Media in Transition conference at MIT
Just returned from a great conference at MIT( http://web.mit.edu/comm-forum/mit6/subs/agenda.html) where I presented a paper on my FFP project on mobile technologies and social networks. You can take a look at all the conference papers at the conference link, including mine on our project at http://web.mit.edu/comm-forum/mit6/subs/abstracts.html#longo
I would also encourage you to check out the resources at the Center for Future Civic Media at http://civic.mit.edu/ since some of these ideas and projects also pertain to the work we're doing on emerging learning environments.
The conference theme was Storage and Transmission and we spent a lot of time discussing...
the function of archiving in a time that includes items in a variety of media, including digital. For me as a historian, this discussion was especially urgent since I know first-hand the value of saving evidence of life at any particular time. Yet in this process of saving, someone makes decisions that one thing will be saved and another discarded. This process is inevitable, but it also renders the archive partial and necessarily biased.
Archivists at the conference wanted to argue that now that we can save things digitally, we can save *everything,* which is a really creepy idea for me because 1) I don't think it's possible, 2) it seems inherently totalizing, 3) it relies on a fragile technology that is in many ways less secure than paper or other tangible media, 4) it seems like a total celebration of the machine, 5) it suggests the destruction of other media, or at least the marginalizing of other media, 6) it is utopian.
So I come home haunted by the question, "What should be saved?"