Open Mic Photography

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In general, I would not label myself as the creative type. I do not draw, sing, dance, or create music of any kind. However, I do occasionally enjoy photography; both creating photos as well as viewing them. What I enjoy photographing changes based upon my mood but some of favorite subjects include my American Staffordshire Terrier, Cali, and my baby cousin.

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I also really enjoy abstract photographs with good lighting and a lot of texture as you can see from the pictures displayed below.

DSC_0423DSC_0406DSC_0475 While most of the photos are nothing revolutionary or special, I truly enjoy going out on my own and finding things I find interesting to photograph. It is one of my only hobbies other than reading. I generally take my camera with me anywhere I think I might end up with a good shot but never force the photos; I have always found that spontaneity is key to me producing the best photos.  An example of that can be found below:

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Although it is blurry, this is one of my most favorite landscape photographs that I have ever taken because of the memory it is tied to.

I am a very laid back individual who cares a great deal about the people in my life and I feel that those facts come out in what I choose to photograph. I hope to continue this hobby for many years to come to keep myself in tune with the things that are important to me as well as the people around me.

I hope you all enjoyed getting a small window into what makes me tic and I cannot wait to see everyone else’s amazing posts and talents! 🙂

Video Games

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Growing up, I watched a lot of games being played but very rarely did I participate. Still to this day I am more of an observer than a player. However, I genuinely enjoyed watching my grandfather play games such as Zelda and Doom both of which I could watch for hours without getting bored. Although I myself did not have experience with playing games aside from occasionally being handed the controller to hold someone else’s spot, I can honestly say that I enjoyed video games as a child. Now I would also like to point out that I was not exposed to realistic based violent video games such as Call of Duty or Battlefield, I still had nightmares about the Doom monsters for many of my young years. I can only imagine how drastically seeing such realistic violence must effect children whose brains are still developing both physically and socially.

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For my thirty minutes of play time I decided to bust out my old friend Zoo Tycoon. I have a feeling people may be laughing while reading this part of the post because most people in my life laugh at the fact that building fake zoos is what I consider “gaming”. Although I very rarely get the chance to spend time playing games, when I do it is always games that seem more suited for small children. There is something about it that is strangely calming for me that I cannot quite put into words. On the opposite side of calming, I am currently watching my boyfriend play Halo. While Halo is not steeped in realism, it is definitely a violent game that your mission is to destroy aliens and/or other players. While I personally have never understood the draw to games such as these, I do understand why other people find them entertaining.

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After reading this week’s articles, my thoughts regarding violent video games have not changed. I truly believe that children should not be exposed to games such as Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, or Assassins Creed; any game that depicts acts of realistic violence on humans and does not promote empathy. I feel strongly that children should not be exposed to virtually any violent material until an appropriate age that they are able to decipher between what is real and what is fantasy. I was very glad to read the section regarding myths about violent video games.

One of my personal favorites was this one:

“Myth 6. There are no studies linking violent video game play to serious aggression.

Facts: High levels of violent video game exposure have been linked to delinquency, fighting at school and during free play periods, and violent criminal behavior (e.g., self-reported assault, robbery).”

It is reassuring to know that a vast amount of studies have found evidence that what I have believed to be true all along is actually scientifically accurate.

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On a separate note I also found it interesting that certain games are developed to help train soldiers; I had never considered this use until now but it makes perfect sense.

This is what Slate had to say about one such game”

“The best-known game to deal with real-world battlefield scenarios is America’s Army, a popular multiplayer first-person shooter introduced by the U.S. Army in 2002 and the gold standard in “militainment.” The game started as a recruitment tool, but the Army has since used it in group training as well.”

Overall, I would say that while these games can be useful, they can also be extremely detrimental; especially to young children. At the very least, more should be done to keep children from being exposed to these violent games. I know that I will not choose to raise my children with games such as the ones mentioned in these articles.

