「游擊隊部落客與老舊精英」(updated)

讀這篇交大瑞典林瑞谷 Erik Ringmar 教授的文章「游擊隊部落客與老舊精英」(Guerrilla Bloggers and the Old Elite),讓我想起要談言論自由,不能不談的中國古老成語:直言賈禍,明哲保身。相對於中國歷史悠久的文字獄(傳統),長輩諄諄教誨人們應該學會適時的緘默、識時務者為俊傑,這週重讀了康德 1784 年 9 月 30 日寫的〈答「何謂啟蒙?」之問題〉,看到一個不一樣的清晰視野。

以往我讀「何謂啟蒙?」問答,都著重在啟蒙的定義,比較忘記康德在「自由運用理性」的脈絡上的提醒:

其理性底公開運用必須始終是自由的,而且唯有這種運用能在人類之中實現啟蒙;但理性之私自運用往往可嚴加限制,卻不致因此特別妨礙啟蒙底進展。但所謂「其自己的理性之公開運用」,我是指某人以學者底身份面對讀者世界底全體公眾就其理性所作的運用。他在某一個委任於他的公共的職位或職務上可能就其理性所作的運用,我稱之為其私自的運用。

一個警察必須要服從警察的規定,去擔任好警察的職務;在這個職務上,不允許他「私自運用理性」只能服從。但是他可以針對不公不義的事情,跳出來以學者的身份,公開表達他的想法。在這個時候,他是「公開運用理性」會對公眾帶來啟蒙的效果。康德說得很正氣凜然:

一個時代不能聯合起來,誓將下一個時代置於一種狀態,使之不可能擴展其知識(尤其是極切要的知識),滌除錯誤,並且真正在啟蒙方面有所進展。此舉違反人性,而人性底原初分命正在於這種進展:且因此後代完全有權將那些決議視為出之於以越權而罪惡的方式,而抵制他們。

我也記得 2002 年 Time 雜誌的年度風雲人物是「吹哨子的人」(the whistleblower):WorldCom 的會計 Cynthia Cooper、FBI 的 Coleen Rowley,以及安隆(Enron)的 Sherron Watkins。這些人就是做到了公共運用理性的人,但是正式因為如此的困難,鳳毛麟角,所以成為年度人物被表揚。

Erik 的文章裡面提到很多特別的例子,包括 CNN 以及他自己工作 12 年的 LSE 倫敦政經學院。我最喜歡的是他最後的戲語,也是我常常勉勵自己跟朋友的話:You got nothing to lose。

Blogging is the best chance we have had in a while to overturn old hierarchies, giving voices to the voiceless and empowering the powerless. Individual blogs will come and go but the internet revolution will continue apace. Working men of all countries, blog! And working women too, and unemployed bastards, CNN journalists, and disgruntled students and angry wives, and everyone else with a grudge, a bean to spill and a story to tell. You have nothing to lose but your gags.

寫部落格是我們到目前以來推翻舊的階層體系的最好機會,讓沒有聲音的人們有機會發聲,賦予沒有權力者予以力量。個別的部落格或許會起起落落,但是網際網路革命將會持續往前走去。所有國家裡的工作中的人們,寫部落格吧!工作的女性同胞們,你們也是,還有失業的傢伙、CNN 的記者們、不爽的學生,爆炸的老婆們,所有受創的人們、報料說故事的人們。除了那禁止你們說話的禁令之外,你還能失去什麼!

後記

週六(因為怠惰公共事務)被 J 嚇阻之後,就沒有寫完這篇部落格了。其實這是週三旁聽一門課 Free Speech on the Internet 作業的側記。除了讀康德的啟蒙跟哈伯瑪斯公共領域之外,我們還需要介紹自己最喜歡的部落格。於是我寫了一篇在這裡:我最喜歡的部落格(快速)。快速者,快筆寫下的意思。其實也有點反省自己的部落格生活。

上課後眾人分享完之後,我問 Erik:你最喜歡的部落格是什麼?果然他也摸著頭想了一下,說他其實很難說得上自己喜歡什麼部落格。他自己是政治學教授,所以對政治部落格一點興趣都沒有(對誰有任何 opinion 完全沒有興趣,哈),反而比較喜歡寫的很好的、很短、值得細讀品嚐的部落格,例如德州(!)的一位同志女性主義作者的部落格 twistyfaster.com(現在好像搬到 iblamethepatriarchy.com 去了)。哈哈大笑,以為記。

沒有意見 / 不予置評:Zero Comments

要談論網路文化,該從哪裡談起呢?何處是我們的 home(page)?…要回到哪一個首頁呢?

