11/17/16

“This is our present political social life: We don’t just create political strife for ourselves; we seem to revel in it” (Sanders). I am one of the fortunate people (compared to most of my surrounding peers who are younger than me) who was able to vote for the last election in 2012. While Facebook was around at the time, I do not remember nearly as much media outreach and coverage completely taking over my Facebook ‘wall’ for weeks like this election in 2016 has. One thing in particular that I’ve seen over and over again on my Facebook is exactly what Sanders detailed as “Just about all of your friends are posting about the election, nonstop. And there are a few who brag about deleting friends, or who urge friends to unfriend them over their political leanings: “Just unfriend me now.””

Politics has never been such a popular subject to talk about in my life until this year. I’m honestly afraid to, just in case it brings the end of friendships just like Sanders says has been happening. It’s ridiculous and yet not ridiculous at all. When we support a candidate, it is thought that we are personally identifying with them, which is not always the case. We could support a candidate and not completely agree with some of the things they say, or even because we simply hate what the other candidate says, has done, or represents. We could support a candidate because they are our political party’s representative or actually believe without a doubt that they are the best possible choice to become our president. Even with all of this said however, I still believe that by voting for a certain candidate, considering the things they say to the public through the media however hateful or not, you are essentially agreeing to putting that person in a position of power and thereby choosing to have that person representing the country to the rest of the world.

It seems impossible to ignore the posts, tweets, videos, blogs, etc. about the recent election, “almost forcing us to wallow in the divisive waters of our online conversation” (Sanders). I think it is because of this constant posting about the election, and thus the endless media coverage about it, that is making it impossible to avoid creating an opinion about it, as well as discussing it in everyday face-to-face conversation.

“Did Social Media Ruin Election 2016?” by Sam Sanders

 

 

11/17/16 Daily

“Both the technology itself, and the way we choose to use the technology, makes it so that what ought to be a conversation is just a set of Post-it notes that are scattered,” Kerric Harvey, author of the Encyclopedia of Social Media and Politics, said of Twitter. “Not even on the refrigerator door, but on the ground.”

“She argues that what we do on Twitter around politics isn’t a conversation at all; it’s a loud mess. So, if Twitter is a bunch of Post-it notes thrown on the ground, we now have to consider which of those notes are even real.”  (Sanders)

I disagree that this is the real question. If Twitter is a mess of statements no longer than 140-characters, the question is why do the brief statements affect people as much as it does? Referring of course to the examples centered around the short but catty Twitter feud between Hillary Clinton and Jeff Bush, as well as the fact that Trump was not allowed to use his own Twitter account after a number of embarrassing and petty responsive tweets. Why does a certain arrangement of a select amount of words even prove to be worth producing a reaction to these important people? Especially when compared to full articles written with the specific objective to provoke a reaction from the candidates to arise, or at least to introduce a talking point to develop into a conversation they think is worth to have.

Sanders mentions in his piece how Twitter is user-friendly and mostly used because it gives everyone a ‘voice’. However once each individual has their own voice, they usually side with others who express a similar opinion through their ‘voice’. Sanders brings up the topic of how social media has been more of a platform in this election than any other election, and therefore has been an important outlet for campaigning for the candidates. After consideration, it’s interesting to think about this being the cause behind the candidates’ reactions over Twitter, however Sanders could have gone into further depth about the theory.

“Did Social Media Ruin Election 2016?” by Sam Sanders

11/15/16

The third of the four stages of ‘our conception of public, “Public opinion” is something I find very interesting these days. Especially since it “first appeared as a political force”. I’m one of the people who is beginning to become tired of hearing about this 2016 presidential election, however I am also one of the people who cannot seem to stop listening to people talk about it. Seriously, I actually go out of my way just to watch videos and keep updated with what our presidents’ current events are like, as well as the things our president-elect is saying on camera. I cannot look away. I also cannot believe that the public was responsible for electing him (or really the electoral college). Something Jarvis points out however is the power of public opinion, and I suppose public opinion made their decision (not taking into account all of the recent riots that have been taking place in cities across the nation). Another thing he points out, or really Jürgen Habermas does, is the belief that “a brief, golden age of rational, critical debate in society- was soon corrupted by mass media”, which is supremely evident through the media coverage of this debate and thus this election. The media covered what was “a hot-topic”, which was mostly comprised of foolish things Donald Trump said or Hilary Clinton’s email account. Not enough media coverage was spent on the topics or the candidates’ plans they would cultivate once in office.

After reading this, I realize how much I refer to the public, while meaning people. It’s surprisingly unfair to do so, considering the fact that “public opinion” does most certainly not include every last person in the country. So how did it get to this? Jarvis suggests that “the real corruption of the ideal of the public was to throw us all into a single public sphere, a mass”. While it’s a little ‘conspiracy theory’ it could very well be the ultimate truth. Even though each individual is supposedly unique, our ideals and everyday habits are most definitely something we choose from an assortment of choices given to us by society (and by society what I mean is through our family, peers, and media intake- whatever that may be). Some examples of this could include: Since birth we are immediately determined one or the other gender, or how Television commercials promote multiple types of dish soaps each one claiming that theirs is better than the other one. Thus we determine, according to public opinion, that the blue dish soap with the creative colorful box is the one for you. “To this day, the assumption that we are one public – which is the basis of mass production, mass distribution, mass marketing, and mass media – has enabled government, companies, and media to avoid dealing with us as distinct individuals and groups and instead to see us as faceless poll numbers and anonymous demographics.” Not to mention, incoming money.

