Taylor labeled chapter 6 “Drawing a Line” and there could not be a more fitting title. How much of our private life is actually private? Where do we draw the line? What adds to it is that the majority of the time, our information is being taken and we are absolutely oblivious. “In a multipart investigation, the Wall Street Journal found that after subjects visited the Web’s fifty most popular Web sites, a total of 3,180 tracking files were installed on its test computers” (Taylor, Loc 2882). This just proves how much of our information is being tracked for purposes of advertising. We think that if we use invisible or similar settings our information would be safe. I was not aware of the lengths that they went to get our information or the amount of money spent to do so. Unfortunately, there is no proof that what we view on our computer will not be accessible by others to sell it. “It’s getting to the point where we can’t do too much about it….For the foreseeable future, there is no foolproof way to ‘opt out’ except for staying off-line altogether” (Taylor, Loc 2919). One would assume that would be an easy task but considering most people bank, shop, and gain their education from the internet, it makes it almost impossible to disconnect. It has gotten to the point where we are offered options to pay in order to avoid advertising, despite the fact that our information is still being taken. It just now holds our credit information. That aside, the amount of devices that are not properly disposed of are contributing to the amount of e-waste that is already at an incredible high. The misconception is “what these devices deliver –has been peddled as cheap and disposable” (Taylor, Loc 2864). If only that were true and the amount of waste being produced was not as high as it is.The problem is the demand for higher quality and features only increases the amount of undisposable waste.
Digital media is definitely complicating our relationship to copyright. This are too easily accessible and available for it not to be. I believe us as a people have always struggled with copyrighting and the internet and other forms of digital media have done nothing but simplify the situation. I recall a time when people would run lines from their neighbor’s antenna to their house to get cable. They got what they wanted without paying for a cable package. Then it went on to be people with video cameras in the theaters recording movies to make copies to sell. Now they can download anything from anywhere and make copies from the comfort of their living room in their pajamas. It becomes an issue of what people think should be paid for and what should be free. “Knowledge cannot be owned and we have a responsibility to share it” (Taylor, Loc 2216). We are in an age that we will seek out information by any means. This also sparks the the conversation as to what can be classified as copyright worthy and what is not. Money is what makes this is most other countries run so inasmuch as many would like to have people come in contact with their work, their are costs to almost every effort. “While we all know what ‘expensive’ means, ‘free’ has a fundamental ambiguity, an ambiguity central to the Internet. Free can mean something that no one can own, that belongs to all. It can also mean free in cost” (Taylor, Loc 2234). If you cannot classify what free is, then how can you classify what should be copywritten? Every artist wants to get paid for their work but also wants it to be seen/heard. At the same time there are areas that should be available and are being restricted and there are those that feel it should not be. I think there will always be those people who will make sure what they want or what they feel others should have, is made available by any means. If not through digital media, they would create it as they always have.
Taylor describes the two realms as selling of goods and services and putting a figure on arts and culture. “Cost disease isn’t anyone’s fault….It’s just endemic to businesses that are labor-intensive” (Taylor, Loc 675). This new age values an engineer, contractor or baker over that of a teacher or an artist. This is because artists can now have seen people “paint an appealing(Taylor, Loc 697). Now it becomes more convenient and less expensive so new-media utopians feel as if it’s a favor rather than work. It is an assumed this are things artist should be doing and sharing with others considering “many of them enjoy fame, admiration, social status, and free beer in bars” (Taylor, Loc 732).
That is essentially where the problem lies. If you are doing or creating something which is a necessity for the growth of others or because some take other payments, not everyone is going to feel those people need to be paid. The bigger problem becomes if this people don’t get paid, being that they need it to survive, then more will venture outside of the field to support themselves diminishing that culture.
I do not think the buying and selling of data complicates the way that we differentiate between work and leisure. I think the only effect it might have is the eventual bombardment of advertising. In which case, it becomes more of a nuisance rather than work. I believe Scholz’s Digital Labor refers to the exchange of getting a “free” service for the cost of your information. The closest thing to labor is when Scholz says, “ Harry Potter fans produce fan fiction and give their creative work away for free in exchange for being ignored by the corporation that owns the original content” in which case it is not really work if you did not do it expecting to be compensated. Updating statuses and likes are not considered work either if it is not obviously coming at an actually monetary price.
The online content farms are just a reiteration of what we discussed in class the other day. The idea that we can search for something like “how to bake a pumpkin pie” and their position is to somehow determine how to get the most money for this information. It is mainly a reliance on the interest of consumers. Our dependence on search engines such as Google are ultimately where these sites and media companies acquire their data. Depending on how many people inquire about how to make these pumpkin pies will give companies the idea of how much to charge big name companies like Target and Walmart for advertising to make sure that those items necessary are seen by those who show interest. This is what produces the eerie advertisement on you Facebook feed about butter and baking pans because you searched for it.
This explains why the other day, while in incognito mode on Google Chrome, I saw items that could be associated with items I ordered from Walmart show up in my advertisements. Despite me trying to hide my content and using another email address to place my order, I failed to realize that my Gmail account had been signed into on another tab. So because of this, regardless of my obviously failed attempt at secrecy, the information was made available to companies, including those I ordered from to promote and advertise products that may benefit me based on my recent purchases. It all makes sense, albeit creepy.