Hybrid Assignment 13
When I first read the description of this course, I immediately wanted to sign up because I truly believed that our history will soon be surrounded with digital media and I was hoping to learn more about it. Now that we are winding down to the last day of our class, not only did I learned about digital media and the continuous improvements through time, but also the history of how we created this new era, and all the contributions made for us to be where we are at now as a society, and I can only imagine how much more technology will grow.
Each week I also enjoyed listening to the presentations done by the students in our class because it became a learning experience as a class to speak about what we learned, the challenges, similarities on what we found interesting or disliked, and simply picking up on knowledge that I interpreted differently. This class was particularly more interesting because the classroom felt more like a community and it seemed as though everyone respectfully made comments that were relatable to each other, which was another way that I learned in class.
I have to admit that some of the readings were a little challenging for me, where at times I had to read the same page over and over again, but overall, through the discussions in class, I was able to have a better understanding on the week’s reading. For example, Terranova’s week and a few chapters on From Cyberculture to Counterculture were a little bit of a challenge. As challenging as it was, I learned Terranova’s explanation on how subculture and capitalism are intertwined, but a big lesson learned for me. In our modern society, we believe that our thoughts and freedom can become a creation but due to capitalism, however we are still restricted in today’s culture. But I really enjoyed reading Taylor Astra’s Book, as well as Jodi Dean’s essay on Whatever Blogging.
Overall, I learned so much through this course and I am able to leave CWE with a new perspective on digital media, now and then, and I feel both excited and nervous on how much more change is coming our way. Thank you everyone for a great class!
Hybrid Assignment 10
This week’s reading caught my attention as soon as the story began with a little preview of what Stewart Brand wrote on his diary about the way he felt on his expectations if the Soviets invaded the United States. The short passage was extremely powerful to me and I was able to feel the fear with each word he chose to describe his terror. Along with the simple but descriptive language used in his diary, I can understand why the environment and era he grew up in effected his relationship and views of technology – as well as continuously living with a fear of one day, potentially being invaded. I was able to see that his childhood memories make an impact on the kind of person he becomes as an adult. The environment and exposure of his early years made a difference in Brand’s life, especially the way he viewed the world as a fight to become a stronger individual rather than as a society in whole.
Later, Buckminister Fuller became an inspiration to Stewart Brand with the idea of the comprehensive designer, and the vision of the world espoused by Fuller because of the way he was able to take advantage of technology rather than go against it. As Turner mentions, Fuller’s idea of comprehensive designer requires balance and current deployment of its resources. From my understanding of the reading, the comprehensive designer would have to gather all the necessary information, and then re-distribute it in ways that can be useful. However, in order for this to be successfully done, the designer basically needs to be trained, but at the same time think as an outsider. Through Fuller’s work, Brand is able to re-visit the way society can utilize technology in a way everyone can gather information in a more ‘positive’ way.
Hybrid Assignment 9
In chapter one, Turner distinguishes the New Left from the New Communalists through the affinities of latter by a cybernetic vision of the world by looking at the two opposite perspectives and how it will shape our society.
From my understanding of this chapter, the New Left activists represented as being against war, as it takes the view from the Free Speech Movement of the 1960s, yet wanted to change the politics. They believed that the key was to use politics as their source. In contrast, New Communalists, wanted to avoid party politics, bureaucracy, as well as other organized social worlds. Their motive was to build a new community which did not focus on politics, it was the mind. They believed that if people shared the same ideas as others, then politics altogether would not be needed because they will be unified as one group. Power did not belong to anyone; it belonged to all, by building a community. In addition, technology was now used as a tool and taken advantage of due to the convenience to become part of a society, which the New Left activists would not have agreed on.
Hybrid Assignment 8
In Jodi Dean’s essay she elaborates on the notion of “whatever being” as a new form of personality which is described as an individual without a sense of belonging towards a specific category. The term “whatever being” was formed from the word “whatever” which is an extremely common word used today among Americans. The word “whatever” is said as a response to express indifference, such as not willing to accept nor refuse. From my understanding of Dean’s essay, she expands this concept and the form of communicativity by explaining the comparison of the different ways digital media plays a role in our experiences
Dean uses an example from the response of Herman Melville’s Bartleby, (which I have previously read for a different class) when the scrivener calmly responds “I’d rather not” when the lawyer asks him to complete a task. The lawyer is so startled by his response that he doesn’t know how to react to the scrivener’s response. According to Dean, “whatever” resembles the response of the scrivener. Although “I’d rather not” is an unacceptable answer from a worker to a “boss”, the lawyer does not let the scrivener go and tries to get answers to his strange behaviors. That itself could have been a good reason for the lawyer to let him go, however he does not. Bartleby continues to answer saying “I would prefer not to”, but the lawyer wishes that Bartleby would tell him anything. According to Dean, “His answer affirms the intelligibility of the request even as it challenges the normative expectations informing it.” Bartleby is a subject with preferences, and these preferences must be attended to.
Hybrid Assignment 06
From my understanding of this week’s reading, there is a larger American culture and then there are subcultures from smaller subgroups within the larger society. In the past, when individuals wanted to become part of a subculture, they would dress, behave, and engage in subcultural activities together. We all belong in a subculture where we share the same interest and views as the members of the community. Even in music based cultures, there are many different subcultures. For example, the different genres of music such as electronic music, hip-hop, reggae, rock, etc.
Now that we have a better understanding of subculture, Terranova also explains how subculture and capitalism are intertwined. In our modern society, individuals believe that their thoughts and freedom can become a creation but due to capitalism, however individualism is still restricted in today’s culture.
