Every Sunday Morning, a place where various things get thrown out, shot at, cut open, and dissected. Topics of interest: psychological, and medical anthropology, privatization, globalization, excess, language, humor, hip-hop culture, jazz, brain and mind, memory, urban space development, Los Angeles, the Chicago Bulls, UCLA Bruins, FC Barcelona, and mankind.
Just when you think you have a unique idea, somebody else has probably done it before. We have about 500,000 years as a speices, 6000 years of documented or written history, across 25,000 miles of earth, with over 6.7 billion people on this planet currently. Assuming most of them have similar capabilities, there is an infinite potential for communication and expression which will also carry on its variations, somebody's bound to have thought what you have.
New technology tends to encourage new nodes of connections, which spawn new ways to interpret our culture and new complications.
While the internet has been up and running en masse for about 15-20 years now, at its root is a materialist and consumerist ideology: the idea that the internet user is there to passively seek information, conveniently do business, communicate with people on limited scales, and perhaps share a few tidbits and old things.
As I recall during the early days of America Online, chat rooms, and the enticement of online shopping, the internet did not exist to produce new information but really just to offer a new way to manipulate information. As with any technology, the internet was not there to produce anything new but to conveniently commence old habits from the paper and pen world --- just in a new way.
Now that the en masse internet is about ready to get its license and start driving, the en masse internet itself is developing its own habits.
We've had years of online messaging, almost a substitute for the phone, except for the fact that you do not hear a human voice. We've had years of message boarding where inside information can be exchanged between professionals and/or hobbyists on any particular subject from politics to sports. We've had a few years of social networking, where people connect and re-connect.
We've had years of peer-to-peer networking where music, video, and photo files would be traded and shared amongst people...to the chagrin of the Recording Industry of America.
We've had years of blogging where people share their ideas and have the opportuity to act as journalists.
We've had a few years of video sites, but those were restricted to people who could afford the webspace.
Enter Youtube. A medium that provides the webspace for people en masse to post their own videos.
Videos, which they could actually watch on site, on command, unlike traditional peer-to-peer networking where you had to know a subject before you consummated a download. They could just happen upon many more videos and variations based on the "related videos" tab. What's more is that they could post their own variation or interpretation of a video, creating further connection and investment in the site.
In addition to being able to watch video on site, they could make comments as if they were on a message board or on a social networking site. However, with some anonymity also the ability to make strong affirmations, rejectons, and even comment on other commentors themselves.
For philosophers, human condition thinkers, youtube makes new food-for-thought fodder as it did for this guy:
He talks about how new connections are to be made over youtube.
I was most intrigued by his notion of cultural inversion (30:34). In the videos uploaded, generally we want to express our individualism, independence, and popularity while at the same time we want community, relationships, and authenticity. We want to express how unique and popular we are, but we also want to belong to something and we don't want things that are full of crap --- the assumption that underlies popular things.
Youtube is a way of negotiating these different extremes. It is prime representative of the new internet with its own new habits. The Web 2.0. The Web 2.0 is a medium we use to produce things as opposed to simply communicating things from the "real world". It is the real world. It's the way we communicate.
With youtube, and other web 2.0 applications we have a new medium to explore and play, learn what connections can be made, and what connections can't be made in general social norms....
Which is kind of funny...
The connections that we can and that some video uploaders do make seem to be quite limited by Copyright law. Remixes unless by the original artist are illegal. Ripping DVDs are illegal.
Essentially, what youtube makes us is a society of thieves rummaging for answers.
The man in this video talks about how technology introduces new complications and ultimately changes law.
Patent law in the United States has always seemed kind of regressive in that they've let corporations dominate it, to the point where it seems to the average person that they're the ones responsible for progressive technology. They're the ones who've come up with every great innovation and invention --- stripping away the context and the authenticity, the knowledge of the common person.
Youtube encourages that knowledge of the common person.
For him, Youtube provides the ability to re-mix and re-make. The re-mix, the re-make acts as a form of literacy, a form of communication. This form of communication acts as a new way to conceptualize and re-organize the world...and perhaps spawn a whole new set of ideas. It's a collection of syntheses that can exponentially spawn new modes of thought. It's sort of like the effect of the shot of earth from a satellite photo from space...inspires a growing, ecological, interconnectedness consciousness.
The insensibility of copyright law is that everything restricts creativity.
It's ironic that a society that likes to call itself "free" in comparison to the "not free", and fight for "free" has such laws that
His end point: Lawmakers are not going to stop this tide of people taking things and re-appropriating them, the best they can do is label them as doing things "wrong." Like the lawmakers adapted to other modes of technology, they must reasonably adapt to new Web 2.0, user-produced content.
That said, here are my top 9 favorite remixes of various things from popular culture, mostly my childhood.
9) Doug Theme Song
Done in 3 speeds. A waste of time, but funny! The slow version strikes me as pretty funny to watch when high.
8) Renaldo Lapuz - You Are My Brother
I love this motherfucker. He is exactly the phenom that the anthropologist in the first video was talking about.
7) Super Mario Bros. Theme Song
A mellowed out version of the plumbers who eat shrooms and their theme song.
6) Inspector Gadget Theme Song
Kinda weird looking, but can't say it's a lack of skills. Flute and beatboxing.
5) Rihanna - Umbrella
I need to know her.
4) Curtis Mayfield - Move on Up
3) Capcom's Street Fighter - Guile's Stage
2 and 1) Mortal Kombat v. Street Fighter
This was all video-game based. Obviously, the video games have never actually been merged, but some graphic artist took his time to show us what could be...in two parts! Storyline's funny, but I love seeing the action.