jueves, 3 de mayo de 2012

Cultura pirata

Pirate … from the Latin pirata (-ae; pirate)… transliteration of the Greek piratis (pirate; πειρατής) from the verb pirao (make an attempt, try, test, get experience, endeavour, attack; πειράω). 
[...] The work of a blog’s author tends to be kept quite separate from that of others who use the same blog to review or respond to that work. Although ‘responses to the text’ may indeed ‘appear in the same form, and the same frame, as the text itself’, then, these two distinct identities and roles –of original author and secondary reviewer, respondent or commentator, as it were– are maintained and reinforced by the blogging medium. So not only does Fitzpatrick not actually put ideas of the human, subjectivity or the associated concept of the author to the test, neither do blogs, for all Fish endeavours to portray both otherwise. Instead, the maintenance of authorship and originality on Fitzpatrick’s part is achieved with the assistance ofthe very medium (blogging) Fish positions as creating problems for it.
While these media are different to traditional forms of long-form scholarship, the way the majority of academics interact with blogs and social media such as Facebook and Google+ actually functions to promote and sustain notions of the author and originality more than they undermine them. This is in no small part due to the fact that, as Felix Stalder points out, ‘[y]ou have to present yourself in public as an individual in order to be able to join digital social networks, which, increasingly, becomes a precondition [to] join other forms of social networking.’
[...] Where does that leave us, if even the digital humanities (or at least Fish’s and Fitzpatrick’s versions of them) do not represent too much of a test of the orthodox modes of creation, composition, legitimization, accreditation, publication and dissemination in the humanities? [...] Should we consider embracing our own variation on the theme of refusal that has been so important to autonomous politics in Italy: namely, a strategic withdrawal of our academic labour –and not just from blogs and corporate social media such as Facebook and Google+?
[...] While John Willinsky has represented it as ‘both a critical and practical step toward the unconditional university’ imagined by Jacques Derrida in ‘The Future of the Profession or the University Without Condition’, the open access movement is actually (currently at least) quite conditional. It may promote the ‘right to speak and to resist unconditionally everything’ that concerns the restriction of access to knowledge, research and thought, as Willinsky says. However, the open access movement does so, for the most part, only on condition that the ‘right to say everything’ about a whole host of other questions is not exercised. Included in this are questions not just about the use of blogs, Facebook, Google+ and so on by open access advocates such as Suber and myself, but also about the author, text and originality.
But what if, taking our lead from Derrida, we were to view the open access movement as merely a strategic starting point for thinking about such issues? What if we were to regard the above conditionality of open access not as a prompt to move beyond open access, or to leave it behind and replace it with something else, but rather as directing us to follow the logic of the open access movement through ‘to the end, without reserve’, to the point of agreeing with it against itself? What if we were to begin to speak about, and to resist unconditionally, some of the other orthodoxies that concern the restriction of access to knowledge, research and thought: precisely ideas of authorship and originality, and the copyright system that sustains them? I single out copyright because, if we wish to struggle against the ‘becoming business’ of the university, then we have to accept this may involve us in a struggle against the system of copyright too, since the latter is one of the main ways in which knowledge, research and thought are being commodified, privatized and corporatized.
[...] In this respect, what is most interesting about certain phenomena associated with networked digital culture such as Napster, the Pirate Bay or AAAAARG is that we cannot tell at the time of their initial appearance whether they are legitimate or not. This is because the new conditions created by networked digital culture –such as the ability to digitize and make freely available whole libraries’ worth of books (as is the case with Google Books and AAAAARG)– at times require the creation of equally new intellectual property laws and copyright policies. The UK’s Digital Economies Act 2010 is one example; the Google Book settlement, SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act) in the USA are others. It follows that we can never be sure whether these so-called pirates, in the ‘attempts’ they are making to ‘contend with’ the new conditions and possibilities created by networked digital culture, to ‘trial’ them and put them to the ‘proof’, are not in fact involved in the creation of the very new laws, policies, clauses, settlements, licensing agreements and acts of Congress and Parliament by which they could be judged.
[...] Consequently, we cannot tell what is going to happen with ‘pirate’ philosophy. It may lead to new forms of culture, economy and education: where people work and create for reasons other than to get paid; where the protection of copyright is no longer possible; where the institutions of the culture industry –book publishers, newspapers, and so forth– are radically reconfigured; music is available to freely download and share (which it already is); communities disseminate academic monographs via peer-to-peer networks and text-sharing platforms (which they already do); and where even ideas of the individualistic, humanist, proprietorial author are dramatically transformed. In this respect, pirate philosophy may play a part in the development of not just a new kind of university, but a new economy and new way of organizing industrial society too.
Gary Hall: "Pirate Radical Philosophy", en Radical Philosophy.

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