Final Presentations – Part 2

There were two presentations about colorblind racism online that both had some really interesting information. They both had great examples of colorblind racism, but the one thing they both lacked was a solution. There was no part of their presentation that included goals for how to avoid colorblind racism or how they were doing anything but education people about it. Personally, I don’t think educating people will do much, since the whole idea behind colorblind racism is ignoring the fact that it is present and that it is not a problem.  I think it something that younger generations can be made aware of so they can teach their children to not be covertly racist online or offline. Because of this I think any educational materials should be made for younger people so they can have time to absorb it and have time to think about it, and notice when people do it online. It is sad, but older people are set in their ways and have a certain way of talking/acting that they have grown up with. It is harder to change habits and viewpoints of people that have spent a majority of their lives thinking they are not racist.

Ali Mand’s topic of the evolution of a person vlog as their audience grows was my favorite, because it was a topic I have already thought about myself (and am jealous I didn’t think to do it for my project). I have recently gotten more into you tube and watch vloggers a couple times a week now. When I think about it objectively it is ridiculous that people are getting money off of monetized you tube videos for just filming their lives. I am adding views and just watching people go about their day. Why do I and others do that? Even if they are just getting their hair died or going to the park, etc. it is still interesting to watch. I even spent all of December watching a girl’s vlogmas as she was recovering from a nose job all the way up until Christmas (and most of it was her sitting on a couch watching Netflix with her dad). What is out fascination with other people’s lives? Is it just a quick and easy escape from our own? Anyway, you can see vloggers video equipment, clothes, and atmosphere, all get nicer as they get more followers. They also do ask for votes, subscriptions, and ideas for future vlogs a lot more. That interaction is what I love about the internet. It also gets me thinking about the type of person that likes to get involved and comment. I love watching vloggers, but not enough to stop what I am doing and comment on their video or come up with ideas for them. I will like a video, but that is the most interaction that I have with them. Is this my introverted personality converting over to the online space? What type of person/ personality does it take to be a You tuber and commenter? It isthings like this that I think about while watching videos and hear the person asking for comments and likes. I always wonder “Who actually does that stuff?”

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Final Presentation – Part 1

The presentations on Wednesday were all interesting, but I think the one that engaged me the most was the one about women in the gamer world. This topic interest me because I have been around computer games my entire life. I even grew up watching my Dad play his computer games and eventually started to play them myself. I’m not an avid gamer like some people but I do participate in the gaming world occasionally. It was interesting to hear that Victoria thinks that women have already been well represented within gaming culture. The one thing I wasnt too clear on was whether or not she thinks there is a problem with the way women are being treated. Does she think that women are already involved and are not being discriminated against or that they are? I would be interested to see how her comic turns out and what direction she decides to take it in.

The other presentation that really caught my attention was Rebeccas when it came to Asian dating online in relation to cybertyping that we discussed in class. Her presentation was funny and very interesting, but was the humor downplaying a serious situation?  Her presentation made me want to look into this topic some more since I had never really thought about it before.

The first group that went with electronic medical records was also interesting, but I wanted to know more specifically about the people they interviewed. I really like that they interviewed one young and one old doctor because age is a very important factor when it comes to opinions about technology. I know my mother hates all technology and is resistant to learning anything knew, whereas the younger generations embrace technology with open arms. Technology will always be changing and it makes me wonder what new technologies will come about when I’m 50 and if I will be able to accept and integrate them into my life.  This presentation brought up a topic that I have pondered, about whether or not all technological changes are necessary/good. Did WSU really need to put their Center for Civic Engagement interface online? When I tried to volunteer their system was new and poorly designed and discouraged me from volunteering as a freshman. I still like writing things out on physical sticky notes instead of writing reminders on my phone. If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it, isn’t something that is followed when it comes to technology because it is more about making things easier, which nowadays is synonymous with better.

Power

Reflection

This particular chapter came out of the book Networks of Outrage and Hope that discusses many social movements and protests and how they are all linked because of the use of communication networks via the Internet. The chapter we read was on the Egyptian Revolution and this particular quote sums up the conflict very nicely,

“The Egyptian revolution of 2011 altered power relationships in the country, brought down the Mubarak dictatorship and continued to fight with determination the reincarnation of oppression in the form of a military regime” (pg 78).

