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A geology of media
Media history is millions, even billions, of years old. That is the premise of this pioneering and provocative book, which argues that to adequately understand contemporary media culture we must set out from material realities that precede media themselves—Earth’s history, geological formations, minerals, and energy. And to do so, writes Jussi Parikka, is to confront the profound environmental and social implications of this ubiquitous, but hardly ephemeral, realm of modern-day life. Exploring the resource depletion and material resourcing required for us to use our devices to live networked lives, Parikka grounds his analysis in Siegfried Zielinski’s widely discussed notion of deep time—but takes it back millennia. Not only are rare earth minerals and many other materials needed to make our digital media machines work, he observes, but used and obsolete media technologies return to the earth as residue of digital culture, contributing to growing layers of toxic waste for future archaeologists to ponder. He shows that these materials must be considered alongside the often dangerous and exploitative labor processes that refine them into the devices underlying our seemingly virtual or immaterial practices.
PARIKKA, Jussi. A geology of media. London, [England]: University of Minnesota Press, 2015. ISBN 978-1-4529-4456-2.
Alone together: why we expect more from technology and less from each other
Consider Facebook - it's human contact, only easier to engage with and easier to avoid. Developing technology promises closeness. Sometimes it delivers, but much of our modern life leaves us less connected with people and more connected to simulations of them. In Alone Together, MIT technology and society professor Sherry Turkle explores the power of our new tools and toys to dramatically alter our social lives. It's a nuanced exploration of what we are looking for - and sacrificing - in a world of electronic companions and social-networking tools, and an argument that, despite the hand-waving of today's self-described prophets of the future, it will be the next generation who will chart the path between isolation and connectivity.
TURKLE, Sherry. Alone together: why we expect more from technology and less from each other. New York: Basic Books, c2011. ISBN 978-0-465-01021-9.
Code: version 2.0
The book is an update to Lessig's book Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace, which was written in response and opposition to the notion that state governments could not regulate cyberspace and the Internet. The original argument that Lessig took issue with was weakened in the years following the book's release, as it became widely acknowledged that government regulation of the Internet was imminent, and so the author thought it necessary to update the work. Lessig acknowledges that there are those who continue to disagree with his viewpoint, but adamantly maintains that the Internet will increasingly evolve in a more regulable direction.
Lessig, Lawrence. Code: version 2.0. New York: Basic Books, 2006. 410 s.
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Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature
AARSETH, Espen J.
Can computer games be great literature? Do the rapidly evolving and culturally expanding genres of digital literature mean that the narrative mode of discourse—novels, films, television series—is losing its dominant position in our culture? Is it necessary to define a new aesthetics of cyborg textuality?
In Cybertext, Espen Aarseth explores the aesthetics and textual dynamics of digital literature and its diverse genres, including hypertext fiction, computer games, computer-generated poetry and prose, and collaborative Internet texts such as MUDs. Instead of insisting on the uniqueness and newness of electronic writing and interactive fiction, however, Aarseth situates these literary forms within the tradition of "ergodic" literature—a term borrowed from physics to describe open, dynamic texts such as the I Ching or Apollinaire's calligrams, with which the reader must perform specific actions to generate a literary sequence.
Aarseth, Espen. Cybertex: perspectives on ergodic literature. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997. 203 s.
Disconnect: youth, new media, and the ethics gap
Fresh from a party, a teen posts a photo on Facebook of a friend drinking a beer. A college student repurposes an article from Wikipedia for a paper. A group of players in a multiplayer online game routinely cheat new players by selling them worthless virtual accessories for high prices. In Disconnected, Carrie James examines how young people and the adults in their lives think about these sorts of online dilemmas, describing ethical blind spots and disconnects. Drawing on extensive interviews with young people between the ages of 10 and 25, James describes the nature of their thinking about privacy, property, and participation online. She identifies three ways that young people approach online activities. A teen might practice self-focused thinking, concerned mostly about consequences for herself; moral thinking, concerned about the consequences for people he knows; or ethical thinking, concerned about unknown individuals and larger communities. James finds, among other things, that youth are often blind to moral or ethical concerns about privacy; that attitudes toward property range from "what's theirs is theirs" to "free for all"; that hostile speech can be met with a belief that online content is "just a joke"; and that adults who are consulted about such dilemmas often emphasize personal safety issues over online ethics and citizenship.
