User:Hthrxlynn/NMAC 4460 Journal

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August 18: New Media

Based on my current knowledge, I would define "new media" by saying that it is the forms of media that have been created with the addition of advanced television broadcasting and the internet. I already know that media is the way we communicate to a large number of people. Putting "new" before it implies that there is an "old" version, which I would say is newspaper, magazines, and local television stations. Now, we not only are able to show a news station across the entirety of the US, but we can share photos, videos, and text almost instantly online, where we are connected with the rest of the world.

With the internet, we can choose which forms we wish to communicate through: news websites and blogs, videos on YouTube, or social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Many people communicate through more than one of these, reaching an even broader audience. I think that defines another characteristic of new media: it's easily accessible. If you want to know what is happening in the world, find inspiration for a project you're working on, or even just look up how to do something, it's right there on the internet. You can even decide to join in and share your own content. This website is a great example of a collaborative effort with users from all over the world.

August 18: New Media, After Research

After conducting research on the topic, I know that I was on the right track with my first entry. I was correct in my idea that because there is a new, there has to be an old. I forgot to mention radio, which I later found in my search of the definition of new media.

An interesting idea I came across is the argument of what qualifies as new media. The line between what is and is not new media can be blurry; for example, some would say a photograph presented digitally is new media, but the same photograph in print is not.[1] I agree with Manovich's argument that this definition is too limiting. With the way that these devices change our lives, I would argue that a photograph taken with an iPhone and printed into a book would still be new media. The subject itself, the idea that a portable device that functions as more than just a camera took the photo, and the methods of getting the photo into the book are all examples of the way that things have changed and that we have changed along with them.

Finally, the main thing I missed in my previous journal entry is that the focus of new media is on the devices themselves.[2] I think I beat around this idea, I just didn't explain the significance of the devices. The idea that we carry around a small box that can communicate with people on the other side of the world, take photographs, do math, edit and share photos and videos, and even unlock doors and give our dogs treats when we aren't home is mind boggling. The world has changed so much with the invention of the phone. There are jobs built around apps (like Uber) and we have full-length films at our fingertips with streaming services like Netflix. These are the kinds of things new media is all about.

@Hthrxlynn: I like how you mentioned Manovich's argument that the term new media is limiting. I find the term so broad because it can be referring to the digital devices, the study of how we use it, and even more. While I see the term is broad, I think it is correct that it is quite limiting too. Since we label things as "new media" or "traditional media", we forget that many of these things are combined. As you said, the lines are blurred when it comes to things like photos in certain forms. I think that instead of trying to seperate new media from the old, we should focus on the changes that were made between them. I think that would help in the further evolution of media. I guess at that point it would be newer media? Sabub (talk)
@Sabub: I agree with your idea of focusing on changes, or improvements, in new media. Instead of "newer media" we might want to call it "collaborative media" if we adopt the idea of evolving new media!
@Hthrxlynn: I would have to agree with both you and Sabub. To try and pinpoint an exact definition of "new media" would be subjective by nature, as everyone has their own ideas of what is considered "art," which is how I personally like to think about new media: it is an artistic form of expression that has been created or enhanced someway through digital means. As you pointed out, should a photograph be considered new media after being printed? I would say it should, as it had to first be taken, modified or enhanced in some way, and then developed into a photograph. Not to mention many people use photographs to display something beyond the photograph itself, essentially making them a "device" in their own right. In trying to decide what to conduct my R1 project on, I finally settled on a book covering video games within the realm of new media, and during my research of a topic I found many articles debating whether or not video games should be considered new media or not. In my opinion, they are (and I hope in Dr. Lucas's opinion too, because I already bought the book!) Anyway, you hit the nail on the head with this one. The definition of new media is very broad, so as long as the individual can support their claim with justifiable evidence, I believe new media can be found within nearly every aspect of our lives, which is why it is so important and powerful in today's society. Shannamartini (talk) 22:48, 7 September 2019 (EDT)
@Shannamartini: It's a weird concept for sure, Shannon! It's like studying philosophy but more tangible.
@Hthrxlynn: Great post Heather, You touched on a few things that I missed. In your last statement about our devices that basically let us RULE THE WORLD is great. We have so much power with our as you called it “ box “ is a great way to explain new media as well. The evolution of media from older to now is just so mind boggling I’m so glad you touched on the power of media through JUST our phones. The crazy thing is it’s not going to let up anytime soon, there are going to be so many more things that evolve and I can’t wait to see what these creators come up with next. VincentH81 (talk) 13:31, 8 September 2019 (EDT)
@VincentH81: Hey, Vincent! You're right that we basically rule the world with our phones! In my original definition of new media, I failed to discuss the devices themselves but they're so important in new media, especially smart phones!
@Hthrxlynn: This was a really good aspect of the power of media throughout technology. It is so crazy how new media consumes our everyday lives and the force it has behind it to make it so important. Over the years new media has definitely become our way of wanting more of it because it has been updated and will continue to be updated. New, Old, and Traditional media have all come along way with differentiating and it's great that as individuals we get to see this happening. Jameiladudley (talk) 19:01, 8 September 2019 (EDT)Jameiladudley
@Jameiladudley: It makes you wonder what's next! Savannah and I talked about "collaborative media" earlier!

