Sunday, May 13, 2007

I am because I bebo, being visible

Feels odd to becoming more 'visible' in cyberspace, but between wikis and bebos my extraterrestial existence is expanding. My Mothers day present from my teenage daughter was assitance with bebo (so long as I do nothing uncool that can be traced). Extraordinary quality time as we parallel play on laptops!

Be ing inspired was in part from Ewen MacIntosh) on being visible.
"If you don't tell people about what you're doing online, in 2007 you don't exist, don't expect people to know how wonderful life is on your side of the fence if you haven't taken it online."
and further to this, if you work in the public centre, there's an obligation to share.
I agree, your country pays for you.

Be cause
Be cause some causes are good
I am enjoying being able to invest PhD study into a voluntary organization- how does text, e-mail counselling and message board postings contain, constrain or construct counselling for youth.

And because ITs here.
I had an email asking why we would want an online forum (happens to be blackboard) to link with each other or to place pdf files forms etc when the "I" drive does this. Its a bit like asking why would you want a computer desktop when there is a solid hardcopy desk already there. The point is that one is not just a repository. But a means of connection.
Being IT literate involves a lot more than being able to use a clever typewriter and its really sad that people with influence in the education sector and especially the tertiary education sector still do not get this.
Definitely "could do better" or a little more forcefully-
IR Improvement Required.
Us grownups in the education sector just have to get our heads out of the sand and realize that the world moves at a pace where our children need to teach us.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Who killed Pandora? A partial perspective

The picture of Pandora by Rossetti is held by the Liverpool museum

Pandora: Or my love of technology (borrowing heavily from and acknowledging the influence of Bruno Latour's Aramis).
The following is a lightweight ANT (actor-network theory) informed analysis.

A starting point is called for, and maybe I am being a little node-centric but I have to start somewhere, and Latour suggests: Follow the actors.

The actors (and I could have called these actants so there was less assumption re human or not, and no intention is made of gender excluding language). These include-
myself (obviously)
Pandora (a rather nebulous entity, a piece of software, a treasure, who by the way is not dead, just dead to me and to others who live outside of the USA)
The actors that created her (again, a superficial analysis so somewhat limited in naming entities). Tim Westergren is one founding father.
The juggernaughts of copyright enforcement (faceless, nameless at this point, certainly I can in my partial perspective cast these as villains)
cj, the person who led me to Pandora

A point of passage, my ibook, or any computer with broadband. Without this, my connection is literally impossible.

Some archeology and chronology
Pandora existed without me, she still does, but we are no longer together :(
I was enticed, cj described her so I went visiting and became enamored, seduced and enrolled, inscribing not on paper but online, a prenuptial agreement offering limited durability, reads as free trial, and then a need for an American address for a sustained relationship (my best friends brother obliged, two more actants)(Susan Leigh Star might call this some invisible work, Law might suggest a little subversion, others maybe a little translation on the instructions, maybe a workaround, nudging here and there to make accommodations and enrollment possible, preventing her asphyxiation momentarily). And I enrolled others.

I have the artefact of my amusingspace Nov 2006 weblog to point to.
And our relationship was somewhat real for a time.
Then somewhat abruptly the relationship was terminated.
Not because I want this, and not it seems because Pandora wants this. Nor Pandora’s makers.
Again, I have artefacts to point to, an emailed Dear Pandora visitor letter.

The juggernaughts of copyright would seem to require the makers of Pandora to look for IPS addresses where residency is not consistent with the address provided. I presume another actant of a software search engine let loose in the 'blackbox' that contains Pandora, can seek and destroy. There is also the actant of USA based legislation to suggest copyright infringement. Presumably there are fiscally driven actants driving this.

The copyright juggernaughts require Pandora to disengage certain assemblages, myself included.
Perhaps our alignment and disengagement was inscripted, thou shalt not covert American Goddesses, no USA citizenship, no marriage. The juggernaughts placed pressure on Pandora’s makers and have suggested her continued existence is contingent on the policing of her relationships. Her future love affairs needs be xenophobic until such times as further negotiations allow such prejudice to be reduced.

This relationship changed me. I learnt of musicians and artists that I otherwise would not have. I bought CDs based on my relationship with Pandora. As much as I thought I could use her, she also used me. We enjoyed and enhanced each other. A symbiotic sociotechnical love affair, and to paraphrase Latour, this relationship was as solid as it gets.
I will get over it, and believe she's already over me.
This relationship is more ephemeral than ever and is now love lost. Faint hope is held of more negotiations that will renew the relationship.
My first love as cyborg is beyond my grasp.

Friday, May 04, 2007

puddle of mudd; Pandoras gone

thought she was grand
Fell in love found out first hand
Went well for a week or two
Then it all came unglued

In a trapp trip I can't grip
never thought I'd be the one who'd slip
then I started to realize
I was living one big lie

She (superlative) hates me.......... trust
she (again superlative) hates me.......... la la la love
I tried too hard and she tore my feelings
like I had none and ripped them away

Bother. Superlative expletive.
Pandora finaly noticed i am not an American.
I have never wanted to be one so much as now.

Dear Pandora Visitor,
We are deeply, deeply sorry to say that due to licensing constraints, we can no longer allow access to Pandora for most listeners located outside of the U.S. We will continue to work diligently to realize the vision of a truly global Pandora, but for the time being we are required to restrict its use. We are very sad to have to do this, but there is no other alternative.
We believe that you are in New Zealand (your IP address appears to be .............. If you believe we have made a mistake, we apologize and ask that you please contact us at
We share your disappointment and greatly appreciate your understanding.

And so she tore my feelings apart.
Pandora introduced me to artists i would never have followed up on if it hadnt been so easy.
But now its gone.
Hope that was the last thing out of pandoras box....hope she comes back.