by Christopher Kelty
Christopher M. Kelty is an associate professor at the University of California, Los Angeles.
has a joint appointment in the Center for Society
and Genetics, the department of Information Studies and the Department of Anthropology.
describes geeks as a 'recursive public'; do you think the formation of recursive public is specific to the digital age?
Why or why not?
3. How does Kelty
differentiate between the public sphere and a social imaginary?
In the May 2005 issue of Cultural Anthropology
, Christopher Kelty
examines how a shared social imaginary of the Internet creates and mobilizes "people who write software and deal regularly with the underlying protocols of the Internet (i.e. geeks)" into a recursive public.
While geeks are geographically dispersed in locales as far flung as Boston, Berlin, and Bangalore, they are united by a shared concerned over the "technical and legal conditions of possibility for their own association."
With the Internet as their playground, geeks are constantly building and rebuilding the very infrastructure that allows them to associate.
Through coding and argumentation-by-technology, where technical objects such as programs and code become forms of speech, they seek to propagate shared values of openness, freedom and technological inevitability in order to maintain their existence, which is contingent upon the possibility of being addressed as a public.
shows how the Internet becomes more than a space where people assemble; it becomes a site of intense political contest.