My first Youtube video

How to fake your death online through the eyes of Zizek

Higher quality version available on Vimeo.

An analysis of how suicide, amateur online video production, and the notion of the ‘reality of the virtual’ can come together with the help of such intellectuals as Immanuel Kant, John Stuart Mill, Albert Camus, and Slavoj Zizek.

Bibliography

Kant, Immanuel. Fundamental Principles of The Metaphysic of Morals. Chapter 2 retrieved from: http://www.bartleby.com/32/603.html

Mill, John Stuart. (1859). On Liberty. Chapter 5 retrieved from: http://www.bartleby.com/130/5.html

Camus, Albert. (1942). The Myth of Sisyphus. Chapter 4 retrieved from: http://www.nyu.edu/classes/keefer/hell/camus.html

Zizek, Slavoj. Lecture: The Reality of the Virtual. Retrieved from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5b_Q_KOGqE

Video Footage retrieved from Youtube in Order of Appearance

“Mrnick1990 commits suicide live on camera!!!!” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciWP-zjeRdQ

“Suicide on Webcam” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rE-aBIaUSVg

“Sad Real Suicide” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jlsk19DdYgs

“Faris Suicide!” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uA2Rd1hBYg

Fla. Teen Commits Suicide With Live Web Audience” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhCH9mt0Pow

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Published in: on February 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

Google’s motto: Don’t be evil. (9)

In the final minutes of a Google Authors talk by Slavoj Zizek, professor and philosopher, one of Google’s employees asks Zizek what he thinks about Google’s informal motto: “Don’t be evil.” In essence, what are Google’s unknown knowns, or as Freud would say, unconscious elements?

Is Google aware of its potential for abusive power?

Is Google aware of its potential for abusive power?

As discussed in the previous post, Google’s ownership of Youtube has led to increased detection of copyright infringement and the removal of videos that contravene its pornography and obscenity guidelines.

Zizek responds by wondering why Google is worried about being evil, and which model of evil they subscribe to. Perhaps being the most powerful search engine, they could be open to manipulating what the public sees when they search for a term like “McDonalds” versus “McDonalds food poisoning.”

Zizek defines evil as something which “brutally interrupts the normal running of things, evil is a cut, which is why for certain pagan religions, Jesus Christ is evil embodied. And in a way they are right,” because he signalled an end to obeying Karma and believing in reincarnation.

Zizek interprets Google’s motto as “we are doing something terribly great lets not do it too fast.”

Google does fit Zizek’s simplified model of evil, in that they have broken ground (from a software perspective), and changed the way a new generation watches video and finds its information. This affects, according to Zizek, normal community life and a small part of what it means to be human.

Published in: on February 4, 2009 at 4:09 pm  Comments (3)