JAMES, Carrie. The digital disconnect: youth, new media, and the ethics gap. London, England: The MIT Press, 2014. John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation series on digital media and learning. ISBN 978-0-262-32556-1.
Glut: mastering information through the ages
The "information explosion" may seem like an acutely modern phenomenon, but we are not the first generation―or even the first species―to wrestle with the problem of information overload. Long before the advent of computers, human beings were collecting, storing, and organizing information: from Ice Age taxonomies to Sumerian archives, Greek libraries to Dark Age monasteries. Spanning disciplines from evolutionary theory and cultural anthropology to the history of books, libraries, and computer science, Alex Wright weaves an intriguing narrative that connects such seemingly far-flung topics as insect colonies, Stone Age jewelry, medieval monasteries, Renaissance encyclopedias, early computer networks, and the Internet. Finally, he pulls these threads together to reach a surprising conclusion, suggesting that the future of the information age may lie deep in our past.
WRIGHT, Alex. Glut: mastering information through the ages. Ithaca, N.Y: Cornell University Press, 2008. ISBN 9780801475092.
Grafy, mapy, stromy: abstraktní modely literární historie
Tato kniha si klade za cíl přiblížit literární historii ostatním humanitním vědám pomocí nástrojů vyvinutých původně pro jiné oblasti výzkumu: kvantitativních grafů, zeměpisných map a vývojových stromů evoluční biologie. Názorným příkladem je nová interpretace vývoje moderní prózy v první kapitole: teprve při zkoumání nejen několika málo kanonických textů, jak bývá zvykem, ale samotného systému románových žánrů jako celku, vystoupí na povrch existence „literárních cyklů“, na jejichž základě lze stanovit novou periodizaci dějin románu a její význam. Podobné experimenty předkládá i druhá kapitola, kde geografické mapy odhalují hlubokou souvztažnost mezi narativní formou idylického románu a vnímáním prostoru tradičního venkova, a kapitola třetí, kde vývojové stromy neznázorňují dějiny literatury jako lineární přímku, ale naopak jako proces neustálého větvení a rozbíhání zahrnující všemožné literární formy. Grafy, mapy a stromy tak pohlížejí na literaturu nikoli jako na kánon vybraných děl, ale spíše jako na systém a na velkém množství materiálu nám představují mnohem překvapivější a bohatší literární dějiny, jež stírají hranice mezi vysokým a nízkým, mezi mistrovskými a zapomenutými díly, mezi dnešní klasikou a někdejšími bestsellery. Neméně invenční je i doslov Alberta Piazzy, který kromě souhrnu Morettiho podnětů a úvah vybízí k užšímu dialogu mezi literární historií a genetikou.
MORETTI, Franco. Grafy, mapy, stromy: abstraktní modely literární historie. Praha: Karolinum, 2014. Studia nových médií. ISBN 978-80-246-2609-3.
Hamlet on the holodeck: the future of narrative in cyberspace
MURRAY, Janet Horowitz
Stories define how we think, play, and understand our lives. In this comprehensive and readable book -- already a classic statement of the aesthetics of digital media, acclaimed by practitioners and theorists alike -- Janet Murray shows how the computer is reshaping the stories we live by. Murray discusses the unique properties and pleasures of digital environments and connects them with the traditional satisfactions of narrative. She analyzes the dramatic satisfaction of participatory stories and considers what would be necessary to move interactive fiction from the formats of childish games and confusing labyrinths into a mature and compelling art form. Through a blend of imagination and techno-wizardry, Murray provides both readers and writers with a guide to the storytelling of the future.
MURRAY, Janet Horowitz. Hamlet on the holodeck: the future of narrative in cyberspace. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1998. ISBN 0262631873.
New media, old media: A history and theory reader
CHUN, Wendy Hui Kyong, KEENAN, Thomas
New Media, Old Media is a comprehensive anthology of original and classic essays that explore the tensions of old and new in digital culture. Leading international media scholars and cultural theorists interrogate new media like the Internet, digital video, and MP3s against the backdrop of earlier media such as television, film, photography, and print. The essays provide new benchmarks for evaluating all those claims--political, social, ethical--made about the digital age. Committed to historical research and to theoretical innovation, they suggest that in the light of digital programmability, seemingly forgotten moments in the history of the media we glibly call old can be rediscovered and transformed. The many topics explored in provocative volume include websites, webcams, the rise and fall of dotcom mania, Internet journalism, the open source movement, and computer viruses.
