Week 8 – Cognitive Surplus.

Cognitive Surplus is very interesting.  I agree with Clay Shirky that creating anything online is better than sitting in front of a television.  I do see drawbacks with some of the content online and how that content is utilized.  I just think overall, the internet is more positive for our minds than the television.

A major drawback that I can think about from this course would have to be cyber weapons.  I hate that hackers are out there, professional and not, trying to find ways to attack people using the internet.  Our society is becoming to heavily wrapped around internet usage for something like that to happen!  These ideas make me wish that those individuals would just go watch television.

It’s hard for me to think of a meaningful cognitive surplus project.  I would think that all of the user generated content that helped me prepare for motherhood was meaningful.  I read reviews for just about everything from car seats to bottles.  I benefitted by saving time, energy, and money.  I don’t think this is a civic duty though, people survived for years without all of the information I was given online!

A few years ago I met a roommate through Craigslist.  That was a pretty big disaster that only lasted about a month but it was a very easy process.  I would think that Craigslist was a cognitive surplus project.  It happens to be incredibly dangerous but I know several people who have had success with it.  If Craigslist was changed I might be more open to using it again.  It would need to be better monitored and restricted.  The content on Craigslist is shady to say the least.  But if you’re looking to buy or sell something pretty quick, it’s a really good option.

Contributing to the efforts of a project reminded me of the lost cell phone that we read about.  The cell phone was returned because of bloggers and a community pulling together.  I’m very interested in blogging after I’ve taken this course!

I have no spare time now to contribute to anything besides a needy seven month old and my homework once he goes to sleep.  Once he becomes more independent I’m going to get more involved in mommy blogging! imagesK2DJZ3C9 I’ve read several and I’d love to contribute to that community.  I’ve learned a lot of fun ways to jazz up my blogs and I have a lot of fun doing it.  I’m not going to do that to try to make money, although several bloggers do, I’m mainly trying to connect with other moms.  This will help me co-parent with my son’s father, who I’m not with.  I will find creative, exciting things to do with my son, be it food, outdoors, play, fashion, school.  I’m looking for an all around multifaceted way to bring him culture and understanding.  I don’t want him to be just raised in a small town doing everything that small town people do.  Plus I’m an English major and love reading and writing.






Week 7 – “Generation Like.”

I started off the video with some comic relief.  You can’t watch the video on my blog, all you have to do is his the bottom corner button that says “YouTube” and it will direct you to YouTube where you can watch it!  That is Stevie Ryan making fun of “Generation Like” and I absolutely love it.  I know so many people that have this idea that likes on Facebook mean something.  I always thought they were silly.  I knew that Facebook was monitoring what we did and “liked” but I had no idea the whole ordeal was this invasive.  I guess a lot more people are paying attention to what we like than what I thought.  I thought the kid skateboarder was just being a kid.  I remember doing those things with my friends when we were younger.  It’s just a perk for him to get free stuff and money!

Instagram “marketing”

Instagram is taking over this idea of community marketing.  There is a HUGE community of Instagram users, mainly bloggers and shoppers.  It has become a face for Etsy.com, which is a website where people can sell their own material online.  None of these shops really have to pay for marketing, they use the consumer.  They have contests like the above photo where they give the consumer a chance to win a prize if they plug their shop.  You have to follow them, which adds to their number of followers (aka popularity) and post a picture on your instagram showcasing their shop.  It is actually brilliant.  I’ve come across so many of these and I really think that it’s working.  I, shamefully, follow some mtv personalities on instagram and shops use their celebrity to gain followers this way.  Many of them are sponsored by these little shops and post pics tagging the shops in them as well.  It’s very lucrative and cuts down marketing costs substantially!

I found it pretty absurd in “Solving Social Dillemas” that we don’t talk to our neighbors anymore.  Our main interaction is with people at work or school.  I’m friends with one of my neighbors and we have owned this house for seventeen years.  I think this does have to do with technology because the new jobs are largely based on technology.  I used to work for a company that made life alert buttons.  They synced them through landlines and are moving to wifi.  It’s hard to maintain a “good” lifestyle in today’s technological crazed world if you don’t work!  I believe McLuhan’s theory is spot on that technology shapes social interaction.

