What a class. I came in to this class thinking it’s going to be a breeze since I know so much about digital media and technology and I came out of the class being completely wrong, but learning so much. Without a doubt digital media structures our daily lives, but in this class I’ve learned how it all started. It started not so much by the typical way we describe technology but in a way that has to do more with people than products. Digital media and technology has always been a social tool that has transformed a lot over the past 70+ years.
From The Rad Lab and Cybernetics, the Merry Pranksters and the New Communalists and the New Left all the way to The WELL and the New Right, digital media and technology has changed how we interact with each other. Starting with The Rad Lab and how scientists, engineers and educators came together to help or country during war time technology transformed our society and how we interact and educate one another.
The past few chapters of Turner’s book “From Cyberculture to Counterculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism” was a tough read, without a doubt, but they also provided a wealth of history that I would have otherwise never learned. From Clark Kerr and Norbert Weiner to Steward Brand and Kevin Kelly seeing how society and digital media evolved brought to me new terms that has now expanded my way of thinking. Digital Media and technology is not all about gadgets, but about people and how we communicate.
Another part of the course I enjoyed was Astra Taylor’s book “The People’s Platform, specifically, her thoughts on copyright (and copyleft). As someone who worked in the music industry I certainly understand an artists’ right to ownership and the issues that are involved with piracy.
Overall, this class has been an eye-opener for me and I am glad that I took the course. Additionally, this hybrid course may have been the best one I have taken.