Keenan, Thomas, ed. a Chun, Wendy Hui Kyong, ed. New media, old media: a history and theory reader. New York: Routledge, 2006. 418 s.
Open networks, closed regimes: the impact of the Internet on authoritarian rule
KALATHIL, Shanthi - BOAS, Taylor C.
As the Internet diffuses across the globe, many have come to believe that the technology poses an insurmountable threat to authoritarian rule. Grounded in the Internet's early libertarian culture and predicated on anecdotes pulled from diverse political climates, this conventional wisdom has informed the views of policymakers, business leaders, and media pundits alike. Yet few studies have sought to systematically analyze the exact ways in which Internet use may lay the basis for political change. In O pen Networks, Closed Regimes, the authors take a comprehensive look at how a broad range of societal and political actors in eight authoritarian and semi-authoritarian countries employ the Internet. Based on methodical assessment of evidence from these cases —China, Cuba, Singapore, Vietnam, Burma, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt —the study contends that the Internet is not necessarily a threat to authoritarian regimes.
Kalathil, Shanthi a Taylor C. Boas. Open networks, closed regimes: The impact of the Internet on authoritarian rule. Washington D. C.: Carnegie Endowment, 2010. 218 s.
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Persuasive Games: The Expressive Power of Videogames
Videogames are an expressive medium, and a persuasive medium; they represent how real and imagined systems work, and they invite players to interact with those systems and form judgments about them. In this innovative analysis, Ian Bogost examines the way videogames mount arguments and influence players. Drawing on the 2,500-year history of rhetoric, the study of persuasive expression, Bogost analyzes rhetoric's unique function in software in general and videogames in particular. The field of media studies already analyzes visual rhetoric, the art of using imagery and visual representation persuasively.
Bogost, Ian. Persuasive games: the expressive power of videogames. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007. 450 s.
Software takes command
Software has replaced a diverse array of physical, mechanical, and electronic technologies used before 21st century to create, store, distribute and interact with cultural artifacts. It has become our interface to the world, to others, to our memory and our imagination - a universal language through which the world speaks, and a universal engine on which the world runs. What electricity and combustion engine were to the early 20th century, software is to the early 21st century. Offering the the first theoretical and historical account of software for media authoring and its effects on the practice and the very concept of 'media,' the author of The Language of New Media (2001) develops his own theory for this rapidly-growing, always-changing field. What was the thinking and motivations of people who in the 1960 and 1970s created concepts and practical techniques that underlie contemporary media software such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Maya, Final Cut and After Effects? How do their interfaces and tools shape the visual aesthetics of contemporary media and design? What happens to the idea of a 'medium' after previously media-specific tools have been simulated and extended in software? Is it still meaningful to talk about different mediums at all? Lev Manovich answers these questions and supports his theoretical arguments by detailed analysis of key media applications such as Photoshop and After Effects, popular web services such as Google Earth, and the projects in motion graphics, interactive environments, graphic design and architecture. Software Takes Command is a must for all practicing designers and media artists and scholars concerned with contemporary media.
MANOVICH, Lev. Software takes command. Sydney: Bloomsbury, 2013. ISBN 978-1-6235-6745-3.
Strategy of Deception
Written with his characteristic flair, Virilio's book is a trenchant denunciation of the Kosovo war in which he successfully unites theory with a riveting study of the conflict. Tearing aside the veil of hypocrisy in which the USA and its allies wrapped the war, Virilio demonstrates that the nature of the bombing was set by strategic rather than ethical considerations. Beneath the humanitarian rhetoric, Virilio sees a sinister innovation in the methods of waging war: territorial space is being replaced by orbital space in which a system of global telesurveillance is linked to the destructive power of bombers and missiles. Governments, the military and the media are becoming part of a seamless and self-justifying process linked by new information and arms technologies. Passionate and political, Strategy of Deception is a vital examination not only of the war in Yugoslavia but also what Virilio calls our ‘fin-de-siecle infantilisation’ in which the reality of battle is reduced to flickering images on a screen.
Virilio, Paul. Strategy of deception. London: Verso, 2007. 82 s.
