User:Shannamartini/NMAC 4460 Journal

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August 23, 2019: New Media - Journal 1

New Media is a very influential part of society that plays a huge role in the lives of people, the success of business, and the perpetuation of change to our world. New Media involves anything that is advertising, promoting, or creating some form of service or entertainment for a company or individual(s). Elements of new media are able to manipulate people into believing they need or want something to be accepted, happy, or successful. To me, an over encompassing summation of new media is this: any exchange of information (communication) through electronic or visual means to the public sphere in an effort to achieve some end goal.

Some examples of new media would be TV commercials, billboards along the highway, those annoying pop-up ads that appear on your computer or phone screen, video games, apps, and of course, any form of social media such as Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat. Commercials, billboards, and ads are all attempting to make profits through attracting consumers with exotic and flashy tag lines, pictures, and persuasive promises. Video games and apps are major sources of leisure, entertainment, and social interaction amongst people of all ages and backgrounds. In addition, these video games and apps are some of the newer editions within the realm of new media, and they are quickly becoming extremely popular; drawing the attention of businesses to the potential opportunities for income that they could provide, who weave their products and services within the games to have them be noticed.

August 24, 2019: Expanding My Definition - Journal 2

While reading the various articles focused on the definition of “new media”, I was introduced to many trains of thought that I had initially never considered when it came to my own description of new media and the roles it plays in society. For instance, the realization of how passive we as consumers actually are with the “old media” and how the public is essentially going along with something that cannot change.[1] With the products and services they are provided through this old media, there is no original expression or opportunity to individualize the product, forcing consumers to conform to their purchases instead of the other way around.[2]With new media, the individual has the influence and power to make changes and create new things and opportunities for themselves and others. This keeps society engaged and excited about getting involved with one another and growing not only as an individual, but as a community, group, and culture.[3]

Another point I was made aware of was how other countries other than the US were much more “critically engaged” than we were with the introduction of new media in the late 20th century.[4] Being one of the richest and most powerful nations, the US and its people are used to new products, and in this case, “new technologies” becoming everyday occurrences almost overnight, and available to anyone who can afford them.[5] Many Americans take for granted all of the resources and opportunities we have in comparison to other countries, who value and “focus their activities” on the new technologies in an effort to support young artists. European countries place more value in the arts than does the US and its government, something else I had never really thought of before, but now realize to be true.

The last article I read really opened my eyes to the most accurate yet simple definition of new media (which I will probably adopt now as my own response to the question should I be asked it again in the future): new media is simply a medium for individual representation. This article further expands upon this as it explains how the human mind itself is always changing.[6] Our minds are constantly being influenced by its surroundings, while at the same time, our mind is influencing our surroundings through our own personal responses. With new media becoming so accessible and malleable, the opportunities for self-expression and growth have become endless to everyone, and it has become the catalyst for change and growth in societies and cultures all over the world.

@Shannamartini: It really is strange that we are so passive with forms of old media such as newspaper and television. In fact, print newspapers are turning into a waste of money because it's so easily accessible online these days. A recent example of your second point on forcing consumers to conform to the technology is Apple's release of their products that only have USB-C ports. I had to purchase an adapter in order to use my hard drive and mouse for my new computer. Soon enough, the only products that will be available will only have USB-C ports. I appreciate your final point on new media being a medium for individual representation. I know I personally try to make my devices work for me and not the other way around. I turned off all of my notifications (which is why it takes me forever to respond, but I was tired of this expensive electronic box bossing me around). It's a very optimistic way of looking at the situation. Hthrxlynn (talk) 21:45, 27 August 2019 (EDT)
@Shannamartini: Your first two citations, Negroponte and Lessig, are not complete. You need page numbers. And I don't recall them making either of those points. Where do they, please? Did you really read all of these sources? (Also, do you see the errors in the references? You must fix those before publishing.) —Grlucas (talk) 07:08, 9 September 2019 (EDT)
@Grlucas: I have found out what the problem is, and why I was unable to place page numbers within my citations (I am a bit embarrassed that I made this error). I was reading your article "New Media" located on your website under Lesson 1, and I used sections from that to create my journal post; I looked to the corresponding reference you had listed below for what you wrote, for the section from your article I used. Do you wish for me to redo my journal post for this particular assignment? Otherwise I will not be able to add page numbers. In addition, I have reached out to others in the class concerning the citation errors I cannot seem to fix, and they could not understand why it was not working for me. I have tried various things but to no avail. I have copied/pasted the coding formula and just filled in the gaps with the correct information, so I am confused as to why I cannot get this right. Shannamartini (talk) 14:28, 14 September 2019 (EDT)
@Shannamartini: You can always fix. None of us is perfect; just learn from each mistake. Thanks. Oh, and access dates must be done one of two ways: the full date (August 24, 2019) or like this (2019-08-24). —Grlucas (talk) 16:30, 14 September 2019 (EDT)

