The debate around the e-book became of the public domain, much like how Facebook became a matter of business with it's newly publicly tradable stock, relatively recently. Do you see this TV, here? Remember how social change was structured in relation to this invention last generation? This essay posits that the computer is locus of a more interconnected debate among conflicted academic disciplines and industry giants. I refer this as a debate in reference to Number 13 of N+1, which provided a bisection of the sides of this debate within the humanities themselves within their "Machine Politics" issue. Historically, much of this discussion is spearheaded by the academy, Amazon, and Apple. E-books were traditionally created by the academies, notably researchers at Brown and Stanford.
This self-published essay will reference them as e-books in tandem with this definition. This definition is cross-referenced in The Oxford Companion to the Book and on the PCMagazine site. The purpose of this definition is that it is quoted and used as such within this essay for neither academic nor proprietary gain given currently nonexistent ad revenue. But, as you will see, there is a reason this television has been thrown on the sidewalk.
Ask a cross-section of the population, what is an e-book and you will get replies from teachers, readers, and owners of technology. Each have their own vetted absorption in the outcome of these objects. Information politics is, after all, a living debate about objects and their interpretation within society. I noted, lastly, the owners of technology who purvey these texts because as with all technological developments, issues of the digital divide should be assumed, not all the population in each production cycle affords the cost of the merchandise. This is a given as demonstrated in any of the work of the late Robert Frost III. Furthermore, it is an astute example of a key bias in the understanding of Wikipedia. Yes, Wikipedia is peer-reviewed entity, but you have to consider who the peers are in respect to the creation of any document. This is a resource created by the computer literate and monitored by the ultra-elite users within the community, notably, all individuals who have access or ownership of the technology they define within the scope of entries in the site.
The definition of an e-book, ebook, NOOK, what have you, is contingent within this frame of vocabulary. The names reflect the purposes for which the objects were created. For the sake of simplicity, the name e-book has been chosen to refer to electronic books. Electronic books are either existing print books that have been reformatted into digital outputs or books created electronically from their inception. I have now isolated this definition within the context of critical theory as well as the materialist underpinnings of the politics of literature. I am presently going to depart from that historical centering to demonstrate that using the politics of literature as a mere starting and ending point for a debate is not enough. When this happens, the entire field of literary critique loses its momentum. Moreover, the politics of publication is an excuse to let the skills of the newly annexed section of the field (and the direction of the future innovations of product development) go unnoticed by those in the academy who have not yet demonstrated familiarity in that technical specialization. This essay will shortly outline the iBook's Author, which is Apple's publishing application for e-book designed to encompass the publication venue of its iPad.
Not too far away on the internet from the developing pods of Apple and Google are the changes in social media that showed up as a ripple in 2011. Last week, the paper publication, The Voice, dedicated a significant portion of its text to social media. I say paper publication, but you must also and perhaps obviously understand that this publisher also has a website. The articles ranged from Michael Musto article "Facebook Is for Dummos. LOL. And I don't mind as long as you click on my link, genius" to its feature article about Zuckerberg's new nemesis on the user experience and design front. The feature article was called "The Facebook-Killers" and made one interesting point; not only is there not a portion of society dedicated to the critique of the social media industry as more than a generational trend, but the competition within said industries is the subject of descant.
Writer Nick Pinto defined Facebook in the more open terms that characterize the discussion of social media within this decade. The landscape of social media is depicted as fluid and you can thank this blog for that. Making the argument that media should remain open, within the jurisdiction of private and public Universities as well as community colleges has not been easy. The argument has to be made on behalf of keeping these structures open within the terminology of literary theory at a time when these industries threaten the tradition topology of these fields. But, if you follow Pinto's argument and by extension mine, this is something that continues in the face of public turmoil over the question of the intellectual in an environment hostile not only to the individual intellectual but the educational system as an entire entity. Is anyone surprised that members of a vague social contract face a unique juncture of identity politics and seek a social space to articulate this concern?
