shell of ghosts

Here is a snippet from the recent ↑interview with William Gibson, which Bryan Alexander (who ↵pointed me to it) ↵liked especially: It’s harder to imagine the past that went away than it is to imagine the future. What we were prior to our latest batch of technology is, in a way, unknowable. It would be harder to accurately imagine what New York City was like the day before the advent of broadcast television than to imagine what it will be like after life-size broadcast holography comes online. But actually the New York without the television is more mysterious, because we’ve … Continue reading

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gods and robots

Somehow this one has escaped my attention till today—unfortunately some paywall, moving wall, system bug, or whatyouhave bars my access to it, although my university has subscribed to that publication and pays for the access. Anyhow, it goes together well with ↵the new gods. Here’s the abstract of Vidal’s article: Since the 1980s, a new area of research entitled HRI (Human-Robot Interaction) has been emerging in the field of robotic studies. It focuses on the empirical study of the relationship between robots and human beings. This article aims to contrast the findings of roboticists concerning the interaction between humans and … Continue reading

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anthropology coming of age

welcome to the 21st century    Since quite a time ↵I was eagerly awaiting ‘↑Coming of age in Second Life: An anthropologist explores the virtually human‘ by ↑Tom Boellstorff—it just arrived with yesterday’s snail-mail, so I had not yet the chance to read Tom’s book from front to back cover. Until now I only read chapter 1 ‘Subject and scope,’ plus a dozen or so random paragraphs from throughout the book. Hence I am not yet qualified to deliver a review, instead I will jot down just some thoughts.  Although ‘↑Second Life‘ (SL) is not the focus of my own … Continue reading

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nine per cent

Dear ↑Mr. President, Come take a walk with me … ;-) ‘Tis a strange realm, cyberspace. Since a couple of years here at ↑Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU), the institution where I am working—or am pretending to do so, there is a lot of talk about the university’s corporate identity, its profile, its international publicity, and so on. Well, you people up there, treat me well if you care about the international reputation of our house. Treating me well starts with calling me Mr. Nine Per Cent [not to be confused with ↑50 Cent] from now on … here is a snippet … Continue reading

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mobile phone as cultural artefact

↑Fabian Klenk has put his Magister Artium thesis online at ↑his site [scroll down for download link] and ↑at mana’o [1.38MB | .pdf].  KLENK, FABIAN. 2007. Ethnologie der modernen Technologien: Das Mobiltelefon als kulturelles Artefakt. Magister Artium thesis Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München. … Continue reading

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my writing

There really is no use in having manuscripts merrily rotting away in drawers and on HDDs. So here are some pieces of mine, on cyberanthropology, appropriation, and game modding:  KNORR, ALEXANDER. 2008. ↓maxmod—eine Ethnographie der cyberculture: Exposé des Habilitationsprojektes [128KB | .pdf]. [unpublished manuscript]  KNORR, ALEXANDER. 2007. ↓Game modding [136KB | .pdf]. [unpublished manuscript]  KNORR, ALEXANDER. 2007. ↓Die kulturelle Aneignung des Spielraums: Vom virtuosen Spielen zum Modifizieren und zurück. [ 220KB | .pdf]. [second version of the manuscript] Scheduled for publication in Shooter: Ein Computerspiel-Genre in multidisziplinärer Perspektive [working title], edited by Matthias Bopp, Peter C. Krell and Serjoscha Wiemer. … Continue reading

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bright falls goes wireless

  Whenever new means of computer-mediated communication (CMC) appear on the scene, they immediately are tried out by the [Max Payne/Alan Wake] community and quickly get integrated into its interaction-infrastructure. The environment within which the community exists is not formed by one particular service or technology. The Internet itself with its everchanging possibilities is the “natural environment” within which the community’s habitat is situated. (↵Knorr 2006b: 4) This bragging statement of mine stands yet to be corrected. Since four days ↑BrightFalls.com, the community driven premiere news source on ↑Remedy‘s upcoming game “↑Alan Wake“ can be ↑viewed on mobile phones via … Continue reading

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jakobsson 2006 excerpts

According to Sterling (1993) it was John Perry Barlow who first adopted Gibson’s concept for use of all kinds of perceived technological spaces. Barlow stated that cyberspace “is where you are when you’re talking on the telephone” (Rucker, Sirius, and Queen 1993). Featherstone and Burrows (1995) differentiate between Gibsonian cyberspace and Barlowian cyberspace but, as is evident in the following quote, Gibson himself seems to have adopted Barlow’s definition. “I think in a very real sense cyberspace is the place where a long distance telephone call takes place” (Josefsson 1995). (↵Jakobson 2006: 25)  Featherstone, Mike and Roger Burrows. 1995. Cultures … Continue reading

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nomads now online

  The paper I presented at the workshop ↑Understanding media practices at the ↑9th EASA Biennial Conference which took place from September 18th through September 21st 2006 in Bristol, UK, now is online at my own server: ↑“The online nomads of cyberia” [.pdf | 337KB | ↑mirror—see ↑Jenny Ryan’s short review]. At the ↑Media Anthropology Network’s events page there are already some others to download, among them ↑“Game pleasures and media practices” [.pdf | 160KB] by ↑Elisenda Ardèvol et al., which I ↵mentioned earlier. … Continue reading

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