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Exam Questions and Answers December 21, 2007

Posted by oiwan in revision.
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1. What are the implications of the emergence of internet citizen media to the development of democracy of a society? please elaborate your answer with an example.

– credits would be given to those who address the different between internet citizen media and mass media, the distinctive character of internet citizen media.

– when discussing about democracy, credits would be given to those who specify what kind of what aspect of democracy they are talking about, such as voting in formal democracy, public sphere in deliberative democracy. discussion about social movement and civil society would also be taken into account.

– example can be a website or an event.

2. What is the meaning of “free” in free culture? How do Lawrence Lessig and Richard Stallmans’ understandings of knowledge affect their opinios in copyright?

– free means freedom, free exchange in a market, as defined by Lawrence Lessig.

– Both Lawrence Lessig and Richard Stallman see knowledge as accumulative, common goods, copying of previous knowledge, etc. Both against the monopoly of knowledge and see the need for a balance between commons and property.

– Lawrence copyright model based on Law, architecture / technology and norms.

– Lawrence Lessig promotes creative commons, while Richard Stallmans promotes copyleft and GNU. Special credits would be given to those who talk about their background: Lessig as a lawyer and Stallmans as a programmer.

3. “Internet Media is an extension and transgression of the Self.” What are the theoretical debates around this statement? and to what extent do you agree with the statement?

– can discuss the issues with any one of the following theoretical trajectories. the point is to discuss about the relation between individual and virtual space.

– Castell’s discussion about convergent and divergent, liberation as ideology

– Barlow’s declaration of independence of cyberspace and cyberfeminism – Clay Shirky’s power law, etc.

– Baudrillard, Virilio’s critique of cyberspace, Marcuse’s discussion about technology

– Discussion concerning cyberpower

4. How does internet complicate the debate on censorship? How do you evaluate the censorship practice in Mainland China?

– nature of the internet, its development as a non-governed space (history of ICANN), its technical characters, e.g web 2.0 features, etc.

– you are expect to specify the censorship practice in china before you evaluate it. Which government body is in responsible? How?

– evaluation can be in terms of the struggle for free space and the effectiveness, or it can be comments on its impact to the freedom of speech, etc. anything that makes sense.

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期終習作評語 December 20, 2007

Posted by oiwan in Project.
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習作的評分準則:

1. 資料搜集, 有進行訪談或文獻以外的資料搜集會有額外的分數
2. 理論和概念的運用, 是否有運用或回應課程中學到的概念
3. 發掘問題的能力

見紅字者請交 hardcopy 到政政系辦公室.

Liu Hui, Jiang Yunzhi, Kevin Poon, Wang Ye: 俠客與暴民

是一個很好的題目, 亦選取了一些有趣的例子, 可是研究的結果則重在暴民, 而沒有分析在什麼情況下, 一些議題為變成 mob, 另一些又會變成影響深遠的公共關懷. 在缺乏對比下, 對 mob 的解讀泛於表面.

政策對比部份提供了一些很不錯的資料.

Lam Mei Kwan, Leung Cheuk Yi: 互聯網對知識定義的挑戰

雖然我說可以交 powerpoint, 但你們這習作的形式與內容, powerpoint是一個非常差的方法.

習作中似要比較 wikipedia 和本地版的香港網絡大典, 但卻未能回答同一個工具, 不同參與者, 管理如何形成不同的面貌和社群.

蔡俊威, 黎嘉晋: 第二人生

很有趣的研究, 亦很努力嘗試介入課程中的種種討論. 未來進一步的研究可以討論 Baudrillard 批評互聯網把政治虛擬的說法. 譬如說習作中談到的審議式民主和全球暖化會議等, 與 offline 政治如何互動, 影響力有多大, 抑或是一個避世的理想邦等等.

陳智珩, 延鑫丹, 王婧輝: 百度知道與雅虎知識比較

很認真的研究, 資料充足, 亦有嘗試介入理論與概念的討論, 唯一些討論未夠深入, 可進一步討論看似中立的技術在 localization 的質徵. 習作中, 傳統知識這一概念過於空泛, 可以從知識範典 (paradigm) 的層面去介入討論.

