User:Shannamartini/NMAC 4460 Journal

From Students
Jump to navigation Jump to search

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. 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.[4] 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.[5] 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.[2] 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.[6] 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.”[7]

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.[8]

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!

@Shannamartini: Great! Keep practicing, and try to use paragraphs in your posts. It makes for easier reading. —Grlucas (talk) 06:20, 17 September 2019 (EDT)

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 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.[9]

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)
@Grlucas: I fixed the HTML's! Sorry it has been a long time coming. Shannamartini (talk) 16:51, 26 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.”[10] 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.[11] 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.

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.”[12]

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.[13] 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.[14]

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].”[15] 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.”[16]

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)

September 21, 2019: Is Sharing Really Caring? - Journal 7

I really enjoyed this week's lesson as I learned a lot about things I was previously only vaguely familiar about. I always knew there were open source and proprietary software, but the specifications surrounding them were unknown to me. After watching the documentary Rev OS, my understanding of these two terms greatly increased. Eric Raymond introduced Richard Stallman as the "founding father of the free software movement." He explained how Stallman developed a bad taste for passwords and similar intellectual property standards, so Stallman sought to create a software that was open and free to everyone. The result was the founding of the Free Software Foundation around 1984. Stallman stated that he wanted to encourage the "playful spirit of the hacker" because he believed it was wrong to control users from "doing useful things" through implemented passwords and similar restraints found with proprietary systems.[17]

In summation, proprietary software is considered secret, private, and only available to certain people, whether that is through a password or monetary-granted access. Bill Gates and his company Microsoft are an example of proprietary software, and in the documentary a scathing and slightly humorous rant by Bill Gates is provided to give a glimpse behind the reasoning and justification of implementing and using proprietary software instead of open source. Basically proprietary is the mean sibling that won't share their toys with you. Open source on the other hand is that sweet chubby grandma who is wise, has a lot of information and knowledge, and she openly shares with you her experiences and stories, in addition to feeding you endless amounts of food and cookies while asking for nothing in return.

Based on my definition of new media, open source goes along with this due to its effort in allowing users to express themselves freely, gain access to all sorts of entertainment, interact with other users, spread new ideas, increase their own knowledge through self-research, and create new things for others to use.

As good as open source may seem, I am not an advocate of it as I understand the reasoning of wanting to be compensated for the time and work needed to create something; and not wanting others to freely use it and modify it as they wish. My father has been the main influence in my life, and when it comes to topics such as this there is no one I trust more, as he received his undergrad at Rose-Hulman for electrical engineering and his Masters at Stanford University for engineering management. My father shared with me his opinion and support of proprietary systems, as he has created and managed numerous software developing companies over the last few decades. He was very adamant about this specific topic, and explained how users are basically "stealing" the work of others should they try to freely copy, use, and modify information or programs that were not theirs.

September 21, 2019: The Ugly Truth - Journal 8

Journal 7 somewhat bleeds over into this one as they are very similar in content and direction. A lot of what I have learned about open source and proprietary software is stated above in Journal 7, so I do not want to bore you and simply reiterate what I have already mentioned. However I will do a little recap along with some additional things I discovered upon further reading as well as one thing in particular that stood out to me that I would like to address. Open source is free and available for anyone to use, however there are some restraints, such as there cannot be any discrimination against any individual or group through the use of any open source material.[18] I also learned about the GNU in "The GNU Manifesto" which was written by Richard Stallman. GNU is apart of the Free Software Movement that was mentioned within the Revolution OS video previously in the last journal.

