On this episode of Spark: Online Curating, World Music 2.0, and Tweeting Cavemen. Click below to listen to the whole show, or download the MP3 (runs 54:00).
You can also listen to individual stories below.
Are human beings wired to tweet? It's the question we're asking on Spark these days. Tweets and status updates - those short burst of information, tiny lines about what we are doing, or what our kid said, or how happy we are it's Friday - is it something innately human in us? Well Spark Contributor Sterling Eyford tells us about Genevieve von Petzinger, a researcher who suggests that tens of thousands of years ago, our cave-dwelling ancestors may have had the same impulse. The squiggles left by those early humans may have been a kind of status message, or proto-tweet. (Runs 8:26)
Yup, toddlers are little cavepeople. Just look at my kid in this picture! That was a neanderthal tantrum for the ages. If you have a toddler at home then you've probably thought the same thing. And that's the argument Dr. Harvey Karp makes in his book/DVD "The Happiest Toddler on the Block". He tells Nora that when it come to communicating with these little cave people, it's best to use short, simple, repetitive phrases. See the pattern here? (Runs 7:23)
Ok, so if toddlers are cavepeople, and cavepeople like to communicate in short bursts just like Tweets and status updates, then it would follow that toddlers would love a social media tool of their own, right? Hannu Ripatti is a service designer in Helsinki, Finland. Recently, Hannu and his design partner created something called I O B R. They're calling it "Social Media for Toddlers."(Runs 7:09)
The buzz in the journalism world is all about The Daily, Apple and Rupert Murdoch's plan to create a publication that lives almost exclusively on the iPad. It's just one of a flock of publications planned for tablet computers. Can it save publishing, or will it hurt the Web? Spark contributor Cathi Bond weighs in. (Runs 7:15)
Great Canadian thinkers like Marshall McLuhan, Harold Innis, George Grant and Ursula Franklin all had a fix on technology and it's impact on our culture. There seems to be something about technology and Canadians in particular and there are plenty of theories on it. Maybe our acute awareness of distance gives us a unique perspective on communications technology. Or maybe it's these long, cold winters that make us think differently about our tentative place on the land, and the way technology mediates nature. Glenn Gould was another great influence in this area. He was a musician, a documentary maker, and a thinker, fascinated by the potential of technology in narrative and in music. Spark contributor, Al Rae, has been thinking about Gould's legacy lately, and in particular about how prescient his view of technology and music was. (Runs 8:55)
Decades after Glenn Gould blew the world away with his innovative thinking, there's a new breed of young, underground composers and D-J's who avoid convention and copyright rules to create compositions that are often raw and glitchy. Wayne Marshall is an ethnomusicologist at MIT, a rapper, a D-J and a music blogger. He calls this new wave "World Music 2.0" and he's been researching the rapid spread of it online. (Runs 9:57)