我準備要收拾行囊,開始一段漫長的旅程,出發前來到的是荷蘭網路評論者、媒體理論研究者 Geert Lovink 的《沒意見/不予置評》(Zero Comments)的書目介紹資料:

In Zero Comments Geert Lovink upgrades worn-out concepts and inquires the latest Web 2.0 hype around blogs, wikis and social network sites. In this third volume of his studies into critical Internet culture, Lovink develops a ‘general theory of blogging.’ Unlike most publications he is not focusing on the dynamics between bloggers and the mainstream news media. Instead of celebrating ‘citizen journalism’ blogs are analyzed in their ‘nihilist impulse’ to empty out established meaning structures. Blogs bring on decay of the 20th century broadcast media, and are proud of their in-crowd aspect in which linking, tagging and ranking have become the main drivers.

The book also deals with the silent globalization of the Net in which no longer the West, but countries like India, China and Brazil are becoming main players in new media culture. It is not only the latest that Internet enthusiasts should focus on. Zero Comments upgrades concepts such as global Internet time, tactical media, the crisis of new media arts and the problematic relationship between architecture and the Net. The book ends with speculative notions on concepts such as organized networks, free cooperation and distributed aesthetics.(強調處為本文作者所加)

一如以往,書中的文章都可以在 nettime 這個線上論壇找到原稿;例如這篇評論部落格(blog)的專文 Blogging, the Nihilist Impulse(寫部落格:虛無的衝動)。我引述幾段讓我印象深刻的說法:

It is of strategic importance to develop critical categories of a theory of blogging that takes the specific mixture of technology, interface design, software architecture, and social networking into account.
針對寫部落格(blogging)的理論,發展一種批判的分類範疇,在策略上具有重要意義;這也是一個將科技、介面設計、軟體架構與社會網絡混雜在一起,納入考量的理論。

Instead of merely looking into the emancipatory potential of blogs, or emphasizing their counter-cultural folklore, I see blogs as part of an unfolding process of “massification" of this still new medium. What the Internet lost after 2000 was the “illusion of change". This void made way for large-scale, interlinked conversations through freely available automated software.
不只是檢視部落格解放力量的潛能,或者強調他們那種反文化的民俗型態,我把部落格當作一套這個仍然很新的媒體,其「大眾化」(massification)開展歷程的一部分。網際網路在2000年以後,消逝、失去的是一種「改變的幻覺」(illusion of change);這種空缺,是藉由免費散佈、自動化軟體,創造出大規模、交互連結對話的空間。

The motor behind the expansion of the blogosphere is the move away from code towards content. There is no more need for empty demo design. Blogs are not a test or proposition. They actually exist.
部落格生態圈擴張背後的動力,是離開程式碼、走向內容。人們不再需要假的畫面、展示設計。部落格不是測試或命題;他們如真地存在在那裡。
Blogging did not emerge out of a movement or an event. If anything, it is a special effect of software,
constituted especially by the automation of links, a not-overly-complex technical interface design issue.
部落格並不是從一個運動或一個事件中浮現。如果它是什麼的話,它是軟體的一種特效,特別是一種由連結自動化、非過度複雜的技術介面設計構成的議題。

一如過往的感覺,我認為 Geert 在此展現的是歐洲媒體批判理論傳統的思維方式;以具有歷史意涵的批判語言,重新整理、審視與定位部落格(blog)這個全球現象。身為 1990年代熟稔並且帶起 nettime 風潮的電子郵件討論群組達人,Geert 在近幾年的這幾本書中,一直努力要把 blog 現象尋找一個恰當的框架與說法「固定下來」,重新掌握。相較於 My First Recession 當中的討論,《沒有意見/不予置評》(Zero Comments)已經更為明確,給予了堅定的論斷說法。很久沒有閱讀他的文章的我,一方面覺得種種洞見與觀點很精彩,另外一方面又覺得,真的如此嗎?真的已經被他看穿這「國王的新衣」了嗎?難道像是 GVO 全球之聲這樣的行動,也沒有辦法證成某種運動的正面形式嗎?他所論及的究竟是英美主流的部落格風潮呢,還是也包含了這些國際行動主義者的武器與舞台呢?

