Monthly Archives: June 2011

Beautiful Music of the Spheres

I was compelled to sketch out some notes from the two videos for DS106. I’m realizing more and more that these drawings are entirely my way of making sense of the material. So, I present to you both videos as visual notes entirely in the format that makes sense to my brain.
Michael Wesch came to Brock University one week before he went to UMW, but his talk was very similar. I know because I listened to it on #DS106Radio. The largest difference was that he credited UMW with inspiring him.
Michael Wesch Keynote

I get really excited by these speakers because they fill me with overwhelming optimism.

  • I can be master of my own domain
  • I can be my own system administrator
  • I can use the tools and recognize how they change the way I perceive myself and my relationships with people
  • I can contribute to a conversation and the result will be greater than the sum of its parts because there is something magic that happens when a group of like-minded people meditate and consider the beauty and strange correspondences of the world
  • I can hear the grand harmonies
  • I can help others hear the grand harmonies through the spiral curriculum, the push and pull into auto-didactic learning

Scott Leslie on CBC talkin’ copyright

Scott’s early morning broadcast /LIVE on CBC Radio – Victoria x-casted to #DS106Radio via Scott’s iPhone + Papaya Broadcaster. I was the only listener on ds106radio, so I thought I should archive it.

Pre-show Preamble + Show

Post-show Post-amble

It was great but my only critique would be that Scott forgot to tell them he was a Pirate.

@giuliaforsythe but I did wear my eyepatch. Oh, right -R-A-D-I-O. Doh!less than a minute ago via TweetDeck Favorite Retweet Reply

History-time with Mikhail

This is a great example of digital interactive (his)tory-telling. Mikhail treated us to another evening of chatting to his parents about their experiences from USSR.

Full Flavour: Listen to all unedited audio of 1h19min here

I’ve used Storify and recorded the audio and am really blogging this so Mikhail can have easy access to his own great material.

It also really warms my heart to see how many connections are made between people.

© in #ds106Radio Revisited

Okay, so Alec Couros called me out for identifying the white elephant in the #ds106Radio room but still not actually discussing it.
digital Radio Living Room

I know Alec and I are on the same side of this issue but I agree that it is worth discussing and deconstructing. Clearly *someone* else does too, because he has pre-loaded the Auto-DJ in #DS106Radio with Negativland. When I started this post “Please don’t sue us” was playing.

Another motivator is that it’s conference season; I’ve heard a variety of the DS106Radio players present both in person (once) and over the radio (repeatedly). Every single time, the copyright issue is raised; it is answered to varying degrees, depending on who is giving the presentation.

At Northern Voice, when Mikhail asked Jim Groom to discuss copyright and #DS106Radio- he gave my favourite answer:

We need to think differently about our culture,
what our relationship is to it;
not simply augmenting our experience with technology.
This is changing the very relationships that we frame in this space.
This is McLuhan Shit coming to us live and we are doing it now.
We, right here, have changed a series of social relationships
that are going to be the framework and the blueprint
for what’s to come.

I really love this answer and from the recording you can tell that the audience does too.

{Full flavour Jim Groom: feel the love, listen to the full minute of audio.}

Often, at other presentations, however, when the topic of copyright comes up, the presenter jokes, ‘next question!’ and then a short statement is made. But really we have not fully discussed this. Well, perhaps it’s been discussed so much, over, and over again…

Regardless, I think Copyright debates are fascinating, so I’m going to talk about it too; I’m going to address Alec’s point: was copyright material essential specifically in relation to DS106Radio and the building of community?

First things first, I’m going to go back to Alec’s original question:

@jimgroom & #ds106‘ers – just watched ur @cogdog amazing story – ? arises. would #ds106radio have happened if restricted to legal content?less than a minute ago via TweetDeck Favorite Retweet Reply

Most @ds106’ers chimed in that the magic was in the /LIVE & original work. I repeatedly indicated that there was a lot of creative commons, public domain and remixed material, but eventually I had to concede that copyrighted material played a part, indeed probably a crucially important part. Especially in building community, sharing of stories as these songs frame our memories, our past. This is most true on particular on theme days- #musictogrowby, #firstconcert #roadtunes and on and on. It is difficult to tell a story of your youth using the music you grew up with, without playing that music.

Alec also asked this question:

@jimgroom wondering about role of deviance/rebellion as social connector. #ds106 #ds106radioless than a minute ago via TweetDeck Favorite Retweet Reply

I love how he’s asking Jim Groom & Alan Levine, but I feel obliged to answer. Probably because Alec was at my first impromptu Copyright Smackdown at a pub in New Brunswick last year. He was having a collegial conversation with Terry Anderson, Rory McGreal, Keith Hampson & Christian Blanchette.

