Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Upcoming Events

Una: A Journey of Three Worlds
6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18; 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19 AThroughout time, people have been drawn to and fascinated by journeys. Travel has been significant to history, literature and pop culture for centuries. The Canterbury Tales, The Odyssey and The Lord of the Rings are rich literary examples.
Jack Kerouac exploded the 1950s with his revolutionary book, On the Road, while
Dorothy’s journey down the yellow brick road and Alice’s trip through the rabbit hole continue to draw audiences and explore the whimsical and profound.
Katie Key’s MFA concert, Una, is a similar story of a female protagonist taken on a both dark and fanciful journey. The production begins one night in Una’s home. After her mother puts her to bed, Una is visited by three fantastical birds, each representing the qualities of their individual worlds, who take her on to a journey into the unknown.
Una is a story told in fairy-tale form; it utilizes the theatrical elements of text and story combined with video, music and dance. Una is a kinesthetic journey into the shadows.

– Daniella Vinitski

Free admission; reserve your seat at:

Artist talk about interactive digital art
and technology presented by Daniel Rozin

7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 29, ATLAS 100; a reception will follow. See your reflection in his interactive, digital/mechanical piece, Rust Mirror (shown at left), currently on view in the CU Art Museum (the building next door to ATLAS) until Dec.18.
See examples of this internationally exhibited, award-winning artist and educator’s work:

Note: This talk is part of the ATLAS Speaker Series made possible by
a generous donation by Idit Harel Caperton and Anat Harel.

Movie premiere–international-in-scope
snowboard film: Gawn Git Suum Wit Us

7:30-9 p.m. Dec. 2, Thursday, ATLAS 100 Director, producer and soon-to-be-graduate of the CU film school and ATLAS TAM program, Nathan Minatta explains, “It was shot on location at Breckenridge, Keystone, Echo, Eclipse, Wolfe Creek, Whistler, Minnesota, Ischgl, Switzerland, Stubaier Glacier, Austria, Nebraska (that’s right!) and a street near you.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Misdirecting the invisible hand

Listening to Eric Goldman's talk on Reputational Systems via Berkley iSchool podcasts recently (free on iTunes), I was shocked to learn that a growing number of doctors have their patients sign forms prohibiting patients from writing a review of the doctor.  In order to ensure enforcement, the form states that any review of the doctor written by the patient will carry a copyright assigned to the doctor.  The doctor can then use a DMCA take down notice to get the review taken down.

Goldman calls this a hack on the system.  He is referring to the reputational system that is part of the digital invisible hand.  There is some great research on the danger to users as endorsers or endorsees (think Facebook's old automatic endorsement system using beacons), but only after thinking about the type of manipulation discussed by Goldman did I understand the danger to the system as a whole.  People will lose faith in endorsements, as explained by William McGeveran and skimmed over by me.

The manipulation of speech by doctors (and software vendors) is not so different from the manipulation in social marketing.  Prohibiting a consumer from saying something does not seem that different from making a consumer say something.  One instantly triggers the First Amendment and another appropriation, but both tactics attempt to take reputational control away from the consumer and misdirect the invisible hand.

Meg Ambrose is a second year doctoral student in the ATLAS Technology, Media, and Society Ph.D. program. She is researching the impact privacy and intellectual property laws have on creativity and innovation.

The social network propagates creativity myths

The Washington Post (click here) recently slammed the movie "The Social Network" for its inaccuracies.  The WP criticizee the film's characterization of Zuckerberg as a loner and Saverin's innocence in his ejection from the company.  The focus of the review, however, is on the inaccuracies of Facebook as an idea.  In the film, Zuckerberg experiences a series of eureka moments that result in the Facebook we know today.  Even though these sparks are socially derived, WP is unhappy that the collaborative nature of innovation is ignored as Zuckerberg is portrayed as an individual creator.

Our concepts of creativity are socially constructed. Americans have held romantic notions of creativity, believing that artists and scientists are uniquely gifted to experience more and better "ah ha" moments than the rest of us.  Our intellectual property system is based on this view of creatives. We can see our concept of creativity changing as a mainstream media, like WP, breaks down our creativity myths.  The article even offers a quote from leading researchers: "The idea of the lone genius who has the eureka moment where they suddenly get a great idea that changes the world is not just the exception," says Steven Johnson, author of "Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation," "but almost nonexistent."

The article then calls for a change in the education, intellectual property and tax systems to spur creativity. If we continue to study creativity in a rigorous way, we will not be as susceptible to concepts of creativity that lead us down the wrong policy paths.  On a side note - I really liked the movie.

Meg Ambrose is a second year doctoral student in the ATLAS Technology, Media, and Society Ph.D. program. She is researching the impact privacy and intellectual property laws have on creativity and innovation.