Parody News- Colbert, Oliver, & The Sun

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If I am being honest I have not been exposed to a whole lot of parody news until this section of the class; in general, parodies do not fit in with my sense of humor. However, after watching the Colbert piece(s) as well as the Oliver piece I may very well have changed my mind. I truly enjoyed watching serious subjects being discussed in satirical ways. I feel that the core information came through as intended and the humor added to the cause. Although, I also see the drawbacks to pieces such as these. It takes a certain level of intelligence to decipher between what is “real” and what is fake. I would argue that a majority of our population is/can be very lacking in this type of intelligence/common sense, which has the ability to cause major issues when it pertains to parody news. Before being exposed to these videos, I would have said that news should be delivered in a serious manner. However, after watching these clips I have a new appreciation for parody news. First of all, I feel that I am a lot more likely to retain the information because it was presented to me with humor. Second, I feel that I am also more likely to continue to seek out parody news now that I have been exposed to it because I enjoy it exponentially more than “regular” news.

While I appreciate the humor of these pieces, they also have real world impact as shown with the case of immigrant farm workers and Colbert. Although Colbert was being satirical and a bit facetious, he was also getting his point across eloquently; especially when he was discussing his need to support and give power to the less powerful people in our society. By him using his voice and fame to do good for people who do not have a voice he is using his power for positive change. Though he is mostly a comedian, he is also extremely intelligent and well-spoken and people want to listen to what he has to say which in turn helps facilitate change.

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Within the Sun article regarding “life on the moon” as well as other “astronomical breakthroughs” I found less satire and more sadness. I truly cannot believe that, “To this day, the moon hoax is remembered as one of the most sensational media hoaxes of all time.” I find it sad that people were in uproar and believed these things to be true. However, I also understand that this was a completely different time period than we live in today and the newspaper is what everyone relied on to receive their news. Although, it really reminds me of the random articles that people read on the internet today and take as fact without any research or true thought on the matter. It is truly sad how gullible and ignorant people in our society can be. This example is why I feel that parody news should only be available in video form where it is possible to read social ques and facial expressions from the person delivering the message. Otherwise, I feel as if there is way too much room for errors in judgement.

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 Overall, I would say that in general parody news has a purpose and can be used for good as long as people are able to understand its true meaning without reading too far into it.

MissRepresentation, Tough Guise, & Dr. Jackson Katz

thThroughout my college career, I have watched numerous documentaries. However, there are two that stand out to me as extraordinary as well as impactful. Interestingly enough I watched them both twice in two separate courses and then a few times outside of class as well. The two documentaries I will be discussing are MissRepresentation and Tough Guise. I was utterly shocked to find that neither of these were on the top 100 list that we were provided with. I would (and do) strongly encourage anyone and everyone to take the time to watch these documentaries; it is nearly impossible to see them without walking away with some part of your perception changed and isn’t that what learning is all about?

 

MissRepresentaion showcases the inequality that women face while also depicting the way that women are influenced by images they are bombarded by throughout media. This documentary was put together by several very strong women with a lot of really good information regarding what women and young girls deal with as far as self-esteem and body image go. Essentially, the argument that MissRepresentation is making is that men, as well as other women, keep women submissive by asserting to them that they are not good enough and filling their heads with ideas about what a woman “should” be. In reality, the images that are shown to us through our media sources are often edited and completely unrealistic; yet this is the impossible standard that “normal” (non-photoshoped) women are faced with and held to. I feel very strongly that this is an important as well as productive documentary for all people to consider watching and learning something from.

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Tough Guise (and Tough Guise Two) is written and directed by one of my idols, Dr. Jackson Katz. I originally fell in love for Katz’ passion for women while watching a TedTalk that he did a few years back. I encourage you to watch the video below to get a small taste of what Jackson Katz stands for and maybe you can fall in love with him as I have.

Tough Guise centers around men and young men being taught that performing violence (mostly physical but also emotional and verbal as well) is the only way to be a “real man”. Young boys are shown this dynamic from the older men in their families, television shows, movies, video games, and a host of other mediated sources that promote the use of violence for men. If you watched the video linked above you know that Dr. Katz frames violence against women as a mans’ issue. This is absolutely revolutionary considering that we live in a society with a primarily victim blaming mentality. Hearing Katz attempting to reframe masculinity and reclaim women’s voices is absolutely awe-inspiring for me; I truly hope that at least one of you takes the time to hear him speak on this matter and that it is able to change you a bit for the better in some way or another.

