Panel, relational rowdies, etc

Elsewhere on the Net:

1. Anonymous academic-style essay embraces soccer hooligans and the smashing of small shopkeeper storefronts; calls these activities "relational aesthetics." (no link) Update, 2013: The anonymous essay, published on Paddy Johnson's blog, was later claimed by Brad Troemel on his CV - that's not very anonymous. I was being arch in not wanting to describe his topic but essentially it was a bulletin board that at the time had very damaging trolling activities going on, such as harassing the family of an 11-year old who the trolls thought was too mouthy.

2. Paddy Johnson describes a panel discussion in a Manhattan art gallery on the subject of artists' use of the Internet. It wasn't very substantive. As I noted in her comments (off the top of my head), here were a few subjects not covered:

The differences between so called social media art of the present day and net art of the type collected by museums in the late ’90s; the embrace of Facebook by traditional artists, despite having one of the most restrictive image handling systems of any platform; and the ways it has revolutionized the tumblr model; Gene McHugh’s post on “digital painting” and whether the site is actually doing that right or whether the pixel/animated GIF school deserves equal consideration as a form of “painting”; the mediation of the Marina Abramovic show through the spread of internet photography and memes; the effect of net neutrality ending after the Google/Verizon collusion; etc etc.

One of the panelists, responding to this in the comments suggested the panel could have been "saved" if I had:

--walked up to the podium at the beginning of the evening, yanked the microphone out of the moderator's hand, and insisted that these were the right questions to ask, or

--arranged to have the moderator kidnapped, stolen his mailing list and mailed out these topics in advance of the event.

This would have been untoward, though, so I asked a handful of questions of a panelist who was working in the tumblr environment. Thought I was being modest but apparently was depriving the group of leadership, and I'm sorry. Next time. Update, 2013: Again, I'm being too arch for my own good. In this post I was obliquely responding to panelist Lance Wakeling's rude comment to me: "Tom is pigeonholing three different projects and concluding that they have nothing to say concerning 'immaterial dispersal.' It's great to suggest these topics after the fact. But where were you when we all needed you, Tom? You could have saved the panel!"

Bloglines Ending

Can anyone recommend an RSS reader, other than Google Reader? Bloglines goes belly up on Oct. 1 and I have about 50 feeds that are about to become homeless. Pls email if you have any suggestions. I could use Firefox but I don't think it has the handy bolding and parenthetical to announce new posts.

According to the mealy mouthed company statement from Bloglines:

The real-time information RSS was so astute at delivering (primarily, blog feeds) is now gained through conversations, and consuming this information has become a social experience. As Steve Gillmor pointed out in TechCrunch last year , being locked in an RSS reader makes less and less sense to people as Twitter and Facebook dominate real-time information flow. Today RSS is the enabling technology – the infrastructure, the delivery system. RSS is a means to an end, not a consumer experience in and of itself.

Rough translation: it's better to get your news from random conversations with friends and strangers you stumble on walking around the streets than to have a list of sources that prioritizes the information. Twitter could tell me when people have updated their blogs (maybe!) but I'd also have to read how someone hurt their elbow this morning. I like twitter for some things but it's impossible to organize it the way a news reader is organized. List of sources, new post notifications, that's all I want.

You become more and more of a crazed, cave-dwelling hermit every day you remain outside the Zuckerberg Continuum and that's what's happening here at Psychotherapy teaches us that it's possible to erect sanity-saving "boundaries" with friends and loved ones but that logic doesn't extend to the decision to avoid the more toxic social media products out there. The social pressure to join that particular Borg is enormous.