[FoRK] culture & media research proposal

Simon Dann simon at photogabble.co.uk
Tue Apr 28 15:43:28 PDT 2009

With thanks to those who gave feedback I have taken my original broad
question and focused it down to one interesting study.

"With Knowledge representing the 'ideal-type' cultural commodity-form,
corporations are able to take ownership of knowledge to their own advantage.
This is not only dangerous but also very problematic, choosing one context
investigate how."

The above title is still a working one, eventually it will be no more than
10 words in length but I hope it gives a gist of what I am going to attempt.
I have three ideas of contexts that I can apply the above question to, the
first is medicine companies taking ownership over the human genome as well
as certain molecules with medical properties which enforce tight
restrictions on research others can do into those areas, I can research into
whether it has slowed down crucial research and the ethical implications.
My second context is the kindle, notably its EULA and the implications this
has on the end user. What constitutes a book, having it printed or the words
themselves in a particular order. Do kindle owners have the right to sell on
books they have bought considering had they paid the same for a physical
edition they would have that right as staus-quo.
The third context is cloud computing and ownership of data transmitted to
systems such as myspace, facebook, google apps, etc.

I think I shall use only one context as the focus and use two or three
relevent case studies so I can fit it all into 12,000 words. I had 18,000
limit last year so its gotten a bit more difficult.

I extend my thanks to those who responded with helpful comments, I had been
thinking about the project for so long that while I could see problems with
the question I needed a fresh set of eyes to point out where they where.

*>My ex-wife works in the perfuming business.

>An interesting anecdote about how they work is that they first come up
>with the advertising, and then build a product (packaging, bottle,
>scent) to go with it.

>In other words, the product is ancillary to the identity they are selling.*

I shall remember that, it is quite interesting, possibly relevent to another
essay im working on atm.

On Tue, Apr 28, 2009 at 11:01 PM, Damien Morton <dmorton at bitfurnace.com>wrote:

> Heres a great example of the 'identity' thing.
> *My ex-wife works in the perfuming business.
> An interesting anecdote about how they work is that they first come up
> with the advertising, and then build a product (packaging, bottle,
> scent) to go with it.
> In other words, the product is ancillary to the identity they are selling.
> *
> On Tue, Apr 28, 2009 at 8:05 AM, Aaron Burt <aaron at bavariati.org> wrote:
> > On Mon, Apr 27, 2009 at 08:54:22PM +0100, Simon Dann wrote:
> >> im split between the following two questions for my masters research
> >> project,
> >>
> >> "In today's cultural ecology is there such a thing as a free gift?"
> >
> > "Yes."  "No."  It depends entirely on how you define 'free'.  Might make
> > a nice essay, but hard to stretch into a research paper.
> >
> >> “In the light of present capitalist driven globalisation, which is the
> >> ultimate commodity: knowledge or identity?”
> >
> > Might be interesting, in light of previous globalization-style trade
> > expansions driven by capitalism, mercantilism or simple economic
> expansion.
> >
> > It may be a difficult comparison though, given differing modes of
> > communication and wealth movement, and given that knowledge was often
> > inextricibly tied to identity -- if you wanted to build a cloth mill,
> > you needed to poach someone who knew how to build one.  (That's how it
> > is with technology - if it's in a book, it's often too old to give you a
> > commercial advantage.)
> >
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