User:ParkerJennings/NMAC 4460 Journal

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August 14, 2019: New Media

New media can mean a numerous of many different things. How I would define new media is: media that allows consumers to interact with it. In this digital age creators can no longer put their media out there and that be the end of it. Now the consumers of the media can directly give feedback and interact with it. This leads to the other major characteristic of new media, it can be modified. Previously when media was released that product that was put out there was definitively the finished thing. New media on the other hand can consistently be in a state of flux, and evolve to meet the demands of the consumers who can now give feedback on it.

August 25, 2019: New Media

Some new things I learned that define new media a little better include a more exact definition of the digital aspect of it. New Media is best characterized by one digital device that has the capability to communicate with another digital device. [1] Connectivity is the major determining factor in new media. Not only is it the ability for digital devices to be able to communicate with each other that is a defining factor of new media, but it is also the combination of many different forms of media that was not possible in old media. New media can also be defined as cultural objects that use digital technology for distribution and exhibition. [2]

September 15, 2019: Being Digital

In being digital, the idea of upgrades versus exchange is brought up. Negroponte asserts that in the days of analog technology when something like your CRT television would break, or just not be up to current standards anymore you would have to completely exchange it. This meant that for anything you would want different an entirely new unit would have to be purchased. When it comes to moving towards a more digital landscape, Negroponte likens the television to be more akin to something like a computer than even a CRT. He asserts that like with computers, upgrades would be more commonplace than wholesale replacements. While with television sets this has not become the norm, it has become something that happens much more frequently with technology. In a way television have become much more like computer displays. On the topic of scan lines Negroponte states that we would start to think about them in more of a per millimeter way than simply an overall picture. While we still talk about video resolution in regards to the overall picture, the amount has increased dramatically the closer we have gotten to the screen. Now reaching 4K. A far cry from the 10K proposed, but still a huge improvement nonetheless. [3] With the world seemingly becoming more streamlined, we move ever closer to a world where upgrades become the new normal and our desire for anything to become new or better becomes more insatiable. Long gone are the days of working with what you got. Now with an ever improving an easy to access media landscape we have become addicted to the instant satisfaction that it provides us. This in turn has turned into an addiction of sorts. In the article "Your smartphone is making you stupid, antisocial and unhealthy. So why can’t you put it down?" Tristan Harris states "It's Homo sapiens minds against the most powerful supercomputers and billions of dollars …. It's like bringing a knife to a space laser fight." [4] As technology crosses more and more into the digital world, we have access to better and better things. We no longer have to throw out old things anymore because the digital world they have access to is an ever upgrading world. Our physical devices have not only gotten better, but whether we know it or not, every single day it is being upgraded because there is new stuff we can access that wasn't there the day before.

September 15, 2019: Hacking

Like many others I thought of hacking/hackers as the stereotypical sitting in a dark basement, hitting keys and then telling someone else "I'm in." While this is what Hollywood would typically depict the hacker as, it is far from what the word can actually mean when looking at it as an umbrella term. When you think of hackers you think of someone who is trying to destroy a system in place, but never as someone who could improve that system or create a system themselves. In Catherine Bracy's TED Talk "Why Good Hackers Make Good Citizens" she challenges our preconceived notions on what or who a hacker could be. We are told of one of America's most famous and prolific hackers, yet one who the word has typically not been associated with, Benjamin Franklin. The wall is broken down between hacking and inventing. In her example of one of Franklin's most well known inventions, the bifocals, we are left with a new perspective on the whole ide of what hacking can be. What are bifocals if not a hack to help someone see at more varying distances in the most convenient way possible. [5] Obviously the bifocal example is a more physical example than a digital one, but the principle still applies. When people have the ability to create, change or hack it allows the people to give back to the people. In a digital world that is getting more and more streamlined, it it were not for the ability to "hack" we would be at the mercy of what the government or corporations add into the digital landscape. Without hacking we would be going completely against Franklin's ideals that all human knowledge should be publicly available, because we would only have access to information biased entities want us to have. It is interesting that the idea of civic hackers, people who come together to address problems as opposed to create them [6] is a largely unknown concept. Unfortunately due to the preconceived notion that society has associated with the word hacker, despite all the good these civic hackers do it is likely not going to sway the major public perception that has latched itself unto the word.

September 21, 2019: Revolution OS

In the documentary Revolution OS many things are discussed on the topic of operating systems and the history of them. One of the most interesting things detailed in the documentary was something that could be argued to be as apparent as the code for the software itself, the legality of it. When one has an operating system the notion of it being free or "shared" was thrown around a lot. This was especially evident in the letter written by the world's most famous programmer, Bill Gates, to what he refereed to as hobbyists. The term hobbyist comes with the notion that developing code is just that, a hobby. It is not a job, and how could that be when everything was shared and no one made money from the work the completed and put out into the world. Not making money is already bad enough, but with software just being publicly available you run into the problem of your work being slightly modified and then stolen. If you copyright the software then it becomes proprietary, but if you let it freely into the public domain in hopes of it just being available for everyone as is you run into the potential risk of someone changing any one line of code, claiming it as different and then it still becoming proprietary, but instead to them. [7] This is where the idea of copyleft comes in to make the legality of the whole situation a bit easier to deal with. Copyleft ensures that the freedom to change and modify the software is never taken away from any user because it makes it so that anyone who makes changes to a software (or leaves it as is) when sharing it to another must also allow that individual the same right to create changes. [8] Legality is always a tricky thing, especially when you want something to be out there for free without someone else taking that thing as their own, but with the advent of copyleft it allows free software to be available with very little chance of it completely being taken away.