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As pertaining to this weeks’ reading, I would say that both of these documentaries are honest and productive. As Diedre points out though, independence gets a “thumbs sideways to independence” because neither of these documentaries is truly completely independent; however, they are both produced by small organizations.

If anybody is interested, MissRepresentaion is available on Netflix as well as Youtube and parts of Tough Guise is available on YouTube but unfortunately is not yet available free to the public in its entirety. Though you get quite a good idea what Katz stands for if you take the time to listen to his TedTalk, which again, I genuinely hope you do. Nothing I could say here could be nearly as important, passionate, or eloquent as that Talk so please, quit reading and go watch. You can thank me later! 😉

Linked below are some of my favorite quotes from Dr. Katz; I hope you enjoy them as much as I have!

Let Me Just Taste You

“If we spend all of our time talking about what we’re against, we can’t articulate what we’re for.”

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This has been hands down the most unconventional scholarly article that I have ever had the pleasure of reading. As soon as I saw it on our list of options, it immediately grabbed my attention. I found myself laughing to myself uncomfortably while reading through this analysis and second guessing my choice. Then something surprising happened, I stopped being uncomfortable and realized the true importance of the message that the author is attempting to convey. The main idea of this article is not necessarily about cunnilingus at all but rather the power dynamic between men and women when it comes to sex and sexual activities. Men generally have the dominant role while women take on the subservient role; thus shifting the power dynamic in a way that gives men the upper hand over women in all (or almost all) sexual situations. The importance of Lil Wayne rapping about being pro-cunnilingus lies in the fact that he is an influential African American rapper, going against the hetero-patriarchal norm that rappers that came before him set as a standard for the rap community. The article analyzes both sides of this controversy; the good that this pro-cunnilingus movement does as well as the less positive outcomes that it causes. On the side of good the author states:

“The pro-cunnilingus stance articulated by these artists illustrates the significance of women rappers challenging existing hetero-patriarchal norms that render women’s sexual desire and pleasure invisible.”

“The pro-cunnilingus stance of women rappers functions as the kind of resistance that advances the empowerment of women by centering and celebrating their sexuality in a space that often denigrates it”

However, on the side of bad outcomes the author states:

“By situating oral sex in this way, Wayne makes cunnilingus less about women’s pleasure and more about men’s theories about women’s pleasure. Additionally, while it is not the receiving of oral sex that becomes a weapon—like on Biggie’s “Another”—the giving becomes the weapon, the mechanism with which women are controlled. As a result, women’s sexual desire and pleasure is marginalized and men’s is re-centered, perpetuating hetero-patriarchal sexual politics.”

Here is a link to the popular song “Lollipop” that Lil Wayne explains certain sexual endeavors in explicit detail:

 

 

Essentially what the author is trying to convey to her audience is that while Lil Wayne may go against the norm of what rappers before him laid out as standard, he may not actually be shifting the power to a place of equality but rather just shifting the power to men using a different avenue. However, the debate is still extremely relevant and important because the upset in the politics of rap has made more room for things of this nature to be openly discussed whereas they were not before. On this note the author states:

“The anti-cunnilingus hip hop stance, then, functions as a mechanism that maintains the silence and invisibility of women’s pleasure and renders them/it practically invisible while simultaneously prioritizing the male orgasm.”

In other words, before Lil Wayne, the topic of women’s pleasure was invisible and completely unspoken about. So whether or not Wayne himself endorses unilateral sexual dominance or he is a feminist himself is truly inconsequential in this discussion. The main point is that he began the controversy that got the conversation started and was able to help facilitate it to move in a somewhat positive direction.

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Several other really great quotes that I found useful to this topic are as follows:

“Hip-hop pornography resembles the kind of rap music that prioritizes male sexual pleasure at women’s expense.”