自己也運用部落格形式在架設網站,對於 blog 的可能性,真的是不予置評/沒有意見嗎?我很好奇。

「打破傳統的文化變遷」

在 “Teachable Moments and Networking" (可教的時刻與網路)這個段落中, Sheryl 的文章 Culture Change – Break Down Tradition (「打破傳統的文化變遷」)介紹了她的家庭如何認識了一對騎腳踏車橫跨美國的年輕新婚夫婦。

Let me help you understand the different mind set. Because the culture in our family was learning as a life style and not just when school was in- we were always on “game" in terms of teachable moments.

I remember going to WalMart and seeing two young adults (my age at the time) on bikes who were traveling long distance. I thought, what a cool experience this would be for my kids. I struck up a conversation with these strangers and invited them to stay at my house for a few days. Turns out, Jenny and Dan were from Seattle and had just gotten married. As part of their honeymoon, they decided to take a cross country bike trip for a year and Jenny, a writer was documenting it all on a laptop!!! (Remember 15 years ago laptops were not as common). Boy did I score. Here we had young, interesting adults who used higher order thinking to plan a year long trip, one was a writer, they were traveling and could share their experiences with my kids.

這個例子讓我思考了很久。什麼叫做「可教的時刻」?對孩子的教育,的確可以隨時隨地都在發生。我們是否已經習慣於在教室的框框裡才能有教育的行為?教室的框框,限制了老師、學生與家長,甚至外部社會的人們的參與可能。現有的魔獸、ptt、書籤、twitter、MSN、Skype、MySpace、Facebook 等等一長串早就已經溢出了傳統教育的框架,也有很多教育單位想要把他們 ban 掉(1,2,& 3)。如果沒有一種自覺,把這些時刻轉變成為「可教的時刻」,那麼這些遊戲的片段都將變成沒有焦點的分心事物;影響老師原本要塞到學童腦袋中的勞動進度。我們就得為了安全等等的理由,「強迫」孩子把這些事物辨識為「雜訊」加以排除掉。

看到孩子在牆壁的地圖上,標示他們認識的大人朋友,騎腳踏車旅行的地點…那張地圖作為一個意義的橋樑,銜接了家庭、學習、朋友與世界。

也許我們需要像 XXC 〈設計與研究(HCI)〉所介紹的設計領域的方法 Ideo Method Cards一樣,讓自己從框住自己的箱子中走出來。("Out of the Box“)

龍應台、Lessig 與 Hans Rosling

在繳交計劃書的焦慮當中,讀到了兩篇小演講,分別是龍應台教授的〈災難和教育的拔河 — 談二十一世紀大學生的「基本配備」〉以及 Lessig 教授的 Two Announcements 。閱讀的順序是先讀 lessig 的宣佈,然後才是偶然讀到龍教授的文章。這兩篇的差異是:一個是 video,一個是文字;一個訴諸數據、數字、行動,一個訴諸感性,歷史,詮釋,解讀。讀完 Lessig 的宣佈消息之後,知道哇,他要掙扎是否要去選美國國會議員。讀完龍教授的文章,知道哇,原來你自己是活在地球村裡。前者是新聞、大消息。後者我覺得有點像是一種重新的感性詮釋。

我在閱讀 Lessig 的影片時,腦中想著:他一定看過 TED 的 Hans Rosling 的演講:把不可能變為可能。也看過諾貝爾和平獎得主氣候先生的演講。我不知道為什麼,但是就覺得他會把投影片這樣作,一定有其意義。(尤其是後來講到自己失敗的話要…辭職!超像超級表演秀)後來看到底下有人 comment 說他的顏色跟字體用跟 Obama 的一樣(請看 Scott Caplan 意見:"Thanks for all you do, and I love the use of the Obama color scheme and typography in the video!")後來在閱讀龍教授的文章時,腦中想著:她有看過 TED 的演講嗎?在最後的 list 上看到了參考資料 Gapminder.org,我就想問說:如果您看過了 Gapminder.org,那麼您對於全球公民的建議是什麼?您打算要做什麼呢?

