_Social Tesseracting_: Part 3

Posted by mez breeze | Sun Jul 26th 2009 8:02 p.m.

-------------------------------------------
_Social Tesseracting_: Part 3
Posted July 24th, 2009 by mez
* for the link-rich/complete/referenced version, please go to:
http://arsvirtuafoundation.org/research/2009/07/24/_social-tesseracting_-part-3/
*
-------------------------------------------

< continued from http://u.nu/24xg >

e) _Information Deformation_: akin to process centering, this Social
Tesseraction involves a shift in the very definition of information:
"...Information may be defined as the characteristics of the output of
a process, these being informative about the process and the input.
This discipline independent definition may be applied to all domains,
from physics to epistemology.”

These deformed systems of data are constantly in flux and available
for perpetual revision. Examples include:

* cloud-based applications
* constantly transliterated google waves.

Users are able to simultaneously modify, update and adapt their input
in real time.This type of liminal practice results in a deformation of
current information architectures. Although traditional information
construction may be flexible over time, it still demands unitary data
snapshots for knowledge formation. Deforming such data in real time
acts to fundamentally alter meaning production. Socially structured
input is the keystone of such a dynamic, perpetually fluctuating
system. Here the notion of Social Froth takes on a new level of
importance: information becomes a constantly shifting construct with
variable endpoints. Rewiring information in such a way radically
changes its cohesive nature. This in turn effects:

* authorship
* politics
* communication and media
* education
* book publishing and academia [think: the perpetuation of
potentially obsolete content systems]
* the scientific method
* disciplines dependent on referential instruction [think: History
or Commerce].

In this deformation system, facts can be _reality-edited_* in real
time. Information becomes pliable in ways that challenge the perceived
authority of institutions. The concept of narrative deforms as:

* lifestreaming transmogrifies entertainment
* game platforms employ transmedia, simulation and agency.

Narrative progression repositions the representational towards the
freeform [think: paidia as opposed to ludic]. An instance of this
information deformation in action is troll play [or uncontrolled
play]. A social example of troll play is found in the wiki
_Encyclopedia Dramatica_ which: "…satirizes both encyclopedic topics
and current events, especially those related to or relevant to
internet culture. The wiki has been the subject of media attention
given its focus on trolling and use of shock value, as well as its
criticism of other Internet communities. It is also associated with
the Internet subculture Anonymous.”

_Encyclopedia Dramatica_ - and the affiliated imageboard/meme
propagation site _4chan_ - showcase the challenge faced by narrative
frameworks. Platforms like _Encyclopedia Dramatica_ encourage
troll-based comedic intent. Users remix absurd, and sometimes taboo,
content. In particular, invasion boards like _4chan_ utilize shock
networking*: where social content attempts to subvert social codas
through deliberate agitation. In comparison with established narrative
conventions, platforms like _Encyclopedia Dramatica_ offer an
experimental system which bypasses strict censorship and ethical
constraints. These platforms cater for unfiltered interactions that
operate via immediacy-of-response. They are highly idiosyncratic in
execution and linguistic formation: censorship and moderation may be
limited or non-existent. The output is propagative, with contributors
encouraged to riff and rip-off, replace, and even delete content.
Narrative is deformed beyond a sequential structure whereby the climax
or pay-off event becomes the spectacle.

An example of such modification is _Copypasta_, which consists of
repeatedly copying and pasting blocks of text designed to evoke a
heightened emotional response:"...A time-tested classic. This ending
usually comes into play at the climax of a very troubling or exciting
situation. Rather than resolve the story, one of the characters will
abruptly say something to the effect of "I had Reese’s for breakfast.”
At this point, the other character will completely forget about
his/her worries and jump into the corresponding commercial dialogue,
enamored by the peanut butter and chocolaty goodness that is Reese’s
Puffs cereal. “It’s Reese’s… for breakfast!”"

_Copypasta_ derails notions of story or plot progression, resolution
or dénouement. It embodies context-counteraction* and meme
perpetuation. Dramatic intent shifts to reiterative moments containing
affectivity spiking which ignores the rigors of institutionalized
framing [think: morality, hierarchy or ownership].

f) _Attribution Modding_ involves an extension of Stewart Brand’s
iconic phrase “Information wants to be free” to “Identity wants to be
freeform”. This category describes users focused on mobilization
rather than individual recognition. The group Anonymous* projects
attribution modding via collusive identity constructions. The
collective’s title is based on the method _4chan_ uses to brand all
contributors “Anonymous” by default:"...As making a post without
filling in the “Name” field causes posts to be attributed to
“Anonymous”, general understanding on 4chan holds that Anonymous is
not a single person but a collective (hive) of users." Anonymous is a
social-tesseractivist group who perform raid actions [think: the
immediate action to halt the abuse of Dusty The Cat and Project
Chanology's DDoS attacks]. The collective broadcasts non-attribution
ideologies where members are viewed as units of a social mechanism
with a deemphasis on individual identification. _Attribution modding_
illustrates the rise of collective identity cognizance and the
accompanying shift from expert-centric disciplines.

g) _Decline of Silo Ghettos_: as information deformation impacts
knowledge formation, there’s an increasing need to provide social
tesseractors with comprehensive dimensional engagement. This type of
borderless interaction deforms monostreams into cross-channelled
productions. Social tesseracts assist in addressing the somewhat
restrictive walled garden approach to software and platform production
[think: the frustration levels encountered whilst experiencing the
locked door syndrome]. Google Wave is one system that removes such
constraints and allows users to input directly into previously
isolated arenas. Other instances of interoperable systems that require
the reorientation of Information Silos:

* augmented applications that encourage a pairing of geolocative
and geophysical needs
* bridging software that links previously disparate platforms
together [think: IRC-to-Second Life Chat Bridge].

_Information Deformation_, _Attribution Modding_, and the _Decline of
Silo Ghettos_ are paradigm-shifting markers that highlight socially
directed trends. One significant user-centric challenge involves
ensuring a smooth migration into a Social Tesseracted future. Such
transitions should lessen future shock and encourage a type of
overlaid meta-comprehension which promotes the seamless recognition of
synthetic conditions.

——

* Shock networking, reality editing, context-counteraction and
Anonymous will be discussed in upcoming augmentology entries.

Your Reply