An intellectual property issue:
- what are the limits to one’s intellectual property / produce / output?
where does on draw the line distinguishing an outer boundary to “self-as-intellectual-expression”?
to whom does one’s meta-data and so on belong?
who has what rights to constituent parts in large data-sets?
at what point does an individual (and their virtual self) cease to be a whole self with rights, become a part in a larger whole, and become a point in a larger network?
can one continue to have rights when part of a larger whole? (history, politics, law, and good sound common sense (for whatever any of them are worth in these dark days senz valor ni prez) would say “yes”)
to what use may such data be put?
can and should that have ethical and political limits?
how dangerous is para-academia to academia and intellectual life (including independent, extra-institutional, and other parallel public intellectualism)?
if para-academia is parasitic, does that have to be the kind of parasite that takes over and consumes its host; or can the two coexist in symbiosis?
NOT UNRELATED (VIA PROPERTY = THEFT):
RELATED: WHAT ARE THE LIMITS OF COMMODIFICATION?
ONE THEMATIC THREAD THAT WOVE ITS WAY THROUGH FACEBOOK POSTS TODAY:
MORAL OF THE STORY
WWRD: What would Ramon Vidal de Besalú do? (My imaginary Ramon is played by Bill Murray, if that helps.)
Well, he’d write appropriately scathingly in a manner that would defy statistical containment, quantification, reification. I don’t believe he’d troll. He might just hint subtly at a suitable text to be re-read. Re-reading can be an act of resistance to bad reading and poor pseudo-research. Re-reading an older text adds resistance to fashion and other rapid sketchy novelty for novelty’s sake, and the wise and virtuous defence and protection of all that is their opposite: Ramon’s “true nobility.” It also happens to coincide with contemporary “goods” of sustainability.
The accompanying re-thinking can liberate readers from fixed concepts of “product” imposed by others who are not intellectual workers and can free the work itself from being squished into box-ticking exercises, keep it alive and sentient. (The personnification of “intellectual work” is played here by Roland Barthes looking jolly, kind, and twinkly in a slightly cheeky way after enjoying a splendid lunch.)
Acts of creative work can counterbalance parasites in the bigger picture of œuvres pardurables; though, I repeat and insist, not all parasites are bad. Some are good, some can coexist in happy conjunction and community, and like any other monsters they are complex nuanced many-shaded creatures. (Happy good nice parasites are played here by all my favourite characters in Moominland, and the other parasites by Hemulens.)
AFTERWORD: LAST WORD FROM THE PARA-PEOPLE
(Because They may be para-, but they’re still ever and always people too.)