remix culture: content and context

Some wonderful passages from my latest find

A new culture of learning: an interview with John Seely Brown and Douglas Thomas authors of the new book A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change

The 21st century has really marked the time in our history where the tools to manipulate context have become as commonplace as the ones for content creation and we now have a low cost or free network of distribution that can allow for worldwide dissemination of new contexts in amazingly brief periods of time … [so] while content may remain stable at some abstract level, the context in which it has meaning (and therefore its meaning) is open to near constant change … users are not so much creating content as they are constantly reshaping context.

… every piece of knowledge has both an explicit and a tacit dimension. The explicit is only one kind of content, which tells you what something means. The tacit has its own layer of meaning. It tells why something is important to you, how it relates to your life and social practices. It is the dimension where the context and content interact. Our teaching institutions have paid almost no attention to the tacit and we believe that it is the tacit dimension that allows us to navigate meaning in a changing world.

The thing that makes learning different in the 21st century from any other time in the past is the diversity of information, knowledge, experience, and interaction that is available to us in the digital age … [increasingly] the questions being more important than the answers and the idea that solutions to one problem are gateways to dealing with increasingly more sophisticated problems and deeper questions

[on remix culture]: The crux of the issue is one of content versus context. Plagiarism is the intentional misrepresentation of someone else’s ideas as your own; it is about content. Remix is an effort to fundamentally transform meaning by shifting or altering the context.

Henry Jenkins is the Provost’s Professor of Communication, Journalism, and Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. He is the principal investigator for Project New Media Literacies (NML) and is actively involved with the Convergence Culture Consortium

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