An Afternoon Chat with Harry Halpin

An afternoon chat on 2013/11/16  with Harry Halpin on a topic of Recuperation 2.0: The Secret History and Future of the Social Web is organized by Videotage. (Pls RSVP with organizer first)

The Social Web, from Twitter to Facebook, has its roots not only in Silicon Valley but in the hackers and journalists that created Indymedia: the first user-generated content website that served as the central hub of the 「anti-globalization」 movement against U.S. dominated 「free trade」 agreements. After the collapse of the anti-globalization movement, these hackers moved to Silicon Valley to create the start-ups that are now synonymous with the Web 2.0 such as Twitter, Flickr, Craigslist, and the Obama Campaign. What this reveals is that innovation does not in general come from large corporate labs, but from non-institutional grassroots actors. In this way, the vision of 「changing the world」 has now been recuperated as the cutting-edge of the capitalist economy in the U.S. Even more ironically, the user-generated social content is now captured by a few large companies, with no open standards to share data between social networks and for users to maintain control over their data.

Harry Halpin is a World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Team member in the Technology and Society Domain, where he leads efforts in identity and serve as Staff Contact for the W3C Web Cryptography Working Group and is a postdoctoral researcher at MIT. Directed by the inventor of the Web Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the W3C is the world’s leading Web standards body to bring the Web to its full potential. The W3C has just opened its first office located at Beihang University in Beijing, China. Dr. Halpin also has worked with philosophers ranging from Andy Clark to Bernard Stiegler on the philosophical foundations of the Web, and is author of the book Social Semantics.

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