“Fitting Our Tools to a Small World” seems like an awesome way to connect to people that you would enjoy.  Dodgeball helped Clay hang out with someone that he knew he’d enjoy.  The channel #joiito is similar to that as well, you get to meet people with common interests.  I think that in the large scope of user generated data online people connect with like minds.  I think the internet is actually better at it then your everyday life.  It’s weird that I just had this realization that the internet is some “fake” world and what we’re doing everyday is “real”.  I wonder when that will change?

In “Failure for Free” I’m reminded to thank Linux for my laptop NOT having MicrosoftWord already on it!  I’ve never bought a computer that didn’t.  Now I don’t even really have MicrosoftWorks, it’s just a wordpad.  I can pay for the program outright or be charged $6.99 per month of usage.  It’s a joke.  I get that all the failure on line blossoms success.  It may be silly but it reminds me of photography.   If you take 5, you might get a good one but if you take 100, you’ll get a good one for sure.   I can’t remember where else I’ve heard it but failure is a huge part of art.  I think Artists produce failure everyday and that really allows for them to spot real art.  This is just a little bit more of the idea that I’m going with.

The group in “Culture” that only believed in things that were demonstrably true relates to McLuhan’s theory of technology being an extension of our senses.  Everything that they believed had to be demonstrated and that was an extension of that belief.  It led to more extensions and changes in social interaction.  If I can use a technological device to do something that I originally did myself, that changes everything.  I agree that culture has little to do with marketing based off the notion that people’s feelings shouldn’t be wrapped in materials.  However, the community that I talked about early on Instagram is a pretty amazing one.  They come together when one of the other consumers is having a hard time in their life.  They’ve raised thousands of dollars to help a family recently.  Maybe there’s a link between community marketing and the rapport within the community?




Week 6 – McLuhan’s theory.


Here Comes Everybody can be explained by McLuhan’s theory because many of the ways that society is learning to make a difference have been updated due to technology.  Whenever I first started reading this article the first thing I thought of was Facebook.  The idea that a collective could communicate easily without interference can easily be displayed on that social medium.  Just like the Germans who were able to grow a large following without any interference.  The flash mobs signaled popularity and that goes hand in hand with Facebook.images  I was familiar with flash mobs but I wasn’t really aware that they were ironic.  That was interesting.  Before I even read the HSBC bank example of Facebook I was sure that that was where this was going.  The students were able to pool together via Facebook and managed to scare HSBC into reversing the policy that they were unhappy with.

It was really interesting to me whenever a Save Sullivan (my hometown)  page started floating around.  People posted a lot about what they didn’t like in Sullivan.  I thought it was so silly that people were taking the conversations so seriously.  This article really made me just sit back and think about the potential of a group like this.  I know that people weren’t very happy with the firework display in my hometown.  This led the discussion to who was paying for it and where the money was coming from.  Several people suggested ways for people to communicate their views with people who made the decisions.  People were sending out ideas of what to do to raise more money for a carnival but that’s where it ended.  This general idea of if you want something better go get it.  I’m pretty sure this happened last year and nothing changed.  So many people act like talking on the Sullivan page will get you no where but if they would just utilize this idea of group action something would change.  I don’t believe that most people realize that they can make a change by communicating over a social medium.  McLuhan’s theory and knowing how to utilize the popular medium could bring so many positive changes to communities everywhere.  This is pretty substantial.  McLuhan’s theory leads me to believe that the internet is majorly cold.  I feel like you have to interact online to utilize the medium as a message.  Even if you want to just sit there and watch movies or read, you still have to engage.  You have to know how to run the operating systems and this is a form of communication, like we have went over in this course.

Cognitive Surplus offers a good example of the fact that the internet is cold by how we use it to interact.  We don’t email ourselves or go on social media sites for ourselves.  We use the social media sites and email for our family and friends.  This is to interact and communicate with each other like no other society has been able to.  This reminded me of my high school reunion that is approaching.  What’s the need with Facebook?

