requiem for certainty

Archive for July 2008

Sunstein’s “Republic.com 2.0”

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So I just finished Sunstein’s revision of Republic.com this evening, published by Princeton UP last year as Republic.com 2.0.  I’m happy that someone as intelligent, engaged, and interesting as Sunstein is turning his attention to internet practices and their affects on democratic practices.  This is an important topic and too-much neglected by political theorists and political philosophers.  So Sunstein’s book deserves reading if for that reason alone.  Despite all the praise I might want to lavish on the book, however, there is also a good deal of criticism I would want to heap on it.  I will focus just on the criticisms for now. Read the rest of this entry »

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Written by Colin Koopman

July 24, 2008 at 6:50 pm

Posted in dewey, hayek, internet, mill

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Simple Syllogism for the Internet Age

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1. Reality is only available as information (derived from a certain reading of Kant)

2. All information is available everywhere (derive fromd a prophetic internetworking theory)

Therefore,

3. All available reality is available everywhere

(The logic is rather unassailable but the premises may perhaps be doubted.)

Written by Colin Koopman

July 24, 2008 at 1:33 am

Posted in internet

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Online Deliberation Conference

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I presented last week at a conference over at the Berkeley iSchool entitled ‘Tools for Participation’ on the subject of ‘Online Deliberation and Directions and Implications of Advanced Computing’ (DIAC/OD 2008).  There were a number of interesting projects, papers, and technologies presented, all of them focused around online participation, collaboration, and deliberation.  My experience at the conference reinforces my hunch that now is the time (for me) to take up cross-disciplinary collaborations in the context of internet research.  These should be collaborations amongst theorists and empirical inquirers (but also with practitioners, users, and developers).  One of the best ways of doing this is collaborative concept work – since concepts face both theory and practice at once.  Conceptualization need not aim for theoretical system-building nor empirical fact-collecting, but can rather aim for articulating our practices in the sense of both explicating their theoretical commitments (articulation as explication) and drawing out their empirical interconnections (articulation as linkage).  A guiding thought for me in this context is that we currently lack concepts adequate to the emerging internet practices that take an increasingly prominent place in our lives.  These practices demand the labor of conceptualization. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Colin Koopman

July 1, 2008 at 7:35 pm