3/26: Turtles and Termites

Please post a question or comment about today’s readings.



  1. What are some modern examples of self-organization in our society today? Do Facebook, Twitter and Instagram count for example?

  2. The Digital Media Handbook Ch. 22

    “As a category digital media is being included within the history and criticism of art and in parallel ‘digital media art’ can be included as another strand of the wider category of a history of media.”

    How is one able to preserve digital artworks when technology is rapidly and constantly changing?

  3. Resnick focuses so much on how we are moving towards, or are already in an era of decentralization however, on page 129 he points out systems that continue to be centralized (ie. farming, families, dance, etc.). Are we actually moving away from centralization or are we simply noticing natural forms of decentralization that we originally believed to be centralized? If that could be the case, are we really moving towards decentralization or has there always been both centralized and decentralized systems?

  4. Resnick adequately points out, as Hayley does as well, that centralized systems are establish and is not that they become decentralized but rather they are infiltrated with decentralized systems that change the entire system from within. This is depicted perfectly in the following statement, “People will become familiar with a new models and new metaphors of decentralization. They will begin to see the world through new eyes. They will gradually redraft and expand their ways of thinking about causality. At times, they will still appeal to the traditional centralized explanations. But when those explanations don’t work, they will have other models and metaphors to draw on.” (Page 130) What is the median between these two systems and should decentralized systems become the norm?

  5. Resnick’s focused on the centralized mindset as possibly being detrimental. If we act as the central actor are we inhibiting the possibilities of creating the “other”? (as in something other than a reflection of ourselves)

  6. Is there an ideal between decentralization and centralization? How would either be organized to be as proficient as possible?

  7. My question is similar to Audrey’s however would you in fact consider social media to be examples of self-organization? Would you classify social media to be a disordered system?

  8. The ant and flock metaphor of how different sub-units behave as a group reminds me of how atoms behave together as a larger whole to create matter, all governed and bound by different physical laws. This can indicate two extremes: everything is part of a centralized structure (all organized by the laws of physics) and everything is its own, decentralized entity. Again, these are two extremes, but nonetheless indicate a subjectivity and fluidity of organization.

    This makes me wonder, where do we draw the lines between what is “self-organized” and what is not, if organization is indeed a spectrum?

  9. Chapter 24 of the Digital Media Handbook talks a lot about “breaking the rules” of other forms of media and older digital media. It says digital media “in mainstream media has been understood by us primarily as extending and building upon the rules and codes of established representational forms…” (365). I am not to sure what the previous “rules” are and who comes up with them, but my question would be are these rules keeping up with the vast advancements in technology and digital media that are taking place everyday?

  10. Resnick talks about how we are becoming more and more decentralized and moving away from a centralized system. What could be the pros and cons of a decentralized and centralized systems in different organizations or settings?

  11. In chapter 22 there is disccusion of the history of digital media and technology. Technology is advancing at such a rapid pace. Do you think it is more beneficial to keep yesterday technology as the base product for future products? What I mean by this is, is the use of past technology needed/incorporated into the modern technology?

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