According to this chapter the Egyptians accomplished this revolution with the help of online networking and the use of social media sites. Facebook was a tool for them to plan their protests, Twitter was used for coordination, and information was spread further by texting. In this case, social media was a very powerful tool for helping organize people.

 

At the very end of this chapter the idea of power is brought up:

“Power is exercised by a combination of coercion and intimidation with persuasion and consensus building. The monopoly of violence is a necessary condition for holding power, but not a sufficient one in the long run.”

Power is multidimensional with lots of different parts, but according to Castells, the revolution happened when it did because of a few key components. I put it into an equation:

outrage + hope + internet  (where outrage and hope were connected) =  overcoming of fear and the taking back of power

I thought it was very interesting that outrage had always been present, but when hope was introduced and people could spread it over the internet was when change started to occur.

 

Analysis

My first thought when reading this was, “How are the older people who don’t have a facebook or twitter participating?” It was soon answered, “Once the message sent over the Internet reached an active, technology savvy, large group of young Egyptians,mobile phone networks expanded the message to a broader segment of the population” (pg 57). This quote made me wonder if this chapter is giving too much credit to technology and not enough to the youth that effectively spread the message. After all, social media is just a tool that requires human use to be used properly. The youth seemed to play a large part in getting the revolution off of the ground by using social media and connecting with others in different ways. A hammer (tool) can’t put a table together by itself. A person needs to place the nails and use the tools.

“Thus, Internet networks,mobile networks, pre-existing social networks, street demonstrations, occupations of public squares and Friday gatherings around the mosques all contributed to the spontaneous, largely leaderless, multimodal networks that enacted the Egyptian revolution” (pg 56).

How can a movement be leaderless? I can see how it is possible with the use of the internet. There could be many leaders organizing events and planning things, but it is the masses of people who are connected are the ones who truly carry plans out. When everyone can be so closely connected it seems reasonable that they could all coordinate themselves.

 

There are a few major things to take away about the internet and the power it has in our lives.

  1. “…the Internet has become a fundamental right and a way of life” (pg 62).
  2. “…the Internet is the lifeline of the interconnected global economy, and so its disconnection can only be exceptional and for a limited period of time” (pg 65).
    1. They had some pretty negative effects when they disconnected everyone from the internet. Basically we can never be disconnected now because the global community is so interconnected this way. Is this a good or bad thing?

 

Implications

This got me thinking about how much freedom we have with our internet (although that will be ending shortly now that control of it has been given over to the government) and how we choose to use it in America. The Egyptians used it for this great revolution to bring about change and bring them closer as a people to move forward. In America we seem to use it to watch funny cat videos and make memes and post about a white- I mean “blue” dress. Most of our online media is also pretty biased and there are few sites that tell you information unbiasedly. Are we using the Internet and social media incorrectly? Should we be aspiring to use it for something greater? On some levels I think we should, but for the most part we don’t have any big social changes that need enacting. We dont have to overthrow a dictator or save ourselves from great oppression. We have the freedom and the luxury to look at cat video’s, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t also use it to raise awareness about people and places that can’t use it as we do for leisure.

Devaluing Culture

I have to say that I think this article was harder for me to read than the cyborg one from last week. To me it seemed like a lot of repetition, reemphasizing the devaluing of Chulucanas culture through the mass production of their ceramics. I don’t think that needed to be thirty pages long to be effective (which in my opinion it was not). In my research on the author Chan and the book the chapter comes from, it seems like she directly addresses the One Laptop Per Child initiative that we talked about (however not in the chapter we read). The conclusions I can draw to bring the two topics together comes in the form of  a question. Based upon OLPC it would seem that we feel a need to connect with the rest of the world. Why is that? In our culture there always seem to be a need to move forward, develop newer and better things and we have a reached a plateau in technological development (or so it would seem to me). The new iPhones seem to be the same with very little changes, Windows and Android are still catching up, devices are so thin they bend, screens are the perfect size, and computers run incredibly fast and can store more information. Are we just bored technologically and need projects, such as bringing rural areas along on our technology ride?

