LOIC Will Tear Us Apart: The Impact of Tool Design & Media Portrayals in the Success of Activist DDOS Actions; Is School Enough?

January 23, 2013

Berkman Events Newsletter Template

Remember to load images if you have trouble seeing parts of this email. Or click here to view the web version of this newsletter. Below you will find upcoming Berkman Center events, interesting digital media we have produced, and other events of note.

The Berkman Center is now accepting applications for its 2013 summer internship program. More information is available here.
berkman luncheon series

"LOIC Will Tear Us Apart": The Impact of Tool Design and Media Portrayals in the Success of Activist DDOS Actions

Tuesday, January 29, 12:30pm ET, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, 23 Everett St, 2nd Floor. This event will be webcast live.

berkman

This talk explores the role of tool design and media coverage in the relative success of Operation Payback and earlier activist Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) actions. Through a close reading of changes in the tool’s interface and functionality over several iterations, the talk considers the evolution of the Low Orbit Ion Cannon (LOIC) DDOS tool from one which appealed to a small, inwardly-focused community to one which engaged with a larger population. The talk further considers Anonymous’s contribution to the reframing of DDOS actions from a tool of direct action to a tool of media manipulation and identity construction, as well as the news media’s role in encouraging individuals to participate in the Operation PayBack actions. Molly Sauter is a Berkman Center fellow in addition to being a graduate student in Comparative Media Studies at MIT, and a research assistant at the Center for Civic Media at the Media Lab. Her research is broadly focused on hacker culture, transgressive digital activism, and depictions of technology in the media. Her research is situated in socio-political analyses of technology and technological culture. RSVP Required. more information on our website>

special event

Is School Enough?

Wednesday, January 30, 6:00pm ET, Harvard Law School. Refreshments will be served.

While policy-makers and educational experts try to determine the best “system” for delivering a world-class education to tens of millions of students across the country, many young people are finding their own ways of expressing themselves, pursuing interests, and participating in communities that are both on and offline. Largely unmediated by school and teachers, these young people, without really being aware of it, are connecting how they learn with what they care most about. Too commonly, young people are asked to solve problems in the classroom that have no relationship to the real world or relevance to their lives. Memorization and the measurement of what we know is the final basis for evaluating a students’ success; moreover, it’s the final evaluation of a teacher’s success as well. But in what ways do we ask our students to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to something that’s happening in the world outside of it? In what ways do we reward the authentic learning and work that young people do that is not validated and evaluated by our educational institutions? In this highly connected world that is powered by what we need when we need it, is school really enough? Designed for parents and educators inside and out of the classroom, Is School Enough? – a one hour documentary - examines how young people are using everyday tools - including today's digital ones - to explore interests, connect with others, solve problems, and change the world around them. It is a call to action that moves the discourse away from how do we fix schools to how can we support, sustain and galvanize learning by helping students solve problems in their everyday lives. Please join us for a preview screening of the new documentary that will be aired on PBS this spring. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with the director, Stephen Brown, Sierra Goldstein, Urs Gasser, Sandra Cortesi and Rey Junco; moderated by Berkman fellow Eric Gordon. RSVP Required. more information on our website>

berkman luncheon series

Coding as a Liberal Art

Tuesday, February 5, 12:30pm ET, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, 23 Everett St, 2nd Floor. This event will be webcast live.

berkman

Diana Kimball is an MBA candidate at Harvard Business School and a Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society. As a co-creator of ROFLCon, her interest in internet culture runs deep. Most recently, this interest has expressed itself in learning Ruby (a programming language) and applying an open-source ethos to mentoring. She's also exploring the concept of total authorship as it relates to art. RSVP Required. more information on our website>

video/audio

David Wertime on Using the Social Web to Gauge Grassroots Sentiment in China

berkman

In what ways is the Chinese Internet a better source for grassroots Chinese sentiment than traditional quotes and sources? In what ways is it worse? More broadly, what best practices can and should journalists use when mining social media for sentiment? David Wertime—co-founder and co-editor of Tea Leaf Nation, an English-language online magazine that synthesizes and analyzes Chinese social media—discusses how his team analyzes Chinese language social media to discern trends in grassroots sentiment. video/audio on our website>

Other Events of Note

Events that may be of interest to the Berkman community:

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See our events calendar if you're curious about future luncheons, discussions, lectures, and conferences not listed in this email. Our events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted.

Last updated January 23, 2013