However, this is what will lead us into the one topic I would like to address; it may cause some disagreement but this is simply what I believe and I am in no way trying to create tension. "It may enable them to make more money, but it requires them to feel in conflict with other programmers in general rather than feel as comrades. The fundamental act of friendship among programmers is the sharing of programs; marketing arrangements now typically used essentially forbid programmers to treat others as friends. The purchaser of software must choose between friendship and obeying the law."[19]

This statement from The GNU Manifesto is a very subjective view on the subject of proprietary programs and open source software. They portray proprietary as a self-centered, narcissistic, and controlling way of providing software, when in reality these "cynical" people are merely trying to protect the property that is already rightfully their own, which by definition they can do with as they please. Online property is no different than tangible possessions we have outside of the technical realm. The author then goes on to ask for money further down in the article, followed by other absolutist claims such as "Why All Computer Users Will Benefit." Being a communications major and writing minor, this is never a good idea because it takes away your credibility; concerning topics such as these, nothing is absolute.

"An important trait of the great ones is constructive laziness. They know that you get an A not for effort but for results, and that it's almost always easier to start from a good partial solution than from nothing at all."[20] This claim from "The Mail Must Get Through" found within The Cathedral and the Bazaar written by Eric Raymond is a classic sideways statement that is basically telling users that it is ok to take the work of others as their own. In addition, to imply results are better than actually trying to achieve something yourself is not correct in my eyes either. To say it doesn't matter how you get something as long as you do, would be equivalent to allowing a high schooler to cheat on every test to graduate. But that's ok, it doesn't matter HOW he graduates, just so long as he does, right? It's the same thing here, and they are trying to demonize the reason behind proprietary because they have too much "constructive laziness" and would rather use things that are already made by others.

I am not saying open source is bad; there is some good that comes from it and I do believe it is appropriate in certain situations and areas. However I believe some of the advocates of it are too extreme in their reasoning and logic. They want everyone to get along and share and have everything free. This, like communism, sounds great on paper, but in reality never works. As far as how this fits in with my definition of new media, again I have briefly mentioned that above; but to go along with the additional commentary I have provided in this journal, I would say that new media is supposed to be enjoyable and open and interactive, however it should be expressions of ORIGINAL thought and admiration, with respect to the owners of various media.

@Shannamartini: Your ideas would be much more convincing if you supported them with sources. It's OK to quote and analyze, but get support for your ideas from reliable sources. Please see my feedback that I will be updating through the day on 9/24/19. —Grlucas (talk) 17:01, 24 September 2019 (EDT)

September 29, 2019: Rebirth With Remix - Journal 9

In his TED talk “Laws that choke creativity,” Lessig examines the transformation of culture and its implementations on the growth of media. He is optimistic that the new “amateurish” freedom possible with the internet will help revitalize the RW movement with UGC (user generated content) that was “romanticized” by John Philip Sousa.[21] Lessig explains how remixes are a vital part of this revitalization and begins by first clarifying his definition of a “remix.” Lessig states that remix is not “piracy” and that he does not condone people using and distributing other’s content “in wholesale” without permission. He states that remix is the “re-creat[ion]” of other’s works in order to “say things differently.” That is why Lessig believes remix to be so important to the growth of RW today. The “vocal chords” as stated by Sousa will disappear like the tail on a man without creative opportunities being available to the public, particularly our youth. In Lessig’s book “Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy”, he points out that many times a remix is able to “deliver a message more powerfully than any original alone could,” which justifies his proposal that artists should allow their works to be available more freely, thus encouraging this growth of remix and creativity for generations to come.[22]

September 29, 2019: New Media's New MVP - Journal 10

After reading some of the articles and watching the videos provided over Lessig and Jenkins, I did learn a few things concerning participatory and remix culture I had previously not known much about. For example, the extent to which people take part in the participatory culture and the various ways with which they utilize a specific form of media towards a common goal. Towards the middle of Jenkin’s video “Participatory Culture,” he examines how people utilize games such as World of Warcraft to not only meet new people and interact socially, but to join together to discuss and promote social and political change.[23] In mediums such as video games, individuals are free to express themselves in ways they would otherwise be restricted and take part in things that, in the real world, could place them at risk. Video games are one of the few instances of new media that allow for creative engagement and collaboration on a level arguably equivalent to that of real life.