I have been to Disneyland about a million times, but when I go there with someone who has never been there before it all seems new to me when I can see it through their eyes. Are we doing the same with with still developing nations who have little to no technology? Are we getting to experience technology again by bringing it to those who don’t already have it. What is the cost of that though? This particular chapter talks about that cost in terms of the “native product” and how the mass production of it changes it so it no longer represents that culture. Instead of making the ceramics by hand they now have molds and machines. Instead of pricing it at what they think it should be valued the price is reduced. It even created competition between the different ceramic artists. Oh no!… wait… why is that a bad thing?  I would like the author to elaborate more on how competition turned these people against each other and not their own basic human nature and personalities. I felt like there was never enough in depth evidence or examination, just a bunch of redundancy within this article that just scraped the surface. Is she trying to say that if we had a better grasp on the Chulucanas culture we wouldn’t have mass produced their ceramics? or done it in a better way that respected their culture more?  Then wouldn’t we be going against our cultural norms by not interfering? Why is theirs better than ours? Why is ours better than theirs? Who decides?

“…all too oft-repeated mistake of presuming that the knowledge of the world’s most elite engineers is sufficient to conquer any and every global problem or situation.”

This quote from Chan that I found from an online interview perfectly sums up what I think she was trying to say in this chapter. We threw a bunch of money and laptops that didn’t take into consideration the cultures they were being presented to. The barrier between America and the more rural countries can be breached with a sharing of cultures (the ceramics) and with the integration of technology into their society. This is just our point of view which isn’t how other cultures see things. This is how I chose to interpret the reading, but I found it to harder to get through so I could be wrong.

http://henryjenkins.org/2015/02/perus-digital-futures-an-interview-with-anita-say-chan-part-two.html

Small but Powerful

This particular chapter was very difficult for me to get through for a couple of reasons, one of them being the fact that I disagree with a lot of what I feel like are her base ideas/values that drove her to write this manifesto. While a lot of her larger ideas escaped me, with her unnecessarily complicated writing I want to focus on a few of the things I did take away and could expand on.

Smaller is Better

“Modern machines are quintessentially microelectronic devices: they are everywhere and they are invisible” (12).

“Writing, power, and technology are old partners in Western stories of the origin of civilization, but miniaturization has changed our experience of mechanism. Miniaturization has turned out to be about power; small is not so much beautiful as pre-eminently dangerous, as in cruise missiles” (12).

Bigger is always better right? Not necessarily in today’s atmosphere. One of the things that I think Haraway got right is this idea that all of our technology is becoming smaller and more invisible. How many people actually know how they are getting cellular data or wifi? You can’t see it, but it is happening and it controls a lot of what we do and when we do it. Phones used to be large and they are getting smaller and smaller. The only change that can be seen is that the screen size is getting larger but the width of the phone is still getting smaller. Google Glass is another example of almost invisible technology. Only the wearer of the Google glasses gets to see the information they are searching.

The idea that something small could have so much power interested me  because it does seem true. We are all dependant on our small technologies like cell phones. The cell phones then give power to the providers and those who know how the phones operate and produce them. This does afford quite a bit of power since people have become heavily dependant on phones. I believe that in this chapter she talks about how we are already becoming cyborgs with our attachment to technology. I know that I can’t go even two hours without my phone. It is a source of information and entertainment.

Oddly enough, people don’t seem to see technology as having power over them. Why is that? Personally, if it can’t argue with me or tell me what to do I don’t see it as being in charge or having power over me. Everyone assumes they have the choice to put down the device and that they have the power (they are not cyborgs) but they have never had to make that choice. Someone mentioned in class that it isn’t a cyborg if the organic and inorganic parts don’t need each other (like someone with a removable prosthetic leg). We have never had to find out what it would be like to quit technology cold turkey. In today’s society it is next to impossible since everyone else is using it. Does that mean that the use of technology on a global scale is what is giving it its power? As a society we are operating on a technological plane and when someone steps off, they can’t function in the same way. To me that means that technology has a lot more power than people would like to think about (and they don’t because it is invisible). Even though our devices are small they have a large and scarily invisible presence.

