Tuesday, February 06, 2007

the day drm died...

steve job's first blog entry - sort of:

"Imagine a world where every online store sells DRM-free music encoded in open licensable formats. In such a world, any player can play music purchased from any store, and any store can sell music which is playable on all players. This is clearly the best alternative for consumers, and Apple would embrace it in a heartbeat."

thoughts on music by steve jobs, february 6, 2007

discussion on digg - "this url has been saved by" on del.icio.us - "technorati this!" search results

and this is one of the days where i make an exception to my rule of not linking to big media, actually i'd always make an excetion for the bbc - of course already covering this story.

drm r.i.p. - i'm sure someone will miss you: maybe m$'s hasta la vista...?


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Monday, February 05, 2007

mtv: "copyrights restrict us"

this is what happens when you try to watch www (dot) mtv (dot) com (slash) overdrive videos from europe (sorry, no free links for big media from this blog).

solution to mtv's unfortunate copyright problem: creative commons licenses.


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Sunday, February 04, 2007

teaching the machine...

Web 2.0 ... The Machine is Us/ing Us by youtube user mwesch.

right now this is the most popular video in technorati's top videos list (only links to youtube counted...).

could this video ever be popular on commercial tv?

2006 for me was the year when i almost stopped consuming traditional media. if it was not for bbc world i would not have cable tv anymore.

bill gates was wrong when he predicted that tv will be dead in five years - tv is dead now. and the future is not corporate controlled drm crippled copyrighted iptv at the mercy of m$ and big media.

why? because we are teaching the machine...


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Saturday, January 13, 2007

program yourself

by youtube user petemoraites.

free your mind...


Monday, December 18, 2006

at the open-source pond

after a somewhat time consuming shoot the second episode of kevin's world is now finally ready for download!

of course ginger and me also had lots of fun working again in 3d space... but see for yourself:

at the open-source pond


2 min., cc license: by-nc-sa

mpeg-4/h.264 encoded, free vlc media player available

Thursday, October 26, 2006

audio/video web intro: a/v p2p wiki

the audiovisual section of the p2p wiki focuses on "the how-to and technical aspects of producing - and finding - audiovisual content using the new p2p autonomous media infrastructure":

audiovisual section of the p2p wiki


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Saturday, September 09, 2006

watch the dropping knowlege live stream now!

l i v e now from berlin/germany

the dropping knowlege table of free voices

(september 9, 2006, 9 am - 6 pm)


windows media

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Monday, August 14, 2006

youtube's rising star: geriatric1927, 79 years of age

if anyone needed any proof that old media is passé then here it is:

youtube user geriatric1927, 79 years of age, started posting videos 10 days ago telling his life story to a now fast growing - mostly young - youtube audience. as of this writing his first video has been viewed over 800 000 times (only an hour or two ago it had 700 000 views...).

old media is dead and old people are web 2.0 stars.

here is what the collective digg intellegentia thinks about the event.

this is the real digital revolution.

could we... maybe... please have world peace next...?


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Thursday, July 20, 2006

kevin's world - a 3d vlog

i was planning a longer blog entry about how 3d is going to change the web, but then my best real life friend started this 3d animated vlog with me in it:

kevin's world - a 3d vlog

episode 1: kevin & ginger

download page





the jazz track used is another cc licensed work: g minor swing by jonah dempcy. check out his electronic breakbeat jazz project revolution void.

kevin's world - a 3d vlog is created with blender, the free and open source 3d modelling/animation software.

to the sky and beyond!

the revolution will be in 3d,


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Friday, May 26, 2006

when videoblogging becomes (online) film making

i've been following the videoblogging movement for a while now, i always thought of videobloggers as the next generation of (online) film makers and now there are signs that this is really happening.

but first: i think it is perfectly o.k. to be "only" a videoblogger and to use the technologies of our time to communicate with your (video)blog audience using short videoclips. there is a lot of potential in this, some of it we might not even have realised yet...

still i often find some - not all - videoblogs just not interesting enough - like with blogs it all depends on the content and the way it is done. it probably all comes down to one thing: telling a good story well (and not just "broadcast yourself").

one of the most important aspects of story telling/filmmaking is knowing about the necessity of editing your footage (and of course writing/developing/editing your script first).