As far as remixing goes, I learned that it is not something new, but in fact has been around for quite some time. In addition, it does not only include creating media-related content such as music and videos: “in the 19th century [remixing] might be told in terms of the mixing, matching and merging of folk traditions taken from various indigenous and immigrant populations... [or] Cento, a literary genre popular in Medieval Europe consisting mainly of verses or extracts directly borrowed from the works of other authors and arranged in a new form or order... Similarly, the arts and architecture of Renaissance Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries derive directly from Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece.”[24] In essence, my understanding of new media has grown in that I have realized any new creative expression that draws upon the works of others can be considered remixed media. Additionally, with this entrepreneurial activity, our participatory culture can be strengthened and wielded like never before to implement change and introduce beneficial solutions to society across a span of cultures, issues, and areas.

October 6, 2019: Personal Devices and No School, Sounds Good to Me! - Journal 11

In Computer Lib / Dream Machines, a book written by Ted Nelson I learned that when computers were really starting to take strides in our every day lives, there were two different mindsets on their use. One, labeled by Nelson as the “computer priesthood” consisted of experts of the technology that were not inclined to spread their knowledge with others. The other (the side Nelson was on) advocated the sharing and spreading of computer skills and making computers a “personal device.”[25] I found the concept of having to rally for the implementation of personal computers quite amusing, for in today’s society almost everyone has their own computer, or at least their own phone (which are basically mini-computers now with all of the various things they can do now). “Computers are not everything...just an aspect of everything” really intrigued me; what Nelson was implying is that the “changeable devices with twiddling symbols” were not important, but the “new generations of media” we could achieve through the use of them is what was important. What Nelson added to my understanding of new media is that new media is “an expression of people’s dreams” that they can “write, think, and show,” and it is important to create and encourage our dreams through our media not only for ourselves but for the advancement of society. Nelson states that new media is healthy for the “wholiness of the human spirit.” A sense of the hacker spirit was present in his writing, because Nelson advocates the same “proliferation and societal dependence on computer technology” that Thomas J. Holt does in his article "Examining the Social Networks of Malware Writers and Hackers".[14]

Sugata Mitra expanded upon this concept in his TED Talk “Build a School in the Cloud.” Mitra has conducted various studies on how children in third world countries reacted and adapted to the introduction of a “hole in the wall” computer, one that only used English. Without a teacher or any instruction, over the course of a few months these children were able to navigate and browse on the computer, and understand the information presented to them, such as the construction of a DNA molecule.[26] What Mitra was trying to show, and what I was able to additionally add to my understanding of new media, is that in the future, school may not even be necessary. We need to present information and “let learning happen...not make it happen.” New media’s importance thus stems far beyond my initial impression of mere entertainment and vehicle for the spreading of information and new ideas. Mitra also fits into the hacker spirit because, as he points out, schools will no longer be needed, and perhaps even a more extreme reality, where “knowledge is obsolete”, as quoted by Nicholas Negroponte; with everyone becoming their own expert with their computer and the creation of new media, knowledge comes whenever you need it and on any subject. There is no studying required since the information is already out there and is continuously being edited, shared, and created in an open sphere that is available to all people. It is an entire concept of being able to make anything possible and anything happen with literally just the click of a button. “Being Digital” therefore implies much more than knowing the inner and outer workings of a computer; it implies using that knowledge to equip others with that same knowledge, for the continuation and growth of society in every aspect of our lives and for every purpose.

October 6, 2019: Being Happy in Life and Excited for the Future - Journal 12

In his TED talk Hackschooling makes me happy, Logan divulges the issues with our current school systems, and touches upon the one thing that should be our main focus: our own happiness. Logan stresses how being happy and healthy is just as important, if not more important than a formal education, and that there should be a way to combine both of these and make them one and the same.[27] In the same way, new media is a tool meant to create happiness among society, while at the same time increasing everyone’s knowledge and spreading new information and ideas. Logan listed the 8 things from Dr. Roger Walsh that you should implement in your daily life to be “happy and healthy”:

  1. exercise
  2. diet and nutrition
  3. time in nature
  4. contribution and service
  5. relationships
  6. recreation
  7. relaxation and stress management
  8. religious and spiritual involvement

Logan receives all of these on a daily basis through his “hackschooling” program. After hearing all of this, my definition of a “hacker” changed as well. I already had a further understanding from our previous lesson, where hackers actually help with the advancement and evolution of various technological areas and are not just “bad people in a basement,” but after this video I realized that hackers are not just in the virtual realm, they are in every realm. Hackers are merely people who “take advantage of opportunities presented and improve things for themselves and others.”