Apple IPhone
Apple IPhone

 It is so funny that this chapter brought up the fact that most people just have phone numbers saved in their phones.  My Mom couldn’t tell you any of her family member’s numbers and it always cracks me up.  I’ve memorized all of the highly used phone numbers in my life, just in case I’m not using my phone.  My mobile device is an iPhone, which is the internet made mobile.  The Ultimate Game is completely understandable but at the end of the day it’s sad that people are so selfish.  This brought me to thinking that the internet can be a cold medium.  I do believe that the internet is a highly selfish tool.  There’s no reasoning behind why the majority of internet users use the internet.  It’s not because they’re getting paid or told to do so.  Many testimonies on the internet are self fulfilling and this brings out a variety of emotions.  It’s funny to think that you do engage when going online and we might be social beings but sitting on a laptop on a Friday night is never considered being social.

Hot & Cold

Whenever we start performing functions for ourselves online we separate from physical social behavior but never from mental social behavior.  That’s why I think overall the internet is something in between a hot and cold medium.




Week 5 – Net Neutrality.

Save the internet.

Net neutrality is a very important issue.  I really don’t want to see the internet turn into the television we know today.  It seems very political and much like an industry pushing agendas.imagesRDHPWH4L  I know that the it cost money to acquire the internet.  I have no problem paying an ISP for fast service.  However, I’m very uncomfortable with programs being built around a business model.  It’s really unnerving that Microsoft built their system to work with a browser that they supported over a browser that they didn’t support.  I don’t agree with this at all.  I really had no idea this was happening until I read these chapters.

I’m familiar with bit torrents and illegal file sharing.  I had Comcast and would get threats all of the time about my net activity.  I stopped because the website that I was using shut down.  Upon my searching, I just found that the site came back online.  Here is where I would find all of my content free, generally just movies.  This is definitely not the best way to share content, seeing as it is privacy.  I’m not suggesting for everyone to go steal copy written content because I’m not a thief.  It’s just a lot easier to download a file than rob someone.  So if Comcast slowed down Bit Torrents but would allow me to buy a faster speed so that I can rip those bit torrents again that is a total double standard.  Comcast is just trying to profit off of piracy.  It’s just wrong.  Whenever this site went down I jumped into Netflix.  I enjoyed the site and would definitely continue paying for this service, if I had the time to utilize it.

Take for instance Google, I don’t agree that they should be able to market their content.  I know that Google purchased YouTube and this is an example of my breaking point.  I was very familiar with the primitive version of YouTube.untitled  I was there when it was mainly user generated content.  I saw it grow from nothing.  I watched the advertising come in and ruin the community.  Like this article goes into, I remember when videos did NOT have advertisements before hand.  There weren’t commercials on any videos.  I know that YouTube is still thriving but I haven’t used it for years.  There were times whenever individuals were making videos and it was all so creative and unique.  The top videos were just randomly made, with no budget or hefty productions.  It was in-home jargon that seemed to be an entire community built around everything being free.  Once the advertisements and sponsorships started everything changed.  People came in and started just working on the site to make money.  You started seeing celebrities and other artists becoming popular.  It wasn’t the same and I really felt like the site shifted from an awesome user generated site to a money making scheme.  It lost all of it’s flare to me.  I’ll go on there now to watch old shows or music videos but there is no way I would every pay to access YouTube.

I know that I am a customer of the internet but I hold strong that it needs to be free.  I don’t want websites to become like channels and I don’t want to have to use a certain browser because my operating program was paid off by them.  The only problem is that all of this is a multi billion dollar business.  People are obsessed with the internet and constantly looking for ways to make money off of it.  I just really hope they keep it neutral.  Watch for news and contact your local government officials about your opinion to continue net neutrality!

I love John Stewart and really enjoyed John Oliver on the show, so I’m happy to see him on his own show.  He made some really good points with his satire about net neutrality.  It is wild thinking that cable companies are monopolies.  There are no competitive prices available within monopolies and if the government ends net neutrality I’m completely going to be done with the internet.  I’m glad that SOPA went no where but it seems like the government isn’t ready to just let the issue go.187v4p3xjpxxhjpg  I just really feel that the internet is going to find a way to keep itself free.  There will be hackers building ways for everyone to access free content.  Like the website I showed earlier that was strict piracy, there isn’t jurisdiction on content from other countries.  I’m pretty sure that is based somewhere besides the US.  We could access material through foreign systems.  It’s never going to be tied down, in my opinion.

Week 4 – Domestic Spying Programs and Cyber Warfare.

