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Configuring the Networked Self: Architecture and the Structural Conditions of Human Flourishing

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4 Responses

  1. A.J. Sutter says:

    Apropos of “Indeed”: I know that “play” is among the Nussbaum-Sen capabilities, but could you please explain its relevance to your examples? (BTW I still can’t figure out the grammar of “play of everyday practice that generates creative progress,” despite Julie’s valliant efforts at clarification…)

    Also, how do you propose to make the distinctions in your last paragraph? (Sentences 3 and 4.) And then how do you propose that judges and legislators get a handle on what impacts, say, “alternation of imaginative space” or “objectification” and what doesn’t?

  2. Hi, A.J. So the play that Julie tackles relates to self-development through human interaction and interaction with knowledge, which is not just intellectual and artistic, though it is, but can be frivolous too, and whether the network so permits or facilitates it. She’s thinking about how we create culture through interactions with people, text, artifacts, and with how serendipity plays a role. Peter and Olivia lose some of that serendipity when data mining networks design their experience–there is far less chance with unexpected texts when they see news tailored to them, for instance. Read the book–it is thought provoking.

  3. Frank says:

    AJ, one example is here:

    As Julie Cohen argues, “Within a given network of social and cultural relations, an important . . . determinant of creative ferment is the play, or freedom of movement, that the network affords.”

    I mention how “copyright trolls” may erode that kind of play in these examples:
    http://www.concurringopinions.com/archives/2006/11/sample_trolls_a.html
    http://www.concurringopinions.com/archives/2007/08/latitude_for_fa.html

    Of course, the answer may be to go in a Jaron Lanierian direction here and make micropayments and attribution much easier by keeping “one copy” (of the Terry Fisher route I mention in my Boston Review piece on SOPA). But that also raises some privacy concerns that Cohen addresses in her book.

  4. A.J. Sutter says:

    Thanks to you both for providing concrete examples. I downloaded the book on the first day of this forum, but as I’ve suggested in earlier comments, the terminology is a bit too viscous for me to swim in, unless perhaps if I were to make it my sole object of study for the next week or two, which unfortunately I cannot afford to do, and might not have the diligence to do in any event. Actually, Julie’s older (ca. 2007) formulation quoted by Frank @#3 and also in his “Sample trolls” piece is much easier to understand than any of the allusions to play in Chapter 1 of the finished book.

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