this is why this particular project here that just came to my attention is one that i find specially interesting, and why i believe we now see parts of the videoblogging community develop into a new form of independent online filmmaking: have money will vlog.

it basically is an attempt to raise micro donations that will allow a particular videoblogger/film maker to realise/finish his/her online vlog/film project.

when you read the faq you will see that some of the leading videobloggers are behind this project, but they are not the ones who will see the money: "We consider any project, but since we’re doing this for free, we promote projects we like. If we don’t choose to pitch your video project, don’t let it stop you. Just go to Fundable.org and raise your own money. We are simply cheerleaders." and further: "Unlike Paypal, the creator gets the money ONLY if the project meets its goal. This way you know you are always funding a winner."

i also like the first project they want to help getting made, a documentary about a very interesting (and funny) young man who got into trouble and now tries deal with life and society. 100 hours of footage have been shot, the vlogger/film maker needs money so can afford to edit/publish the vlog/documentary: human dog - proposal (direct video link).


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Thursday, May 11, 2006

'68 > '06

à la revolution...!?

to me this all looks like the classic set-up for a final confrontation of two side who clash in what is know as a "revolution". just like in may '68 students in france started their fight against the establishment, we have today the masses of people around the world who want to share their data, who believe in building a better and fairer world through the net, and on the other side those who control key strategic points: big business and the political elite. in simpler words: us versus them - consumers vs. producers. but it is not this simple, since we consumers are the ones who spend the money that makes all of this possible...! (but therein also lies the answer for the problem...) (may '06: people in france protesting against new laws in favor of drm).

drm, rfid, copyright and freedom of speech

so what is this about? it is about drm, rfid chips, more copyright restrictions, further criminalization of people who have been robed of their rights by the music industry that claims that in fact it has been robed by its paying customers...

this is about free speech on the net. and about attempts from big business and governments worldwide to control it.

it is about realizing the incredible potential we have here and what we can do to make use of it in everyone's best interest: this is a revolution that could have winners only in the end!

the challenge: to make them understand that we have the power - there is a collective intelligence that is building whole operating systems and webbrowers, office packages or video editing/effects software: not to biggest monopoly in the world will be able to defend it's abusive position against that. maybe free software is empowering more people than any other democratic movement before.

recently philips ("philips invents for you") announced a technology that will make it impossible for a user to skip ads, no matter if you are watching tv or a program you recorded. and while admitting that the invention could "anger" users, they justified it with saying: "we just provide the technology. it's up to the broadcaster to decide on how they use the technology..." (more here.) to me this sounds like a weapon dealer who says: "i don't shoot people, i only sell weapons."

so when a consumer reads about the latest philips invention he could start thinking: "is this in my own interest? should i ever again buy a product from the company that says it invents for me, but in fact invents against me...?!"

blue pill / red pill...?

a consumer also could become aware of the fact that ads often say the contrary of what might be closer to the truth: every major tobacco ad sells "freedom" - but all you can buy is "addiction"...

the web today is seen as key strategic tool for governments, big business and anyone who has an interest in controlling something. so naturally they are trying to limit free speech on the net. the interesting thing is that all governments, democratic or not, seem to be working very hard to gain control over free speech, the western governments just might be better at selling this to their voters, but then again: maybe a chinese worker thinks the same about us media brainwashed westerners...?

i will never forget that google was the only major search engine that did not give away it's search data to the us government just because they asked for it: yahoo, msn and aol just did as they were told...

one pill makes you larger
and one pill makes you small

a few useful links

for your rights:

electronic frontier foundation
reporters without borders
oxfam international
amnesty international

for your computer's rights:

ubuntu linux
firefox / thunderbird
vlc media player
democracy player / broadcast machine
dvd back-up: os x /others
streamripper: os x / others
pgp (wikipedia entry, see links for software)

for news, ideas and research:

bbc news
world changing
make blog
hack a day

and the only major search engine that does not just give its user's search data to a nosy government that asks for it:



so how similar are things when comparing 1968 with 2006...? maybe one could say this: while the events around '68 were all about the dream for a free society, in '06 it is about defending this dream against the interests of big business and totalitarian governments.

still, there is one big difference: in 1968 the establishment owned the media - today we are the media.

feed your head, feed your head...


