This is a call for contributions to a new series about designing tech, tools, and media towards trust and authenticity. We ask that abstracts of 300 words or fewer be submitted by March 3, 2023 (see key dates and details below).
While academics, journalists, and technologists encourage rational inquiry based on evidence, we are living in a period of information overload. How did we get here? Many point to once regulated media/TV outlets, now unleashed. Many blame social media. Many blame folks acting in bad faith. Or disaffected societies upended by globalization. Given the access to so much content, we ask: How can people apparently know so little when information surrounds us?
To rephrase the famous quote from communications theorist Marshall McLuhan: Is the medium the message? Media in its various forms today constantly feeds us content. In so doing, it also has shifted society’s behavior, leading to rampant mis/disinformation, lack of trust, and even political unrest. What can be done about about this tech-fueled societal shift? How might we build better technology, tools, and media designed for verifiable, authenticated communications? How might we archive rich media that is ephemeral or vulnerable to social and political intentions/tensions?
We seek proposals that will address topics or questions surrounding all this in practice, such as:
A history of challenges posed by technical innovation, societial impact on by such “progress” & what is the challenge with mis/dis-information now?
How do the institutions and infrastructure of technology influence our behaviors and belief systems?
If tech and technological progress caused the problem, how might tech fix the problem?
What are efficient and sustainable ways of citing and storing multimedia?
How can we create accessible systems for engaging with multimedia?
How might we design for authenticity in imagery, audio, video, data, and other forms of media?
What are the roles of blockchain and decentralized systems in authentication and verification?
What is the impact of artificial intelligence that results in synthetic media, from deep fakes to ChatGPT?
What tech and tools can be applied to current and potential policy, intellectual property, and regulation issues?
What are pros and cons of open source systems for content and infrastructure?
Where and how can we find common ground?
About the publication: Commonplace is movement toward knowledge sharing futures and the cultures that sustain them. As a publication of Knowledge Futures, Commonplace is a non-profit digital journal that shares a range of voices and opinions that serve as a call to action to improve and restore balance to the publishing and informational ecosystems.
Contributors of accepted pieces will be rewarded with an honorarium!
Submit an abstract here.
If you have any issues, please email us your abstract with “author-lastname” + “series 3.1 abstract submission” in the subject header.
The abstract submission deadline is March 3, 2023. Abstracts should be no more than 300 words. We will select contributions by March 10, 2023.
Submissions do not need to be text-based or scholarly. We welcome reactions in many forms, including art, fiction, poetry, audio, video, etc.
While your submission itself need not be text-based, we do ask that your text-based abstract describe the form and key points of your intended final product.
If your contribution is accepted, we’ll ask for you to submit a completed draft by April 17, 2023. If your submission is non-text based, we’ll talk about what this would look like for you.
Text-based submissions (around 1,500-2,000 words) should be written in English, though we will enthusiastically publish versions in other languages if you send us a translation.
Submissions can (and are encouraged to) include multimedia elements like images, videos, podcasts/audio, and interactives if these assets help to communicate your point(s).
We aim to publish the series in late May 2023.