In the article "Eleven Reasons To Be Excited About The Future of Technology", Dixon covers topics such as virtual virtual and augmented reality, which further expanded my definition of new media. VR and AR are within a realm of media that can have benefits extending outside of a screen or computer monitor. Physical results such as the creation of and manipulation of 3D objects, and the ability of paralyzed patients to feel their legs/arms for the first time.[28] Not only do I now view new media as a tool to teach and learn and create, but it is now a medium that can additionally improve the physical lives of humanity. Artificial intelligence was also mentioned, and I have seen this first hand with my iPhone on my picture editor, where I can employ the art style of say, Van Gogh, onto an image I just took with my camera, and make the resulting picture look as if Van Gogh himself had painted it. In addition, AI is also used for things such as controlling vast systems, saving companies money and energy usage. It appears that new media can essentially work its way into every area of our lives and improve them, which is why I am “excited for the future.”

@Shannamartini: Your titles are still incorrect. Please review: “Writing in the Liberal Arts” again. You should be using more secondary support. There should be no space between your punctuation mark and your footnote. Please consider signing up for a face-to-face session. —Grlucas (talk) 12:37, 7 October 2019 (EDT)
@Grlucas: Reviewed and dually noted; I started with my first post and worked my way through my entire journal - all spaces removed and italics and quotations are properly assigned. Also used two secondary sources apart from those provided by you. I will check my schedule and see when I can come meet with you next week.Shannamartini (talk) 18:49, 12 October 2019 (EDT)

October 12, 2019: Living Virtually in the Real World - Journal 13

After watching the video and reading Julian Dibbell’s “A Rape in Cyberspace” (Alexandra Alter’s “Is this Man Cheating on His Wife?” would not load for me), I was made much more familiar with the world of virtual reality. I have played virtual games before, but never did I realize the actual extent and real world implications it had on society. Although somewhat disturbing, Dibbell’s work paints for us a picture of what it’s like to be an active user in an online world, and the powers and affects you have through your interactions with people.[29] Similarly, with the video You Only Live Twice: Virtual Reality Meets Real World in Second Life, real world priorities and transactions are present, such as sex and land development.[30] I was extremely intrigued by the replication of real world scenarios in Second Life; it is almost as if people are attempting to live their “ideal life” that they cannot achieve in their physical life, which to me is quite sad, but at the same time, this reveals another element of new media and being digital.

Virtual worlds such as Second Life allow people to create, share, learn, interact, and grow together, creating a social presence that people become emotionally attached to and can participate in real world scenarios. These are places where people can be themselves and express themselves in ways they would otherwise withhold in reality. Social interactions in the virtual world have been shown to have real world influences on the users, and the future of business collaboration is even looking to utilize VW as a tool to grow themselves.[31] Education is also something that may have the potential to grow through media such as this, as it has been hypothesized that student engagement is enhanced within virtual environments such as Second Life.[32]

Second Life is arguably a virtual 3D version of the open source internet idea that we have touched upon in previous lessons. Information and content can be taught, spread, and modified in real time. However, the shortcomings of VW are still being debated and solutions to things such as “should VW transactions be taxed” and should their be stricter moral laws regarding interactions with players are still up for questioning. It’s interesting how everything keeps tying back around and becoming interconnected in more ways than one. New media such as virtual reality have been shown to have real world affects and consequences, both mentally and physically, and the future of socialization and living may very well be woven in with this new creative universe. My definition of new media has once again grown, and I am definitely making an account on Second Life.

