Culture Democracy Internet ITP

Noisy Idiots


My ITP classmate, Catherine White, has set up a community on Ning to discuss her ongoing project.  In her own words:

My research is primarily focused on how we work together in groups, particularly how to make collaboration more fruitful, and efficient (and less painful – because it sometimes is). Specifically, I am looking at groups we are part of online.

My thesis project came out of a midterm paper I wrote in March for Clay Shirky’s Social Facts class. I studied a forum online and discovered that there are some people who can be pretty disruptive in groups – even though they may not be violating the rules of the group. Its these people I’m interested in studying, to see how we can structure and govern groups to make collaboration enjoyable, not painful – and to ensure that group decisions reflect the group as a whole….

One small explanation about the term ‘Noisy Idiots’ – my main aim is to find ways to include people in debate and groups. The phrase came about in a playful manner due to sheer frustration at seeing some people dominate group discussion in a disruptive way. This paper tackles tricky issues such as balancing free speech and constructive conversation, but the aim is to get us all talking and listening to each other. I also understand the very important role that minority voices play in conversation – and am in no way suggesting that we shouldn’t listen to those with a view that is different to ours.

I’d be hugely grateful to hear your thoughts – and your ideas, thank you.

Read the the draft of Catherine’s paper and join the conversation at the Noisy Idiots Ning Community.

Applications ITP NYU

Applications – Redslist

Today’s student group presentation in Red Burns’ Applications class at ITP was called Redslist, which created as a reaction to last week’s guest speaker, Craig Newmark of Craigslist.  Everybody in the class was requested to submit one or more items, services or experiences that they wanted to exchange with others in class.  I offered up some beginning piano lessons, a bespoke dining experience, and a Proust Questionnaire-style interview.  Funny enough, people only took me up on the Proust Questionnaire interview.  I interviewed Ted and Sarah in exchange for some gyokuro tea leaves (from Ted) and a can of Bud Light (from Sarah).  Check out their answers after the jump.