Saturday, 31 October 2009

Information and the Organism: (Cybernetics, Cyborgs, Alife , AI)

Interaction between Human and Machines.

Today the trend has been changed; we the human are signified particularly not only by the systems of our body parts but by different means and the sense of thinking. Now, human becomes human because of his/her ability and the consciousness. Body parts doesn’t makes us human anymore nowadays because we have been interrelated with different phenomena (machines) and has created a cordial relationship between each others.

The feeling of being only ‘ME’ is senseless today because there is only ‘US’ that exists in our surroundings. We are so inter- related with each other these days that the metaphysical and physical attachments have made us the replication of Cyborgs. The innovative creation in science and technology has changed the perception to define the belief of our life.

The successful medical transplantation such as of heart, lungs kidney etc. , the patient of diabetes given the insulin pump or the human fitted with heart pacemaker are considered as the cyborg because of the interaction between human and machines. The concept of artificial life has been stated due to the evolution through the simulations using robots, computer networks, computer models and biochemistry. And the idea of who controls the body or the human system arises periodically at the moment.

Generally, ‘cybernetic organism’ is here used largely by the influence of artificial intelligence. It is more related to the control theory and the system that perceives its environment and takes actions which maximize its chance of success. The philosophical issues of the state of mind and its control mechanism have taken a core status in the development of mankind. The way of survival and the relation between blood and the machine has been taken a serious granted because of the question mark in the existence of human relationship.


Saturday, 24 October 2009

Beyond New: Thinking about Media Change.

Beyond New: Thinking about Media Change.

Media has been one of the most integral part since the evolution of human civilization. Media as the medium to communicate the information and message from one to another has always been a primary force in the process of socialization of the human era. The role of Media in every social, political and economical aspect has undermined a huge influence and had accredited a super power in the development of mankind. Media always has been credited to be the ‘Master’ that controls our systems whatever it can be. As being the ‘Voice of Voiceless’ Media has been one of the most powerful tool since and is till today everywhere omnipresent.

Media has seen a drastic development during its formation from the beginning of cave paintings, drawn maps, stone scripting, ancient writings to the digitized computer technology of 21st century where the concept of ‘ Global Village’ is already scripted. Due to this rapid development in the form of Media, the two words ‘New Media’ and ‘Old Media’ has been created for its broad understanding. It has been hard for the scholars to determine the characteristics and place the different forms of Media within it.

 Newspapers, Television, Telephone, Radio etc that has been surviving since its invention and are even becoming stronger day to day, so are they really the old media?


 Computer, Mobile Phones, Internet, Web 2.0 etc those created later, do they really mean the new media?

These questions always strike the mind of everyone because it’s tough to answer it with in a period of time. Regarding the concept of New Media it has been said that the latest developments in media technologies are termed as the ‘New Media’ but it is not always ideal to say because due to the rapid development in digital technology, the media that we used to say ‘New’ will be outdated and turns to ‘Old’ within no time. The growth in digital technology has been so fast and furious and will be more in upcoming days so I feel the ‘ New Media’ never exists permanently and we can define the Old Media in terms of its period of invention but not by its features. It is because Books has been one of the oldest form of Media but till today the power and strength of Books has never been decreased instead it’s production is in high. So, it is here to understand the sense and the way of evaluating the Media in terms of Old and New.

The concept and notion of New Media is totally bound up with the outcome of Internet and the World Wide Web. After the introduction of internet, there has certainly been a profound change in the Media formation and its processes. The ‘Newness’ given by the internet has been a matter of attraction and interest in the human civilization too which causes the formation of the term New Media. Perhaps there can only be a term to distinguish the old and new form of media i.e. the “interactive media”. It refers to the active participation of the user in it. Every New Media is controlled by the user. This distinguishes that in the new media such as mobile phones and computers the user can control its application and use it by their own understandings whereas in the old media like radio and TV, user cannot change its contents as it is already scripted in it.

Within this development of Media in our surroundings we have seen many changes around. The digitization has been as effective in its process as the concept of New Media has come out through it. The another Convergence has been a major changes in the Media industry which have been a topic to be discussed in the recent years. It is because the convergence leads to the extinction of other forms of Media that may results later the imbalance and a one to one monopoly of a particular media. The remediation strategies (Immediacy and Hypermediacy) have also been the major tools in the process of media changes and the establishment of New Media. Its application and its presentation have always make viewer and audience feel the great deal of understanding and has able to claim the attention as pure experience.