熱門轉寄的未來警示投影片,告訴大家很多全球化的數據資料、未來的趨勢。我覺得在這之中,我看到的大多是轉錄自別人的調查數據,別人的行動結果。也許別的演講中,龍教授有在談她所關心與從事的行動;或者 Lessig 在其他的演講裡,也在分享全球化的重要趨勢發展。這些都有可能是我沒有看到的。但是就讓我以 Hans Rosling 教授的演講標題來反省自己:不可能的其實是可能的。有一些劍是自己要吞進肚子裡的,不是任何人可以幫忙的。這些站在舞台上的人物,體認到了公共領域的政治性,認份地扮演好政治巨星的角色。你就是政治人物,句點。你行動了什麼?你希望透過你的所言所行,帶來什麼改變?你號召別人如何加入你,來創造這些改變?我認為這是這些構成今日資訊社會公共領域的演講(們)所帶給我的啟示。

The other party & 2008.2.17

Last Saturday (2.16) noon, I went to a gathering of Hu-nan An-Shang county people association annual spring celebration with my Dad. People in Taiwan call it “New Spring Greeting Gathering" (新春團拜), or “Spring Wine Party" (春酒), which would take place right after the long Chinese lunar new year vacation is over. It’s common for all kinds of industries and companies to hold this new year initiation rite. But for me and people participated this association, it is not that common but has its uniqueness.

My Dad is 81 years old. He is not the oldest participant in this party. Ms. Long, the lady who is 100 years old, is the most senior person of this association. Her son, professor Long, is the current chairman of this county people association. In between my dad and Ms. Long, there’re about 20+ senior gentlemen and ladies that are representing the generation that crossing the Taiwan strait decades ago. I am 35, and there’re about 6+ people in 30-40 representing the “young generation". In last year, at least 4 or 5 senior gentlemen passed away, including one of my cousin, died at 62.

There’re approximately 60 people participated this party in total.

During the party, my Dad’s friends greeting another by repeated cheering. Mr. Pong, who had just come back from Costa Rica, said this kind of annual gathering and vote for the president, are the most important things. He must absolutely fly back to Taiwan to vote for Mr. Ma. “This time, we cannot lose any more!" He said. He will stay until the election is over. His opinion is well shared among mostly all the senior members of our association.

But as a kind of reflection, I feel sad about the form of certain gathering: nothing but nostalgia. People in the corner embracing the invisible tradition and discipline, doctrines, but nothing really happened inside this kind of small, warm and cozy cult. Even through I and other young guys are recruited in the executive board, but there’s nothing to be executed at all. The diaspora, segmented small groups of people composite of organization of this kind, become the ideological foundation of the KMT supporters. Conservative and limited, these people were disabled the communication, syndication and reproduction function long time ago by the KMT, only to mobilize to support the pre-selected people and policies. These uncles and aunts are hostages of the past hegemonic dominance. And the neighborhood is dying, little by little. They know, and everyone knows.

But people vow(more like expect) for the victory of the presidential election in the party.

I nearly forgot the party when lying on the sofa, feel uncomfortable but saw the news of Kosovo independence Sunday night. 2008.2.17, the date Kosovo leader declare independence.

In NYC 5th Avenue, people waive the flag of Kosovo for the US recognition of Kosovo independenceABC news report “Joy, Anger After Kosovo Claims Independence: Ethnic Albanians Celebrate, But Province’s Serbs Protest the Declaration" said after listing the joy stories in Kosovo,

While the south celebrated, in northern Mitrovica the mood was calm but downtrodden. Some 200 protesters gathered in the main square north of the river to oppose the province’s declaration of independence.

“Kosovo is the heart of Serbia, and how can a man live without his heart," a Mitrovica Serb who declined to give his name told ABC News. “You will see that in five years Kosovo will be without any Serbs. Slowly everyone will leave.""Kosovo is the heart of Serbia, and how can a man live without his heart," a Mitrovica Serb who declined to give his name told ABC News. “You will see that in five years Kosovo will be without any Serbs. Slowly everyone will leave."