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Monday, April 10, 2006

online video editing, microformats and collective intelligence

online video editing

online video is bigger than ever before - instead of just letting you store video, sites like eyespot or jumpcut also let you edit and remix video: in your browser, no extra software needed. good starting points for exploring the latest videotrends are this review by dvguru (note that the important question "who owns the content?" was never asked), testing grounds that lets users rate video hosting sites and the web 2.0 awards (click the "video" category).

other important video online news: "we are the media" has a longer blog entry about "veoh": it looks like this site is basically stealing content from other sites. hopefully this is not a trend.

but back to what you can do with online video: the true potential lies in collaborative works made possible through tagging video. and not just tagging a movie as a whole, but individual clips, or even single frames or sequences of frames... a project i find very interesting is trac from filmapart. (update: it is of course filmapart working with trac...) (i am also thinking of what one could do when combining track and the previously mentioned sCrAmBlEd?HaCkZ!...)


the basic idea behind microformats is that certain data should work in any environment and can easily be moved around, e.g. data from a calendar. the really interesting thing about microformats is that they don't "invent" standards, but look at what people already use. maybe it is a bit like writing a grammar textbook while a language is still being developed... but microformats is not a programming language: it is simply the attempt to define building blocks that store date in a very open way so that everyone can easily use it - as a consumer and as a developer: no one wants to reinvent the wheel every time they implement certain features on a website. also no one wants another format war.... so microformats is a clever idea that makes a lot of sense: it's about setting the data free.

collective intelligence

once you combine the potential that true video tagging has with what microformats can do, then you can see little building blocks that anyone can take and play around with: the remix and mash-up concept comes to mind...

what we are seeing here is content of all sorts made ready for sharing and collaborating. (and of course licensing models like the cc concept are part of this trend.) in a way it feels like the net was made for sharing, that we needed to build it in order to overcome our old ideas and concepts. in the end this is about being part of a collective intelligence that is smarter than the sum of its parts. it's not about the real world vs. the online world, but about the combination of the two: e.g. there are people who make a living by playing online games and selling game items, or you see dramatic changes in the media landscape because of the net: within a couple of months digg has become a major news portal - maybe already more influential than some big american newspapers - and only because digg lets users decide and discuss what stories come on the front page...!

what will be very interesting to see: how those new concepts will influence our daily real world life. or even further: if sharing information becomes the standard, because everyone agrees that this is a good thing, than we also might see a paradigm shift in our real world(s): from a material and money driven society to one that exchanges things and services, builds upon each other's work: just because we've realised that this is so much smarter. of course ego and concepts like patriotism have to be overcome first, but there is some real potential that the online world, the collective intelligence we are building (and one could go as far as thinking of this as being part of the gaia hypothesis) will in fact have tremendous positive influences on our real life world: we will be able to (re)mix (our) lives/worlds - we will be smarter because we think together. it is as simple and powerful as that.


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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

this is apple killing windows

this is so true, as others have noted earlier:

maybe the coolest thing that apple did today when now letting people use windows via the new boot camp (what a name: boot camp for windows!) on an intel mac is to redesign the windows logo and make it look good! this is totally genius.

this qualifies for a first mash-up of the decade candidate!

apple redesigning windows. apple embracing it - with a kiss of death.

what this means: now windows officially is only a complicated, ugly and virus plagued platform you have to use if you want to play certain games or if you work in a windows environment. but for your digital lifestyle: enjoy your mac - and you're welcome to switch more and more to our superior os x...

it's not (only) (the now outdated) "intel inside", but "os x installed!" deal. ("no microsoft windows needed.")

this is apple killing windows. steve wins. bill looses. wow.


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Monday, April 03, 2006

copyright - system of fear

the little story of c and cc

once upon a time there were two friends, both artists: c and cc. c was always afraid that someone might still one of his brilliant ideas, while cc always talked about his projects and shared his ideas and thoughts.

one day c became so afraid that someone might steal his ideas that he decided that from now on no one should be allowed to mention his name without asking him first. at the time cc was so busy working on his latest project that he never found out about some other artists who had stolen a few of his ideas for their own little projects: cc never worried - he was busy creating.

a couple of years went by and there was a big exhibition with works from all important artists: everyone was there and cc was one of the stars - only one artist was missing: c. even though he had created some impressive art no one had invited him. and this was not because people did not like c's art, but because they did not even know about it! c had been forgotten over the years, forgotten because no one ever mentioned his name anymore - and this of course had happen because c once decided that no one should be allowed to mention his name without his permission.

