In her discussion on free labor in digital economy. Terranova suggests that the seemingly autonomous cultural production is inherently a part of the capitalist society in large. She coined the term “social factory” and points out the blurring distinctions between “labor” and “culture”. She suggest that the process in which “free labor” becomes essential to digital economy has to do with the fact that the society has historically valued “creativity” and “knowledge” as the symbol of freedom, individualism, autonomy and personal well-being. And she argues that the rhetoric value the society’s “collective intelligence” had allowed cultural production to escape the criticism of capitalistic nature.
Agre scrutinized the effect of computer programs and data architecture on production and information consumption, revealing the pitfalls of institutional practices guided by the seemingly efficient and problem-solving computer systems, and the false equivalence of the data itself as its representations.
He drew attention to the similarity between division of labor of the production lines in the early 20th century, and the structuring of data in the computer system. In particular, he criticized “the concept of information served to abstract the common functionality of these media without drawing any particular attention to the representational nature of media themselves, or to the facts about the world that these media conveyed.”
Midterm project inspiration:
For my mid term project, I want to experiment with ways of imbedding webpages, particularly in interesting visual ways what questions what is a “page”. I would also like to investigate more in using hyperlinks and hypertext for creative purposes.
I wanted to make an application in which the users can comment on the weather and be displayed as bird avatars. For some reason the radio button data failed to be submitted, and I couldn’t keep track of which image the user selects…
A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, published in 1996, proposed an ideal form the internet as free form governmental interventions, and as “the other space” that is not constrained by the physical world. The author urges the government to take their hands away from the “free web”, and suggests that the laws issued for “cyberspace” is heterogeneous and counteracts the technology.
However, looking back at this article after 20 years, it seems to me that much of the author’s ideas are too utopian to be applicable. In short, the internet is more analogous to a mirror that reflects the conditions of our physical world, and just as laws needs to be enforced in the physical world, so are they necessary in the “cyberspace”.