August 25, 2019: Getting Into the Swing of Things

Since this is my first journal post here (my first two are on my userpage), I guess I will talk about my current impression of the course thus far. In all honesty I am really enjoying what I am already beginning to learn concerning the entire Wickipedia world and all of the different things that go into it. The coding you have to do in order to create the various formats is a bit challenging, but I am catching on pretty quickly. The only trouble I have had thus far is trying to get the "access date" to work. I have already purchased the book that my Wickipedia article is going to be based on, and I am going to begin reading it tonight.

I really enjoy the format and layout of Dr. Lucas's website; it is much better than D2L and it makes me wish all the professors would get their own website as well. I can already tell I am going to learn much this semester, as I have already improved especially when it comes to researching and navigating Wickipedia. Another thing I noticed is that many of the articles Dr. Lucas has provided us are not only by some of the same authors, but some are the exact same articles that I have had to research in other classes from previous semesters. The overlap came as a pleasant surprise, and I felt more comfortable and sure of my research because I could call upon past knowledge to help me write the two journal posts for Lesson One's assignment. I have also begun to look into our "Being Digital" textbook, but I have not found where we have assigned pages to read with it, and was curious as to what exactly (except of course to learn more about the course and things involved with new media) we are supposed to do, read a few chapters per lesson?

One of the things I am most happy about thus far was mentioned in one of the articles I chose to include in Journal 2: Lesson 1, and that is the fact of "old media" being a medium for businesses and individuals to make profit from the populace and be in control of the products and services that are dispersed to the public. They cannot be altered and the people must go along with whatever they find or obtain.[7] We learned much about this in my last semester when I was taking Popular Culture with Dr. Christian Norman. In that class we really tore apart the world of media and analyzed the benefits and downfalls of the influence media has on the world. In stark contrast, this class focuses on "new media" and its dependence on the people to make everything their own; to express themselves, grow as a person, grow their own culture and community, and utilize the various elements of new media to simply enjoy being who they are and not being limited in any way as the "old media" would have them. I basically view this class as the "glass is half full" version of the "glass is half empty" Popular Culture course. This is why I love "new media"; the goal and intent is to allow people to express themselves. New Media is only bad when the intentions of the creator are bad. I am a firm believer that much good can be produced through new media and help many people, despite all the negative talk circulating on how the media is negatively effecting us. And it is because of this that I decided to become a media major.

September 8th, 2019: Augmenting the Human IQ - Journal 3

Explicitly stated at the beginning of Engelbart’s Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework, is the belief that to augment a person’s intelligence is to improve that person’s ability to identify, analyze, and solve any particular problem that presents itself, along with possibly recognizing other side benefits that could be created during the process. Engelbart then goes on to express his notion of how we naturally interact with society: “We refer to a way of life in an integrated domain where hunches, cut-and-try, intangibles, and the human "feel for a situation" usefully co-exist with powerful concepts, streamlined terminology and notation, sophisticated methods, and high-powered electronic aids.”[8] All of these can arguably be labeled as elements and characteristics of “new media.”Douglas Engelbart believed that man’s industrial success is growing, but not as fast as the “complexity” of the problems resulting from such growth. This awareness leads to a call for action within society and a “full pursuit” of a solution to the issues found within the interaction and adaptation with our ever-changing and advancing world.

What Engelbart was identifying and anticipating held true during his time, and it can still be seen through its manifestation in today’s society. In a sense, Engelbart divulged a very accurate depiction of what new media is, what causes it, and what it does to us as a population. As an example, he creates a scenario in which an architect is designing the structure for a building. He enters dimensions, details, and specifications about the construction, modifying and editing as he goes, “which represents the maturing thought behind the actual design.” This is an example of current beliefs held by many thinkers of today, such as Janet Murray (previously mentioned above under my August 24th post) who, in her article Inventing the Medium, she touches upon the “human capacity to learn and to conceive things that had not been thought of before, things that might make us not just smarter but more creative.”[9]

This is what new media does for us; it changes us and makes us grow. The ironic thing is that by expressing who we already are and what we already know, this is when change occurs. When we expose ourselves and open ourselves up to others and interact with their ways of expression, we discover things about ourselves we didn’t even know, and this is where our development comes along. That is why new media is a driving force in nearly every corner of our lives, and why I believe it to be important for not only our own personal future, but for the future of our society as a whole.

