techculture & cyberculture

Techculture & Cyberculture

Weblogs, Comments, and Law

While a newspaper has a responsibility to check the accuracy of letters to the editor, if person A were to start a cafe, and person B walked into the cafe and made statements that the court deemed libelous, it doesn't seem likely that person A should be held responsible.

If Person A rents a hall, calls a public town meeting, and invites people to walk up to a microphone and say whatever they like, and Person B makes statements that a court deems libelous, would person A be legally responsible for any offense committed by person B?

I'd welcome opinions, but links and evidence would be even more welcome!

Rhet Tech Wiki: UNLEASHED!

It was bound to happen sooner or later: Rhet Tech Wiki, a wiki dedicated to rhetoric and technology. So far, we have a short list of wikirhetoricians, but we're all hoping that will grow as word gets out. I like to dream about a massive wiki for rhetoric and technology as extensive as the wikipedia, with teachers, scholars, and students from all over the world contributing to a massive database of useful information.

That Fine Line between Users and Programs

I'm sure that you all have seen and appreciate that fine Disney production TRON, that basically introduced American moviegoers to fullscale computer animation. Unfortunately, the movie didn't do so well at the box office; it wasn't so much "ahead of its time" as disastrously premature. Still, it is one of the few science fiction films I know that tries to weave together computer networks and classic myths, and it's far lighter than Gibson's work.

Still...As much as I like Tron, I'm not sure what to make of this guy. I came across this website on a list of "cool websites" my friends are keeping at AA, and must admit this guy blew my mind. At first I was thinking that this fellow must not have many obligations if he has time to put together something like this, but then I started to appreciate the artistry of it. What does it mean, though, that people identify so strongly with a bizarre movie like Tron that they are willing to try their best to re-create the wardrobe? I know that people have been doing the same thing with Trek for decades, but this is the first time I've heard of a "Tronnie." What's really bizarre about Tronnies is the premise of the movie consists of a human being being (not bling bling, thank you very much) transmuted into binary code and shoved inside a computer network. Here is a human being who has transmuted himself into something very similar to a literary representation of a "program," then transmuted his image into binary code and shipped it out across a computer network (the Internet).

BlogTalk Book

My copy of the proceedings from BlogTalk 2003 just arrived from Europe the other day. I'd welcome feedback on my paper, "(Meme)X Marks the Spot: Theorizing Metablogging via 'Meme' and 'Conduit'." Several of the other papers are also online.

The Game of Wife

Well, Clive Thompson's coverage of my article in MSN's SLATE yielded over 2,300 referalls to Armchair Arcade. Thompson refers to my Foucault-encrusted theoretical approach to gay characters in videogames as merely a "review of The Temple of Elemental Evil, a description which originally puzzled me.

At first I thought Clive downgraded my article to the status of "game review" in a power move designed to slight my work and make his own look more profound. However, I eventually concluded that Clive may have done me a favor--perhaps he felt that fewer people would click the link if they suspected they would encounter a "think piece" rather than a stunned review.

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