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MIT5 Media in Transition conference podcasts

May 6, 2007

Podcasts of the plenary sessions at the MIT5 the fifth Media in Transition conference are now available as well as abstracts and papers.

This conference was simulcast in, Second Life. Although there were apparently technical issues that caused some problems when I read about this event in Second Life, it made me sit up and take notice. Up until a few evenings ago I had not really paid much attention to this ‘world’ but it is an interesting place. Unfortunately I missed the conference in Second Life but I am certainly going to keep an eye on what is happening there.

I was particularly interested in the first session of the conference Folk Cultures and Digital Cultures

Digital visionaries such as Yochai Benkler have described the emergence of a new networked culture in which participants with differing intentions and professional credentials co-exist and cooperate in a complex media ecology. Are we witnessing the appearance of a new or revitalized folk culture? Are there older traditions and practices from print culture or oral societies that resemble these emerging digital practices? What sort of amateur or grassroots creativity have been studied or documented by literary scholars, anthropologists, and students of folklore? How were creativity and collaboration understood in earlier cultures? Are there lessons or cautions for digital culture in the near or distant past?

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