The joy of calendar..and the promise beyond

I've become an aficionado of Google Calendar  with a built in penchant for Web 2.0 stuff such that I'm a geek primarily and almost exclusively in that sphere of operations.
Key Aspects of Web 2.0
- The Web and all its connected devices as one global platform of reusable services and data
- Data consumption and remixing from all sources, particularly user generated data
- Continuous and seamless update of software and data, often very rapidly
- Rich and interactive user interfaces
- Architecture of participation that encourages user contribution

I'm pig ignorant and maybe a sucker for money making platforms keen to sign me up -- like Google Mail and Google Calendar and Blooger (also Google) etcetera all of which have my custom -- but this stuff rocks.

Google may not be what Web 2.0 is supposed to be all about as it only offers closed systems -- but what you get for your free ride ain't half bad. With Google Calendar I can run a succession of events in different streams and overlay and share them on the same calendar interface. I can even show you what I've got -- that is if you too are on Google.

And this promise draws me back to a notion I touched on in regard to Bertolt Brecht last week. I was after this essay:
The Radio as an Apparatus of Communication
which I first read over thirty years ago. In it Brecht astutely muses about another possibility that is very relevant to this Web 2.0 melarky:
As for the radio's object, I don't think it can consist simply in prettifying public life. Nor is radio in my view an adequate means of bringing back cosiness to the home and making family life bearable again. But quite apart from the dubiousness of its functions, radio is one-sided when it should be two It is purely an apparatus for distribution, for mere sharing out. So here is a positive suggestion: change this apparatus over from distribution to communication. The radio would be the finest possible communication apparatus in public life, a vast network of pipes. That is to say, it would be if it knew how to receive as well as to transmit, how to let the listener speak as well as hear, how to bring him into a relationship instead of isolating him. On this principle the radio should step out of the supply business and organize its listeners as suppliers. Any attempt by the radio to give a truly public character to public occasions is a step in the right direction.

This perspective is an exciting one even though Brecht is talking to us from 1932, one year before Hitler came to power in Brecht's Germany. But  two weeks back, I was listening to a recent episode of Benjamen Walker's Theory of Everything and this particular episode was  devoted to a colleagues of Brecht's  -- -- Walter Benjamin. Benjamin wrote an essay at about the same time as Brecht's radio piece and relative to podcasting and Web 2. it warrants careful study.
The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction
and wouldn't you know it that too is on the web! How apt! So go and have a  read of that and come back when you've digested it and we'll talk some more. Both this an d the Brecht essay are short.

Homework Tasks:
  1. Read Brecht's essay
  2. Read Benjamin's essay
  3. Listen to Benjamin Walker's podcast

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