@Shannamartini:Amayesing77 What are the complex problems man is facing as a result of industrial growth? I think you mean global warmer, agriculture, or crime but I'm not sure one example of that would be helpful to understand the mind frame of what Engelbart's IQ augmentation is referencing. (talk) --Amayesing77 (talk) 23:20, 8 September 2019 (EDT)
@Amayesing77: The complex problems man is facing as referenced by me and Engelbart are definitely not global warming or crime or agriculture. The problems are those of struggling with self identity, trying to adapt and co-exist with the world around you, understanding new things you are presented with, etc. The examples are endless in terms of what problems arise in our lives that we look to and use new media to help solve. I referenced more than a few of these examples above. Shannamartini (talk) 00:09, 9 September 2019 (EDT)

September 8th, 2019: Finding Inspiration

I have already learned so much and we are only approaching the halfway point in the semester. Figuring out how to navigate Wikipedia has definitely been a challenge, especially considering I am finding it hard to allocate mere "practice" time to the formatting and creation of Wiki articles like I would like to do, as I know most everyone probably is as well; other things such as our jobs, family, and unexpected things can pop up in our life that are out of our control. I still have much to learn, but I have gotten many things situated now, and I am determined to begin practicing daily so you guys don't have to struggle with my contributions! Also, if you have not already, a very good read that helped motivate me and feel better about what I have already done and what I am trying achieve in this class is our professor's own How to Do Well in My Class page that he has featured on his website.[10] I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Basically this post is just to remind everyone that a lot of this is new to most of us, and it's ok to not get everything right the first few times. This is something I had to realize and become at peace with, as I think I've hit the "edit" button more than 50 times already! Through this, however, I have figured out many of my mistakes and amended them. Learning through your mistakes is sometimes the best way to learn. Happy Wiki Learning!

September 8th, 2019: Finding a Happy "Medium" with Cigarettes - Journal 4

In his book, referenced in this article Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, McLuhan elaborates on how when it comes to new media, it is the characteristics of that particular medium that have the greatest effect on society, and not the content being displayed through it. McLuhan uses a lightbulb example to explain how, despite lacking content comparable to say an article or television broadcast, a lightbulb “enables people to create spaces during nighttime that would otherwise be enveloped by darkness. Initially I was confused by this example, because I was under the impression that the light produced by the bulb would be the “content” that was enabling the people to see, therefore having the greater effect. But then I realized that ultimately, being given the ability to see with the help provided from the lightbulb allows the people to “create spaces” as McLuhan called it, which is the ultimate result of the light bulb being turned on, and a much more significant effect than just gaining the mere ability to see. Another example of this can be found through the use of cigarettes. Let the act of smoking a cigarette be our metaphorical medium. Because of the nicotine found within cigarettes, addicted smokers will go through a withdrawal episode that includes shaking, uneasiness, headaches, anxiety, and numerous other uncomfortable side effects, with the only cure being to smoke another cigarette (or tough it out until the nicotine completely leaves their body).

I have friends and family who smoke, and something I have noticed is that following a withdrawal, the symptoms disappear almost instantaneously with the first puff of the cigarette they receive. Even grasping it and lighting the cigarette already seems to be calming them down. I realized then that its not the nicotine itself that has calmed them down, but the mental stimulation and act of lighting the cigarette and putting it to their lips is, which is basically what McLuhan was saying. It was not the content (nicotine) that had the greatest effect, because the nicotine did not have enough time to begin altering the nerves in the body and brain; it was the medium and its characteristics (lighting the cigarette and puffing it). Even though the smokers think that it’s the nicotine helping calm them, the habitual, comfortable act of lighting up another cigarette is what is actually easing their anxiety and withdrawal symptoms. After a certain amount of time, say thirty minutes, the nicotine will start playing a role in easing the symptoms, as the body is no longer going through a withdrawal. However, that first initial light up and smoke does not instantly cure the symptoms, they just think it is, and that’s why the symptoms end up going away immediately. It is just as much a psychological trick as it is a physical cure.[11] For more information on smoking effects, please see the reference linked just previously and found below, it is provided by the Swedish Medical Center. However, I read this for supplemental information and to make sure my statements were justified. Most of this was through my own observation and experience, and I felt it would be a good way to take another approach at analyzing what McLuhan was trying to say concerning mediums and their effects on us as a society.