September 3: The Memex

It amazes me that I've had to learn about this hypothetical device more than once in my academic career. In July, 1945, an engineer, inventor, and science administrator by the name Vannevar Bush presented the concept of the "memex" in his article, "As We May Think." The memex would be used to store information that could be linked together in a similar way to what Wikipedia does today. Essentially, it was a database of books and information that the user could connect to other related books (or pages of books). The user had the ability to annotate the books and share their connected collections to other memex owners. Bush described it as a "mechanized private file and library."[3]

Our friend, J. C. R. Licklider saw beyond what Bush presented with his memex. Licklider saw a network of possibilities for communication across the globe, pretty much exactly as it is today. He described a system of "man-computer symbiosis" which describes a development in cooperative interaction between men and electronic computers.[4] It's crazy that just a few years later, we would carry access to the World Wide Web in our pockets.

September 5: McLuhan

Marshall McLuhan was a philosopher and teacher from Canada. He is perhaps best known for his book, The Medium is the Massage which he co-authored with Jerome Agel. Interestingly, the video I watched said that the title of the book was originally "The Medium is the Message" and that the title was a typesetting error that McLuhan decided to keep, but the article says "McLuhan adopted the term "massage" to denote the effect of each medium on the human sensorium, taking inventory of the "effects" of numerous media in terms of how they "massage" the sensorium.[5] Neither one states a clear source for where the information came from.

It's impressive to me that McLuhan existed before our time and seems to describe exactly what life is like today. Lucas brings up a good point in his article, McLuhan's Medium & Message: McLuhan never makes a clear distinction between media and technology.[2] In his future, the two would be hand-in-hand. I'm literally typing words on an electronic device that is connected to a network that reaches all over the world.

@Hthrxlynn: It is interesting how McLuhan knew the turn that media was going to take before it even took place forming all types of new media. I was confused at first but I also think the TED talk "How Architecture Helped Music Evolve" helped give an example of "the medium is the message" and how things evolve and change over time or just to simply adapt to it. KhajadaNeal (talk) 11:07, 8 September 2019 (EDT)
@KhajadaNeal: Right! It's impressive to me that there was a man that was able to see where these primitive devices were heading (and he was right about it, too)!
It really amazes me how some people can make claims before it actually happens. I agree with you Heather about your statements about how in Dr. Lucas's article, and how McLuhan talks about how media and technology have no difference. They are the same because we use technology such as cell phones or iPads to get on social media. We can literally use any technical device to look on all social media websites. After McLuhan made his claims, he was right all along.Vada.amerson (talk) Vada.amerson 21:58, 8 September 2019 (EDT)
@Vada.amerson: I didn't even think about how a lot of the devices created share functions! You're absolutely right!