“Hip Hop generation young women and girls appear to be rummaging around a junkyard of race and gender stereotypes for alternatives to systematic practices and biases in media, in their communities, and in their relationships, which have devalued them and shorn to scraps their selfhood. Sex becomes an easy standby, a helpmate in the search for power for those who feel legitimately disempowered.”

“It was not until Lil Wayne earned a position of leadership—founding his own company and serving as CEO—that he became invested in rapping about women’s sexual pleasure and desire vis-a-vis cunnilingus.”

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Somewhat unrelated to Lil Wayne himself, I also feel that another big concept to consider throughout this analysis is that the author was strictly focusing on African American rappers as the “problem” and on the white population as “consumers.” I find this to be extremely detrimental thinking. It feels as if the author is attempting to say that this is an African American issue that Whites take no legitimate part in other than being unwitting consumers of rap. I call BS on this idea; I would argue that as a society we have an issue with conforming to hetero-patriarchal norms. I would also argue that most of these hetero-patriarchal norms come from influential, rich, white men. To blame these sexual dominance issues such as the invisibility of women’s pleasure strictly on African American male rappers is not only extremely inaccurate but also extremely offensive.

The following quote from the author is one that sparked my interest in this particular topic:

“Whites comprise the largest segment of the buying public and their desires for racialized sexual spectacle drive the mainstream hip-hop industry.”

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Radio

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Act One:

I feel that it is extremely important to point out that this podcast was originally aired in 1998. To me, it seems like the radio now is MUCH different from what Ira Glass was describing in This American Life. The radio is now used for much less meaningful reasons; it plays overplayed music and advertises for things that most people do not pay attention to because they are busy looking for a better song to listen to. I feel that during the time that Ira Glass was hosting the show, people were much more interested in hearing news and talk shows from their stations than they were in listening to the music; almost as if the music was an after-thought. Nowadays though, the script has flipped; it is almost all about the music and not nearly as much about what the DJ’s have to say. This is an interesting change of pace for our society but considering other changes that have occurred, this shift in interests makes complete sense. Unfortunately, at least here in California, I have never heard of a radio station that boasts a reader of newspapers as that of Gordon and Mike did for, “The core audience of this program is maybe 200 blind people in New England who actually hear the broadcast on special radios configured to receive its non-AM/FM signal.”

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Act Two:

If I am being honest, the only thing I listen to the radio for is the music; I never listen to podcasts or talk shows. Nor do I make a habit of listening to commercials, I simply change the station when songs are not playing. Listening to this podcast was quite different for me, I had never really considered the different uses for the radio; especially historically speaking. It truly got me wondering how many other people are like me and surf through the channels without any regard for the rest of the content; how is this effecting the stations themselves? How does this effect the ability for businesses to advertise on the radio and actually gain buyers through this platform? Unfortunately, I feel that advertising through the radio these days may be a total waste of resources and going elsewhere for advertisement needs may be a better option both for financial reasons and customer reach.

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Act Three:

I feel that the only logical way that radio will continue on in the same fashion that it currently works in is if nothing better comes along to replace it in vehicles. If something replaced radio in cars, I feel there would be no real purpose for radio any longer. However, I am quite doubtful that this will happen anytime soon because like Ira Glass mentioned when talking about “DJ Funky One” on the pirated radio, people enjoy listening to things that are out of the ordinary. If radio as an industry wants to stay alive, I would say they need to work on having more interesting content and not replaying the same exact song ten times in the same hour period. Personally, I love listening to the radio and I hope it doesn’t die out but after reading the bit about, “Pandora, in fact, has never been profitable, with more than $105 million in losses over the five fiscal years ending January of 2012.” This was truly astounding to me! I am constantly listening to Pandora when I am not in my car and I would have guessed that they were a very profitable company before reading this article. This just goes to show that the radio business is getting less and less desirable unfortunately and therefore has a greater probability of being replaced by something bigger and better.