c kept being afraid that others might steal his ideas, but for some strange reason - although c had some brilliant ideas - it just never happened...

copyright - system of fear

traditional copyright can be seen as a system of fear that the wealthy and powerful use in order to defend their positions or to justify immoral and often illegal business practices.

still: stealing someone else's creation is not the answer. but we have to define who the "pirates" are - who is stealing from whom. in this interview about his book "darknet - hollywood's war against the digital generation" jd lasica gives an interesting example: people always could quote from books (e.g.: when writing a letter, an article or giving a speech). but in times of drm, region codes and copyright paranoia we are told that we are not allowed to do this with audio-visual media, that this would not be "fair use".

so is not in fact the entertainment industry stealing, taking away rights from you and me...? aren't they the pirates...? organised pirates. maybe not quite as organised as this here suggests (note the date), still sometimes there seems to be some truth in this...

but there is a lot of good news, too. the creative commons concept introduced by lawrence lessig has established itself on the net as timely way of dealing with intellectual property. i highly recommend listening to this talk that lawrence lessig gave about the cc concept in 2002 (or listen/watch the "flash presentation"). there we learn that in 1929 walt disney "stole" (official wording from the walt disney corporation) buster keaton's "steamboat bill" character and created the-mouse-that-must-not-be-named (because they might sue me just for mentioning its name). what walt disney did was building upon someone else's work - a classic example of how creativity and innovation work! but today the m-mouse is still under copyright thanks to the "copyright term extension act" (also known as the "m**** mouse protection" act).

there is other good (or bad, depending from which side you look at this) news about our copyright (and of course patent laws) system: we are hurting ourselves with this really badly. innovation needs creativity. and fear is very bad for creativity. thus those who uphold the current copyright and patent laws system are belonging to a generation that is dying off because it means holding on to something that does not make sense any more (if it ever made any sense at all) in the digital/online world. letting go is often a good idea in life. and not only in a spiritual way, also in a material way:

just imagine what might happen if m$ was to open source window$ or if hollywood was to give away the right to remix new and old movies (for non-commercial purposes)...! an incredible wave of innovation would be the result: you'd see hundreds, if not thousands of mash-ups of hollywood movies online! new business ideas would be created out of this and innovation (including money and creative talent) would come back to hollywood: it would be such a smart business move, but it probably will not happen. and i'm sure that steve balmer of m$ would rather want to ridicule himself with throwing chairs at people all day long than seeing any good in open sourcing window$.

and while the american riaa files lawsuits against twelve year old girls and people who never even used a computer, others are busy innovating, building, creating the next big things...

but soon enough we will have immensely rich archives of audio, video, text and software created by artists, bloggers, podcasters, vloggers and communities of all sorts - licensed for sharing or even remixing. soon enough traditional media, music and video will become less and less interesting because it is not only so uninspired or manipulative, but because it is crippled with drm, region codes or sold with virus like rootkits - while people are threatened with ridiculous restrictions about the way they might be allowed to use what they paid for.

copyright is dead

"sCrAmBlEd?HaCkZ! is a Realtime-Mind-Music-Video-Re-De-Construction-Machine", says its creator on the official website. instead of explaining what this means i recommend watching the introduction video (via video bomb). sCrAmBlEd?HaCkZ! is truly revolutionary. it gives you an idea of the things to come: the future will be sampled, remixed and mashed-up - in real time!

traditional copyright is dead. and so will the m-mouse be if it is not set free to the public domain - where it belongs - at some point soon. and so will hollywood, m$ and the rest of them be if they don't make drastic changes to their business model. either way: something new is born: thunderbirds, firefoxes and penguins are rising from the aches of the old, common (creative) sense is powering the next generation of makers, entrepreneurs and idealists. the times they are a-changin'.


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Sunday, March 26, 2006

remixlinks @ ning

this here is a linklist - open for contribution - that tries to collect the most interesting remix and mash-up related links (no direct media links, sites featuring mash-ups are o.k.):


but there is more to this than it being another linklist: the site that hosts the linklist, ning.com, is a new web 2.0 company that lets you "clone" their apps and then build upon them, everything is licensed under a creative commons license.

also the way tags are used is very interesting: they work both inside an app and across all apps on ning.

very promising.


