Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

Humanitarian Technology Festival

I came on with Aspiration back in January as the Community Leadership Strategist, to merge the work I've been doing in the humanitarian and disaster response space with Aspiration's practices and team. It's been a *blast* so far, and continues to be.

How Interfaces Demand Obedience

This is a liveblog of a talk by Mushon Zer-Aviv on April 23, 2015 at the MIT Center for Civic Media. This is not a perfect transcript but are notes collaboratively taken by Yu Wang, Dalia Othman, Erhardt Graeff, and Catherine D'Ignazio.

Mushon presenting at Civic

Mushon Zer-Aviv introduces himself as interested in disinformation and ambiguity. He is teaching at Shenkar College and is working with Public Knowledge Workshop on civic engagement and government transparency. As a designer he's been working on these issues for many years and will discuss political design interface through:

  1. Communication cycle
  2. Protocol
  3. Interface for resistance

When we talk about life online, it is distributed, open, social, emancipatory. Online life is repressive, destructive, shallow. All these hopes and concerns when it comes to online life, we meet them through interface. It is at the heart of the debate.

What is interface? Mushon defines interface as "a common boundary or interconnection between systems, equipment, concepts, or human beings." Specifically, the concept of common boundary and interconnection. The idea that the interface is common implies some kind of relationship between all the components without implying a level of control or that one is more important than the other. 

Data Sculpture: Media Perspective

For those of us who work with data, we get used to visualizing in our mind and develop an intuition for it. For everyone else, data visualization usually takes the form of a diagram on a small, two-dimensional screen. Standard data plots can take an exciting idea and turn it into something boring, or even worse, drudge up memories of panicked high school math exams. This experimental data sculpture attempts to draw the viewer into the visualization and connect them with the data on an intuitive, physical level. The sculpture shows the amount of coverage the U.S. mainstream media gave to Net Neutrality between January 2014 and April 2015, while the FCC was creating revised Net Neutrality rules. Each of the 33 panes of clear acrylic represents a two-week time slice, with the size of an etched circle corresponding to the amount of coverage. The top row shows total Net Neutrality coverage, with the other three rows representing coverage of "innovation," "discrimination," and "regulation," in reference to Net Neutrality.

Alfredo Corchado in conversation with Ethan Zuckerman Live Blog

This is a liveblog of the talk between Alfredo Corchado and Ethan Zuckerman. Blogged by Luis Natera, with illustrations by @willowbl00.

Alfredo Corchado is a Mexican-American Journalist. He is the Mexico Bureau Chief of the Dallas Morning News and author of the book, “Midnight in Mexico.” Ethan Zuckerman introduces Alfredo as one of the leading journalists today trying to explain what’s going on in Mexico.

Alfredo, borned in Mexico and raised in the US, went back to Mexico in 2003 as part of the Dallas Morning News with the idea of continuing to cover the relations between Mexico and the US, but he quickly ran into the violence and was forced to deal with and report the issue.

Civic media functions inside the public sphere model

Civic media functions inside the public sphere model

How does each kind of civic media project work in relation with the public sphere? How can we understand the relationship between civic media projects and the public sphere? I would like to address these questions by classifying the civic media functions inside the public sphere model. It’s true that there are some different understandings about this concept and its operationalization, but for this post I am just going to use a basic model inspired by the Habermas’ concept.


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