September 9, 2012 § 2 Comments
The other day my partner Chris Menning argued that search interest in the term “meme” had plateaued, and speculated that this had something to do with lulz Anonymous’s post-OWS inactivity, or maybe not inactivity but lack of media attention (which essentially amounts to the same thing). The idea being that Anonymous–and by “Anonymous” he meant little-a, i.e. the anon most closely associated with 4chan’s /b/-board–was no longer generating new memetic content, and therefore no longer fueling the once ubiquitous meme-train (and subsequently, Google search interest in similar).
Today Chris clarified his position, specifically by defining his terms a bit more carefully and also by positioning his argument in relation to existing arguments, including one of my own blog posts wherein I wring my hands over ad-hoc methodological reframings. And wring my hands I did, oh boy. Because these aren’t easy conversations to have, in fact can be the source of great existential turmoil. But they are important conversations to have, and not just important but inevitable. Things change, especially when underground content or behavior begins to go mainstream, and particularly when said mainstreaming begins making certain people money (see above). I devote the last two chapters of my dissertation to precisely these issues, and precisely these shifts, and postulate a number of interconnected reasons explaining not just the how but also the why.
The fact is, though, this dust is still settling. We don’t know how or when the story will end, or if it even makes sense to use that sort of framing. We’re certainly in a period of transition, and it certainly is the case that the meme/troll space of 2012 is very different from the meme/troll space of 2008. The question of whether or not that’s a good thing is irrelevant — we are where we are, deal with it. I’ll keep wringing my hands, and the world will keep turning, and otherwise who knows.
June 1, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Quick theory: perhaps 4chan keeping much more extensive records of who does what than anyone knows (common knowledge that they already flag and hand over info to Feds when pressed; this data has to go somewhere, even if front-end is regularly flushed). Perhaps deeper cookie/indexing log/data something, hence compromise of servers major deal for users, hence 4chan’s stern warning for users to flush personal DNS cache? Whatever it is, something in the water doesn’t taste quite right. (implications: could potentially build up criminal folder on anons accessing illegal/potentially illegal or otherwise embarrassing content, anything from torrents to kiddie porn? ALL IS FULL OF UNCLEAR)
Update: this is probably wrong. More likely that hackers unlocked access logs, which could be stitched together with other data, much more compromising data, which could potentially unmask browsing history and potentially actual rl identity of who knows how many anons.
More as the story develops.
July 5, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Whatever, it’s always the 4th of July in my heart.
Hey speaking of the 4th of July, looks like the crazy kids at antisec have some splaining to do! More here on possible A/anonymous connection…
Posted with the heading “how I feel about Google+”…I lol’d, because yup.