The Machine is Us

I am sure this will be all over the biblioblogosphere soon/now, but this video posted by David Free is… well, amazing.

We are the toobes. Web 2.0 is about the content we create, the content that can be recreated by others. It is the read/write/share abilities of the web as we now know it that make this an exciting time to be alive.

The video was made by a professor of Anthropology at KSU, Michael Wesch. As academia embraces the concept of the read/write web for research, for ideas, and as a valid outlet, these tools will gain credibility. In some disciplines, YouTube can only be child’s play. What is the critical mass that will take Web 2.0 to credible, reliable, useful tool in “old school” disciplines? What is the critical mass that libraries must reach so that it is commonplace for libraries to produce something like what ACPL has been doing?

–Jane, has reached critical mass

*Updated: the spelling of Dr. Wesch’s name has been fixed. Thanks! 

3 thoughts on “The Machine is Us

  • February 8, 2007 at 2:12 pm


    Just a correction, Mike’s last name is Wesch. And a note that his Digital Ethnograhy group at K-State has a blog where you can see and comment on the “Machine is Us/ing Us” video and others.

  • February 8, 2007 at 4:03 pm

    Hey Jane,

    I don’t think it is all about critical mass. Academics and scientists, for instance, believe they — out of necessity — should not respond to critical mass. Instead, the approach is to commence with skepticism and let empirical data demonstrate what is true.

    Determining whether something is “not child’s play” in that paradigm is pretty slow-going.

    The video is pretty high on the cool factor and I like the “we have to rethink ourselves” part at the end. It is good for drawing attention, but scientists, rightly, should hold themselves up to a higher standard.

    That doesn’t excuse the professional world from not playing with these tools and coming to their own conclusions, of course.

  • February 8, 2007 at 4:44 pm

    While I believe your assumptions to be true about skepticism etc., I wonder what it will take for certain things to be accepted, especially in the publishing arena. I think Open Access journals, even peer reviewed ones, still bear a stigma and the copyright issues alone given the the current technologies are something that mainstream academia has yet to face.

    Only time and research will tell.

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