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Honesty. Independency. Productivity. And a Multi-Billion Dollar Industry

“Music entertains us, gets our feet tapping on the floor, or provokes wild dancing, hands over our heads, not caring what anyone things. Music soothes us, lulls and comforts. And then there’s the perfect song – the one in which the artist says exactly what you need to hear at a specific moment in your life.”

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Choosing an artist for this weeks’ post was somewhat tedious but a welcomed break from last weeks’ more emotionally draining subject matter. After reading the essay “Don’t Stop Believing” and learning more about how the recording/music industry works in the big scheme of things, I was absolutely fascinated by the idea that artists should be assessed by honesty, independency, and productivity. After discovering these standards at which to discuss and judge artists on, I decided I wanted to set out to find an artist that I believed met all three standards. One of the artists I came across that I feel meets these standards is Meghan Trainor. She was extremely young when she started her career in music and produced three albums independently before signing with a large record label. From my view, I feel that she is very honest; she writes and sings about real life situations that a lot of people do not have the guts to talk about in mainstream pop culture. One of the most well-known things that she actively promotes is body positivity. In fact, she has been a huge influence in the body positivity movement; especially for women and girls. Of course, Trainor has her critics just like any other well-known artist that actively submits themselves to the line of fire. Some people believe that her music promotes “obesity” (I won’t even touch on how untrue/unfair I feel this is because we would be here for days) and that her lyrics are offensive as well as damaging to young women. Personally I feel that this is the farthest thing from the truth; and hundreds of thousands of fans agree with my stance. She is an extremely empowering individual with a lot of talent.

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Some related tidbits that I feel add to the conversation:

→On what music does for us as individuals…
“It really shaped my consciousness and it made me think beyond my immediate borders and so I went into it believing that music is a way to express one’s self,” Michael Franti♥

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→On how record companies influence artists and their content…
“Though the commercial nature of music and the influence of corporate record labels may challenge the independence of recording artists and their music, many musicians prove that they don’t have to compromise their art.”♥

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→On how music has the power to make us feel things…
“It is no wonder that kids are growing up more cynical; they have a lot of information in front of them,” Manson writes. “Sometimes music, movies and books are the only things that let us feel like someone else feels like we do.”♥

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→But also, in the end, does not have ultimate control…
“Music is not a drug that incapacitates the listener and produces a predictable result,” Linton writes. “A whole lifetime spent listening to Bach will not automatically make a woman love God. And — despite the warning of two generations of moralists — a lifetime listening to the Rolling Stones will not make a man fornicate.”♥

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American Porn

“When you lose contact with the people who matter, your customers, and treat them as numbers instead of members of this community of experiences you have created for them, you’re going to lose them, whether the neighborhood is print or digital.” -FOLIO
“Stop being in the game of numbers and change to a game of members instead.”-FOLIO All Good Print Magazines Go to Digital Heaven…Or Do They?


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This weeks’ readings and documentaries had a lot of really great but also extremely disturbing content. I won’t lie, it is a bit hard to string together my thoughts regarding these subjects so bear with me as I attempt to present my thoughts in a logical manner. I would like to start off by addressing the fact that I chose to watch the Frontline PBS Documentary on American Porn. I choose this documentary because it seemed the most interesting and relevant to todays’ society. I feel that it is an important piece to point out that this documentary was released back in 2002. However, I feel that as a general statement, not much has changed except maybe that things have gone more towards hard core porn rather than soft core and DVD’s are sold in place of VHS. Also, I would estimate that there are far more “underground” pornography producers than there were back in 2002 who are not following regulations.