廖曉晶, 成韻楨, 吳曉鋒, 黃雅蘭: 雅虎知識與維基百科

很好的描繪和比較, 但分析和結論略嫌單薄, 兩種工具對知識前提和目的有根本的差異, 不能純粹以認受性等概念來作比較.

Melody, Maggie, Mak Chi Lit: Facebook, Miniforum, discuss 的動員

很好的題目和整理, 但過於描述性, 亦沒有細緻分析不同工具的動員特色.

陳正犖, 何俊傑, 王家兒: 知識產權在網絡世界是否存在?

整個習作不成比例地徧重藥物的知識產權討論, 相反有關網絡的只輕輕帶過, 亦沒有觸及當中的討論/辯論.

Tsui Yik Tung: 中國政府對網絡的攻防戰

很好的概述, 其他若集中在 Foucalt 圓形監獄式的管治, 來分析國內的互聯網查禁會更有趣.

楊明渭, 梁燕明, 馮潤和, 溫健龍: 中美政府審查模式比較

很詳細的概述, 亦能把審查放回政治制度的脈絡中分析, 從而了解不同審查範典的操作.

Andy Law: http://www.youth.gov.hk

The paper is a bit out of focus. It touches across too many aspects, without looking into the interaction mechanism. The comparison between hk and u.s is not specific enough and the suggestions are too empty.

Lam Yuk Kwan, Ng Sui Lun, Sheung Gar Ming: Liberal Party and its internet forum

It is a detailed the liberal party’s website and the team managed to locate the website development in the context of party politics in hk.

Fan Tsam Ue: 互聯網與舊區重建電視

透過訪談和觀察, 看互聯網如何改變傳統另類媒體的傳播, 一個很好的嘗試.

江斯潔, 李浩晹, 梁凱茵, 莫佩霞: 香港討論組

有較詳細的描述和例子, 但未能分析暴民式討論原因, 並與相關的研究對話.

Tsui Wai Hang, Cheung Wing Hang, Tang Ho Kin: Epoch Time

It is great that you have interviewed the editor of Epoch Time. However, you failed to ask relevant questions concerning how the internet create spaces for a marginalized movement, and how the internet helps the organization to attract or maintain the identity of their members. It is important to put the prejudice aside when doing a research.

陳子健, 簡迪洋, 江偉銘: 網上署聯

資料搜集很詳細, 題目亦對題, 亦提了一些有意思的網上動員問題.

Kwong Ying Ha, Thanakom Chu: Youtube

很用心的作業, 能把 youtube 放回美國的政治脈絡下分析, 對比香港, 並討論網絡媒體與主流媒體的關係.

馮建瑋, 薛健鋒, 何健豪: 香港獨立運動

是一個認真的習作, 可是有關港獨歷史的描述, 有點把反殖=港獨的問題. 此外, 未能訪問港獨網站的創辦人與參與者, 使分析建基在網站宣言之上的做法有所不足, 因為虛擬世界的政治不是現實的正直反映. 此外, 社會運動動員理論與獨立運動之間, 有一大鴻溝, 後者往往涉及政治和軍事層面的動員, 而不能單從社會運動去分析.

呂兆康, 梁嘉玲, 陳子平: 財經網誌

整個習作, 網誌分析比重太少. 有關權威分析, 應涉及金融行業的特質, 其訊息流向, 而不單是誰是權威的問題. 新興財經網誌部份, 沒有具體的例子說明其訊息和互動與報紙或其他媒體的分別, 只寫了一般網誌的特質. 影響部分, 後現代主義劃分過於空泛, 無助了解財經網誌訊息內容, 互動特質.

Solomon, Vincent, Kelvin: 香港人民廣播電台

是一份很用心的習作, 透過訪談對人民台的背景, 運作有綜合理解, 並把人民台的經驗與傳統電台對比, 探索網絡電台的潛力.

林君: 社會運動與資訊溝通科技—— 從天星皇后事件看 網絡公共空間和混合流動動員.

是一個有深入思考過的習作, 除了課堂上有關網絡與公共空間和社會運動的討論外, 還點上網上書寫與官方歷史書寫的差異, 可以變成日後更深入的研究議題.

沈偉男: 台灣的對抗媒體運動 – 以「與媒體對抗」為例

對網站的分析過於描述性, 沒有點出網上組織的媒抗運動與其他形成的組織有何差異, 亦沒有回到一些相關理論和概念脈絡進行分析.