Earlier in the day, Alec had given the keynote at Canadian Network for Innovation in Education and Rory got up and said, “well that presentation with all those tools is all very well and good, but did you get permission to use all those clips? Did you get copyright clearance? You know, soon using YouTube like that will be illegal in the classroom?!”

I was outraged. What? That’s ridiculous. Who was this guy??!!

So, when I saw Alec talking to him I told Grant Potter we were gonna have a Copyright Smackdown and deal with this right there. I marched over and somehow managed to get a seat for Grant and me to sit down and discuss.

I think I probably swore more than I should have in the company of a Vice President, but overall, it was a great conversation. I found out that we were all basically on the same side of the issue and Rory was just baiting the audience into outrage and hopefully into action.

I asked Rory what he thought we should do. He said, read Michael Geist’s blog. Yeah, I do that already. Write to your Member of Parliament. Done. (Twice!) What else can I do? Join the Facebook group. Sigh. Yeah, I did that. WHAT ELSE???

Fast forward to #ds106Radio. There is so much about Pirate Radio that I have to catch up on, but I am still really struck by Lawrence Lessig’s 2007 TED talk: Laws that choke creativity and Brett Gaylor’s RIP: REMIX Manifesto. Like Jim says, I believe this is OUR culture. We have a right to review, remix, and make meaning of the media we grew up with through the tools new media provides. I don’t think I can say it better than Lessig, Gaylor or Groom.

But does that answer Alec’s question? Does #DS106Radio bond through deviance? The secret naughtiness of it all?

I don’t think so.

Although there seems to be a strict rule about NO RULES.

NoiseProfessor had to work hard to convince the group that there was #Protocol and that wasn’t a law or rules but rather the genesis of culture. There is still some resistance to the idea of #Protocol but in practice, it exists and the boundaries allow the free form community to flourish. He suggests we refer to Steven Johnson: Where good ideas come from (here’s the link to TED Talk, but more importantly, there’s also a book).

Noiseprofessor writes about #Protocol as our emerging system that keeps DS106Radio in the “fertile zone between too much order and too much anarchy”.

For many reasons, it seems our collective idealism does not seem to consider copyright adherence a priority. I think there might be many reasons out there and I’m still trying to figure out my own.

So, let’s throw it out to the chaotic, liquid network:

  • Is it like Jim Groom & Lawrence Lessig say- is this McLuhan shit? Do we ignore copyright because we want to think differently about our relationship to culture?
  • Or, is it actually not illegal (yet) to stream music? (I’d stand on trial for that, too, for the record)
  • Or does Alec have a point- did deviance play a role?

UPDATE: Two new audio responses have come in via #DS106Radio.

1. Anonymous #ds106radio Protest Song
2. GNA on Deviance, June 12, 2011


ILTBHFYTR = I Left This Pirate Box Here For You To Read


First off, I am so glad Alan is renaming the Pirate Box a Story Box because although I love the antidisestablishmentarianism ethos of the “Pirate” and the spirit of the box is autonomy, I have no interest in “pirating” content.

As for the Pirate Box project, I don’t think anything has inspired so much excitement in my mind in the middle of the night as I lay awake thinking about things. I know that sounds hyperbolized but there is something so beautiful about this idea.

It is creation for the purpose of sharing.

It is autonomous in that it does not rely on any corporation with terms of service.

It has so much POTENTIAL.

If I had unlimited resources and talent. THIS is what I would do- I would write an application/web page/tool that would ask guiding questions, leading the story-box visitor through the great questions that Alan asks.

I would also like to provide some other prompts: visual & audio art: sound bites, original music, poetry (text & spoken), photographs, drawings…you know ART!

So, for someone just stumbling upon the story box, who might not have original artwork on hand could interact with the media and then respond in some way.

It makes me think of the HTML 5 Arcade Fire video Chrome Experiment Wilderness Downtown, I guess, where you are listening to music, getting visuals (video, animation, etc) and then you have an opportunity to write a letter to yourself.

So, yeah, my late night fantasy has the storybox loaded with prompts, designed to lead people to think about the artifacts and hopefully the prompts work so that they can’t help but respond and add to the storybox.

The experiment about it leaking into the “wild”- as in the internet or our collective consciousness- is a whole other level of amazing that I am still trying wrap my head around. But I like it. I like it a lot.