September 22, 2019: Open Source

My understanding of open source software was pretty limited up until this point. In all honesty it was pretty non-existent as software was never something I had even the slightest amount of interest in. I've seen the term OS plenty of times before, but the fact this means it is software that is just publicly available to anyone [9] really was not something I would have considered a possibility. The idea of someone making something and letting others use it without first claiming ownership is an approach that really exemplifies that software can be a product of passion instead of just purely greed. This is further exemplified with the previous mention of copyleft. It's a much more selfless way to claim rights to something, in that instead of claiming rights it makes it impossible for anyone to do so. What I take away from this in terms of what it means for new media is that when we live in a world that is defined by digital devices being able to communicate with outside sources, it might not have even been possible is software was not as freely shared as it currently is.

@ParkerJennings: Once again: links are not references. Please see me if you need assistance with citations. Please see my feedback that I will be updating through the day on 9/24/19. —Grlucas (talk) 16:52, 24 September 2019 (EDT)

September 29, 2019: Remix Culture

When Lessig talks about the idea of remix culture he refers to a type of media content that is not strictly made by professionals or organizations, but rather as a way for the consumer to become a creater. He defines remix culture as taking a preexisting work and turning it into a mostly new work, typically done by an individual for passion more so than money. [10] What this means for RW culture is that it is a way to finally give those who are not professionals working on a cash grab for some major corporation, to also create content that others might enjoy. The idea of remix culture is paramount in allowing the current media landscape to to sustain itself as a means of upholding the idea of RW culture. Without the right to remix preexisting work the power is taken away from the individuals again. They would not be able to express creativity (freely) and explore the work of others creativity. If we lose the ability to remix works it becomes increasingly difficult to escape a RO world of media. We would be trapped in a world where the individual cannot create something out of the work they like, they can only like it. Corporations would retain control of what media is distributed, and the more stuff they make the more stuff that would be out there that would taunt individuals into seeing what creativity can produce while also simultaneously deterring them from being creative with it.

September 29, 2019: Participatory/remix culture

Remix culture and participatory culture could almost be viewed as the same thing. Remix culture is culture where the individuals have the power to create their own work using already existing work. Participatory culture could be defined as culture where the individuals who are the consumers in the media landscape are also creators. [11] What this means in relation to new media more than anything is that unlike traditional media, everyone now has the power and the right to create. In traditional media, regular people were essentially subjected to whatever any given company wanted to produce. Whether they liked or did not like what was being made, it did not matter. It was the only options they had in regards to media. Now, if you, I or anyone has any idea it can be put out into the world just as easily (just not necessarily through the same channels). This not only means that people have more power than ever because they can directly compete with big businesses, but it also gives way to increasingly niche content that would not have existed otherwise. We live in a society where media is more user generated than ever, and uncoincidentally is more diverse than ever.

@ParkerJennings: You should come to talk with me. —Grlucas (talk) 17:38, 1 October 2019 (EDT)

October 6, 2019: Journal Post 11

What I learned from he suggested readings, in regards to what they mean in relation to new media is just how archaic the structure of our world can be. Education has been lauded as paramount, and school as we know it as the be all end all in terms of proving that one can learn. As pointed out by Sugatra Mitra, formal education does not do the best possible job at teaching people. In fact the idea of tests or exams can actually make it harder to learn. [12] Luckily in the digital age, this ancient idea of what school is does not have to be the way people are taught. With all of the world's information at our fingertips, we now have more access to learning than anyone has ever had prior. Yet we don't consider that when it comes to education. Society still does not view someone as educated unless a person taught them, and then they are rewarded a piece f paper that says you are educated. With formal education still being viewed as the only way to learn, it also gives off the impression that there is only a span of time in life in which someone should be learning. Now we can learn about almost anything at any time. The digital age has advanced us, yet when it comes to education we don't seem to realize it.

Oct 6, 2019: Journal Post 12

What I learned mostly echoes what I stated in my previous post. In the digital age, technology is advancing, yet for some reason education is not. Ironically we are never taught to question the educational system. But in the digital age, we can learn as much and more than we can from formal education. In one article the notion of personalized education was mentioned [13] This idea that everyone must earn the same things the same way is wildly outdated. Unfortunately at school it is still how kids are taught. The world has more to offer than training kids for factories, yet we still treat it as if that's all there is. As stated by Logan LaPlante in his TED talk, school doesn't focus on making it's students happy or healthy. [14] This is a problem, as since school is so formulaic and factory like and never presents the idea of their being things someone could be interested in it makes the idea of learning something that is ingrained in the mind of people from a young age that they won't enjoy.

@ParkerJennings: Once again, please use paragraphs and citation templates. Please make a point of signing up for a face-to-face session. I'm requiring this for you.