6/7/2017 12:00:00 AM

The ‘Economic Culture of Data sharing’ event at the 13th lecture of the UNESCO chair


The ‘Economic Culture of Data Sharing’ evented by Ebrahim Mohseni Ahooei, a Ph.D. student of New Media and Communications Studies from the University of Vienna was the lecture of the 13th session of the UNESCO Chair on Culture and Cyberspace: Dual-spacization of World. The event was held at the faculty of world studies, the University of Tehran on July 5, 2017.

The ‘Economic Culture of Data sharing’ event at the 13th lecture of the UNESCO chair

Before the lecture, Dr. Ehsan Shahghasemi, faculty member of the faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Tehran, had a brief mention on the importance of the economy of data and the emergence of the data sharing as a new aspect of both new and old media.

The lecture was started with a claim. Mohseni Ahooei mentioned ‘the lecture is originally designed based on a common demanded claim on the rights on the data sharing issue and on the property of data which both are the main future controversies.’ By distinguishing between three Internet history phases (File sharing, Information sharing, and data sharing), he emphasized his focus on the third phase ‘which is known with the concepts like the virtual-computer cloud, Web 2, and the data sharing.’ He argued ‘considering the moving from the second phase to the third phase as a natural process will close our eyes to the ideological aspects of the neo-liberal hands behind of the economic system of data. Instead, the data sharing should be seen as a new form of the economic culture of the very acute free market.’

In the next section of the lecture, he emphasized on ‘the distinction between four stages of consumption in societies including collective consumption, family consumption, personal consumption and shared consumption to show there is a cognitive conflict between the concept of sharing in the socialist systems and the recent one. While in the socialist system consumption was based on the principle of non-individual property ownership, the most important element in the period of sharing consumption is its emphasis on individualism and individual ownership.’

To exposure a better understanding of the concept of data sharing, Mohsani Ahooei spoke about the concept of “shared thing,” one of the main concepts in his theoretical approach. “To connect the concept of the shared thing and the concept of “shared data,” I combined two approaches; the Roland Barth's second-order semiotic system, and the dual-spacization approach of Saied Reza Ameli’, he expressed. The lecturer explained ‘the shared thing, in the first-order semiotic system, is a post-sharing signified which is applicable to anything, including "my car" and "my home" as the objective signifier. The pronoun "my" here is mentioned to emphasize the personalized aspect of the thing, but after the prevailing of the mentality, ideology, and culture of the data sharing, in the mind of the post-sharing human, this "mine" is depicted as a “sharable thing.”

The lecturer mentioned some of the most important ideological mechanisms of the data sharing: ‘Sharing as identity, credit, duty, and norm. The ideology of data sharing expand itself through such strategies,’ as Mohseni Ahooei argued. He also pointed out a list of human rights related to the data sharing: ‘The right of property in material things, the right of intellectual property, the right to data protection, the right to data security, the right of keep from data sharing, and the right of anonymity. All such kinds of human rights will be the important future controversies of societies,’ he believed.

At the end, thanks to the lecturer, Prof. Saied Reza Ameli, the chairperson of the UNESCO chair, posed some tips on the power of the data. ‘The algorithmic power of the data is the source of great powers. Such a data algorithm is just the engineering of the all data,’ he argued. The session ended by some questions and answers and Prof. Ameli presented an appreciation tablet to the lecturer.