Clean Room/ Discussion Questions

“Our best machines are made of sunshine; they are all light and clean because they are nothing but signals, electromagnetic waves, a section of a spectrum” (12).

“The new machines are so clean and light” (12).

To continue with the idea of power above, are we giving technology its power by painting it in such a positive light? By making it seem clean, better, and above the messiness of humans are we putting it on a pedestal? Are we counting on technology to make us better? At what point will technology become as dangerous as Haraway claims? When we finally create tech that can think as we do?

Online vs. Offline Self

I had a lot of issues with this particular book chapter. In several places Arola states that our online selves are linked to our offline selves. For the most part this can be true, but a lot of people lie online. Your taste in music, TV shows, movies, etc. might stay the same, but people can post whatever they want to portray a certain image. Basic likes and dislikes that Facebook allows you to state just scratch the surface of who someone is. This author seems to assume that people are telling the truth about themselves offline and that transfers into the truth about who they are online. In 1996 a study was done at the University of Virginia that found on average, people lie at least two times every day. This can easily transfer to social media. It is a lot easier to lie when you don’t have to look someone in the face.

There is even a whole TV show based off of people lying to others and representing a false sense of self (Catfish). The fact that the internet is like gasoline on a lying fire is common knowledge and people tend to trust things people say less on the internet. Even if you are representing a truthful version of yourself, will anyone believe it? Do you have to post only serious things for people to believe you and take you seriously?

She talks about how an online identity is not a costume that you put on to separate yourself from the offline world. I would disagree considering many people use it that way. Or they at least provide a better version of themselves. The heavyset girl cropped her picture so only her face shows. The girl with bad acne used Photoshop to get rid of all her blemishes. The girl who occasionally goes to the gym talks like she goes every day. While these falsehoods seem insignificant they can accumulate and create a separate self (someone you wish you were). Arola might say those are insignificant pieces of regalia, but they are still pieces of data that come together to form a database of who a person is. People might choose to only express parts of who they are like the first Myspace user Adam. If only part of you is represented can you really say that your online self accurately reflects your offline one? Personally, I post different things about myself on different sites. On Instagram and Facebook I am an occasional photographer, on Twitter I am a follower who says nothing, on LinkedIn I am a professional, and on Tumblr/my blog I am a designer. I like having those separate selves across all social media, and most people only know about my Facebook. The fact that it is not all in one place makes me feel like my online identity would not accurately reflect who I am if anyone tried to figure it out just by googling me. There is also a lot that I choose to keep off the internet, just because I don’t feel the need to post everything. In this way my online self could appear very different from my offline one.

“Regalia firmly positions one within a shifting continuum of embodied identities. The act of identification continues to change…”

The one thing I would have to agree with is the fact that online identities are composed of the past and the present (Facebook Timelines) and are constantly changing. I am sure that what I post and like are very different from when I first started on Facebook. In this way you can see a change or development of self that probably reflects some sort of change within the offline one.

However, we do the same thing the content moderators do for sites like Facebook. We filter out what we want in our own news feed and what we want people to see. We untag ourselves from photos, we only post pictures we look good in, and for the most part update about the good things in our lives.

Do you think your online self accurately reflects who you are? Is it even possible?

 

Outside sources:

http://news.discovery.com/tech/do-people-lie-more-online-110304.htm

Clean Room/Single Story Society?

In a sense this article discussed some controversial and “dirty” topics which made me immediately think about our discussion of the myth of the clean room. That technology is clean and making us cleaner and better.

“the number of content moderators scrubbing the worlds social media sites… runs to ‘well over 100,000.’” (scrubbing is an action people do while cleaning)

“It goes to our misunderstanding about the Internet and our view of technology as being somehow magically not human.” (clean, sleek, and futuristic)

The fact that the job of content moderator even exists is somewhat disturbing. As a consumer of social media it is disturbing to know that we are only getting a single story of society (the cleaned up version) and that there are so many horrible people out there that have to be moderated. Since most people interact with society online and get their news from social media they are seeing the world through the cleaned up version the internet is offering up.  What does it say about us as a society that we need to be so heavily filtered? This could be an excellent argument about why people in third world countries who don’t have access to technology are better off. We don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to have access to technology, but then again most people on see the cleaned up version.

