From September 2005 to June 2006 a team of thirteen scholars at the The University of Southern California's Annenberg Center for Communication explored how new and maturing networking technologies are transforming the way in which we interact with content, media sources, other individuals and groups, and the world that surrounds us.
This site documents the process and the results.
Welcome to the new Networked Publics site! We've moved to this more modern server, built a new home page, and are getting ready for the next draft of the book. We'll be posting more soon!
The page aggregating conference-related material can be found here
Saskia Sassen spoke on Networks, Power & Democracy at the Networked Publics research group at the Annenberg Center for Communications on March 23, 2006.
Professor Saskia Sassen is in the Department of Sociology and The Committee on Global Thought at Columbia University. She is also a Centennial Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics.
Saskia Sassen’s research and writing focuses on globalization (including social, economic and political dimensions), immigration, global cities (including cities and terrorism), the new networked technologies, and changes within the liberal state that result from current transnational conditions. In her research she has focused on the unexpected and the counterintuitive as a way to cut through established “truths.” Her three major books have each sought to demolish a key established “truth.” Thus in her first book, The Mobility of Labor and Capital (Cambridge University Press 1988), she showed how foreign investment in less developed countries can actually raise the likelihood of emigration; this went against established notions that such investment would retain potential emigrants.
In her second book The Global City (Princeton University Press 1991; 2nd ed 2002) she showed how the global economy far from being placeless, has and needs very specific territorial insertions, and that this need is sharpest in the case of highly globalized and electronic sectors such as finance; this went against established notions at the time that the global economy transcended territory and its associated regulatory umbrellas. In her most recent book, Territory, Authority, Rights: From Medieval to Global Assemblages ( Princeton University Press 2006), she shows that the foundational transformations afoot today take place largely inside core and thick national environments; this allows her to explain that some of the changes inside liberal states, most evident in the USA but also increasingly in other countries, are not distortions or anomalies, but are the result of these foundational transformations inside the state apparatus. She shows how this foundational transformation hence consists not only of globalizing dynamics but also of denationalizing dynamics: we are seeing the formation of multiple often highly specialized assemblages of bits of territory, authority and rights that were once ensconced in national framings. Today these assemblages traverse global and national settings, thereby denationalizing what was historically constructed as national.
A note of caution about the networked publics revolution is sounded by Directgov, the UK's new one-stop government portal in a survey released on March 6. According to the survey, which of course would seem to validate the site's strategy of consolidating “public services all in one place,
The most recent issue of the Economist carries the surprising news that America has finally caught up to the rest of the world in text messaging, surpassing Germany, Italy, and France. What took us so long? Cheap calling plans meant that there was little reason for texting while incompatible devices and the extra cost carriers frequently charged for texting didn't help. Meanwhile the burgeoning adoption of mobile phones by young people and, surprisingly enough, the reality show “American Idol,
The era of telegraph has finally come to an end. Effective 27 January, Western Union announced that it is no longer sending telegrams. The company will remain, having made a transition to wiring money some time ago. While this was predictable—the last time I saw a telegram was in the early 1980s and even that was unusual—what are the next forms of media to die? Always an inferior format, cassette tape must be on its last legs by now. More ominously, Quantegy, formerly Ampex, the last US manufacturer of reel-to-reel recording tape had a near death experience last year. So, too, the days for analog broadcast television continue to draw near, even though the original US date of transition in 2007 has been extended. Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for media!
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Slashdot carries a story today about a project by UC-Irvine's Beatriz da Costa in which cellphone and GPS bearing pigeons (...just how much cargo can a pigeon haul into the sky?...) will report back about the pollution they encounter.
So maybe Google is really living up to its motto, “Don't be evil.
2006 marks the start of the second half of the decade and just an hour ago, Apple announced Macbooks with dual-core Intel processors as well as dual-core Intel powered iMacs . Assuming there are no unpleasant surprises, these machines should be able to run Windows, Mac OS X, and various flavors of Linux. In this brave, new world, the OS, becomes nothing more than a form of media. Meanwhile, Google is rumored to be providing an alternative vision of an OS that can run through your web browser. Certainly they have to do something with all that iron they own and those minds they employ.