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Quotes/Leads from Howard Rheingold´s Visit in BCN

A few weeks ago, Howard Rheingold offered two presentations in Barcelona,

@Mercat de les Flors, during Art Futura inaugural session on Oct. 28th.
@Universidad de Vic, during eWeek en Vic on Oct. 29th.

Reading his book, The Virtual Community (Addison-Wesley, 1993) in the late 90’s inspired me to explore further in on-going projects at the time, enacting constructive virtual community learning systems.
Howard’s book ‘blew my mind’ then, and now again with his more recent book and works....

His presentations in Barcelona , following a local edition of his book, Smart Mobs, the Next Social Revolution , in Spanish, left us with gifted punctuations from his current paths of inquiry. Below a few chosen ‘distinctions’ amongst the many exploration leads he offered:

*We are experiencing and will continue to experience co-operative arrangements we know little about ...which may enable changes, e.g. in collective action, formal and informal

*Howard continues tuning in on behavioral exploration in the way we do things … the relation with civilization and new tools: print literacy en-abled democracy, science… what with the new collaborative tools and distributed communication technologies emerging-evolving now?

*Evolution driven by co-operation as well as competition

*Reputation, a currency of trust, lubricates co-operation

*Co-operation, social communication and free software build the internet...The web, created by millions of users before any one tried to make money with it: as’s died.....webblogs bloomed

*Other co-operative technologies e.g.`s:
-In Business: Napster, Linux, Wikipedia, WiFI, RSS, eBay, distributed computing projects...

-In Science and Research: exchange in immune system understanding, oncology... other kinds of scientific distributed research enabled by people co-operating to make it happen with new TIC’s

*Technology development re-defined: not just technology and communication...some emerging technologies are made visible thru usage....placing production-reception & offer-demand equations upside down...when customers/users have a word in saying-doing ... playing? ... along with the new technologies

*Critical uncertainty: users impact-shape the times making business models obsolete...are we passive users?

*Powerful forces @work, degrees of power in des-centralized communication: SMS usage and examples in generational tribes,
-teenagers organizing their personal lives
-spontaneous gatherings and community events
-political agitation cases as in Korea elections
-cognitive impact in common sense-knowledge

*Traditional Mass media exploring participative journalism in combination with emerging multi-media: TV-Phones-PC-Internet-Blogs-Video & Simulation Games...viral marketing campaigns in Advertising and so on…

*Issues and Paths of Inquiry: as always good and bad news
-explore new ways in how people think-do things
-what carry on communication power/control-in-pockets could imply?
-the speeds, mental dilemmas and increased co-ordination …human behavior in the search for info & pass the word
-is it possible to relate the info hunters today with the food hunters in other times, possible impact on ecology
-the question of value and are we going to reward ´the hunters´....
-How is this enabling self-organized producers/creators/professionals?, in a distributed network economy...where some tools and how to´s are more and more affordable, depending on the context?
-the question of ….Knowledge building vs Information control?

In perspective…quite some food and ‘tools for thought’…inspiring questions and paths to explore, we may re-visit from time to time
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