On a side note, when a Facebook staff member recently attended a design jam at the University of Michigan School of Information, they presented some development ideas behind the most recent iteration and update of Facebook. The guest speaker articulated that the addition of timeline to your interface was brainstormed to convey that Facebook was the medium in which you could narrative or convey a story. While artists might want to research the end-user particulates of that agreement, this staffer suggested that there was indeed a connection between how one cultivates a social identity and the linear projection of this identity through digital space. For those not familiar with this update, the transition resulted in the site being redesigned internally to showcase the individual's profile in respect to numerical dates and features. On the right-hand side the most obvious indicator of time is the appearance of the timeline. The user then has the option to use Facebook as a present-oriented activity or to go back further and define aspects about their past in strict relation to sequenced events in time.
The other element that one might need to consider about Facebook, which in this essay is being cited as but one example of social media in an isolated occurrence, the writing of Nick Pinto is again helpful. Nick Pinto wrote, "Facebook offers us a space in which to talk, connect, and share music, pictures, and the stories of our lives, a space to express who were are and learn about one another and our world." I take this to mean that there is something about this space that also fosters as a digital meeting place where information is exchanged. The exchange of information in a public space is not unlike the public squares of old. In tandem to a time of social furor in relation to insecurities (on all sides) pertaining to monetary contracts and job opportunities, this is of the utmost importance. People are, and always will be, social creatures. The purpose of social protest is to improve the conditions of a society.
The Occupy Movements (OWS et al) proved, on a dismal level, that there is no such thing as the freedom to assemble peacefully in public space indefinitely when you are irritating the oligarchy. When you are irritating the ruling class by pointing out a ruling class, you will likely be banished from a public space. When you are demonstrating your affinity to the police officers and other onsite workers, you will likely be banished from a public space. You will see an surge in the quantity of the arts that are created in a time when the ability to articulate one's existence becomes colluded by turmoil or transition. Of course, Facebook and other social media outlets surge in popularity whenever individuals feel the demand to satiate their own social needs (the social needs of the individual within a collective) in a time when it is not summarily possible to achieve this in real life or physical space. The platform, therefore, becomes one of international continuity to the truly open-minded artisans, entrepreneurs, traders and travelers.
When websites meet such a vast social demand, it's not surprising that their creators start to take on the aspects of folklore. Zuckerberg is situated as a hero of folklore. This individual is cast much like a prophet within the writing of Pinto.
Pinto suggested that
the story of the beginnings of Facebook has been retold so many times that it has taken on the patina of myth. A lonely nerd who go not respect at school... found a golden ticket, a dream of an interconnected world.
Zuckerberg's story, one of social isolation incidentally leading to the groundwork behind which millions of users interact online, is engrossing and certainly paradoxical. Could it be that one of the figureheads for the epitome of the lonely schoolboy is actually insanely social in a kind of meticulously categorizing way? Likely. Mainstream media: do you understand that, now? Can we now briefly address, within two paragraphs what the next two months of news about this organization will generate in the minds of those who have just reached Point A?
Interestingly enough, creating a viable social network unleashes a certain amount of ambiguity both in cultural theory and law. The true responsibility for the interactions on Facebook remains, as always, with the individuals. The fostering of data in legal concerns, proprietary measures and government inquires is debatable. But, for the sake of simplicity, any treatment of Facebook has to move beyond the biographical narrative of Mark Zuckerberg once the story has passed its initial introduction to the masses of society who happen to use that service. Imagine what would happen to the biopic/ biographical genre if every company's CEOs and CFOs were depicted, humanized, and made responsible for the mass action within the arena of their organizations. This would change the way we, in the 21st Century, conceptualize companies and associate them with human characteristics.
That concern would be more akin to the interests of activist-programmers of the Federated General Assembly and other organizations, the developers at Diaspora*, the corporate and social architects, the shareholders, and the other social bodies that demonstrate their interest in this debate through either currency, social justice commitments or other vested contracts. For the purpose of this neutral inquiry, Facebook and others like it, are relevant to the methodological approach to assessing the conditions in which the modern e-book has arisen. Here are your social conditions for the flickering of printing innovation.