Yeung Tat Ki: 同性戀網站動員

只能說是一個同性戀網站的內容簡介, 缺乏分析, 沒有用心研究當中的互動, 亦沒有處理網絡技術如何改變同性戀運動.

CHENG Kwan Yau, CHEUNG Ho Yee

是唯一一份以 Youtube 視像交的功課, 基本上簡介了撐普選網上動員的工作. 雖然剪接不算很突出, 但有用心訪問與製作: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbN472cHFPM

Choi Chun Lam: 高登文化

一個有趣的題目, 亦能描繪出高登討論文化的一些特色, 若能多講述這些文化如何影響主流政治文化會更有意思, 當然, 這涉及更廣泛的研究和訪談.

真係學到野: Barcamp 2007 December 17, 2007

Posted by oiwan in news.
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若大家對互聯網的發展, 政治, 生意等有興趣的話, 不妨一讀: 真係學到野: Barcamp 2007

講開 facebook 潛力, 一些 programmer 指出, facebook 正朝向發展為一個像 window 般的 Operation system (OS), 可是目前 facebook 的 plug in 是把其他網站的資訊或功能引到 facebook 的平台, 相反, 其他網站卻不能把 facebook 的資源引走, 這封閉性可能造成一些問題, 它打斷了互聯網的互惠特性, 使其他網站難以生存。不過, 有 programmer 則指出, 一旦 facebook 成為普及的 OS, 其他網站亦要透過 plugin 而進入 facebook 這個平台, 並於這個平台找尋可能的賺錢方法。唔怪得知 facebook 賣到咁貴, 原來它已超出純粹的社交網, 有潛力成為另一個 Microsoft 帝國。

對了, Napo 還提到一個 MC Farmer 的國內短片, 談到 hip hop 的起源在中國, 被 nokia 高價買入變成其宣傳片; content is the king 的道理, 在互聯網世界, 還仍舊運作。

iPhone 膺Google搜尋之最 December 6, 2007

Posted by cyhlym in Uncategorized.
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【明報專訊】Google周二公布美國07年十大熱門搜尋排行榜,iPhone居榜首,並且是在美國搜尋次數龍虎榜上升得最快的關鍵詞。另外有4個社交網上榜,包括排第二的Webkinz網站,它是虛擬寵物網站,用戶登記後可養虛擬寵物。名人八卦網站TMZ排第三;「變形金剛」排第四;短片分享網站YouTube排第五;兒童社交網企鵝俱樂部排第六;社交網站MySpace排第七;劇集《Heroes》、Facebook及今年初在酒店猝死的艷星安娜史密斯(Anna Nicole Smith)分別排第八至十位。

YouTube MySpace Facebook入十大

不過,奧地利格拉茨大學資訊及電腦媒體學教授毛雷爾指出,Google逐漸變成奧威爾小說《1984》筆下的「大阿哥」,壟斷互聯網,嚴重侵犯私隱。他在報告中說,每月有610億個網上搜尋。在美國,平均六成網上搜尋經Google進行,亦有多達95%用戶曾用Google搜尋器。報告指,Google比任何機構知道更多其他公司及個人的資料,但又不受國家資料保護法約束。

毛雷爾說,Google透過搜尋器可累積大量資料,恐變成全球最大偵探社。他警告,Google現時雖沒有利用這批資料,但將來會否為了股東利益而使用資料就不得而知。

大家對於立法管制網絡搜尋器公司以保障私隱有何看法呢?

虛擬禮物 半年賺逾億傳李嘉誠有意入股Facebook December 5, 2007

Posted by cyhlym in Uncategorized.
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【明報專訊】聖誕又到,又是送禮物的季節。今年2月起社交網站Facebook推出「1美元虛擬禮物」功能,至今已成功「出售」2400萬美元(1.87億港元)的虛擬禮品。最近,有消息指李嘉誠透過私人基金入股社交網站Facebook,以6000萬美金(4.68億港元)入股,換取0.4%的Facebook股權。能夠得到「超人」青睞,Facebook自然非池中物。「1美元虛擬禮物」無本生利,比起超人過往任何一項生意,都有過之而無不及。

