April 27, 2007

Friday at MiT5

by Nick Montfort · , 6:35 pm

Here are a few brief snippets from Media in Transition 5 today. My fellow panelist Jill Walker blogged about the introduction, so, on to the first session…

In “Folk Cultures and Digital Cultures,” Thomas Pettitt, Lewis Hyde, and S. Craig Watkins took us from the appropriative practices of Shakespeare, through the (potential) piracy and refusal to patent of Benjamin Franklin, and the plundering and reworking of musical history done by DJ Kool Herc and others.

On the Second Life panel, we got a walkthrough of the Knowledge Gates from Mary Hopper; a discussion of how even copybots get copied and spoofed, by Burcu Bakioglu; Brent Britton’s discussion of to what extent Second Life needs a second law and to what extent existing law reaches there; and how much (and why) fashion matters, as explained Jeffrey Bardzell.

In the evening plenary session, moderator Thomas W. Malone introduced the idea of collective intelligence and then introduced Trebor Scholz, who talked about work and play in social media systems and the issues of property and ownership. Then, one of the Lindens, Cory Ondrejka, spoke about Second Life’s virtual geographic area, its relationship to the more solo Web, and user protests on the platform. Mizuko Ito introduced “hypersociality,” the process of expression through abundant media that range from Pokemon and Tamagotchi through YouTube, “the media mix.”

There’s a great group here and, while the schedule is really full and is also stacked with concurrent sessions, MiT5 is nevertheless turning out to be a great place to make connections, see distant colleagues once again, and have conversations outside the official sessions. If this hint of the conference interests you, read on through to the abstracts and many full papers that are online.