Handshakes amongst strangers: P2P and the production of disorder within informational capitalism

This is an attached slide-show (with notes)* from my presentation at The Second IT & Disorder Workshop held at the University of Technology, Sydney, on 26 March 2009. I need to work this up into a paper for publication in a uni e-journal very very soon! But I seem to be more devoted to d/l'ing endless stuff 'for research' from my favourite sites.... Anyway this presentation went well, and I felt i had redeemed myself after 2 really embarrassing presentations late last year. i think it's pretty hard to give workshop and conference talks whilst in the middle of writing your thesis - it takes a different part of mind to convert all this loose tangle of theory and case studies into something palatable for a live right in front of you audience. But after 2 humiliations I was determined not to make a hat trick.

The slide show was created in OpenOffice3.0, and saved in the open document presentation format. Open Office does give an option to save in Micro$oft's PowerPoint format also, but I chose not to use it. One handy feature is the ability to export your slideshow in PDF format - this means that basically any foreign computer you might land on at a public presentation will be able to display your show (obviously u can't have transitions between the pages when you show it as a PDF, but this is not so important). I don't know if MS can open .odp files (because i don't have it on any of my machines), but the last time i checked it cdn't even open OpenOffice's native format for text documents - .odt files, which is very lame. In 2005 I wrote my master's thesis using OO.1 It was about 55,000 words, half of which were end notes (i was thinking of the end notes as a form of hypertext and had more fun writing them than i did the thesis body), and I found that OO was very robust and could handle basically everything i wanted it to do. That's why i haven't been arsed to install MS Word - who needs it!

Okay, the only thing that OO isn't great for right now for me is interfacing seamlessly with Dragon Naturally Speaking voice-text software. Dragon is an awesome software, and I wish I had discovered it much much earlier during my PhD research as i am a crap typist. Anyway, perhaps it was developed originally for military/spying purposes, because it is so powerful - you just speak/read at normal speed and it converts your words into digital print before your eyes. It is for PC platform only but the makers have sold the engine to Mac peeps and there is a mac equivalent now available. I wonder if there is something similar for Linux? the software aint cheap (in oz i think it costs about $900) but luckily for me a Mac friend of mine had mistakenly bought it from idiot sales peeps, and as it was useless for her mac, gifted it to me. I use it with OpenOffice, but it is slightly clunky and OO does not recognise all of the voice commands. It would be really great if an OO developer wrote some kind of patch and mebbe this will happen in time. Anyway, I still use it and just cludge my way around the cludges.

  • 1. Grazing the Digital Commons: artist-made softwares, politicised technologies and the creation of new generative realms can be downloaded from here. The file is 17Mb as it contains many images.