 

In one of my classes the topic of net neutrality has come up. Upon doing some research I came across this quote:

“The internet must be fast, fair and open. That is the message I’ve heard from consumers and innovators across this nation. That is the principle that has enabled the internet to become an unprecedented platform for innovation and human expression.” 

If the things coming up on our news feeds are moderated is it really fair and open? Its not fair to the people whose videos are being taken down and its not open to everyone if people can’t see everything that is being put up online. The so called human expression mentioned above is also being edited when people can’t put what they want up online. Then again, it is a good thing that all those horrible things are being edited out, because in order for people of all ages to enjoy the internet it needs to be clean. But who gets to decide what is good and bad? How long will it be until they decide cat memes are bad and block those as well? Where is the stopping point? How long until it is too clean and too perfect. When it no longer accurately represents us as a society will people continue to use those sites? We walk a fine line in keeping the internet neutral where everyone can post what they want, but keeping it safe so most people can use it

 

I was left with one question in my mind after reading this article. Couldn’t these moderators be helping to serve society by tracking down the people who are doing these horrible things instead of just clicking them away into a large delete pile? If you had to look at horrible photos and videos every day wouldn’t you want to know you could make a difference in some way?

 

outside sources:

http://www.wired.com/2015/02/fcc-chairman-wheeler-net-neutrality/

 

Who needs the Internet?/ Single Stories

I wanted to begin this blog post by referencing ideas from my last blog post and what we have discussed this week. I wrote about Humans of New York (a photographer capturing the diverse people who live in New York) and how he was using his photographs to give an online presence to those who normally wouldn’t do it themselves. One of my fellow classmates pointed out that this might not necessarily be an authentic representation since it was coming through someone else and I agree. Although I do believe it is better than no online presence at all. However I have recently come to realize that there are several articles online about problems people have with Humans of New York. One particular article referenced some ideas that we have been talking about and one paragraph really stuck out to me http://gawker.com/the-problem-with-humans-of-new-york-1617812880 :

“In the world of Humans of New York, however, humans are actually caricatures. The people Stanton photographs are reduced to whatever decontextualized sentence or three he chooses to use along with their photo. And so the nattily dressed Klein, cigar in hand, lectures us about how we should all follow our dreams, while the woman whose photo was posted near his tells us that she wants things at work, where she’s under the boss’s thumb, done “my way.” But both photographs and “stories,” as Stanton calls them, even if they are a mere sentence, exist to fulfill stereotypes; the evidently rich fellow gets to brag about his achievements, the nonwhite woman gets to complain about her lot in life.”

I find it very interesting that Stanton (the creator of Humans of New York) calls his photographs stories. The article points out the fact that they are actually single stories showing only one side/facet of a person. A photograph and a single quote or short conversation only give you a small amount of information.

Are the photographs negatively fulfilling stereotypes if Stanton is just photographing and writing down what the person said? If it’s accurate what is the harm? Well, as the TED talk we watched in class pointed out stereotypes might be true but they are also incomplete. The person may be fulfilling a stereotype (and that is not Stanton’s fault) but he is only providing a single story further proving stereotypes.

According to the TED talk, single stories rob people of their dignity, but the people who participate in Humans of New York only seem to be empowered due to its current popularity. Does that mean it is an effective use of a single story? A quick way to share peoples experiences through the internet, passing on their wisdom to those who need it?

At the same time the author of this article also only sees a single story about Stanton and what he is trying to accomplish.

“It appears that Stanton sees people not as people but as vectors of how young, white New Yorkers see them.”

“Obviously, the site isn’t journalism—it’s documenting nothing more than Stanton’s own viewpoint and, now, how much he evidently enjoys being a known quantity.”

Who needs the internet and why do they need it?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nQW_2DxIK0&feature=youtu.be

While scrolling through Facebook I came across this YouTube video from John Green (author of Fault in Our Stars and famous YouTuber) on “Will Life Get Better for the Poor?” I clicked on it with mild curiosity wondering if it would relate at all to what we were learning and I wasn’t disappointed.