October 13, 2019: My Second Life - Journal 14

After creating my Second Life account, I was instantly redirected to the homepage, which had various options for me to choose from regarding navigating the site. There was a Blog section, a section where any of my added friends and their online/offline status could be seen, an area listing the various servers I could join, a place for me to buy Lindens (the game’s currency), and of course the tab that redirected me into the world of Second Life. All of these areas are elements within virtual reality as they are in the real world – blogs are the “verbal” social interaction, friends and family are big parts of our everyday life, we choose which environments we put ourselves in, and we deal with finances and buy/sell things.[33] Upon entering the world, I was able to customize my avatar to appear however I wished for her to, and I was instantly emotionally invested in my character, and found that it really did matter to me what she wore and how she looked, and I spent a good deal of time getting everything just the way I wanted “myself” to look.[34]

While exploring around the server I chose, I could hear other people verbally communicating through speakers and chat rooms in real time, which was very unique and gave the game an even more “real” feeling.[35] In Second Life, I am able to chat with complete strangers, learn things and share my own knowledge, and take part in things virtually that in real life I would be hard pressed to participate in. Although it will never be like experiencing it first-hand, doing it virtually still allows for some degree of gaining insight and understanding of any specific activity, such as a sport, a hobby, etc. New media’s purpose is to help the user grow and for them to additionally help others grow through their contributions back into the realm of media, and Second Life allows for continuous creation and modification by the players, so there are no limits to growth to the avatars, literally and metaphorically, making it a good example of how new media can be used to help express our true selves.

@Shannamartini: The things you participate in, in Second Life do you think you will try them in real life because the VR gave you an idea of what to expect? --Amayesing77 (talk) 01:01, 14 October 2019 (EDT)
@Amayesing77: It would definitely depend on what exactly you were referring to. But for an all encompassing answer, No. I still do not think an experience in VR is relatable or close enough to what it would be like in real life. For example, sky diving or tracking a tiger through the rainforest. Would I do it in Second Life? Sure. Would it feel like I was sky diving or tracking a tiger? No, because I am sitting at my desk at my home with my music playing and my dog at my feet. It wouldn't be anything like doing it in person. VR is fun in that your avatar can go do whatever you want, but you still don't get the effect of actually doing it. And I am skeptical that a virtually created activity can help you "get a feel" for what a physical activity in real life would be like. But that's just my opinion. Shannamartini (talk) 19:01, 15 October 2019 (EDT)

October 19, 2019: Playing the Game of Life - Journal 15

I was very intrigued with this lesson in particular due to the fact that I myself used to be an avid gamer (I still play when I have time, but we all know how college is) and my final project for this class is based on a book concerning video games as new media and the role that they play. For this post I am going to focus on the three videos specifically (having to restrain myself because I want to write way more about this subject than you probably want to read) as I found them very insightful and they helped me realize an aspect of games I had never really paid much attention to before: the role of narrative within a game. After watching them however I realize just how much the inclusion, or lack thereof, a narrative does alter the reaction of a player to a game, including myself.

In the first video by Janet Murray titled “Dramatic Agency: The Next Evolution of Storytelling,” we are introduced to the concept of dramatic agency, which is described by Murray as: “...the pleasure we feel when we can actively engage with the fictional world.”[36] I can relate to this for I myself have experienced this “pleasure” before, and it is why my friends and I all throughout elementary and middle school engaged in RPG’s and other various video games on our Gameboys, Nintendo’s, PS3’s, Wii’s, Computers, and X-box’s (just to name a few). These were very good outlets for us mentally, for, as Murray states later on in her video, the games allow for endless attempts and do-overs, allowing us as the players to create a new ending to our own personal game and see how different approaches alter the course of our interactions within the game, and ultimately the resolution of our game.