September 12: Negroponte

Nicholas Negroponte is a Greek American architect who authored the book Being Digital. This book was about digital technology in the past, making great claims about where the future was headed. It was really cool to watch the Ted Talk given by Negroponte himself and hear him talk about things that exist now.[6] Negroponte's book touched on the idea of "atoms to bits," which was essentially his way of saying that everything will be digital one day. When the book was published in 1995, the World Wide Web had only been in existence for around 6 years.[7] It's cool that Negroponte saw where the world was headed. He states in his book that "the change from atoms to bits is irrevocable and unstoppable."[8] I think in the world that I grew up in, it's impossible to genuinely disagree with Negroponte's prediction. The entire world is spread across this table that I am sitting at while I type. I am on a laptop with an iPad open beside me so I could accurately quote Negroponte's book and my phone is off to the side so I don't get distracted by that very fact.

Marshal Ruffin brings up a good point about the logical benefit of moving from atoms to bits: we are paying for the production and distribution of content that is of little or no interest to us when we pay for magazine subscriptions or something along those lines.[9] This is one of the many reasons why we are shifting to the digital world. Convenience, saving money, and getting the information we are looking for faster are a few more logical reasons why everything is moving to computers.

I think the medium is definitely still the message in the digital world. There are still specific standards that newspapers are held to, although they are posting their information online just like everyone else. I think in this case, the medium refers to the type of website or platform that the information is displayed on. I don't expect to read tweets in the Kindle app, just like I don't expect people to be formal on Facebook like I expect on LinkedIn. There are definitely spaces for the type of messages you are trying to present, even in the digital world. I wouldn't text a potential employer, but I might shoot them an email. There are still formalities associated with that.

September 14: The Hacker

The Hacker's Manifesto reminded me of this kid in my math class in high school.[10] He didn't know how to solve the problems on the test, so he spent most of the class creating a program in his calculator to solve the problems for him and he spent the last ten minutes of class typing the questions into the calculator and writing out the answers. Definitely a "hacker" mentality there.

It also makes me think of middle school where this really smart student (who ended up graduating as the Valedictorian at his school) created a computer program on a disk that was essentially a tutor for the material we were learning. According to Hackers vs Crackers, there's a fine line between the hacker and the cracker: criminal intent.[11] Hackers are the good guys, the problem solvers, and the ones that see an issue and provide a solution. Both of these guys were hackers. They made the technology work for themselves and for others. Crackers are the ones that try to steal information, the criminal hackers.

Apparently, there are two different types of crackers: expert crackers are the ones who find a security hole and write programs to exploit it and "script kiddies" are crackers that use existing programs to exploit security holes. Expert crackers are not very common, luckily, and script kiddies are easier to stop and detect.[12]

@Hthrxlynn I learned a lot from this post about hackers and I have always thought they were the bad guys, but in turns out they were and are the good guys. The crackers as you have stated are the criminals, the bad guys. I didn't know that they were two different types of crackers which is crazy to me, but I can see how "script kiddies" are still around and still can be caught as you mentioned. I feel like "script kiddies" are kind of like people who hack into other people's social media. They are inexperienced people who steal the codes and programs of the software to attack other people's personal social media page, so I can see how a "script kiddie" could be anyone hacking into any websites. Vada.amerson (talk)Vada.amerson 06:30, 15 September 2019 (EDT)
@Vada.amerson: You're probably right. Script kiddies basically use the programs that crackers have already created.

September 19: Bill Gates' Sassy Letter

I find myself drawn to discuss Bill Gate's Open Letter to Hobbyists. I found myself laughing when the narrator started aggressively reading this letter written by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates discussing software piracy.

