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12


Aesthetics of Programming. Interview with Mark Napier
by Andreas Brøgger

The symbolic structure of language allows us to navigate in a map of the world rather than the world itself. [...] Language is a very powerful tool that allows us to create a map of our physical experiences and then navigate in that map, and by so doing we can communicate complex experiences and actions to others, even long after we die, if we write them down. Most of the time we can't separate the map from reality. It *is* reality as far as we can tell. [...] Software is very similar to this. It also allows us to create symbolic structures that create an illusion of a 'reality', a constant, consistent environment in which we navigate. What's fun about it is that they're sort of mirror images of one another, reversed. In physical reality, language maps a territory. In the software "reality", code *creates* a territory. We make it up.


 

DOT Force e la lotta al divario digitale
di Francesco Cisternino

Solo pochi anni fa, nel pieno dell'entusiasmo per l'enorme sviluppo e diffusione delle reti informatiche, dagli Usa era giunto un monito importante: difficilmente, anche nella migliore tra le ipotesi, le reti sarebbero state utilizzate da una percentuale maggiore del 65 per cento della popolazione. [...] Questa disparità di accessi è andata via via trasformandosi in una realtà che oggi appare ancora più netta del previsto, allontanando gli auspici che guardavano alle reti come a un'opportunità per la riduzione della distanza fra paesi industrializzati e paesi del Terzo Mondo. Oggi le stime parlano di circa 400 milioni di host connessi, in continuo aumento ma concentrati in assoluta maggioranza fra Nord America, Europa Occidentale e Australia, con le restanti aree del pianeta ancora ferme ad un bassissimo tasso di penetrazione.


 

Harvesting the Net: Memory Flesh. Interview with Diane Ludin
by Rachel Greene

About three years ago I started investigating what the human genome was attempting to make. I found it almost impossible to sift through the emerging public discussion around it; it was and still continues to be a subject that stages a certain type of information warfare. But it kept making the papers and getting a lot of media attention with inflated projections of its potential. [...] Harvesting the Net: Memory Flesh [...] contains the original source material discovered through my time-based searches online. [...] Part of what I accomplished with this project, which I was unable to reach with the others, was to capture what the laboratories that make the human genome look like. What are the tools of the scientists who are making history? What do the laboratory workers look like, and what is the type of imagery these new factories are manufacturing to tell their stories?


 

Live ASCII Streaming of Video
by Drazen Pantic

One of the experiments in using Internet technology in representing video material is ASCII streaming, in which illusion of the motion is brought to experience by moving ASCII text based images, within the fixed raster matrix on the screen. ASCII streaming does not try to bring Internet multimedia streaming close to "broadcast quality", but goes into totally different direction: representing video as the sequence of moving images composed of ASCII letters.


 

A Politics of Intellectual Property: Environmentalism For the Net?
by James Boyle

With a few exceptions, lawyers have assumed that intellectual property was an esoteric and arcane field, something that was only interesting (and comprehensible) to practitioners in the field. There is some question whether this attitude was ever defensible; it certainly is not now. In terms of ideology and rhetorical structure, no less than practical economic effect, intellectual property is the legal form of the information age. It is the locus of the most important decisions in information policy. It profoundly affects the distribution of political and economic power in the digital environment. It has impacts on issues ranging from education to free speech. The "value" protected by intellectual property in the world economy is in the hundreds of billions of dollars and growing all the time.



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