“The Progression of the Public”, by Jeff Jarvis

11/15/16 Daily

In “The Progression of the Public” by Jeff Jarvis, he attempts to explain how everyone nowadays has a voice through the Internet, and while he’s not wrong, he starts to contradict himself, in my opinion. What I thought I was reading was that each individual has his or her own identity and nothing can replicate that.

He defends this by at first claiming everyone has the tools and the power to “create and join publics, establishing our own identities and societies.” He then states later on that “we find the publics we wish to join based merely on gross labels, generalizations, and borders drawn about us – but instead on our ideas, interests, and needs; cancer survivors, libertarians, Deadheads, vegetarians, single moms, geeks, even privacy advocates.”

While I believe the author means, is that even if each individual is unique, they can still share certain hobbies, ideals, or even diseases with others, thus making them a community. However, aren’t these “ideas, interests, and needs” still just generalizations and labels? Some are demeaning and some are factual but even so, if one is trying to avoid ‘joining a public based merely on gross labels’, I do not believe this article does a very good job about it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11/10/16 Daily

The first thing I thought about while reading Kevin Kelly’s “1000 True Fans” was something that happened on live Television during the 2016 election process Tuesday night, around 12:30 am. It was on the ABC network where they were holding a place in the middle of the Time Square, New York City, talking to people in the crowd about their duration of their stay in the Square. The interviewer asked a younger man how long he’d stayed there which the man replied about 5 hours. Then she asked him more personal things regarding the election in which he replied again how he just wants peace and love etc. Then the interviewer said how that’s quite a statement and how he should be popular with the ladies, then asking what his username for social media was so he could find the girl of his dreams. He actually conceded and told his username for the social media app, Instagram, for the world of strangers to follow him. His number of Instagram followers increased by 2,000 in under 5 minutes.

“A creator, such as an artist, musician, photographer, craftsperson, performer, animator, designer, videomaker, or author – in other words, anyone producing works of art – needs to acquire only 1,000 True Fans to make a living.”

Through this evidence, I can proclaim that it’s not always “true fans” that someone needs, but maybe just people who are willing to follow you for no reason at all. Are the ways for one to get 1,000 true fans skewed? This guy was just in the right time and the right place, said their name and had their 5 minutes of fame.

 

11/8/16

I believe music fandoms are considered very different from other fandoms. There are more ways for fandoms to be created other than just online (which I personally think is what we have been mainly focusing on in class) as well as how there certain stigmas associated with different fandoms that are set by the media , which essentially become automatically set in people’s minds. Thus it is understood, through media like Television shows (some fiction shows have their own stigmatized fandom like Big Bang Theory and how it represents ‘nerds’: obsessed with fictional characters, comic books, exhibit ‘weird or strange behavior’), that fandoms like for specific video games are non-social nerds, or fandoms surrounding a specific movie franchise that create a fanbase name, such as ‘twi-hards'(Twilight) or ‘potterheads'(Harry Potter).

However this can best be seen by comparing hardcore sports fans (who mostly consist of drunk men with their bodies painted yelling in a sports arena), something very much worth studying in order to “consider it a fandom we must try to fully understand it”, to fandoms such as Beatlemania (the epidemic across the United States in the 1960’s of crazed teenage girls lovestruck over an English band called The Beatles). There is a vast difference in the public acceptance rate over the behavior of either fandoms. In 1964 when The Beatles music group really began becoming popular in America, their fanbase was mostly comprised of teenage girls who were considered crazed, and obsessed with the band (which honestly was almost impossible not to be). Instead of studying this type of fandom and questioning what about the band made these young impressionable ‘fangirls’ so obsessed, the men of the world and the critics just wrote this off as girls ‘just being girls’, and as another new fad for the youngest generation to make a big deal about (Anderson). Little did they know this fandom would be one of the biggest in our history. Even with all this said, the girls were actually really completely lovestruck with the bands’ look, really identified with their sound, and utterly adored each member of the band’s easy going attitude. It was something for their generation to bond over, and with the creation of the Internet it became easier to bond with other generations over. “Beginning in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the earliest music fan communities on the Internet were mailing lists and Usenet discussion groups, many of which still operate” (Baym).

For sports fans it’s somehow deemed more acceptable to act in a ‘crazed’ behavior, with the media speaking about it and even encouraging it through the building of huge stadiums made specifically for cities, National leagues, schools, and even the olympics, televised through the Television network ESPN. Men are mostly the ones who celebrate each other painting their bodies in support of their team they’re rooting for to win, running across the field, doing idiotic things that are in no way (but should definitely be) deemed as ‘crazed’, instead of being deemed as ‘just being boys’ (Anderson). It might prove harder to study as well as you could online studies, but it’s similar in the way that “When a community is spread across multiple (online) spaces, it requires more time and effort for people to figure out what there is and to what extent in which spaces they will develop a community–specific identity” (Baym).