The culture of connectivity: a critical history of social media
DIJCK, José van
Social media penetrate our lives: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and many other platforms define daily habits of communication and creative production. This book studies the rise of social media, providing both a historical and a critical analysis of the emergence of major platforms in the context of a rapidly changing ecosystem of connective media. Author José van Dijck offers an analytical prism that can be used to view techno-cultural as well as socio-economic aspects of this transformation as well as to examine shared ideological principles between major social media platforms. This fascinating study will appeal to all readers interested in social media.
DIJCK, José van. The culture of connectivity: a critical history of social media. Oxford: Oxford University Press, c2013. ISBN 978-0-19-997077-3.
The game design reader: a Rules of play anthology
TEKINBAS, Katie Salen, ZIMMERMAN, Eric
The Game Design Reader is a one-of-a-kind collection on game design and criticism, from classic scholarly essays to cutting-edge case studies. A companion work to Katie Salen and Eric Zimmerman's textbook Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals, The Game Design Reader is a classroom sourcebook, a reference for working game developers, and a great read for game fans and players. Thirty-two essays by game designers, game critics, game fans, philosophers, anthropologists, media theorists, and others consider fundamental questions: What are games and how are they designed? How do games interact with culture at large? What critical approaches can game designers take to create game stories, game spaces, game communities, and new forms of play?
TEKINBAS, Katie Salen, ZIMMERMAN, Eric. The game design reader: a Rules of play anthology. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, c2006. ISBN 0262195364.
The Internet galaxy: Reflections on the Internet, business, and society
Castells believes that we are "entering, full speed, the Internet Galaxy, in the midst of informed bewilderment." His aim in this exciting and profound work is to help us to understand how the Internet came into being, and how it is affecting every area of human life--from work, politics, planning and development, media, and privacy, to our social interaction and life in the home. We are at ground zero of the new network society. In this book, its major commentator reveals the Internet's huge capacity to liberate, but also its ability to marginalize and exclude those who do not have access to it. Castells provides no glib solutions, but asks us all to take responsibility for the future of this new information age.
Castells, Manuel. The internet galaxy: reflections on the internet, business, and society. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003. 292 s.
The wisdom of crowds
In this fascinating book, New Yorker business columnist James Surowiecki explores a deceptively simple idea: Large groups of people are smarter than an elite few, no matter how brilliant–better at solving problems, fostering innovation, coming to wise decisions, even predicting the future. With boundless erudition and in delightfully clear prose, Surowiecki ranges across fields as diverse as popular culture, psychology, ant biology, behavioral economics, artificial intelligence, military history, and politics to show how this simple idea offers important lessons for how we live our lives, select our leaders, run our companies, and think about our world.
Surowiecki, James. The wisdom of crowds: why the many are smarter than the few and how collective wisdom shapes businness, economies, societies and nations. New York: Doubleday, 2004, 296 s.
Tweets and the streets: social media and contemporary activism
Tweets and the Streets analyses the culture of the new protest movements of the 21st century. From the Arab Spring to the 'indignados' protests in Spain and the Occupy movement, Paolo Gerbaudo examines the relationship between the rise of social media and the emergence of new forms of protest. Gerbaudo argues that activists' use of Twitter and Facebook does not fit with the image of a 'cyberspace' detached from physical reality. Instead, social media is used as part of a project of re-appropriation of public space, which involves the assembling of different groups around 'occupied' places such as Cairo’s Tahrir Square or New York’s Zuccotti Park.
GERBAUDO, Paolo. Tweets and the streets: social media and contemporary activism. London: Pluto Press, 2012.
Understanding Video Games: The Essential Introduction
EGENFELDT-NIELSEN, S., SMITH, J.H., TOSCA, S.P.
From Pong to PlayStation 3 and beyond, Understanding Video Games is the first general introduction to the exciting new field of video game studies. This textbook traces the history of video games, introduces the major theories used to analyze games such as ludology and narratology, reviews the economics of the game industry, examines the aesthetics of game design, surveys the broad range of game genres, explores player culture, and addresses the major debates surrounding the medium, from educational benefits to the effects of violence.
Egenfeldt-Nielsen, Simon, ed., Smith, Jonas Heide a Tosca, Susana Pajares. Understanding video games: the essential introduction. New York: Routledge, 2013. 323 s.