Two Worlds/Divide

It relates to the mention of the haves and the have not’s in our book just in different terms. He divides the world up into two (very binary) separate sections.

“We still kind of live in two worlds. In one world fewer than 1% of kids die before the age of five almost no one gets malaria and very few children are denied access to vaccines because of lack of refrigeration… and then we have the other world. In that one 1.5 million children die every year from diseases preventable be vaccines… and kids are less likely to go to school and learn to read especially if they are girls and all of that is totally unacceptable.”

-John Green

I reference this video because one of the sections in Chapter 9 is Who needs the Internet? I think that this video helps us think about that in broad terms.

“Investments in Innovations that will improve the Lives of Poor People”

  1. Access to mobile banking
  2. Better farming practices
  3. Online education tools

“What this would do…”

  1. Enough food would be produced to feed every African
  2. People would be able to save and dramatically simplify their economic lives with access to mobile banking
  3. Girls would have far better educational opportunities dramatically reducing the gender gap in literacy
    • Access to technology can solve other kinds of divides (not just digital ones)

1 and 3 both deal with technology and having access to a phone or laptop. When we talk about the digital divide in class we have just been focusing on who doesn’t have technology and what white people should be doing to fix that. I like that this video talks about the benefits of what technology could do for those who don’t have it. The effect and not the cause. The book even discusses why people need technologies, reinforcing Greens statements above. The “digital communications technologies matter [in] every aspect of life, social life-business, education, government, family life, social change movements- [have] been reshaped along digital lines” (pg 181).

Green references an empathy gap that we westerners have because we can’t see the problems in front of us. Maybe discussing what technology would mean for people who don’t have it could help close that gap. We need to close it according to Green because, “we do not actually live in two worlds.”

“People in developing worlds are not silent, we are just not good at listening. We need to listen better and more broadly” (rhetorical listening).

-John Green

Reinforcing Stereotypes

While this video is very enlightening I also think it had some negative effects as well. Right off the bat he associates poor people (the title of the video) with Africa once again reinforcing stereotypes and promoting the single story of how westerners supposedly see African people.  While trying to improve the lives of the poor and raise awareness he is at the same time creating a single story for them as poor people who need the Wests help.  Does this mean that his video is causing more harm than good?

 

His final thought is that people that are more informed are more engaged. Do you think that is true? If the younger generation were more informed of this digital divide and what closing it would mean do you think they would they take action?

 

Cybertyping

I struggled with the definition of cybertyping as I read through this chapter and had to reread the beginning a couple times. From what I understood, cybertyping is basically the process of humans expressing themselves online and how they bring ideas of race and stereotypes with them into the virtual world. That was my original understanding, but Nakamura later stated that, “Cybertypes are more than just racial stereotypes ‘ported’ to a new medium” (pg 5). It was at that point that I realized it was important to look at how race was interpreted and treated differently in cyberspace with new technologies and access to more people and opinions than before.

“utopian ideal of the internet as a democratizing disembodied space” (pg 10).

Utopia. I think it is a nice idea, but I know that it’s impossible as most people do (humans will always be flawed). So when we started this class and the words utopia and digital world were thrown around together, I was surprised. I had never thought of the internet as some great equalizer or some perfect place where everyone would get along.

I started out with technology at a young age, with adults constantly warning me of the perils of the online world. There were always parental controls or safety programs running on my computer because there are a lot of unsavory things online for children. I guess I didn’t realize it until now, but my mindset hasn’t changed. The idea that the online world isn’t perfect and that people say and do things online they wouldn’t normally do in real life has always been a given. I never thought about it before, but people who were adults when the internet first became widely used might have had higher hopes for its ability to bring people together.

I have also never particularly associated negative and nasty practices online with race because I have seen everyone become a victim to online bullying. In regards to cybertypes, I think people are freer with their words, criticisms, and stereotypes online because they can say and do whatever they want while safely typing away on their keyboards. I don’t think the digital world changes people’s views on race, but rather the way it functions as an impersonal barrier allows people to say whatever they want anonymously with less direct consequences.