Suppose the media is still gender biased, that’s nothing new, and neither is the idea that fan bases get reborn. This article mentions how even though “each new incarnation of online fandom has emerged, previous forms have not disappeared”, which got me thinking, could this idea work when reversed? While ‘Beatlemania’ has definitely not disappeared, a similar effect has happened many times with different fandoms as a result, on example being ‘Beiber fever’ in teenaged girls (for the musician, Justin Beiber). It applies with the same rules, how “fan communities have distributed themselves more widely” and “individuals can become increasingly selective about which places they want to spend time”. It’s mainly the “online platforms and locales (that) have become increasingly specialized in the functions they serve for fans” (Baym); of which applies to fan communities that take part in enjoying performances, so sports arenas of which could also be used to hold special concerts for specific musicians and their fans. So, even with all of these similarities in different fandoms, followed by wide online presence, why is the ‘crazed fangirls’ still only the specific stigma against the music fandoms, and not just ‘fans’?

11/8/16 Daily

“It’s (the elements that help establish bloggers’ identity as readers) one reason I like using enigmatic titles rather than spelling everything out. It’s like, if you’re a Kottke.org reader who’s ready to read, then readAnd trust me that I’ll make it worth your while” (Carmody).

People nowadays don’t read every blog or article they see, instead they click the ones on their screens that have the catchiest title or says something in the title that spikes a specific interest. This is one of the things that Carmody touches on, but spins it in a positive way by explaining the title of her blog is catchy for the reason that it’s mysterious and enticing enough to provoke readers to click on it. He seems to explain that after the blog has grabbed the readers’ attention and the reader begins to actually read the article, it would be ‘worth it’. This makes me wonder about people who just skim the articles instead of reading in depth and fully understanding them, like Carmody encourages for them to do. Does this idea of catchy titles still apply to the ‘skimmers’? Is it the ‘structure’ of the blog that affects their ability to read it in depth and want to only skim it and not fully read it?

Design Doc

The central idea for my project is to educate others of how we have made the progressive move from film to digital cameras and the differences between using the two. I plan on describing the process involved in creating a film using a film camera and comparing it to the process using a digital camera, as well as comparing things like physical aspects of the cameras, advantages and disadvantages included in using either camera, and the differences or similarities in the final products.

I want to focus mainly on how even though a lot of filmmakers have made the change to “new media” digital, a significant amount of filmmakers, film critics, and even people in general still prefer film. This preference could be discussed through people’s “stubborn” opinion arguing that film is more authentic.

This project features things we might have learned and discussed in the course such as innovations about photography and motion pictures (Weinman). My project will exhibited through the use of Timeline JS (which will be used to show ‘a timeline’ of the progression of the change). Through Timeline, I will be able to include specific media texts including, but not limited to, citation with links, images (mainly of specific cameras so as to contribute evidence to argument of how film and digital are physically different), and embedded video (YouTube tutorials of how cameras work; Video of the first camera/film; I will possibly also include a short video of someone else providing evidence of the same argument, so as to contribute to my central argument).

Structure: To begin, I will state what my project is about, and then I will showcase a timeline of the change. Then I will present the people who played an important role in either the announcement or development of the type of camera, followed by photographs of course, and slowly transitioning into the evidential going back and forth of advantages and disadvantages of using film or digital cameras. This part will include video that showcases the good, or the better, capabilities that are offered out of using both of the cameras. Finally I will show through video how a film looks after they’re finished shooting it, on film and then on digital, alongside pulled audio from critics’ opinions of which medium is better.

11/3/16

Rushkoff talks about how his daughter has swiped a screen (computer, Television) with her hand and how she automatically expects something to move or to happen; of which is actually a really great example of how humans (especially of the ones growing up nowadays contrary to the “immigrants to the digital era” or those exposed to a pre-new media universe”) are being programmed by technology.

How Rushkoff explains his meaning behind his title of his book is that “if you don’t know how to program in a digital age, then you will be programmed. In other words, we have a choice either to make the software or to be the software. We’re moving into a world where most everything we touch and do is going to be the result of some programming in one way or another.” It’s interesting to think about how many programs we use everyday, of which have been made by programmers (who know how the program is set up and not just how to use it like every day people), in order to make our lives easier. However what he is saying is that to ‘be programmed’ or to ‘be the software’ means that humans are beginning to grow accustomed to ‘the new way’ of how things work (example being his kid swiping screens that aren’t programmed to).

Rushkoff states that the line between understanding reality and programming isn’t that far off, and at first I didn’t agree with him since I believe one is physical and the other is through technology. Then he explains how social constructions are programs, in the way that it is basically understood as a series of choices given to everyone by the way society sets it up to be; he worries that “if we move into an increasingly programmed reality without understanding that its been programmed, we’re going to be really incapable of distinguishing between the map and the territory.” Is he saying that the future of social constructions going to become as dependent on software as we are (i.e. social interactions)?

Douglas Rushkoff, “Program or Be Programmed”