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My main concern with pornography is very similar to my main concern with magazines marketing of women; what do these things teach little girls about their value and worth as human beings? Most hardcore pornography, such as the one that Lizzie Borden describes production of in the documentary are EXTREMELY degrading to women. What does this teach women to believe about themselves and more importantly, what does this teach men to believe about women? Lizzie Borden is quoted saying, “When I was a child, my step-father was an alcoholic. So I think I had, like, deep issues, and this is kind of therapeutic for me, is to take my aggression out on other people. So in a way, I’m exploiting people. I’m taking all my inner demons and aggression out on them. But it’s good for me. So I guess that’s all that matters.” The irreversible damage that seems so obvious to me in this statement absolutely rocks me to my very core.
Here are some other quotes from American Porn that stuck out to me:
“As technology swept pornography into our living rooms, questions began to be raised about the old rules. In a wired world, who can say what offends the community standard of decency? Who can even define a community? Now a new political moment, and those questions are being raised. On the answers delivered by juries over the next few years ride billions of dollars and the fate of American porn.”
“If you look at how much money is coming in from adult- remember, there’s virtually no cost to AT&T for carrying it. And if he’s generating $10 million, $20 million dollars a month, that’s virtually all found money going into the bottom line. So it can be a significant amount, $20 million times 12 months. That’s a lot of bread.”
“Prosecutors insist that even in the digital age, there is such a thing as obscenity and that a community will know it when it sees it.”
These and many other quotes within the documentary speak to me on a very deep level. Even in the beginning of the video we are introduced to a producer who seems almost disgusted with the fact of what these young girls are willing to do and yet he films them anyways. The attitude is that if the young women are willing to do it for the money then why not make money off of them and exploit them and their bodies to the fullest extent. This flawed logic is extremely damaging to young people everywhere who are (or can be) exposed to these types of things at a very young age.

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I know that personally I read Cosmopolitan magazine religiously from the age of 12-16. I look back on that now and absolutely cringe at the things that I chose to expose myself to at such a young age just because it was “forbidden” information that I knew I shouldn’t have. The articles, the images, the advertisements, the stories that come out of Cosmopolitan are absolutely not appropriate for a young girl to be consuming; especially at the rate that I was consuming it. Truly, it became almost somewhat of an addiction for me; though I never acted out sexually because of it. However, as I got older, I do think that being exposed to that information so young did end up subconsciously shaping the way I thought about sex and what a man wants from a woman sexually. It took me quite a while to truly get past the idea that sex was strictly for a man’s pleasure and I truly think that that ideal came straight from seeing dominant men treat submissive women as objects in advertisements television shows, and the vast array of other popular culture I was exposed to at a very young age.
I feel that these are extremely vital and important conversations to have, especially with young adolescents who are very susceptible to the pressures of what society tells them.

Books

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The musings by Timothy McSweeney with regards to books is something I have thought about often. Are books going extinct? Will my children’s children never know the pleasure of walking into a library and physically holding a book in their delicate hands? For me, an avid book lover, this would be a true disappointment. Luckily however, after reading McSweeney’s research regarding this matter I am not all too worried any longer. One of the quotes from the article that eased my mind was, “In 2008, there were more original book titles published in print than ever before: 289,729 different titles in the U.S. alone.” This means that there are still fresh new ideas circulating through written word which is a great sign for creative literacy value in our society. I also truly enjoyed McSweeney’s satirical representation of the future of books. When he states that by 2070 we will be dealing with, “New brain-computer interfaces will redefine narrative, as electrodes implanted in the neocortex induce stories to form, without the intervention of a third party, as sustained hallucinations. Hence the “readers” of the future will spend most of their time in an epileptic fugue state.” After this reading, it seems silly to me that I was concerned about this matter in the first place.

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As for the podcast regarding Amazons lawsuit with the major book publishing companies, I stand on the side of the book publishers. I feel that protecting the value and sanctity of literacy is an extremely important concept to fight for. I know that personally I do not own a Kindle or any other reading device and prefer to hold a book in my hands and flip through the pages as I read. In the Twitter minded society we live in today, a lot of literary value has fallen by the wayside. There are a lot of people in our younger generations who do not know how to use a hard copy of the dictionary, some are not even aware of what a dictionary is. For me, this is an issue. We rely so heavily on electronics and the internet that children are not taught how to function without it. What are the repercussions for this if for whatever reason technology is not working or we go into a state of emergency and electricity is not available? The result is that no one will know how to handle the situation or function without the use of electronics and then there is serious possibility of mass chaos.