September 9th, 2019: Progress Report

I am becoming much more comfortable with creating my journals as the weeks go by. I am even beginning to be able to type the correct codes without having to copy/paste them. This week specifically I learned how to place titles in italics for emphasis, and I mastered the art of creating inline citations. My journal posts are becoming much more wiki-presentable and I am much more confident going in and developing my journals. I am enjoying many of our topics, and the people we are reading about and their discoveries, such as Engelbart and McLuhan, are really opening my eyes to looking at new media through a different lens, so to speak. I am looking forward to continuing our research.

@Shannamartini: Keep practicing. I explain how to link to Wikipedia articles on the front page of this site. (I changed one above for you.) Also, you should not use HTML on wiki pages. —Grlucas (talk) 07:25, 9 September 2019 (EDT)

September 15th, 2019: Becoming Digitally Distant - Journal 5

One topic touched upon within Negroponte’s book Being Digital is the countless ways with which digital communication has surpassed analog television in terms of efficiency and dependability. Negroponte even makes a prediction that has basically become true all-across the country today: “I think videocassette-rental stores will go out of business in less than ten years.” [12] Being Digital was written in 1995. I was born in 1998, and I remember going to our local Blockbuster once a week to pick out movies for my parents and I to watch. It was an exciting time for me, getting to browse through movies and choose one I wanted to see. However, I soon saw the closure of my beloved Blockbuster, along with the closure of numerous others located around Georgia. I do admit to missing those special trips, it may have been more cumbersome and not as efficient, but it allowed for great memories and time with my family.

DirecTV and streaming programs such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon are dependable and efficient, as they allow for endless viewing. Marshall Ruffin points out within his article On Being Digital that with analog television, “you must watch it” at the time it airs, and that many people had to “modify [their] schedule” to be able to view their favorite programs with analog television. Ruffin also points out the amount of time “wasted” while viewing advertisements we care nothing about. [13] This does not jive with our 21st century mindset, which, as Negroponte humorously comments upon, “[I want] ‘nothing, never, nowhere’ unless it is timely, important, amusing, relevant, or capable of reaching my imagination,” which is something digital communication has provided for us. [14]

However, I also believe this has caused a problem for society. Many people are now addicted to digital communication. The term “binge-watching” is now a common past time for favorite TV series such as “The Office” and “Game of Thrones.” From an entertainment and business perspective, I understand how the transition to digital communication has greatly improved our viewing experiences and the success of many shows and the movie industry as a whole; however from a social standpoint, I believe this is just one more element that is breaking down the family unit, isolating us more from each other and taking away valuable quality time with friends and family that help strengthen relationships. I am grateful for the times I spent at Blockbuster with my parents; it was a time of great excitement for me when I was little and I will be able to cherish those memories forever. I regret that my children will not be able to experience the same magical feeling of walking into a Blockbuster, browsing for thirty-minutes through aisles of colorful DVD stands, and finally picking out their favorite candy in the checkout line before rushing home to watch the chosen movie, and then frantically trying to remember to return the dumb thing before we are charged a late fee within the next week. Things like this, although not as “efficient,” made life interesting, funny, and memorable, and in a world that is increasingly advancing technologically, I feel that the old ways and values are slowly disappearing, and in my opinion, that’s not entirely a good thing.

September 15th, 2019: Hackers in their Natural Habitat - Journal 6

While reading various articles from Galileo along with the text and video provided for us by Dr. Lucas, I was introduced to the world of hackers and the origins of the “hacker culture” and a hacker’s motives for learning their trade. Most people hold hackers in a negative light, when in fact it is completely circumstantial as to whether or not a hacker partakes in ethical or unethical practices. In its basic form, a “hack” is merely “any amateur innovation on an existing system,” as explained by Catherine Bracy in her video “Why Good Hackers Make Good Citizens.” [15]

Hackers fall into my interpretation of “digital communication” because of the nature of their work. To me, digital communication is a recently introduced way of presenting and partaking in entertainment and socialization through technological means, with topics ranging anywhere from recreation, research, debates on various topics, etc. As noted in CRAFT(Y)NESS: An Ethnographic Study of Hacking, Kevin Steinmetz explains how “[hackers engage] in online thrill-seeking, trespassing, or creating various forms of malware.” Hacking popularity grew with the introduction of computer networking, and was instigated through society’s technological development; in addition, hacking itself has contributed to the furthering of technological progress. [16] This point of view is supported by Thomas J. Holt (et al) in their article Examining the Social Networks of Malware Writers and Hackers, who state that the “proliferation and societal dependence on computer technology” has led to the increase of hacking activity. [17]