Have you saw the poster of Serbian’s petition? Here it is. Sometimes our life are just juxtapositions and mash-ups, of joy, anger and sadness.

Check GlobalVoicesOnline.org for more Kosovo independence blog stories.

fsac 1a34680

General view of one of the classification yards of the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad, Chicago, Ill. (LOC)這個號碼對我很有意義。至少是個人意義。

這是美國國會圖書館 Library of Congress,透過正式的 flickr 帳號(我已經把它設為自己人了:P),於 2008 年 1 月 9 日上傳的一張 1942 年 12 月芝加哥火車站的彩色正片。這個名稱是它的數位識別碼。作者是 Jack Delano (1914-)。這張相片從 1 月 9 日至今已經被檢視 45,546 次(到我寫完這篇部落格之前),由於系統的限制,已經被(也只能被)加上 75 個各種語言的標籤(tag),總共有 283 個人把它設為最愛。

底下是它描述欄位的資訊。

Delano, Jack,, 1914-, photographer.
General view of one of the classification yards of the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad, Chicago, Ill.
1942 Dec.
1 transparency : color.
Notes:
Proviso Yards.
Title from FSA or OWI agency caption.
Transfer from U.S. Office of War Information, 1944.

Subjects:
Chicago and North Western Railway Company
World War, 1939-1945
Snow
Railroad shops & yards
Railroad sidings
United States–Illinois–Melrose Park

Format: Transparencies–Color
Rights Info: No known restrictions on publication.
Repository: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA, hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print
Part Of: Farm Security Administration – Office of War Information Collection 12002-1 (DLC) 93845501
General information about the FSA/OWI Color Photographs is available at hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.fsac
Persistent URL: hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/fsac.1a34680
Call Number: LC-USW36-586

我透過這個永久網址下載了一張 137.9MB 的原始檔案。它的授權方式是「無已知版權限制」。我加入了那幾十個留言感謝美國國會圖書館的flickr 網友一樣,寫下了這句話:「這張圖片真美!感謝你們為全人類作的事情!」

雖然已經不是頭香了,但是我是第一個用中文留言的人。我回過頭去看數位典藏,然後思考這對我的意義是什麼。

全球熱門網路運動夏令營

最近剛寫完一份「田野工作範例與實作」謝國雄老師的期末報告,標題叫做〈開放的田野,多義的抵抗〉;根據謝老師評論中的整理,很清楚地把我那將近 20 多頁的文字抓出一個梗概(真是厲害啊),並且加以批評與建議。

「這篇期末報告以「抵抗」為主軸,檢視了三本著作,總結這些著作所呈現出來的「抵抗類型」與「抵抗的對象」(p. 6)。為了進一步重新概念化「抵抗」,這篇報告提出了兩個質疑,一是「抵抗是否是單義的?」以及「抵抗的邊界是否是固定的?」作者自己的回答則是「抵抗是多義的」,以及「抵抗的邊界是開放的」。作者援引 Foucault 與 Barthes 來當作立論的基礎…」

我其實一直在思考關於抵抗的問題:抵抗如何可以多義?如何開放抵抗的邊界?這次能夠藉著期末報告的機會,認真地奮鬥了 10 多天,總算往前跨出了一小步。這些評論也的確讓我更清楚自己提問的基礎需要更深入文本作品中。

但是這次在關心胡佳與曾金燕的事情當中,尤其是與即將來臨的奧運盛會,我看到對於一個開放邊界、多義抵抗的可能範例,在網際網路上蔓延開來。舉例來說,抵抗就像革命一樣,不是請客吃飯,是要付出代價的;但例如某人的部落格/博客鬼打牆、被封、被螃蟹抓走、和諧的一塌糊塗,但是透過其他的管道,反而變成眾人關注的新聞,這也讓成千上萬的各種脈絡外的讀者,間接地感受到打壓與封鎖。這些每天會發生的小型衝撞與摩擦,構成了網際網路的微型政治(micropolitics)實踐,讓代價變得非常輕,以至於擴散的更有力、更有創意(送奶粉行動)。這樣的結果又反饋到體系中,然後可能創造出更極端的微型打壓,例如所有的奶粉都變成是骯髒的詞彙,創造出新的熱門禁歌金曲;然後又讓成千上萬的人更感受到網路生活的扭曲與不方便。

