still go down, when the network has route around failure there is now capacity to do it. But this does depend on structure of the network. 
Andy E
  • That works until induced demand kicks in, and there'll be a massive peering problem.   There's money to be made at the edges, the middle of the network is often resource-starved.
Monica B (Samuel -- this mapping is very helpful!) +2
Samuel K ^ Concept map
Parallel the developments around electricity.
^ What were the considerations then? 
  • Building a grid that anyone can use or feed into
x Who worked pro and con?  
_ What institutions were useful then? TVA, utils, policy groups, engineers, frameworks for ownership?
o What were the initial uses, universal ones 1, 10, 20 yrs out?
@ How did this effort iterate, expand beyond "electrification"? 
  • Uses of high-throughput channels
Economies of scale: outsourcing (of what?)
Individual data: Carrying your own data with you, in rotated databases, rather than keeping them on "a server"
Distributed databases and tasks:  blockchains, sensor data, &c: enabling sharing and synchronizing
Useful networks of things: millions of continuous streams of microdata.  Allowing continuous gathering & updating.
  • Uses of high-ubiquity channels
Sensor aggregation: better crowd-maintained panopticon... (mentioned 3x)
Access to basic data, emergency data transfers
  • Extending "bandwidth" into "computing" and "storage"
High bandwidth and ubiquity amplify the work of botnets, both intentional and unwanted: distributing computation across millions of devices becomes more practical, trading off b/w for cpu.
Blockchains and distributed data 
  • Ethics and ownership
Look at parallels with new ethical questions of ownership and loci of control, from other extensions.  Cf. Ivan, Jo.
Tim D
  • And questions of sustainability / environmental impact. Can we have low-power, always-on, high-speed connectivity? 
Andy E Dystopian futures: Bad things that might happen
  • Stalking 
  • No more right to be forgotten (massively parallel storage)
  • Ubiquitous semi-private surveillance
  • The crowd-sourced hunt for the Tsarnaevs is an interesting example.
  • Botnets of doom
Monica B
  • Increase in inequality? Already vulnerable more vulnerable? (thinking specifically of kids here) < yes.  How many parents know how to teach privacy awareness to their children? <exactly
Andy E
  • Thought experiment:  project GamerGate into a dystopian future where every building has gigabit network and lots of IoT devices...
  • Imagine a world of tenants whose landlords have the massive connectivity, and are monitoring their assets.
Jack C
  • Imagine a world of tenants whose landlords have the massive connectivity, and are monitoring their !@#$%^&* < well played. 
Samuel K Kickstarting implementations
1124 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by Jack Cushman , Samuel Klein 1124 days ago
Jack C Fellows Hour - Hacks For a Better Protest
Let's separate connectivity and action
Samuel K Limit the need to install something new: hardware or software
  • The ideal is something that is already there, and that just works.  Something Android/Apple built in, or built into a widely installed app
Jack C Previous examples
  • kids in France organizing by BBM -- but that requires internet
  • broadcast -> emergency alert
Possible tech 
Samuel K
  • Physical
Jack C
  • loudspeaker on a bike/megaphone
  • signalling balloons -- color code
Samuel K
  • low-tech -- facepaint to avoid facial recognition
  • Low-tech:
Jack C
  • radio without internet -- CB -- most cell phones can listen to FM
Samuel K
  • could cell phones broadcast FM?  with a plug-in broadcast antenna+amp?
Jack C
  • physical signalling with phones -- flashlight/screen color
Samuel K
  • Higher tech:
Jack C
  • let an app take over all the speakers (!!)
  • better security -- if we build our own networks and switch to airplane mode + bluetooth, we can in theory avoid tracking
Samuel K
  • Actions taken at protests
Jack C
  • use cases/scenarios
  • "what do you need internet for?"
  • "what behaviors can we change/impact?"
  • "why does everybody need to be connected?"
  • those with power always try to take power away from others -- communication is an equalizer
  • communication makes hierarchical organization less important -- crowd communication is more egalitarian and more efficient
  • apps encapsulate skill -- "use this app!" [to guide you in doing what I would have done?]
Samuel K
  • models of participation
Jack C
  • where some people prepare and some don't -- e.g. transmitters shared by wifi, apps shared over local networks
  • protests aren't totally disorganized to start -- they're friends, colleagues, family
Samuel K Advertising, branding
Jack C
  • advance advertising -- flyers etc.
Samuel K
  • general information about timelines, messages, locations (for newcomers)
  • information about where to get help, how to get an app
Jack C
  • small group coordination
  • advance organization
  • when to start/stop
  • how do you escape, how to deal with arrests
Samuel K
  • contact points - who is involved
Jack C
  • long term logistics -- e.g. occupy
  • members of protest have a purpose, such as "occupy this place for 24 hours". Communication helps group respond to external challenges, e.g. police attempts to break up group.
  • Quorum-sensing -- how many friends are around?
Samuel K Security, trust
Jack C
  • what about when you no longer trust the internet? are localnets an improvement? (they can be, but need to be secured)
Samuel K
  • Emergencies: police, violence, weather; 
  • Fast changes: direction, destination, tactics (inside, outside)
  • Avoiding tracking: phone #s, faces, other sorts
Archiving, reporting
Jack C
  • keeping memory of what's happening 
Samuel K
  • selecting, combining, sharing more broadly
Jack C Risks/downsides of the wrong tool:
  • sometimes lack of communication is beneficial -- people engage more without internet. what is necessary/optimal level of communication?
  • trust across groups -- how? e.g. Firechat didn't differentiate between local/global, anyone could come in and add misinformation. Agent provocateurs  ...

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