Blog Post

Why Educators Need to Think about Wikileaks

What better way to sum up the last couple of weeks' meditations on the transformative powers of Web 2.0 than Wikileaks?

When Paul and I make our presentations on the future of higher education, we begin by stipulating that the dominance of digital media is not inevitable at some future time, but rather is already a fait accompli.

Here's one way to illustrate this fact: a few months back, the New York Times ran an article with a headline that asked: "What Would Daniel Ellsberg Do With The Pentagon Papers Today?" The article beneath the headline doesn't need to answer this question because it is not really about the state of political activism in the 21st century. Rather, it's just another death notice for print media drafted by print media.

This particular instance of hand-wringing and teeth-gnashing was occasioned by Wikileaks' posting live footage from a United States Apache helicopter in the process of gunning down unarmed civilians in Baghdad. Posted to YouTube on April 3, 2010 the footage was viewed, over the next few days, more than six million times.



Hastacians--I'm at a loss for how to negotiate this interface. I'd like to dump my blog here, in toto, but, as you can see, it really ends up looking like (and perhaps reading like!) bad concrete poetry.


This is yet another reason why the site is being rebuilt.  It's impossible to move from Word to the HASTAC blog without formatting errors (when I do, I always post an apology) and from one blog to a reblog makes other errors.   This is one of many things we have asked our developer to fix.  But it will be a good six more months.   Our former developer made us a CSS nightmare and problems that should be easy to fix (in any logical universe) bring catastrophe to the entire site if we try to make a change.   This formatting incompatibility is one of these.   Our apologies, and thanks for your empathy and patience.  Sigh.  (Ruby may offer more practical advice but I personally have never been able to solve the problem in my blogs so I simply apologize and go ahead and write the concrete poetry . . . it eats dashes and apostrophes when you copy from Word.  Nice.)


S'all good. Great community trumps type fonts every time :)


You might be interested in the brief HASTAC post I just put up on the new-media origins of Julian Assange's theory of the state.


Thanks for the tip!