My girlfriends and I have been traveling to different states every summer to attend different music festivals for a number of years now. It has become part of our routine to attend these festivals together, not only because we all enjoy the music (mostly electronic music), but to also have fun stories to look back to as we get older. We all belonged to a subculture, not just my girlfriends and I, but also everyone else that attended the festivals. I felt a sense of belonging, as if everyone around me understood me through having one thing in common; the same taste in music. But as years went by, the prices of the tickets to the festivals went higher and higher, and things have become more commercial based, full of advertisements, consisting of canned beers that cost $16. The more people were exposed to these events, the more they wanted, which did not stop costumers from purchasing 3 day tickets for over $500. This is the reality. Subcultures are effected by capitalistic ideas because they are impacted by the desire to many profit.
Ross describes feminization of labor as doing unpaid work that involves women in the majority, such as (unpaid) internships. He includes that women are most likely to dominate the most precarious sectors of white collar and no collar employment, and are assigned the majority of unpaid internships (77% according to one survey). Although getting an internship is a great opportunity to step in the workplace, unpaid internships requires as much hard work and effort as any other paid worker, but unfortunately do not guarantee an individual with a job when the internship is finished.
Hybrid Assignment 05
In this week’s reading, Ross explains the cheapened and discounted form of labor that affiliates with the rise of digital media by sharing many different examples throughout the chapter. One of the examples that stood out to me most was the white collar / no collar interns. I can personally relate to this because this is something I also experienced, as well as many people that I associate myself with. From my personal experience, I feel as though internships have become the new entry-level job that consists of the same responsibilities and basic experience, except it is only without one of the most important factors; without compensation or benefits. I absolutely understand that getting an internship is a great opportunity to learn and build experience, however I also think that unpaid internships requires as much hard work and effort as a real “job”. In addition, internships do not guarantee an individual with a job when the internship is finished. Therefore, I believe that it is extremely unfair for interns to work hard without getting paid for their work. Unfortunately, as Ross mentions in the chapter, Corporate America takes advantage of this system and gets a “$2 billion annual subsidy from internships alone”.
Ross also mentions that the financial profile of some companies are extremely high. According to Ross, Facebook alone took in an estimated $4.3 billion in revenue in 2011, and almost 1 billion of that was net profit. The firm only had a little more than 2,000 employees on payroll. And how do companies such a Facebook make a huge financial success? It is through the subscription base of Facebook’s half a billion users. (Us) Ross adds that the users are not consumers in any traditional sense of paying customers. They make their money by what we share, as well as from advertisers or behavior market vendors. The users become the “products being sold”. Everything has become business related which in many ways seems unfair. Facebook claims to be “free” but it really isn’t.
Hybrid Assignment 04
September 29, 2015
Chapter 6 touches up on many of the different topics that we have been discussing about thus far in class, as well as in our hybrid assignments. Some of the topics include privacy, advisement, what is considered “free”, unfairness, and etc. In this new digital economy, Taylor describes many of the dilemmas that are circulating us as the target audience.
One of the problems mentioned in chapter 6 by Taylor states that individuals are being sorted into “reputation solos” which is a system that seems like a trap. Taylor mentions that once we are part of this system, it can be difficult to get out of. In addition, she also includes that in this system we are being labeled as either targets or waste. When it comes to digital media, reputation solos is a system where it depends heavily on what we are being exposed as individuals. Our information, which can be private or not, has become the target to determine the “labeling”. And with the results they make predictions on what kind of person we are as an individual. Whether it is by advertisement, collecting our date, or simply by tracking our interest, our information is being sold as the “product”
Another term Taylor mentions in chapter 6 that has been an upcoming problem in our new digital era is called “e-waste”, which she states that it can grow three times faster than the piles of regular garbage accumulating all around us. E-waste is described as discarded electrical devices, such as computer, cell phones, etc. which is NOT recyclable. This has already become a major problem in our new digital economy, and it seems as though it will only get worse by time.
Hybrid Assignment # 3
Digital media has been complicating our relationship to copyright in many different ways and it has been affecting us tremendously even more now than it ever has before. I believe that it all begins with having no “in-between’s” when trying to make a successful living through digital media, or even make a living at all. It seems as though it’s either you make it extremely big, or the years of hard work and dedication goes unnoticed due to the work being spread across the internet in fast speed with just a click of a button. The work being spread across the internet comes with a catch; that the information that is being shared is free. As Taylor mentions in chapter 5, “free” can mean something that no one can own, that belongs to all. That alone is a big dilemma for the creators.
Another problem mentioned in chapter 5 is that making movies is not cheap. Taylor states that even in this age of digital video, and support for many different projects, everyone comes with high expenses. How can an artist create work with their own knowledge and creativity or even with their team and not be given what they deserve in return? What would be the purpose to begin a hard project if the goal is to have the work float around the media for free? This should be something that the creator gets to have a say on; how their work should be distributed. Unfortunately, it seems as though the complications between digital media and copyright will continue to exist unless we fight for change.
Taylor Definitions Chapter3
The “Bored at Work Network” is a term created by Jonah Peretti, the CEO of BuzzFeed, and a co-founder of The Huffington Post. He defines this as information in a very simple way. He believes that the gained information should be “easy to understand, easy to share, and includes a social imperative”. In other words, it should be the type of content anyone can access and should not have trouble understanding the material. It also states the maker should be ready to sacrifice quality for popularity. This statement means that in order to gain major popularity, quantity wins over quality. Taylor also includes that the best ideas don’t always win as well as quality is not a growth strategy. If the readers are able to understand the material without having to overthink or over analyze the text, Peretti believes that it will benefit both the reader and the company.