Hasan, Robert and Thomas, Julian. 2006. The New Media Theory Reader, Open University Press:Maidenhead.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

The Birth (and death) of Cyberspace.

The Birth (and death) of Cyberspace.

             There is a space above and within everything everywhere. As the uses of computer technology and its systems have been a crucial part of our daily life, there is a myth and a belief that there is certainly a space or a different community when using computers to communicate. It can be said that ‘cyberspace’ is a virtual digitized space created by the advanced information technology during the time of using computer networks that we enter into a different arena with the artifacts, practices and relationships revolving around the computing. It is a non physical terrain created by the application of computer networks where we tend to fall and create a ‘second world’ with familiar spatial images and encourages the sense of identification and symmetry among individuals.

             The term ‘cyberspace’ was created by the acclaimed cyberpunk science fiction author and novelist William Gibson. Cyberspace according to him, is a ‘consensual hallucination’. It gives a sense that a numbers of computer operators operates through the way in which the data from the computers is abstracted into their human system that creates a different world an illusion in the form of matrix with the bodiless consciousness living in it. The feeling and application of mind is more viable in the cyberspace than the presence of body. Nicole Stenger (1991:53, 58) tells us that ‘cyberspace is like Oz- it is, we get there, but it has no location’; it ‘opens up a space for collective restoration and for peace....our future can only take on a luminous dimension!’.

              Internet system, for instance is one of the most prolific term to describe the existence of cyberspace. Online networks in the internet form a cyberspace where operators can operate and communicate with one another (via email, texts, networking channels and sites) with the presence of imagination, emotions, feelings, mind and a cultural approach created in that community.

            Like physical space, the cyberspace do have objects like files, mail, messages, graphics, images, videos etc with various modes of inward and outward that plays a vital role to form a ‘consensual hallucination’. Barrie Sherman and Phil Judkins (1992:126-7) illustrate cyberspace as ‘truly the technology of miracles and dreams’.

            We can change water into solid, solids to fluid and can create inanimate objects with an own existence of their own. In reality, in the cyberspace we people move in another world where we can invent anything through the significance of our mind. But still it is tough to react on some questions that, does cyberspace exist? If it exists then when and where do we go there? What is our identity in that community and who is the master of it? I feel cyberspace do exist around us where we move in it during the use of computers (for e.g. when we play a video game in a computer, without the notion of cyberspace no one can go through it.

There should be a virtual community alive to go through the process of playing so, that a player can feel the real appearance of a world that mesmerizes him/her. As internet being one of the basic tools it is hard to acknowledge who governs and has the power to control it because the application of internet is so broad and free that may result later the ‘ de-massification’ of the other media.

With its technology, we are now more socially and culturally bounded together initiating to foster a new kind of community with the direction paving towards a new political era of computer-controlled democracy.
As we knew about the ideal presence of cyberspace around us, it is also required to understand the end and its death.

 The spaces there created are in the forms of software as its furniture, the graphic and visual presentation, the net, the system control networks and embedded processors that helps to create a social experience, interaction between one another, social support, run business, play games, disseminate information, social learning, participating in discussions and so on. During these days, the significance of reality have been more influenced in the cyberspace as there have been more chambers of its application in the cyberspace. The space created is being folded by another one transparently which results its end. The new technological innovation by the mankind is also one of the reason behind it. With the emergence of real world in the virtual mechanism of cyberspace, there has been more and more existence in it.

Hakken, David. 1999. Cyborgs @ Cyberspace. An Ethnographer Looks to the Future. New York: Routledge.
Smith, Marc A and Kollock, Peter. 2001. Communities in Cyberspace. London: Routledge
Featherstone, Mike and Burrows, Roger.1996. Cyberspace, Cyberbodies, Cyberpunk. London: Sage.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

What is Cyberculture?

Cyberculture The word cyberculture comprises of two different words, ‘cyber’ and ‘culture’ which both have different connotation. Cyber is a word that is totally connected with the information technology, electronic communication or says the word i.e. the synonym to computing. It is a word that deals with the computers and is co- related to the term internet. The word cyber was derived from the Greek word kubernetes meaning steersman which is used nowadays everywhere in the terms like cyberculture, cyberspace, cyberpunk etc.
Whereas the word Culture refers to the way of living anywhere you are. It is the art of characterizing the person’s nature, beliefs, values, norms, behaviour and habit whatever he/she does in a society. It is the pattern, trait and products regarded as the expression of a particular class or community may be as a whole. The word culture was derived from the Latin word cultura which means to cultivate. According to Wikipedia, ‘Culture is an integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief and behaviour that depends upon the capacity for symbolic thought and learning’. Oxford dictionary defines culture as, ‘The set of shared attitudes, values, goals and practices that characterizes an institution, organization or group’. 