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As far as the debunking of “A Million Little Pieces” goes, I had never even heard of the book until after it had been discovered to be falsified. However, I do think that there should be more protocol set into place to ensure that these types of things do not continue to occur. Especially because such false information can be extremely detrimental to other people whom the author chooses to involve such as the train accident victims and their families. I would say in general it is not okay to publish a book of lies and try to pass it off as truth but I do understand the authors’ mindset as far as wanting to become famous from his words. Unfortunately in this case, he became famous for the wrong reasons and is now labeled a liar and his work has no credibility. It is sad to think what so many people are willing to do for their moment in the spotlight.

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Social Media and Multitasking

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As I was watching the frontline documentary on how entrenched our society is in social media and the internet I could not help but to find it extremely ironic that at that exact moment I too was entranced in a mediated screen. I was also engaging in social media activity in my phone as well as clicking back and forth through emails; all ways of “multitasking” that are discussed heavily within the documentary. As stated in Digital Nation, multitasking in this way can be extremely detrimental to learning and attention. The main idea of the documentary was to discuss the ever changing and growing technologically mediated society that we live in and also suggest ways to combat the negative effects that this media has on us as well as the younger generations still to come.

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In Code Literacy, Douglas Rushkoff (whom was also a big part of the documentary) goes into great detail about why we need to focus on teaching people about how technology/media is created and how to work with it instead of having it work against you. Rushkoff states, “When we are not code literate, we must accept the devices and software we use with whatever limitations and agendas their creators have built into them.” This statement gives merit to the idea that without learning how media is created and used we are destined to be controlled by it. But fear not! Rushkoff also says, “Code literate kids stop accepting the applications and websites they use at face value, and begin to engage critically and purposefully with them instead.” This tells me that there is the potential for educating kids (and adults) on these processes and building stronger as well as smarter future generations. Rushkoff provides a detailed agenda of how to achieve dispersal of this code education program and states, “The obstacles to code literacy are getting smaller every day, while the liabilities for ignorance are only getting more profound.” In other words, there is hope for the future of media and internet usage if proper education is disseminated to the public.

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The other extremely interesting article up for discussion this week is called “Small Change” and it was written in The New Yorker online journal by a man named Malcom Gladwell. This writer had a very unique and compelling way to compare and contrast social media activism with high risk activism. He provided many examples of high risk activism such as the Greensboro sit in’s and argued that this type of organized protest was far from what goes on within todays’ social media activism; so much different that they are almost incomparable to one another. There were several quotes from this reading that really stood out to me and supported the argument well. Two of the main quotes were, “The platforms of social media are built around weak ties.” and “Our acquaintances—not our friends—are our greatest source of new ideas and information. The Internet lets us exploit the power of these kinds of distant connections with marvelous efficiency.” These two quotes describe both the strengths and weaknesses involved in social media. Malcom also states, “But it is simply a form of organizing which favors the weak-tie connections that give us access to information over the strong-tie connections that help us persevere in the face of danger” with regards to social media. This piece was a brilliant comparison of high risk activism and todays more common social media activism. As the article also points out, we are much more likely to volunteer to help a cause when there is low risk for us and high reward. If I am being completely honest, I too have been pulled in by these seemingly altruistic acts on social media yet I do not engage in any real world activism for my community or society in general; I hope to change that after graduating.

Modern Keyboard With Colored Social Network Buttons.

 

All in all I would say that this is one of the most fundamental and relevant sections that we will cover over the course of this semester due to the nature of the material. This is something that consumes almost all of our attention, daily. I am very interested to see where this new and forever improving technological society will take us as well as future generations still to come.

Also, another tidbit I’d like everyone to dig deeper into and think critically about is something that Malcom Gladwell mentioned in his article regarding networks vs. hierarchies:

“No one believes that the articulation of a coherent design philosophy is best handled by a sprawling, leaderless organizational system.”

fdsasgsgh

Such powerful and intelligent words written by a brilliant man.