多種虛擬禮物 全售1美元

熟悉Facebook的用家,都不會對「1美元虛擬禮物」功能陌生。簡單而言,Facebook在網站內陳列出數百樣虛擬禮物,由小、小狗,到鑽石戒指、金表、內衣內褲,總之想像得到甚至想像不到的東西都包括在內,每樣禮物其實都只是一個小小的數碼圖畫,送出後像一個小徽章放在收禮人的頁面,每一個盛惠1美元(7.8港元),部分禮物更是「限量產品」,但所謂限量,其實可以讓數萬人購買。

加州銷售公司Sapient的科菲說﹕「對於收到禮物的人來說,這就像一種榮譽徽章。」科菲親自在Facebook上購買禮物作試驗,他共買了數件1美元的禮物,包括一雙虛擬鞋給他的妻子作生日禮物,以及一瓶虛擬啤酒給老闆。他直言,這些精品不過只是刻意討人喜愛的禮物圖片,但確是大行其道。

用家:購買方便吸引

虛擬禮物當然不獨是Facebook的專利。例如在電腦遊戲「虛擬人生」(Second Life)、成人交友網「Utherverse」及少女虛擬社區「Stardoll」中,人們都可以購買禮物券給朋友,讓他們在「虛擬商店」中購物。就像真實世界般,虛擬世界一樣是「先敬羅衣後敬人」。數碼服飾、化妝品、房間擺設以至家俬等裝飾虛擬家居的禮品尤其受歡迎。一對虛擬靴子或許只花2至3美元,但真實世界一對真皮靴可能就要花費20至30美元。

在「虛擬人生」經營「虛擬世界電台網絡」的羅伯茲表示,虛擬產品方便購買,絕對是吸引買家的關鍵。「只需按鍵數次就可完成交易,不用擔心FedEx或郵局是否能準時送貨」。

研究網絡的人類學家布林克夫表示,方便及價廉的購物體驗,令社交網站及虛擬世界開始出售虛擬禮物及商品,結果是大賺特賺。單在11月首兩周,「虛擬人生」聲稱已有300萬件虛擬產品在網上出售。

專家指虛擬禮物發展存局限

不過布氏認為,虛擬禮物的發展其實有局限性。他質疑發送虛擬禮物給身邊的朋友,就像發電郵予鄰居一樣,可謂多此一舉。也有專家指虛擬物禮浪費金錢,愛荷華州立大學新聞系主任布格雅便形容那是「將上千萬計美元倒入虛擬坑渠中」。他說﹕「給朋友傳送個應節的問候,遠比送上虛擬新裝或Facebook圖像來得更有人情味。」

但也有論者認為,不應草草認為虛擬禮物及商品沒有價值。創造「虛擬人生」的林登實驗室的專家茨維蓋爾斯基說﹕「這是數碼虛擬產品,所以很容易令人想到這不是真實。但我們有許多有價值的數碼產品。你曾在iTunes買歌嗎?你曾用錢去買軟件嗎?」

大家對此有何看法呢?

課程檢討 December 5, 2007

Posted by oiwan in evaluation.
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因為還有同學要補考,所以暫時不把考試內容和討論放上來.但希望趁著學期末,做課程檢討,希望若有機會再開這科,可以改善.

我希望大家可以坦誠的給一些意見,雖然老師與學生有明顯的權力不對等,但我以人格保證,這裡的討論內容(是正面抑或是負面)不會影響評分.

在討論前,先把自己一些感覺與檢討寫出來.

1.Cyberpolitics是一個頗新的題目, 基本上沒有一些既定可參考的課程框架,而這次是我第一次教大學本科,課程內容與結構,還在探索之中.

2.這門課在兩年前曾由另一位老師開辦,但教評的結果頗差,沒有足夠的理論與學術的內容,過於表面;所以在編制課程時,我特別強調理論與互聯網發脈歷史脈絡的背景,所以範圍拉得很廣,概念也很多.有些同學認為,因為涉及太多內容和概念,不應定為一年級/通識課程,但我認為,這些背景和概念知識,都是進一步討論/分析/研究的基礎.而且,從 mid-term的成績看,一年級的同學不比三年級的差,而通識的同學,其實比政治系本科的表現更好.