這些自發性的活動與反活動,創造出一種互相加速的循環;每天抵抗的邊界都在變動,每天抵抗的意義都增生新的變奏。

舉例來說,把奧運跟人權問題的連結,突然間歐盟輪值主席國體育部長被迫得出來說話了。Radio Free Asia 自由亞洲之聲昨天報導〈欧盟理事会:运动员北京奥运期间不要提及人权问题〉

欧盟理事会轮值主席国斯洛文尼亚体育部长米兰兹沃星期四表示,体育十分重要,不能将其当成政治工具;奥运会不是讨论人权问题的理想场所,人权问题是政治家要讨论的;欧洲和美国的跨国公司在与中国进行经贸往来时比运动员更有责任与中国讨论人权问题。

作為一個讀者,我一點都不在意這位斯洛文尼亞體育部長支持或反對這樣的連結;我所感興趣的是,為什麼他得出來說話?為啥牽扯到他?他一定覺得很無辜,又不是他在跟蘇丹貿易、又不是他在打壓言論自由,為何得他要出來澄清並且叫人家不要亂講話?中國的高層領導一定也覺得很莫名其妙,奧運為啥要被你們跟蘇丹扯上關係,然後還被你史批婆先生找碴?

我覺得有趣的地方就在於,這就是抵抗的疆界最好的例子。中國高層所經歷到的風暴,其實就是反向的 GFW 效應;大家被和諧的經驗,其實與奧運被連結到人權與國際外交的體驗是相同的。除非某一方能夠創造出夢想中的武器,例如美國轟炸伊拉克偉大的科幻兵器精靈飛彈 — 理想的外科手術軍事行動 — 只快速切割戰略上最重要的部位,否則一旦疆界地景開始變動,網際網路就會帶來想像不到的公關災難(PR disaster)。

for Darfur當你公開叫大家不要亂說話,接下來就是運動選手在運動場上戴止汗頭帶。運動選手總會接受專訪吧。不小心提到,或者暗示,或者各種可能。奧運指定廠商的贊助金額越大,限制越多,就有越多的漏洞可能讓人投鼠忌器。禁止的項目越多,就提供更多抵抗的素材與原料,供養那生生不息的想像與創意。

這就讓每一個人都可以親身體驗與感受到,多義的抵抗(各講各話嘛),以及開放疆界的抵抗(越來越多不相干的人會要一起表態囉)。這個夏天,應該全世界都參加了這個網路運動的夏令營;接下來就看我們自己的電視台如何參與演出,如何自己手忙腳亂地閹割掉那滿地都是、「與奧運不相干的」、「政治新聞」。

Strange Culture(2007)

Strange Culture. A really sad story. I remember I was told this story by Ted, a not so familiar well-recognized international artist & scholar professor Steve Kurtz’s story.

This is the synopsis of this film:

The surreal nightmare of internationally-acclaimed artist and professor Steve Kurtz began when his wife Hope died in her sleep of heart failure. Police who responded to Kurtz’s 911 call deemed Kurtz’s art suspicious and called the FBI. Within hours the artist was detained as a suspected “bioterrorist" as dozens of federal agents in Hazmat suits sifted through his work and impounded his computers, manuscripts, books, his cat, and even his wife旧 body. Today Kurtz and his long-time collaborator Dr. Robert Ferrell, Professor of Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, await a trial date.

Who is Prof. Steve Kurtz? And what happened to him? This was an old article from WashingtonPost, 2004.6.2 “The FBI’s Art Attack":

Kurtz and his late wife were founders of the Critical Art Ensemble, an internationally renowned collective of “tactical media" protest and performance artists. Steve Kurtz, 48, has focused on the problems of the emergence of biotechnology, such as genetically modified food. He and the art ensemble, which also includes da Costa, have authored several books including “Digital Resistance: Explorations in Tactical Media" and “Electronic Civil Disobedience and Other Unpopular Ideas," both published by Autonomedia/Semiotext(e).