The Virtual Revolution

by stronged

The BBC to the rescue again. Aleks Krotoski presents a television series outlining the conception and development of the internet and how it has been utilized as an open system for society. The series is titled The Virtual Revolution (2010).

Krotoski explains how the US government originally created ARPANET during the cold war to help the effeciency of communication. This was a precursor to the internet, forming a server/hub system that are linked/networked.

Packet-switching, the grouping of data in order to be sent/transmitted through a network. This connects with what Bogost mentions in Alien; frame buffers.

In Episode 3 Krotoski discusses the system of personalised Recommendation Engines in Google, Amazon and Netflix. Co-founder and CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, gives the analogy that each retailer/company ‘redecorates’ their site to match the interests of each user/viewer/potential customer in order to attract their interest and cater for their desires/needs. Netflix has created an algorithm that evaluates what films customers have liked in the past and therefore presents similar genres and styles to them. Douglas Rushkoff, author of Life Inc, argues that this a limiting system for individuals. If a site caters for the past likes of a user they are in some regard pigeon-holed into being that type of person; To ‘be like a person like me.’ (Rushkoff) The person/user ceases to be an individual and becomes a demographic.