 

“technology was viewed as instrumental, as a means to an end; users were figured as already- formed subjects who approach it, rather than contingent subjects who are approached and altered by it” (pg 11).

This got me wondering if people’s ability to be more negative online was changing them and their behavior offline. Do you think that our behavior in the digital world can then in turn change what we believe and how we act in the real world?

___________________________________________________________________

Does digital culture = monoculture?

Are we all the same online? Have white people taken it over completely? I don’t think so. Even if the internet doesn’t reach people from all cultures and places in the world, it is up to others to give them an online presence.

Example 1: When our Professor showed us the website for an inmate that someone else had to create for him. Someone who wouldn’t necessarily have a voice online has now been given one despite their lack of access.

Example 2: Humans of New York is quite popular on social media and follows a photographer as he takes pictures of people and asks them questions. Many of the people’s responses are very profound and his subjects come from all walks of life. It is a great cultural and spiritual mashup of all kinds of people. Here are some examples:

 

HONY2

HONY3

Overall, I think that this author’s argument was very binary like we discussed in class. It was basically all about how white people online are the bad guys and our digital culture shows the “Wests ‘dark side’”. I believe/ know there are a lot of bright spots in the so called “darkness” of cyberspace.

 

Ending Questions

“Cybertypes are the images of race that arise when the fears, anxieties, and desires of privileged Western users…are scripted into a textual/graphical environment that is in constant flux and revision” (pg 6).

Is the author trying to say that our insecurities over our own online presence cause us to present ourselves negatively online?

Setting the Scene: Chapter 1

Analysis/ Point of the Chapter

In class, the point of this chapter was called into question, but I think it was a good way to start off this particular book. Technology and the culture surrounding it is very complex and not a lot of people understand it (as discussed in Chpt. 1). Most people are content not knowing how the magic box in front of them connects them to the rest of the world. The point of this chapter was to get everyone on the same page as the author no matter their level of technological understanding, regarding terms and biases. He states that, “I’ll make my own position explicit when I have a strong point of view and trust that readers will factor my position into their responses”.  I saw this as a call for readers to employ rhetorical listening because bias will be involved and an open mind is necessary when reading this text.

A few of the phrases he uses to clarify what he will be referencing in the rest of the book:

“My focus will be on…”

“So in the context of this book, I will use the term…”

“For the purposes of this book , I will mostly use the term…”

“I hope you will recognize that…”

These all tell me that this chapter was necessary because there was a lot of clarification needed to bring everyone on the same page before continuing on.

 

Relating to Personal Experience/Thoughts

“the new becomes ordinary, becomes taken for granted” (pg 22).

I remember when I got a smartphone and making that transition from the flip phone . They were so much better than flip phones, and now we take them for granted. I don’t  think my twelve year old sister has held a flip phone or seen one in person. The technology we have now has become ordinary and we are constantly creating new versions to make it better and feel new again. There is a reason people keep buying new iPhones.

“To a very large degree, the online world is a reflection of the offline world” (pg 21).

I agree with this statement to some extent, but I also think that people are not accurately reflected in the online world.  People become more bold and say things they usually wouldn’t behind the facelessness of the internet. A lot of times people are freer with their comments and criticisms when they don’t have to look anyone in the eye while they are saying it. Instead of a reflection of the offline world it seems more like a magnifying glass looking deeply at how people really act and how they think. The online world is definitely different than the offline world when it comes to people and how they act.

 

“old media have undergone remediation into new media” (pg 25).

Streaming things online now has become very popular instead of watching shows on the television or renting a DVD.  Shows and movies are now accessible through sites like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu Plus. Personally, I just watch everything on my iPad with Xfinity, Netflix, abc, abc family, NBC, FOX, and CW11 apps. I don’t think I have watched a single episode of anything on a TV this past year. Technologies not only affect us, but they affect other tech as well. On laptops there isn’t even a way to play DVD’s/CD’s anymore. Everything is becoming available to stream so why add it onto laptops? Kindles and tablets have also encroached on books now that you can read on your devices. Even when buying textbooks for classes some are available in digital format making buying the physical book pointless.