I understand his anger and why he felt the need to address this issue. As an artist myself, I can think of a few times when people copied my work or even took photos of my work and shared them, claiming they were their own. Gates wrote in his letter, "Who can afford to do professional work for nothing? What hobbyist can put 3-man years into programming, finding all bugs, documenting his product and distribute for free? The fact is, no one besides us has invested a lot of money in hobby software."[13] The proprietary software vendors are "profit-seeking" while open source software is more of a collaborative project with legal criteria to keep it used for the purpose the creator made it for.[14] Of course Bill Gates would feel how he does about the hobbyists. Microsoft produces proprietary software! He told them "Most directly, the thing you do is theft," which he's right in the what his purpose for creating the software was. He didn't want them to collaborate and share, he wanted to control what his software looked like and what it did and what users could do with it.

I think this is a great example of the blurry lines in new media. The intent of the creator defines what the user can and can't do with the product. Sometimes, the creator feels strongly enough about it to write a sassy letter to the public.

@Hthrxlynn: I love the name of this article, and I agree with you when you state that the lines revolving around new media are blurred. I also empathize with you when it comes to being an artist, and having others copy or use your own work. If something is created by you, you should have full authority over it; want to share it freely? Great. Want there to be certain terms regarding the use of your content? Also great. People are not entitled to work that is not theirs (don't get me started on my "fairness," "equality," or "sharing is caring" soapbox). Shannamartini (talk) 00:22, 22 September 2019 (EDT)
@Shannamartini: I think there's definitely two sides to the story. I have worked on my own artwork and once I did a huge collaboration project as an artist. Both had their perks and drawbacks for sure, which can relate to the different types of software.

September 19: Relating Lesson 4 to New Media

Learning the difference between Open Source Software and Proprietary Software this week changed the way I feel about creating for new media.

I am compelled to agree with artists who create work and don't want others to take credit for their work. In the beginning, I found myself on Bill Gates' side. Though I found his rant letter comedic, I agreed that he created this software and that in order to make a living from that, people had to stop pirating it.[13]

However, I like the idea of what GNU stood for. Richard Stallman expressed that his goal was to create a software system that would be free for anyone who could use it, calling for volunteers to donate time, money, programs, and equipment.[15] In a world where Wikipedia exists, it's easy to see where the collaborative efforts of volunteers come together to create something great that everyone can use.

In a world that is so connected by new media, it's almost makes too much sense to be collaborating whether it's for Open Source Software, Wikipedia, or voting on Instagram to create an interesting Youtube video. In the same way that I feel like it's pointless for an artist not to take critique on their work, proprietary software doesn't allow room for criticism from outside sources or opportunities for growth by allowing people to make changes. I don't see the point in just letting something be subpar.

@Hthrxlynn: Richard Stillman I also think came up with a great idea when he believed open source software should be free for use because it is so many people in the world that have such great ideas on how system might perform better whether something needs to be added or taken out. I also found myself agreeing with Bruce Perens that some source codes could be free or you could purchase if you choose but with that it is always the best material that they make you purchase. We do live in a world of new media you eventually get tired of the old and start to want something new like the switch everyone made from Myspace to Facebook as well as the constant change Instagram and Snapchat make within themselves. KhajadaNeal (talk) 11:01, 20 September 2019 (EDT)
@KhajadaNeal: I like the idea of open source software better, too. I would rather have my technology work for me than me working for the technology!
@Hthrxlynn: You should give Linux a try. I currently use Mint on my ThinkPad. —Grlucas (talk) 06:34, 26 September 2019 (EDT)
@Grlucas: I'll give it a shot!
@Hthrxlynn: For me, I feel as though I can see both sides of the proprietary and open source software. I feel as though artists,as you mention, who create their own works and do not want others to take credit for it have the right to feel that way and are free to take that route. On the other hand, I do think that having GNU system gives people more than one option to choose from. People are not forced to just use one system and I think that gives people a better chance to see what works best for them. MGray1196 (talk) 03:21, 23 September 2019 (EDT)
@MGray1196: I agree. There's definitely perks to both.
@Hthrxlynn: GNU still exists: you wrote "stood for." Strong, thoughtful writing here. Please see my feedback that I will be updating through the day on 9/24/19. —Grlucas (talk) 06:34, 26 September 2019 (EDT)
@Grlucas: Thank you! You're right, I guess I was thinking when GNU was formed but it does still exist today so it still stands for those original ideas!