3.有關考試的安排,有些同學認為 mid-term要背書(像中學一樣),有些基本概念,的確要用心去記,若概念不清,隨後的討論會很亂;正如有關天星皇后那位同學的研究,把社會運動簡單地定為新與舊,而沒有細分何為 resource mobilization theory, new social movement theory,結果無法為天星皇后中的 direct action與論述戰作準確的分析和評價.若日後,有人說:咩 free culture?咩都唔駛錢,仲駛做生意咩?我希望你們能以課堂上學到的去回應.

4.本來課程設計是希望能夠有一些技術性的應用練習,但因為人數太多,而技術學習需要有 lab,邊學邊做;若有機會再開課程,我會嘗試把它變成一周兩節,其中一節在電腦房.目前三小時的課,確實太累(對你們和對我來說).

5.至於 project其實彈性很大,希望大家能按照自己的興趣去找題目和 present的形式,但自由太大,大家卻不知如何做,反而絶大部份都以網站分析為基礎.老實說,一個訪問/一篇民間報導/一個網絡媒體動員的 proposal/一個網站設計等等,其實相較網站分析更易操作,大家似乎沒有足夠的興趣與動力去在沒有框架的自由空間下選擇.有建議說把 project的框架定死,我仍在猶豫.

6.You might not be the one, but you can be the only one. 前兩天,有一個研究日本創意的朋友說,日本年青一代,其創造力,源自上面這句說話.The one是最 top的一個,the only one是唯一的一個.但香港大部份的學生,在既有的框架下,要嘛就追求最 top,要嘛都追求平庸,被界定為差的,或逃避或隱藏,甚少有差得帥的.不論你們在這科的框架下,成績是好是壞,最重要是自己是否能否拿到一點點屬於自己的東西,使自己可以慢慢走出自己的路.

暫寫到這裡,容後再補.

On Final Exam (Dec 5, 2007) December 3, 2007

Posted by oiwan in announcement.
4 comments

Time: 05/12/07 9:30am-11:30am

Venue: University Gymnasium

Form: Essay 2 Questions out of 4

Objective and scope: An integrated understanding of concepts, in particular the relation between practices (citizen media, free culture – alternative copyrights, free software, open source) in the internet space and politics (political practice, social relation, power and governance – censorship)

有關研究報告 December 3, 2007

Posted by oiwan in announcement, Project.
5 comments

1. 提交日期: 十二月十日 (之後每遲交三天扣一個 subgrade)

2. 每份報告需要交一個列印本(hardcopy)及一個電子本(softcopy). 電子本寄到 owlam@yahoo.com, 若收不到我的確認電郵, 請電郵 oiwan.lam AT gmail.com; 列印本請交政政系辦公室, 或投進 B5 的郵箱.

3. 報告中請註明組內分工細節

4. 再提醒一次, 任何涉及抄襲, 一經發現, 不單不給予分數, 校方並要求上報. 報告可以引文, 可以參考其他的研究, 但一定要註明出處. Power point 的報告亦然, 所有引用的東西 (理論概念分析), 必需註明出處.

Singapore government’s propaganda November 27, 2007

Posted by oiwan in news.
25 comments

How’s that compared with HK government, huh?

Lecture Notes Nov 19: The development of Internet in China November 19, 2007

Posted by oiwan in lecture notes.
21 comments

1. Basic fact (July 2007) -the China Internet Network Information Centre (CNNIC)

– The number of Internet users reached 162 million or 12.3% of the population
– A total of 1.3 million Chinese websites have been listed
– 19% of China’s Internet users have their own blog

2. Internet, public sphere and civil society

2.1 Background

The Co-evolution of the internet and civil society (pdf)– Yang Guobin, 2003

Civil society is here defined broadly as the intermediate public realm between the state and the private sphere. Citizens and citizen groups participate in organized or unorganized discursive or non-discursive activities in civil society.
This definition includes the public sphere, voluntary organizations, and social movements as key components of civil society. Although some scholars have argued that there is no necessary and logical link between civil society and democracy, a robust civil society is often taken as a basis for democratic politics.

2.1.1 Development of civil society in China

– background: one party domination regime, a parallel admin and party structure: Hu Jintao as party secretary, chairperson of the state and head of PLA, Wen Jiabao as the Premier of the State Council (國務院總理) of the People’s Republic of China. NGOs and grassroots organizations leaded or monitored by party.