In the second video “Ludology: A Study of Video Games,” the narrator stresses how narratology in a game can constrain the player and are in essence “not fair.” They claim that unlike TV shows and books, video games possess the interactive element that sets them apart, and it is also this interactive element that has made video games so popular and successful. “Every player [does] a game differently and has a different approach.” Ludology is “the study of games design, [the] player’s role, and the role of the game in society and how these things work together to derive meaning.”[37] This is why many believe, along with myself, that ludology is more important than narratology. The video brings up various games such as Dark Souls, Super Mario, and Legend of Zelda as examples, and how games that are very successful are those that allow for this creative outlet and freedom; when the players have “control” basically of their player’s destiny and do not have to conform to an already structured storyline, the game becomes an expression of themselves and the player’s “own morals and ideals,” as stated later on in this video.

In the third video “Narratology vs. Ludology — The Debate”, Gonzalo Fransca argues that “games are closely connected with narratology and should [therefore] be analyzed through narratology.” Contradicting this claim, Jesper Juul states “games should be focused on gameplay.”[38] As a gamer myself, I agree 100% with Juul. Of all of the games I have played, both by myself and with my friends, the ones we most enjoy are the ones where we are in control; where we can create our own game and our own story through our characters and the choices we make. It makes everything more exciting and gives us incentive to keep trying to achieve the goals we make for ourselves as we progress through the game. In essence, a video game with no narrative is a reflection of real life. Every choice we make alters the ending. There is no particular path we have to follow or adhere to. This is why I argue that narrative is not all that important nor is it absolutely necessary within a video game.

October 19, 2019: The Art of Simulation - Journal 16

In Espen Aarseth’s article “Genre Trouble: Narrativism and the Art of Simulation,” Aarseth expands upon how he believes that although stories and literature are indeed important and have been since the beginning of time, they are not “well-suited” for today’s video game universe, where “simulation is the key concept” due to the attractiveness society is cultivating for “the sequence of shifting, exotic, [and] often fascinating settings (levels), where you explore the topography and master the virtual environment.”[39] Building upon what Aarseth is trying to get across, I believe that a game should be focused on the player, not the story. Through playing the game, players create their own story. The problem with narrated games, as Aarseth points out, is that they are “normally only played once, and typically not completed... players are often stuck...[with characters being] totally prescripted.” However, I do agree, as mentioned by Aarseth, that storytelling is still important, and has been for centuries. It is “our primary...mode of understanding, our cognitive perspective on the world. Life is a story...storytelling [is] the dominant form of cultural expression.” But whether it has a place in video games is up for debate, and from what I have experienced and from what I understand, I do not believe it is needed.

In another article written by Henry Jenkins titled “Game Design as Narrative Architecture,” an important distinction is made between narrative and interactive games. Jenkins states that a narrative is under the control of the author, whereas a player has the control over the game when it is interactive.[40] Jenkins quotes Ernest Adams, who in his article "Three Problems For Interactive Storytellers," believes that not adhering to the story line leads to a less interesting game overall, which restricts the player to following the storyline and not being free to make their own decisions. Jenkins does a good job in analyzing both sides of the debate, as well as taking a “middle-ground position.”

After reading the various texts and watching the videos provided, I have personally come to the conclusion that, depending on the desires of the player, there can be a time and a place for a narrative based game, and for a free, interactive game. As far as an element of media, these last two journal posts have really enriched my understanding of the true power that video games do possess on society and how much they can affect and influence us. Video games provide us the power to change worlds, make worlds, and live in worlds we would otherwise have no access to. I end this journal post with what is now one of my leading points to the argument of narratology vs ludology, spoken by Adams: “In its richest form, storytelling -- narrative -- means the reader's surrender to the author. The author takes the reader by the hand and leads him into the world of his imagination. The reader has a role to play, but it's a fairly passive role: to pay attention, to understand, perhaps to think... but not to act.”[41]

@Shannamartini: That's an interesting perspective! I think before I found games like the ones I talked about in my journal post, I would have agreed. However, there's something about the interactivity that adds a deeper level of investment in the story. The games that Keegan chooses to play are never played once. He always plays them a few times, puts them away for a while, and then revisits them later a few more times. The cycle keeps going and there's always something else to be found! Hthrxlynn (talk) 02:07, 20 October 2019 (EDT)