With these various illustrations of cyber and culture, now everybody can determine what a Cyberculture really is? Simply in a sense, it is a culture related or determined by the term cyber. The mode of living and the characterization of an individual are fully influenced by the computer and its allies. Basically the internet, computer networks, multimedia and IT are the major sources to cultivate the nature of a culture which we consider it later as a cyberculture. In this culture, humans are more technically bound that affects directly or indirectly in the process of living. It does not have customs, arts, tradition or language as other culture do, but has the significant amount of attitudes and behaviour connected to cyber and multimedia which really affects the phenomena of our daily life.
Cyberculture is a cultural phenomenon usually being experienced and imagined around us. The World Wide Web, internet, email, bulletin boards or BBS, chat rooms, multi-user domains alongside a pool of related technological systems, including virtual reality, digital imaging systems, new biomedical technologies, artificial life and interactive digital entertainment systems are the basic features of cyberculture. It all has the imagination and representation of cultural uses and value to focus our attention most importantly on human interactions between one another. It can be said that the culture evolved from the use of computer networks for different purpose of communication is purely linked with cyberculture. The term cyberspace, cyborg, online communities, online multiplayer gaming, email usage etc are the derived terms of cyberculture.

Some definition on cyberculture are:
Oxford dictionary defines cyberculture as, “the social conditions brought about by automation and computerization.”
The American heritage dictionary defines it as, “the culture arising from the use of computer networks, as for communication, entertainment, work and business.”
So, it clearly means that cyberculture is a pure culture motivated and mediated by the use of computer networks. The year of 1960-1990 is totally devoted to the emergence and establishment of the culture in our society. And the 90’s decade have been the limelight for the cyberculture. 

Bell, David. 2004. Cyberculture, The key concepts. Routledge: London.*iwMUrSw-7bTeyx7I8W5C0daPRsMqfe7eaKL*XNldx-BqoNMN248ByyVoVrGtZnZYjYJ324T/RickLanger_HighTechChild_Madison_Wisconsin_USA_14032005_001.jpg


Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Media and Cyberculture.

What is Media and Cyberculture?
Media  -    Media as a whole is a plural form of ‘Medium’. Medium is a way or means of transferring information, data, knowledge and ideas in the form of communication. Medium in a sense is a bridge between sources through which they can communicate to be informed for any purpose. It is often consider as the storage and transmission channels or tools used to store and deliver information between one another.
As the Media is term as plural form of Medium, it does have significant meaning related to different forms of medium. It comprises different form such as electronic, print, film, art and internet which are now considered as the lifeline of our society. Media is now an integral part of our life with which we cannot continue the process of socializing. The credit somehow being human as one of the most civilized animal in the 21st century goes to the Media which always plays a crucial role to lead the process of living smoothly. Media is the mirror of an individual, his/her family, society, community, country and the whole world where he/she exists. 

Media are the technological way that eases communication between the sender of a message and the receiver of that message. It communicates information to an individual, small group, large audiences, huge masses and globally throughout the world. Exposure to media by every person is a right and a fundamental part of contemporary life. It is regarded as the socializing agent of modern society and can generate popular interest and debate about any social issues that consists around us.
From different perspectives, the role of media from the micro level of our daily lives to the macro level of economy, politics, religion and technological development is always unimaginable. I do consider media as the ‘NEXT GOD’ that supposedly has the possibility to control the sense from an individual to the state. It has the authority to handle the major issues happening around us. Often many scholars consider media has the power to control the government. They agree that media is getting stronger and politician depends upon the media in order to cherish their public relations to establish their presence in the people’s mind. 

Media leads the process of developing a sense of self connected to a larger social world through learning and internalizing the values, beliefs, norms and culture of one to another. The impact of media is not only limited to the content of media messages but also teaches to learn about the world and interact within various methods. Literally, it mediates our relationship with social institutions and is part our routine relations with family and friends. It defines our interaction with other people on a daily basis as a diversion, sources of conflict or a unifying force. We understand and are motivated through different debates followed by instant analysis and commentary by ‘EXPERTS’. These dynamics are seen in various events such as televised sports, live programmes and reality shows which influences us in a certain level of expectations. 

Curran, James and Michael Gurevitch. 2005. Mass Media and Society. Hodder Arnold: London.