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Friday, March 24, 2006

trailer mash-up: e.t. vs t2

here is another remix trailer: a mash-up of the e.t. and the terminator 2 trailer.

E.T. vs T2 (Trailer Mash-Up)


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Monday, March 06, 2006

blokeback hollyhills

while not having seen either "crash" or "brokeback mountain" yet (but thinking very highly of ang lee), there seems to be at least some good in the decision of giving "crash" the oscar(tm) for best picture (not that anyone actually cares about the oscar(tm)):

the marlboro cowboy will still be able to have a good time in the suspiciously male dominated marlboro country without anyone ever asking himself what those cowboys do in their free time before they smoke a cigarette...


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Sunday, February 26, 2006

blogging without technorati...

this is to test if technorati is still not listing my newer blog entries.

after searching technorati i found a couple of other users who once had a similar problem. one user suggested to have a closer look at the css sheet. i checked my blog with the w3c validator and made some changes to the style sheet. while it still has one mistake (the validator does not like a "0" value that the firefox logo uses), all the other mistakes left seem to have to do with blogger. but since most sites i then checked with the validator have more mistakes than my blog, i don't think that this can be the problem. i also mailed technorati a couple of days ago, no answer yet.

i now had a look at some other blog search engines:

google blog search
: finds my blog entries, but lacks a lot of features that technorati has.

icerocket blog search: can be a bit slow and the way the results are listed is a bit confusing sometimes, but it also tells you who links to a blog. while i found one link to my old blog that technorati had not listed, i found most, but not all of the others links.

blogdigger: i'm not quite sure yet how to make the best use of it, it also does not list my blog at this moment, but it might be an interesting smaller search engine.

while i don't like the fact that my newer blog entries are not listed anymore at technorati, i think this is a good reminder of how important diversity is: if you only rely on one service/site/company you might have a problem one day. and if then there is no other search engine with all the features that technorati has, this could be a real problem. not just for me.


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Friday, February 24, 2006

who owns the content...?

now that the current web 2.0 wave seems to have peaked, a few more thoughts on the content created in the new web world - over the excitement about the read/write web a lot of users/creators don't seem to realise that some of their content might not be their content any more: in the web 2.0 world publishing often means to give away rights to a site that provides a particular service, and while you can always read the terms of service, a lot of people probably don't do that, and if they do they might not fully understand them. (and how should they: not everyone is a lawyer and a native english speaker at the same time.)

last december i stopped using a particular bookmarking service because it was sold to a big search engine. i did not want to become a little unpaid worker bee for a major web portal. i still think it was not o.k. to sell the service without telling the users in advance. but i learned the lesson: web 2.0 often means that a company sets up an often brilliant, community orientated platform, lets users create content and then, when it all works out, sells the platform to one of the major online players that a lot of people don't want to be with. so i started reading all those terms of service even more careful. i will not bore you with legal details, instead suggest that you have a look at the terms of service of your favourite web 2.0 site. and specifically try to answer the question "who owns the content?". you may be in for a surprise - that is, if you can understand what the terms of service actually mean...

so far (february '06) my conclusion is that i can only trust ourmedia.org/archive.org with the (free) hosting of audio/video. all other sites want certain rights, retain the right to change/alter work, will use it for advertising etc... all of them. seriously. or: prove me wrong.

i wonder how long it will take until people realise that a lot of their video work, some of their link collections or their pictures or texts can or will be used/altered for advertising, that certain rights were traded in for a bit of webspace and bandwidth/traffic. often it is just a very bad deal - good for the web 2.0 service, bad for the user/creator.


(a reminder for myself: have a look again at the blogger terms of service and ask: a) who owns the content? b) what can/can't they do with it? c) do i really understand the terms of service?)

