Recent news from the Center for Civic Media | MIT Center for Civic Media

Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

We Should Have the Right to Trust Our iPhone Passcodes

Smartphones have become an almost universal tool for the masses, mainly as a simple gateway to the Internet. Though, in recent years these devices have increasingly become personalized and full of even more intimate data. Some would argue that our smartphones are extensions of ourselves because they could function as an "extended mind" and will start becoming a hub for internet connected devices that could leave behind real-time footprints of their users. The design of the devices themselves have shifted to reflect this closer intimacy between users and their devices. New iPhones have fingerprint scanners so that people can't just look over your shoulder while you type your password and iOS has tighter rules on when the iPhone requires a passcode if the fingerprint scanner is enabled.

Media, Stories, and Boston youth

"Those who do not have the power over the story that dominates their lives, the power to retell it, rethink it, deconstruct it, joke about it, and change it as times change, truly are powerless, because they cannot think new thoughts." - Salman Rushdie

Story is powerful. Whether the his-stories ingested through schooling, the discourses given voice in the news or the identities composed in popular culture, we make the world and are made by the world, through narrative. Politicians get this, media scholars get this, the youth get this.

Boy Better Get To Know: Why Britain Needs to Recognise and Celebrate its Black Artists

For the past few years, grime has been making a small but significant shift in the mainstream. Artists like Wiley, Dizzee and Tinie have spilled over into the realms of pop culture. Others, like Skepta, spilled over and pulled back again, wanting to forge their own way into the limelight without conforming to polished beats and signing to major labels.


There’s no question: artists like Wiley and the Roll Deep crew set the stage for this new wave of artists. Without Dizzee’s enduring popularity, his ability to draw crowds at festivals across the globe and collaborate with some of the world’s biggest producers, it’s unlikely that artists like Skepta, Stormzy and Krept and Konan would be in a position to retain a larger sense of their roots.

Duplicity, Access and Digital Inequality

This week in Civic Media we discussed readings about digital inequality and blogospheres in Cuba and had the privilege of hearing from Paloma Duong who looks at digital media, youth culture, and the public sphere in contemporary Havana.

Consider the Lawn Sign: elections as civic engagement

 

Last week I had the chance to watch one of the world’s great electoral-political spectacles - the New Hampshire primary - up close. It wasn’t by any means my first dalliance with American politics: I’ve had at least a loose involvement in the fascinating and frequently Freudian process by which Americans elect their leaders for several cycles now. But this time I saw the process through a slightly different lens.

 

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