– an emerging rights consciousness related to the notion of citizenship rights (公民維權) with the development of capitalism, e.g property rights, labour contract law.

– significant changes in China’s public sphere – commercialization and change in governance (regulation rather than direct control).

– growth of social organizations

2.1.2. Growth of E-civil society (faster than e-commerce)

– existing and dormant citizen groups and networks provide a social basis for using the Internet – e.g alumni group, fansclub.

– the internal dynamics of Chinese civil society such as the expansion of individual rights and urban public spaces, the proliferation of popular protest, the decentralization of the media, and the expansion of associational life.

– Cases: Qiangguo Luntan: expressive space within a repressive regime

2.2. 2003 – Year of internet civil rights

Ref: Mingling politics with play (pdf) – Yang Guobin

– the death of Sun Zhigang 孫志剛 and the reform in population registration system

the death of Huang-jing 黃靜案 challenge the local police and national campaign

– SARS – mobile text message from Guangzhou

– global public sphere: e.g FoxConn case. Bridge Blog: e.g ESWN, globalvoices

2.3 Case Studies: the Chinese Blogger Conference

2005 Shanghai
2006 Hanzhou
2007 Beijing

3. Censorship

Ref: CHINA: Journey to the heart of Internet censorship (pdf) – Investigative report, October 2007, Reporter without frontier

3.1 Official Spervisory bodies:

1. Under Information office of the State Council 國務院 – organizes courses for ideological control

– The Internet Propaganda Administrative Bureau – license and ban

– the Centre for the Study of Public Opinion

2. Under the Publicity Department (the former Propaganda Department) 中共中央宣傳部- party body

– The Internet Bureau – created in 2006

– Bureau of Information and Public Opinion – weekly report to the central committee – publicity department chief (Liu Yunshan)and public security minister (Zhou Yongkang), and since sept 2006 to all members of the party’s political bureau. (Major monitoring sites: Sohu, Sina, Netease, QQ, Bokee, Kongzhong, Daqi, Tianya and Cat898)

3. The Ministry of Information Industry (MII)

4. The Ministry of Public Security’s Computer Monitoring and Supervision Bureau – internet crime

5. The MII’s Centre for the Registration of Illegal and Unsuitable Internet Content – pronography

6. Provincial Information office under provincial publicity department – provincial internet information administrative bureau and provincial association of online media

3.2. Means of control

Training courses – by state council and by provincial information office

Direct monitoring – phone calls, sms and RTE (real time exchange) message from provincial internet information administrative bureau to private sector; weekend gathering.

Penalties – fines, close down

Interesting case: A South Korean website polled its visitors about their nationalism in August 2006, asking them: “If you were reborn, would you want to be Korean again?” The Culture and Debate sections of the website Netease copied the idea, asking visitors if they would want to be Chinese again. The poll ran from 4 September to 11 October. Of the 10,000 people who participated, 64 per cent said they would not want to be Chinese. The main reasons identified were: “Being Chinese is not honourable,” “You cannot buy a house in China, happiness is too inaccessible,” “No reason,”“You cannot crack jokes in China” and “You cannot see good cartoons in China.” Netease had to fire Culture section editor Tang Yan and Debate section editor Liu Xianghui. And the Debate section was closed down.

3.3. Keywords censorship: A list distributed to private sector and media

3.4. Golden Shield Project and Great Fire Wall: by public security department

– IP blocking
– DNS filtering and redirecting – redirecting search engine to Baidu
– URL filtering
– Packet filtering – keywords filtering
– Connection reset

3.5 Tactics to resist censorship

– proxy
– going around provincial power
– web2.0, e.g twitter and micro contribution of news
lawsuit against filtering: censorship is officially denied

Concluding remarks

Theoretical discussion about cyberpolitics:

– intersection of technology (material base) and politics (political system, political culture); how technology mediate individuals, economics, socials and political world.

Themes:
1. Individual and social
2. Democracy
3. Freedom
4. Knowledge
5. New media and social movement
6. Power and governance (regulation)
7. Global and local

Practical knowledge:

1. Web 2.0 and its potentials in social and political organization – how to evaluate a website project? how to make use of different tools?
2. Logics of government’s policy towards copyrights and internet governance – how to comment on government policy regarding internet regulation and e-government?