I do not agree that the benefits of the domestic spying program outweigh the wholesale loss of individual freedom and privacy. The main component for my belief is the Constitution. tjefferson  In this article Thomas Jefferson is quoted as saying,  “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”  I think that the most beautiful part about the United States is civil liberty and it is also what this country was founded on.

I enjoy my civil liberties and want to continue living in a society that promotes this philosophy.  This era with the freedom of the individual is the most substantial of all time.  We have the rights to be who and what we want because our civil liberties are supported by our democracy.  In this really extensive and informative essay they quote Plato’s concern with democracy, which was live from day to day, indulging the pleasure of the moment.”  In  the United States of Secrets President Bush made claims about the information that leaked that were made to present the leak as something that it was not.  I think the main reason that government officials lie is because they know that people are spoon fed most of their information.  With Plato’s quote we need to take responsibility for our civil liberties and be proud that we are able to live in a democracy.  We take everything for granted, we don’t even realize that our rights are being taken away.  The fact that our emails are exposed, everything we say, think, or do online or on the phone, can be tracked or collected as “data” is a failure to justice.

I feel like this is such an important part of the history of humankind, it is of such long term importance that we don’t allow the libertyordeathblack_fullpic__46074_1381431899_1280_1280government to infringe on our rights.  The blood of a terrorists attack is not on the hands of those who don’t support the program.  In the text, Blowing a Whistle, this is added as a benefit of domestic spying programs, such as the program.   There should be effective ways to prevent terrorists attacks that are not illegal, therefore a sure fire way for this to be legal is to get this voted in.  There could be laws that provide access to this information.   The major point of a democracy is the power of the people, if people agree that our phone calls and emails can be accessed to find suspected terrorists I would have no problem following this law.   I believe our liberty and freedom should be supported number one because there have been way worse events than 9/11 that have led us to these basic human rights.  So many lives have been lost for us to live the way that we do.  I’m not devaluing the heavy nature of the 9/11 attacks but we need to justify everything we do to prevent that from happening again.

The various types of domestic spying programs that we learned about in the text and videos are direct acts that add to the loss of freedom and privacy of the individual.  What I liked the most about the documentary United States of Secrets was that there wasn’t a collective within the government.  Several NSA employees and government officials did not approve of the program or what it was doing to the people of the United States.  I watched the emotions on their faces and was relieved to see that.  Even the people who did support these programs thought that they were doing what was best for the people.  The problem that I had with them was that they weren’t willing to get the support of the people.  They thought that what they were doing was so important that it didn’t matter what anyone thought, that all they needed was the President’s approval.  This goes against a democracy.

I really don’t agree with most of what General Hayden stands for.  He is actually a pretty disgraceful representation of leadership, in my opinion.  I know that these cyber weapons blow my mind.  The cyber_warfareidea that someone can shut down my daily life from Tokyo, is absurd.  It makes me question how much we let technology run our daily lives.  The whole process of starting cyber wars reminds me of Albert Einstein starting nuclear wars.  I do agree that if they are going to be a part of how we combat other countries we should be on top of the game but starting them themselves is just starting trouble, like with what happened to Stuxnet being overthrown.  I don’t believe Einstein was happy after he developed the atomic bomb, just as the person who developed the dynamite, Alfred Noble.  Hence, why Noble left behind the Noble Peace Prize.   I’m alarmed to read about Stuxnet and Flame and I can’t believe that this is legitimate today.  It really makes me more concerned with what I harness on my own laptop, ipad, phone.  Though, I don’t really feel like I’m going to be analyzed by the CIA, you never know who is lurking behind that classification just wanting to access anyone’s information.   There could be hackers that tap into government technology and actually overthrow what they have.  It’s wild to think about where this movement will take us.

Week 3 – “user-generated content”

I happen to have created an enormous amount of “user-generated content” throughout my experience with the internet.  And like that article states, I believe it’s only going to expand.  My own experience developed from Yahoo! whenever I was in high school to Myspace right out of high school then Facebook in college now10475158_658316670917607_1547964684_n various forms of social media.  I would have to say instagram is my favorite.  Where I shamelessly post picture after picture of this little guy’s face.  I know that I post pictures because I want to keep a chronological record of my son and share him with friends and family.   I have a minimal amount of followers on instagram, but with hashtags random people can easily find any of the pictures I post.

