Author: Nishant Shah

networkWhen I start thinking about DML (digital media and learning) and other such “networks” that I am plugged into, I often get a little confused about what to call them. Are we an ensemble of actors? A cluster of friends? A conference of scholars? A committee of decision makers? An array of perspectives? A group of associates? A play-list of voices? I do not pose these questions rhetorically, though I do enjoy rhetoric. I want to look at this inability to name collectives and the confusions and ambiguity it produces as central to our conversations around digital thinking. In particular, I want to look at the notion of the network. Because, I am sure, that if we were to go for the most neutralised digital term to characterise this collection that we all weave in and out of, it would have to be the network. We are a network. Continue Reading…

cable_nishantOpenness has become the buzzword for everything in India right now. From the new kids on the block riding the wave of Digital Humanities investing in infrastructure of open knowledge initiatives to the rhetoric of people-centered open government data projects that are architected to create ’empowered citizens’, there is an inherent belief that Opening up things will make everything good. Continue Reading…

We are all struck with a sense of loss, grief and shock since we heard of the death of Aaron Swartz, by suicide. People who have been his friends have written heart-felt obituaries, saluting his dreams and visions and unwavering commitment to a larger social good. Colleagues who have worked with him and have been inspired by his achievements have documented the quirky intelligence and the whimsical genius that Swartz was. His fellow crusaders, who have stood by him in his impassioned battle against the piracy centred witch-hunt have helped spell out the legal and political conditions, which might not have directly led to this sorry end, but definitely have to be factored in his own negotiations with depression. All these voices have enshrined Aaron Swartz, the 26 year old boy-wonder who was just trying to make the world a better place where information is free and everybody has unobstructed access to knowledge. They have shown us that there is an ‘Aaron sized hole’ in the world, which is going to be difficult to fill. These are voices that need to be heard, remembered, and revisited beyond the urgency of the current tragedy and it is good to know that this archive of grief and outpouring of emotional support will stay as a living memory to the legend that Swartz had already become in his life-time. Continue Reading…