Leftovers From Yesterday, Hackershit, and HAR HAR COLD MEDICINE = LOOPIDOO

October 15, 2011 § Leave a comment

Philip Kavita, “What is a Technological Author? The Pirate Function and Intellectual Property” (2005)

Pirates (used generally, as a catch-all figure of cultural antiheroism) threaten the dominant order! Because they do & take what they want, whether it be ships or women-folk or gold doubloons! Or more currently, “intellectual property.” There’s a whole history there! Adrian Johns (i.e. guy from yesterday, lol @ exam gods) has written all about this! This project focuses on the ways in which “global networks of trade and legality” articulate the image of the modern pirate (/”technological author”) –an image that often depends on what side of the world you call home– and the ways in which this pirate/technological author (loosely, and highly problematically: a stealer of things vs. a creator of things) helps rearticulate notions of authorship a la Foucault & via rip/mix/burn imperative. At least I think so because of COFF MEDICINE???

Gabriella Coleman, “Code is Speech: Legal Tinkering, Expertise, and Protest among Free and Open Source Software Developers” (2009)

This is the true story…of hundreds of software developers…compelled to fight for their rights…who don’t afraid of any code…to find out what happens…when people stop being proprietary…and embrace open source. THE REAL WORLD: DEBIAN.

Gabriella Coleman, “Hacking In-Person: The Ritual Character of Conferences and the Distillation of a Lifeworld” (2010)

Despite the assumption that everything they say and do is filtered through a computer screen, F/OSS people and other hacker types don’t just hang out online! Increasingly, ftf relationships develop either alongside or as a result of online interactions, creating a mutually-reinforcing social space. The con plays a special role in this resulting lifeworld, which combines elements of online and offline behavior. Festive interactivity! Ritual encasement and condensation and re-enchantment! Semiotic play of sameness and difference! The confluence of bytes and bones! Oh and lots of alcohol.

I don’t know if it’s all the medicine I’ve eaten today but as I read Biella’s last selection, I found myself waxing nostalgic for ROFLshit. Like……..aw, I would like to go back to there. Because it’s true, something special happens when you’re in a room full of your people, something I first experienced (though on a much smaller scale due to social phobia) at ROFLcon II and again at the DML conference in San Diego and most recently & conspicuously at the ROFLsummit in Portland. Obviously it’s exciting to be surrounded by people who are just as invested in this thing called internet culture. And obviously it’s inspiring to interact with researchers who do and know so much cool shit — the collective intelligence of that group made me want to do more, write better, be smarter. And obviously it’s fun and sometimes surreal to meet the people behind the names (and memes). But for me, the most interesting thing about conshit is how quickly friendships develop. We all have lots in common, that helps. But more importantly, everyone speaks the same language. Meaning you’re able to skip the formality and political feeling out –characteristic of so many awkward rl introductions– and immediately begin talking in shorthand, the way you would with an old friend. This isn’t false intimacy, but it is FAST intimacy, and makes it feel like you’ve known everyone forever. Because you sort of have, at least by cultural proxy.

I’d write more here, but you know. Fever. I think I may need MOAR GOOFBALLS.


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