gabi | MIT Center for Civic Media

Recent blog posts by gabi

Walker and Kupperman Versus The Asteroid: Liveblogging Gets Surreal

Michael Kupperman, author of Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010, is a writer of what Ethan likes to call "civic fiction." For more portrayls of civic fiction, Ethan is a fan of Benjamen Walker, who hosts Too Much Information on WFMU. It's one of the more unusual shows you will ever listen to on the Internet. It's hard to figure out, according to Ethan, if it's an interview, a serious news piece, or storytelling that blurs the lines of reality.

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Pre-Occupied With Occupation: Habermas, Prefigurative Politics, Effective Protest Center

This past May I presented a thesis abstract proposal to the review board of the Dynamic Media Institute at MassArt that focused on how dynamic media may elevate the level of public discourse in our country. My feeling at the time was that the media’s penchant for polarized debates, combined with social media’s weak-tied, high-speed nature left us without the means for substantive, civil debate—political or otherwise. How serendipitous, then, the fact that a public protest movement, centered around political and economic discourse, popped up just as I was gaining a stronger understanding of the theories behind civic participation via Intro to Civic Media.

Responsibilities of Civic Media

In reviewing my original principles of civic media, I don’t see too many opportunities to revise. I admitted in September that the view was a bit simplistic and boring, and I stand by that assertion today. After the voluminous amount of reading we’ve done this semester, however, I do feel the need to attach an addendum. Civic media makers are extremely powerful in their ability to influence and change. As such, I propose the following responsibilities which they should take into consideration while doing so:

Be inclusive with your medium

Consensus Among Occupy: Project Update

[The following is the beginning of my introduction and a proposed, annotated outline for my project to date]

On September 30th, I went down to Dewey Square to observe the first meeting of Occupy Boston in what would, at that time, become their new home. I spoke with a university professor, Leanne, and asked her why she was doing among the 100 or so other individuals in the square that evening. She spoke of starting a conversation—one that would lead to possible constitutional amendments on campaign finance or congressional limits. As she told me this, however, she always made a point to emphasize that the opinions she was expressing were her own. When I asked her what she had seen in the group that stood out to her, she immediately noted that she was “amazed about is how well organized it is. And you think that consensus is going to be really disjointed, and everyone is going to be screaming at each other. And it hasn’t been like that at all. It’s just been discussion and consensus and debate and no yelling and no name calling.”