luciano petullà

systems and dimensions of new communication

The feeble belly of internet Lately, digital activist, American scholar and journalist Ethan Zuckerman complained about his past as supporter of what he defines the “Internet’ s original sin”, namely exploitation of advertising as business model to start and manage online services. Although he had many fellows, the present director of MIT Center for Civic Media has a point to blame himself. In 1995 Zuckerman worked and implemented the so hated ad pop-ups, those web pages full of advertising messages that, during our browsing, suddenly occupy all our vision entrapping us nervously while we make vain tentatives to move on. However, Zuckerman’s mea culpa does not accuse advertising communication rather its use as primary revenue source for the most popular online services that, inevitably, implies user surveillance. On the other hand, advertising was a easy driver for internet start-ups to justify their business plans. However, given the increasing competition to catch user attention and the decline of value of visual impressions, online advertising is much more appreciated when consumers are effectively targeted. Yet, surveillance is not only for ads targeting. First of all, online ads need to be controlled to avoid abuses as click-fraud (generation of impressions by people, automated…

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Labour crisis and technological unemployment The social and economic changes have always animated modern era, and, since the half of Seventeenth century, they often were so radical we used the term “revolution” to evidence the need of a deep existential readaptation for people life. The problematic relationship between jobs and technological innovation, that cyclically arises when a relevant crisis affects production and consumption models, is also an old story. The American economist John Maynard Keynes thought of it as inescapable phenomenon, coining the term technological unemployment (1930). Obviously, issue feeds hot discussions normally ending with a dichotomous scheme between people that consider industrial and commercial competitive dynamics seeing technology as a gift for its capacity to create new realities/activities, and people that, on the contrary, think of it as a ruin for almost every sort of occupation. Nowadays, in front of a persistent economic crisis associated with a general restructuration of many business helped by digital connected technologies embedded (almost) in every things, this issue assumes great centrality. Or, otherwise said, there are many suggestions to frame it as a relevant argument because humane society radically changes when new communication and energy paradigms are available. American sociologist Jeremy Rifkin explains…

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Limits, enterprises, and accountability of cultural software A recent ad campaign promoted by UN and created to warn about worldwide spread of sexist and discriminatory opinions regarding female population has been based on Google searching functions. More precisely, it focuses on suggestions furnished by autofilling function after some words as “women should …” have been introduced. Both (supposedly) based on frequently searching operations and recognized textual combinations of internet contents, the algorithm showed all stereotyped ideas running in the world. In ad campaign women are shown with a sort a gag represented by Google’s suggestions that, covering their mouths, have the effect to silence true voices and personalities. The success of campaign (credits: Memac Ogilvy & Mather Dubai) to reveal such prejudices in a very incisive way and so oddly timely – if we think of our post-modernity so sophisticatedly supported in terms of technologies of thought – can be measured by the huge debate on twitter (hashtag: #womenshould) but also by imitations: see Australian initiative Racism. It Stops With Me. In the past this online space hosted a reflection on the importance of language to structure human being in the continuous process of interaction with environment – so, not…

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The mirage of Silicon Valley   People used to follow digital product development very often stumble upon comments and reflections about vitality and expertize that some peculiar regional areas have for finding product solution and founding high-tech successful companies. On the other hand, the black shadow over our economic scenario  and the recurrent postponement of its end certify the tough passage of post-industrial era with its effects of turbulent environment on economy. So, the flexibility and applicability of electronics, software and telecommunication show prized characteristics to more readily face  both changes and prospectives in industry and consumption. The aim of this brief contribution  will be to problematically tackle vulgates around start-up initiatives starting from two interesting articles. If I  have reached them personally and casually in the last two week, there should be a growing and global demand (perhaps also concerns) to insert itself among nations that can have a such kind of munitions to deal with a less problematic future in terms of jobs and growth – in the wake of simplistic strategy of “me too”… The passage of time doesn’t seem to scratch the longing of that special place whose name is Silicon Valley, indeed, internet age magnify…

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