I agree that hacking is not a bad hobby or skill to have, and that many beneficial things can result from proper use of hacking techniques. Ronald E. Pike explains in his article The “Ethics” of Teaching Ethical Hacking that hacking originated from “a tradition of mutual cooperation among software developers to create software projects that were innovative, aesthetic, [and] virtuous[s].” [18] What I found interesting is that Thomas J. Holt also wrote an additional article titled Considering the Hacker Subculture, where he classifies hacking as “the modification or alteration of computer hardware or software to enable technology to be used in a new way,” and that a hacker’s “application differs based upon [their] individual ethics.” [19] In this article, along with the others I have read and mentioned above, a differentiation between white-, grey-, and black-hat hackers is explained, with white-hat being ethical and moral users of the trade, black-hat being those participating in immoral and illegal activity, and grey-hats who use their skills for both. As with anything in life, whether or not something is good or bad ultimately rests upon the original intent of those participating.

@Shannamartini: I definitely agree that intent determines whether someone is categorized as a hacker, cracker, or something in between. We usually try to put all of those who do some sort of hacking under one generalized idea, even though they aren't the same. Like the quote you mentioned from Bracy, hacking is innovation. Crackers don't innovate, just break things down and yet they are thought to be the same as hackers. It's something I didn't realize until recently. I appreciate your deep dive into the world of hackers. Nice work! Sabub (talk)

References

  1. Negroponte, Nicholas (January 1996). Being Digital. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 978-0-679-76290-4.
  2. Lessig, Lawrence (2008). Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy. New York: Penguin.
  3. Lucas, Gerald (June 30, 2019). "New Media" (article). Retrieved August 24, 2019.
  4. Manovich, Lev. "New Media from Borges to HTML" (PDF). Wardrip-Fruin; Montfort: 2–3.
  5. Manovich, Lev. "New Media from Borges to HTML" (PDF). Wardrip-Fruin; Montfort: 2–3.
  6. Murray, Janet. "Inventing the Medium" (PDF). Wardrip-Fruin; Montfort: 1.
  7. Lessig, Lawrence. Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy. New York: Penguin.
  8. Engelbart, Douglas (September 8, 2019), Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework, p. 1
  9. Murray, Janet (September 8, 2019), Inventing the Medium (PDF), p. 2
  10. Lucas, Gerald (September 8, 2019), How to Do Well In My Class, p. 1
  11. "Nicotine Dependence: How Does it Happen?". Swedish Medical Center. September 8, 2019.
  12. Negroponte, Nicholas (January 1996). Being Digital (1st ed.). Vintage Books. pp. 173–174.
  13. Ruffin, Marshall (April 1995), "On Being Digital", Physician Executive, 21: 36
  14. Negroponte, Nicholas (January 1996). Being Digital (1st ed.). Vintage Books. pp. 173–174.
  15. Template:Cite AV media
  16. Steinmetz, Kevin (September 2014), "CRAFT(Y)NESS: An Ethnographic Study of Hacking", British Journal of Criminology, 55: 127
  17. Holt, Thomas (June 2012), "Examining the Social Networks of Malware Writers and Hackers", International Journal of Cyber Criminology, 6 (1): 892
  18. Pike, Ronald (October 2013), "The "Ethics" of Teaching Ethical Hacking", Journal of International Technology & Information Management, 22 (4): 67
  19. Holt, Thomas (January 2014), "Considering the Hacker Subculture", ACJS Today, 39 (1): 4–11

Negroponte, Nicholas (January 1996). Being Digital. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 978-0-679-76290-4. Lessig, Lawrence (2008). Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy. New York: Penguin. Lucas, Gerald (August 24, 2019). "New Media". Manovich, Lev (August 24, 2019). "New Media from Borges to HTML" (PDF). Wardrip-Fruin; Montfort: 2–3. Murray, Janet (August 24, 2019). "Inventing the Medium" (PDF). Wardrip-Fruin; Montfort: 1. Lessig, Lawrence (2008). Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy. New York: Penguin. Engelbart, Douglas (September 8, 2019), Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework, p. 1 Murray, Janet (September 8, 2019), Inventing the Medium (PDF), p. 2 Lucas, Gerald (September 8, 2019), How to Do Well In My Class, p. 1