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

cyber ethics

there is one aspect of the read/write web that is underdeveloped and not talked about much: while those technologies that empower people to publish anything that can be translated into 1s and 0s are booming, there are not many mechanisms for, is not much discussion about, and not much averseness of what is called cyber ethics.


the web brings some kind of anonymity - it's a virtual world consisting of megacities and towns, single houses and endless free space - moving around happens at the speed of your mouse click. in the old web world you just visited sites - now you build them. consumers turn into makers. it's the democratisation of the web, the media and much more: it is also changing the world we live in - real and virtual worlds are being connected more and more, changes in one world have consequences in another. just like in one of those classic science-fiction or fantasy stories.


as long as the web was just for consuming information, anonymity (let's just assume for now that it exists) was welcome by most people. now that users create their own content, help building whole websites, are interacting on all sorts of levels with one another, anonymity is not just an advantage: it can also be a problem.

technologies are being developed to solve some of the problems connected to anonymity - it's all still new and for the most part they seem to have one aim: to turn an anonymous user into a trusted customer - maybe even into a trusted user with certain privileges, but it's done in a businesslike way - this is good for online business, but it might not solve other problems that anonymity can bring.


the problem we are facing has to do do with the fact that we transcend to a new, virtual world that gives us incredible powers, and while we learn fast how to use those powers, we might not learn at all how we should use them. we are like a sorcerer's apprentice. we lack responsibility.


there are experiments that show that people are willing to punish, even kill other people, if there is a) an authority that tells them to do it b) if there is anonymity. off course this knowledge always existed: churches and armies always knew how to make people do what they wanted by providing a) the authority b) taking away individuality, creating the anonymous member, the good believer, the good soldier.

since religion and war have a long and sad tradition in human history, we seem to have a problem with individuality. we create heroes, villains, stars and kings so that we have at least an image of an individual that we would like to be. a lot of wishes and desires may remain unfulfilled and people tend to give up fighting for their dreams and become just another good member of whatever church or army or society.

this might look as "how it has to be when you grow older", something you "just have to accept", but then, time and again, almost anywhere in the word, we can see where this frustration, this unfulfillment leads to, we see it being used by those leaders of churches or armies or states: it always starts with books burning and ends with bombs falling - always for the right cause.

and this is only possible because individuality is being taken away from people. because people are not taught to think for themselves. and if there is no individuality, there is no individual responsibility. you are only an anonymous member of a church, an army, a state - or a user, surfing the web...

the new web

with our history of not caring too much for our individuality, we enter the web, first the old one, where we only consumed, and now the new one, web 2.0.

maybe we now have this incredible opportunity to really develop individuality, take responsibility and therefore overcome our sad history of wars of all sorts. but: the technologies themselves don't offer much help with it at this point. people try out stuff, create accounts and email addresses, look at different platforms and services... it's a bit like a game. and this is good for learning. the problems come in when the game is not funny any more for all people involved: then you have cyberbullys, anonymous users insulting each other or worse: a group of people putting down a single user, maybe putting pressure on an individual for whatever reason with whatever aim. and since people identify with their virtual personas, this can be a very frightening and maybe even harmful experience. again this is happening because people: a) tell each other what to do (instead of thinking for themselves) b) because they are anonymous.


the solution is not to get rid of anonymity. this would probably not only be impossible to do, it would also not be desirable: we don't want big brother watching every step of our lives. the solution will only partly be a technical one, we probably need some kind of social system, some kind of ethical codex, some kind of independent movement or group of people who just speak up when necessary. anyone can do that. it's just like when you sit in a bus and someone verbally or physically attacks another passenger: do you look away or do you help...? the problem we have online is that it is so much easier to look away because you don't have to look in anyone's eyes. still people can get hurt.

so if we develop individual online personas that take responsibility, than we can still have anonymity. but the technologies that empower us today don't teach us how to do that. and programmers are often not the most social human beings, they might not think of certain implications that a software has on a non-technical level.

cyber ethics is about respecting others just as we do in real life, but it might take more than another new technology to further develop this.

we are still humans when online: we still hurt or get hurt - it just happens quicker - and is much harder to see.


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Saturday, February 18, 2006

the digital revolution is real again

hello, world - again.

the r e a l digital revolution is back.

i guess this just had to be.

mythological storytelling teaches you that the hero has to die - so that he can come back, is reborn and the audience connects even more with him. and these storyelements are also true for real life events - they are just not that easy to see, since everyone is the main character of his own story.

so in a way this here is the backstory - a .pdf archive of the old blog that can be downloaded via ourmedia.

links in the sidebar still have to be updated/added (again), right now this is like moving back into a place where you once lived: not everything is working yet.

welcome back to a digital revolution that will try to be real - again.


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