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Syllabus

The "new" in this course's title is something of a misnomer; the Internet as we know it (meaning primarily the world wide web) has been around for over a dozen years, and that's only one of the more recent network protocols invented for computer-based communication. This course will serve as an introduction to the study of digital media, new and otherwise, with attention to the pre-history of the Internet technologies we're now familiar with, the theoretical modes of reading that such technologies have helped give birth to, and the social and political effects that these technologies have had.

New Media Literature

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Has anyone been following the SocialiteRank scandal? It's really interesting, even if you don't move in those circles (and I'm pretty sure none of us in the class do). Anyway, here is the article that New York did on the whole thing.
I was browsing a summation of the whole thing on HuffingtonPost, and noticed an apt comparison that the Post made with the events - the narrative of the scandal pretty closely resembles Dangerous Liaisons, where a bunch of wealthy peoples' lives are ruined through a series of correspondances. It made me ask the question: when is there going to be some great literature about New Media? We need some sort of a sprawling, Tom Wolfe-ish story about a big blogging scandal or something. Maybe some great writer is working on it right now...

My Intro to New Media

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This class has been quite an experience for me. Usually I've managed to steer clear of any classes that required significant amounts of work that would be posted online (one class I took had a moodle requirement, but it was pretty light; basic summaries of the reading or responding to others' opinions on it). I think I should have taken this class as a freshman - In fact, I think all freshman should take this class. Maybe I would have gotten more out of the blogging, and been more engaged with the blog, if my academic habits weren't already so entrenched. (notice how late this post is coming up... that immediacy is one thing I don't like about the blogging. It's not something due in class, it's something outside of class that is really sort of nebulous.) Anyway though, I do think that classes should integrate new media better into the curriculum. Just not classes I'm in. Maybe if we start doing this sort of thing earlier it would be more effective.

Technology and Human beings

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This article is very interesting. Written in the wake of the VTech incident, the writer cautions us against rushing to to either blame or promote technology overly much (video games or better technological methods of communicating).

To quote - "As a culture, we are very bad at thinking about technology. We look to it either as something to fear or as a panacea for the flaws of the human condition. Technology is neither. It is merely an extension of our own wills and capabilities."

I think this relates back to our readings about how we view computers and technology in context with ourselves and our interactions with it. He warns against projecting fears on to technology and reminds us that we are the sentient beings and responsible for our use of technology.

The Pirate Bay

I am not sure if the person who did the presentation on copyrights and downloading the other week mentioned this. To tell the truth, they could have talked about puff the magic dragon and I would not remember at this point. My brain is too fried - curse you finals week!

Anyhoo, a prosecutor in Sweden has vowed to file charges against The Pirate Bay on the grounds of breaches of copyright law. Apparently this group of people are BitTorrent's foremost trackers and were raided about a year ago, when police confiscated servers and other computer equipment.

15% of Americans w/o Internet or cell

An interesting new Pew study released: here's the Pew link. It shows that 15% of Americans have no Internet of cell phone. It points out, unsurprisingly, that that 15% is mostly comprised of an older generation. Once that generation (sorry if this sounds harsh) dies off, the percentage of those unconnected should drop very close to 0. Keep in mind that this is only talking about the US, however. Our country is far more connected than most, so even as this number falls to 0, the digital divide is still very real.

ompah! Final project!

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So, since my final project ate my life for a little while (and my blog grade, too; a zero for two straight weeks isn't bad, right?), I thought it deserved its own blog post. It was really nice to go back and sort of re-read some of the stuff from earlier in the year. Since I had focused on hypermedia for both the midterm and the final, I had a chance to look at the material a couple of times, and sort out a few things that had confused me at first. I also got a chance to explore some more hypermedia texts, and while I probably could have done this more extensively, I ended up reading the beginning of another Deleuze and Guattari article that I thought was pretty cool, even if I didn't understand it. I also got very familiar with the game engine in Blender and this video plugin, so if I ever need to use it again, which I have no idea if I will, I'll be able to.

Some thoughts...

This class has been good for me as person, especially for one who lives in a world dependent upon technology. It finally hit me towards the end of the semester that understanding this type of technology from a larger perspective is an important part of understanding the world in which we live. (The class discussed a lot about the presence of technology in our lives. Maybe, just a suggestion, spend a day towards the end of the semester discussing the lack of technology in other places, and the relationship between entities where one has technology and the other one doesn't?)

As far as using this technology, I wish we could have done more. Though I did enjoy writing my critical term project, I wish I learned more about doing things with technology to feel comfortable enough to do a creative term project.

FINalmente

So now that I am finished with my term project, and concentrating on much better topics (like the wiki) I decided that I would share with you what has helped keep me sane throughout this whole process. On the nights that I did not sleep at all or very well (because I was seeing those y's and n's), I would go to these places to clear my mind for a little while.

I scattered the links i lyrics to some of my favorite songs. I tried to make a found poem like in Cindy's project. And there's some things that correlate to other projects as well.

**If I could fall into the sky

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