September 25: Participating in Participatory Culture

I liked this week's lesson because it's something familiar from other classes I've taken with Dr. Sidore. Participatory culture is an interesting idea all around. I feel like we see more of it now than they saw when they were giving their TED Talks.

Participatory culture describes a complex culture in which consumers actively participate in spreading and creating new content. [16] The idea of participatory culture as complex as it is now must have been strange when Henry Jenkins first started writing about it in 1992. He even mentions in his Ted Talk that he didn't invent the idea of participatory culture, but that it has existed since the 19th century, where young people were typing and printing zines.[17] It's cool that he gets to watch it all unfold over his lifetime. Most social media websites that we use on a day-to-day basis rely on the users to participate heavily, such as YouTube and Instagram. Websites like Wikipedia are built around people contributing information.

Lawrence Lessig has a bit more of a romanticized idea of participatory culture where members of the culture have a desire to collaborate with other members, which he discusses as a remix culture. I liked how he called cultures "read-write" or "read only" cultures, like the different types of CD-roms. That helped put the idea into perspective for me. When you have a "read-write" CD, you can add and take away data on the disc whereas if it's "read only" you can only view and copy what's on the disc.

That being said, Lessig's "read-write" or "remix" culture is a lot like Henry Jenkins' "participatory" culture. They both rely heavily on the members of the culture to share and use each others works. Lessig just took a more political stance on the idea and went after the copyright laws that prohibit remixing.

References

Notes

Citations

Bibliography

  • Anonymous (2017). "Hackers vs Crackers: Easy to Understand Exclusive Difference". educba.com. Retrieved 2019-09-14.
  • Anonymous (2018). "History of the Web". webfoundation.org. Retrieved 2019-09-12.
  • Anonymous (2002). Maximum Security, 4th Edition. Que.
  • Bush, Vannevar (1945). "As We May Think". theatlantic.com. Retrieved 2019-09-03.
  • Eudaimonia (2016). "The Medium is the Message by Marshall McLuhan, Animated Book Review". youtube.com. Retrieved 2019-09-05.
  • Gates, Bill (1976). "Open Letter to Hobbyists". blinkenlights.com. Retrieved 2019-09-19.
  • Jenkins, Henry (2010). "TEDxNYED - Henry Jenkins". youtube.com. Retrieved 2019-09-25.
  • Licklider, J. C. R. (1960). "Man-Computer Symbiosis". groups.csail.mit.edu. Retrieved 2019-09-03.
  • Lucas, Gerald (2019). "McLuhan's Medium & Message". grlucas.net/. Retrieved 2019-09-05.
  • Lucas, Gerald (2019). "New Media". GRLucas.net. Retrieved 2019-08-26.
  • Manovich, Lev (2001). The Language of New Media. Cambridge: The MIT Press. ISBN 9780262632553.
  • The Mentor (1986). "Hacker's Manifesto". phrack.org. Retrieved 2019-09-14.
  • Morbey, Mary; Sabeti, Farhad; Sengara, Michelle (2016). Like It: A Facebook E-Learning Architecture for Higher Education. IGI Global. pp. 426–445. ISBN 978-1466688032.
  • Negroponte, Nicholas (1995). Being Digital. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. ISBN 9780679762904.
  • Negroponte, Nicholas (1984). "Nicholas Negroponte: 5 predictions, from 1984". ted.com/. Retrieved 2019-09-12.
  • Ruffin, Marshal (April 1995). "On Being Digital". Physician Executive. 21 (4). Retrieved 2019-09-05.
  • Stallman, Richard (1985). "The GNU Manifesto". gnu.org. Retrieved 2019-09-19.
  • Zhu, Kevin; Zhou, Zach (2012). "Research Note: Lock-In Strategy in Software Competition: Open-Source Software vs. Proprietary Software". Information Systems Research. 23 (2). Retrieved 2019-09-19.