Another reason why I love instagram is the huge celebrity presence.  I follow so many different kinds of celebrities, from MTV personalities to comedians to actors to band members.  I’ve even had a few write me back!  It’s exciting and lets you see a glimpse into their lives, which are no different than the average person.

This social media construct is a wonderful window into my time and energy.  I rarely post pictures when I’m playing with my son, I never feel justified cutting into his time.  I’ll add pictures late in the evening or when he’s taking a nap.  I think that I’m very aware of how to not let any kind of media take me away from the present.  My family always jokes with each other, when we’re on our phones, that that person is not “here” with us.  9715283Most of my family members aren’t heavy media enthusiasts.    So we still try to put our phones away to enjoy the time we have with each other.   I would say that we definitely fit into the section of the population that is moving away from television and onto the internet.   And it looks like the internet is only going to get more powerful.   The idea there that many different accessories that we use in life are going to go wireless just amazes me.

After having a child, user-generated content has helped me face many obstacles.  Whether it be as silly as photo session ideas or as substantial as safety, the internet has helped me navigate through parenting.  I’m gaining the experience of a collective just by clicking onto a search engine, though some is professional, like the safety research link.  I can’t stand the “I talk, you listen” form of facebook, but with research for my son, I’m happy for content generated with this intention.

Facebook leads to so many ignorant posts, it’s hard for me to follow it.  I enjoy my family and friends, but that’s about it.  There are so many different articles, mainly political, that are just untrue.  No one cares about researching the facts or using (even semi-using) grammar and I just have little time for that kind of “user-generated content”.

I’m aware of the concerns with showing content generated about my son.  I feel like it has helped me so far in his life.  I am always going to make teaching him about the concerns, as well.  The content we put on the internet is permanent and can have severe consequences.  Any kind of social media can escalate into bullying or embarrassment.  I’ve seen my share of internet mayhem, I can only imagine what he could possibly get into!  I’m not going to remove this from his life one hundred percent but I will definitely shield him from any material that is suspect.  But privacy and security will be focused on more next time!

Week 2 – Similarities.

Throughout history the expansion of technology has encountered similar growth and roadblocks.  While reading our particular set of texts and lectures I was able to see comparisons between the development of technology’s formation.  These patterns have led to where we are with technology today.

A main central component that I discovered, was the similarities between who facilitated the evolution of technology.  It seemed that with each story, it took several different people or avenues to reach a conclusion.  The telegraph is an important start and we learn that with the assistance of several men, we reached the success of the telegraph.  This is a good timeline of events that outlines who helped mold the idea of an electric telegraph into a reality.  As you can see, the telegraph needed many different individual components to reach it’s success.  As we know, without the telegraph telephones would never have been developed nor would our current state of communication technology.

In the story, It Takes A Village, we can draw comparisons to how the phone keeper gets arrested.  The woman who left her phone in a taxi was able to utilize the internet, through a friend, and find several people to facilitate bringing her phone back.  The individuals who shared her friend’s websites, those who offered legal advice, the men who wanted to protect against any violence and those that helped get the original judgment overturned all assisted with the justice over the lost phone.  The simple idea to post a website wouldn’t have done any good without the amount of people who showed interest and care.

In the text, Sharing Anchors Community, the entire concept of an individual sharing an idea promotes growth and development of any type of technology.  This text illustrates how group communication shares ideas that are lumped together in order to create.  This exhibits the notion that without sharing of an individual’s work or ideas, certain technology would have never existed.

While learnImageing about the “Internet Underground” I noticed the popular theme almost immediately.  The internet had grown so rapidly that without a shared communication, developers would not have been able to link compatible equipment.  Thus meaning that all of the products that we use today have shared language that allows them to work with one another.  This is substantial because there are several different tools that utilize the internet and without several individuals working together, there would not be a media mall of technology today.

In another simpler comparison, I found that it was important to note the financial burdens most of these innovators faced.  Whether it was purchasing a new phone to access the information from the lost phone, to the funds needed to keep an organization a float, to the grants needed to send the first telegraph.  Every avenue needs a financial source, which has limited the rate of growth and even possibly halted it all together.

Several ideas and a lot of funding have advanced technology throughout history.  But without the cooperation that society has shown one another to develop together, I don’t believe we would be this technologically advanced.  The overall act of sharing and willingness to work together has benefited this industry astronomically.